NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Top seed Christopher Newport University's high-powered offense was too much for the fifth-seeded Salisbury University men's soccer team, as the Captains came away with a 3-0 win in the Capital Athletic Conference semifinals on Wednesday night.
The first half of the match was played mostly in the middle of field, as neither team was able to establish possession for an extended period of time.
The Sea Gulls (8-9-3) caught an unlucky break in the 14th minute as a Salisbury defender headed the ball back towards his own net and the ball bounced in for an own goal, giving Christopher Newport (14-2-1) an early 1-0 lead.
Christopher Newport held an 8-3 advantage in shots in the first half, though both teams had just two shots on goal. The Sea Gulls took four corner kicks, while the Captains did not attempt any.
The first opportunity for either team in the second half came in the 56th minute as Stephen Durbin had an open shot from about six yards out, but goalkeeper Trevor Brookhart came up huge for the Sea Gulls, making a great foot save to keep it a one goal game.
Christopher Newport would keep the pressure on, however, and got several chances following a free kick from the corner ten minutes later. After the ball was hanging around the 18 following a corner kick, Daniel Zeitoun sent a cross in from the right side and Davis Pillow headed the ball into the corner of the net for a 2-0 Captains lead in the 65th minute.
The Captains would keep possession in Salisbury's half of the field and would nearly find another goal, but Zachary Ballard's shot hit the post. Christopher Newport was able to put the game away in the 88th minute when Andrew Gogolin sent a through-ball to Jimmy Grace, who finished the play with a goal from six yards out for a 3-0 Captains win. It was just the third time all season the Sea Gulls allowed more than one goal.
Christopher Newport controlled the second half, outshooting Salisbury 20-3 and holding the Sea Gulls without a shot on goal. The Captains also held a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks in the second half. Brookhart made seven saves in the match, while Brooks Zentgraf and Dylan Parks paced the maroon and gold offense with two shots apiece.