Dennis' blast sends field hockey to CAC championship match

Dennis' blast sends field hockey to CAC championship match

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 6 Salisbury University field hockey team advanced to the Capital Athletic Conference tournament championship game with a 3-2 overtime win against No. 19 York College of Pennsylvania on Wednesday at Sea Gull Stadium.

After Salisbury drew even in the 54th minute, each team pressured, each team had chances, but it was freshman Camryn Dennis, less than nine minutes into overtime who fired home the game winner.

Junior Emily Lemanski scored the equalizer midway through the second half, after York took a 2-1 lead seven minutes earlier. After sophomore Arielle Johnston's shot from the right wing was blocked, the rebound came to Lemanski with 16:48 showing on the clock. Lemanski one-timed the try as York goalkeeper Sam Keating came across the front of the net. Lemanski's shot clipped Keating's right pad and found the back of the cage, drawing the contest even, 2-2.

Second-seeded Salisbury had three shots between Lemanski's strike and the end of regulation, forcing Keating to turn away all three, including another Dennis try with eight seconds left. The third-seeded Spartans had one shot attempt in the closing minutes – a shot from Lindsay Nye, which sailed high with just under nine minutes left.

Following a 10-minute yellow card called against the Spartans late in regulation, the visitors were a player down early in the overtime, but Salisbury attempted just one shot while holding the advantage.

Just before the Sea Gulls got the game winner, senior goalkeeper Tressie Windsor came up with a pair of game-saving plays when the Spartans brought the ball down the right side on two consecutive possessions and Windsor charged the plays on the end line, dropping to the turf to cut off the tries.

The Sea Gulls countered, getting the ball to their offensive end of the field and got a penalty corner opportunity, one of the two they had in the extra session.

Senior Natalie Wilkinson inserted the ball to Dennis at the top of the circle, where she calmly brought the ball outside of the circle and back in firing a blast to the left side of the cage for the game winner – her fifth goal of the season.

The Sea Gulls saw their lengthy shutout streak come to a close in the contest, with York getting the game's first tally in the 13th minute, but Salisbury answered late in the first half when Dennis again ripped a shot off a penalty corner insert.

The CAC's leading goal scorer, Autumn Mallory, got the go-ahead goal for the Spartans in the 47th minute, but the Sea Gulls' late-game heroics from Windsor and Dennis send the Sea Gulls to the CAC championship match against top-seeded Christopher Newport University.

The title tilt will take place on Saturday, November 4 in Newport News, Virginia, with the game time to be announced. The Captains advanced with a 1-0 win against fourth-seeded University of Mary Washington on Wednesday night in the other semifinal.

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