SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 6 Salisbury University field hockey team will look to advance to the national semifinals on Sunday, hosting No. 4 Tufts University in an NCAA tournament third round contest at Sea Gull Stadium, beginning at 1 p.m.
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How we got here
After a first round bye, the Sea Gulls topped Washington & Jefferson College in overtime, 1-0, on Saturday. Salisbury outshot the Presidents by a 15-1 count in the game, but needed nearly 80 minutes to score the game's only goal. It was junior Jillian Hughes who put home the game winner late in overtime against the nation's top defense. She took control just inside the circle before firing a shot that was clipped by the goalkeeper, but able to sneak under the crossbar for the game-winning goal.
How they got here
Tufts also received a first round bye in the tournament and came up with a 3-0 win against Smith College on Saturday. The Jumbos scored twice in a span of 64 seconds to take control, getting scores from Alexis Chauvette 16 minutes into the game, and another a moment later from Hanaa Malik. Marguerite Salamone scored the only second half goal in the contest to cap the scoring. The Tufts defense allowed Smith to get just five shots off in the game.
Salisbury and Tufts have faced off four times, with the Sea Gulls getting three wins. Salisbury has won the two games played on the Eastern Shore, winning 2-0 in 2007 and 1-0 in 2013. Both meetings were in the NCAA tournament's second round. The teams have also met twice in the national semifinals, with the Sea Gulls prevailing 1-0 in South Hadley, Massachusetts in 2009 – during the program's last national championship run – and the Jumbos getting a win in 2016 in Geneva, New York.
Scouting the Jumbos
The No. 4 Jumbos enter Sunday's game having won nine of their past 10 games. The lone loss was a 1-0 setback against Middlebury College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship game. Offensively, Tufts is paced by senior Gigi Tutoni, who has netted 12 goals this season, and junior Rachel Hamilton, who has put home seven goals. The Jumbos also boast a strong defensive squad with a team goals-against average of 0.52; of their 17 victories this year, 12 have been shutout wins.
The winner of Sunday's game will advance to the national semifinals on Saturday, November 17 beginning at 11 a.m., in Manheim, Pennsylvania.