SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 2-ranked Salisbury University field hockey team is on its way to NCAA Division III field hockey championship weekend in Geneva, New York after a thrilling 1-0 victory against No. 6 Ursinus College on Sunday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium.
In a third-round clash between two of the top teams in the nation, it would be a lone goal by freshman Arielle Johnston that would send the Sea Gulls (18-1) to their third semifinal in four years. The game was scoreless through the first half of play, but in the game's 45th minute, junior Natalie Wilkinson inserted the ball off one of Salisbury's 14 penalty corners; Johnston collected the pass, wound up and fired the ball past Ursinus goalkeeper Jules Singer into the left side of the cage for the 1-0 edge.
Another brilliant defensive effort by Salisbury largely kept Ursinus from earning scoring opportunities, and though the Bears had six corner opportunities, they were only able to put two shots on junior goalkeeper Tressie Windsor. Windsor stopped both tries by Ursinus, including Brooke Overly's shot with just 19 seconds showing on the clock.
The victory avenged a loss in the 2011 NCAA quarterfinals, when Ursinus defeated Salisbury 1-0 in overtime.
Salisbury will now face No. 3 Tufts University, which defeated No. 11 Skidmore College 1-0 in the third round. The Sea Gulls and Jumbos will square off in a semifinal match on Saturday, November 19. The Sea Gulls played Tufts in the semifinals in 2009, winning 1-0, en route to the program's fifth national championship.
The winner of that semifinal game will face off against the winner of other semifinal match, between top-ranked Messiah College and No. 7 Babson College, on Sunday, November 20 for the national championship.