SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 2 Salisbury University field hockey team begins its postseason run on Wednesday, November 2, hosting York College of Pennsylvania in a Capital Athletic Conference semifinal beginning at 6 p.m.
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How we got here
The Sea Gulls went through their Capital Athletic Conference schedule undefeated, claiming six wins while outscoring their CAC opponents by a combined score of 27-4 to claim the top seed in the CAC tournament. Salisbury went 14-1 in the regular season, overall, and has risen to the No. 2 ranking in the nation.
How they got here
York finished the season 4-2 in CAC play to earn the No. 4 seed in the tournament - the Spartans' only CAC losses came to Salisbury and the University of Mary Washington. York is coming off a 3-0 win in the opening round of the CAC tournament against St. Mary's College of Maryland. In that contest, the Spartans dominated the stat sheet, outshooting the Seahawks, 25-0, but could not break the scoreless tie until the 45th minute when Lindsay Nye put home her 18th goal of the year. Two insurance goals would come in the closing 15 minutes of the match.
The Sea Gulls and Spartans have met 31 times dating back to the 1982 season, with Salisbury claiming 30 of the meetings. The only Spartan win in the series came in the first meeting on October 19, 1982, with a 3-2 York win. The Sea Gulls have won the last 30, including all 20 meetings in Salisbury.
Last time we met
Earlier this season, the Spartans came to Sea Gull Stadium for another midweek game and the Salisbury offense exploded for six goals, including four in the first half of a 6-2 CAC win. Seniors Becca Rinaca, Annah Brittingham, and junior Natalie Wilkinson each scored twice in the game. The two goals scored by York are the most Salisbury has given up to a CAC opponent this year.
Scouting the Spartans
York enters the match having won two-straight games, both by shutout. The Spartans are led on offensive by one of the most potent players in the nation as Lindsay Nye enters the day 19th nationally, averaging 1.09 goals per game, having scored 18 times in 2016. Defensively, goalkeeper Eva Hauptle is fourth in the CAC with a 1.85 goals-against average while Jennifer Morrissette has helped with five defensive saves.
Make them count
When the teams met earlier this year, it was Salisbury's Corners for Cancer game, and appropriately, the two teams rank first and second in the CAC in penalty corner chances this season and both in the top 25 nationally. Salisbury is the league leader, and ranks ninth in the nation, averaging 11.80 penalty corners per match. The Spartans are second in the CAC and rank 21st nationally, averaging 10.72 corners per contest.
The winner of Wednesday's game will advance to the CAC championship game on Saturday, November 5. With a win, the Sea Gulls would host the title game, while the Spartans would travel for the championship match if they win in the semifinals. The Salisbury/York winner will take on the winner of the other semifinal, between Christopher Newport and Mary Washington, which also begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.