February 16, 2014

Sea Gulls find back of net 17 times, defeat Roanoke in season opener

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 1 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team started the season in impressive fashion Sunday afternoon, downing Roanoke College, 17-2, to extend its winning streak to 24 games.

The Sea Gulls (1-0) got an early taste of the back of the net, scoring seven-straight goals in the first 23 minutes of play. Senior attacker Shannon Carta posted the first goal of the season on a free-position opportunity a little over a minute into the game. Carta followed up with another score four minutes later off a backside pass from junior attacker Kate Haker, moving the score to 2-0. Carta recorded a career-high four goals to go with one assist in the contest.

Junior attacker Shelby Nemecek scored her first, of three, in the eighth minute. After receiving a pass from junior midfielder Bethany Baer, Nemecek made a quick cut down the middle for a swift shot past Roanoke goalkeeper Lauren Curtin, giving the Gulls a 3-0 lead. The Marriottsville, Md., native would post a hat trick for the game along with one assist.

With the score 4-0 after another Carta score, senior attacker Katelyn Blondino made a drive on the right side through the defense for a high left shot for an unassisted goal.

After recording an assist earlier in the contest, Haker would find the back of the net twice in the first half. With 11 minutes remaining, the Westminster, Md., native cut into the eight-meter fan for an off-balanced shot going low past the keeper's stick. No more than five minutes later, the junior would capitalize on another high shot on a feed from the right post by junior attacker Kara O'Rourke. Haker would end the game with two goals and an assist.

Roanoke (0-1) would get on the scoreboard with less than two minutes left in the first half. A shot by Darragh Evarts would be saved by senior goalkeeper Ashton Wheatley, but a swift groundball pick up by Roanoke's Claire Feeney would be quickly shot into the top left corner.

Baer would end the half the same way she started the second, with a goal. The Westminster, Md., native tallied her first score with 32 seconds remaining in the first, after making a rapid move past the defense for a one-on-one shot against Curtin. To start the second period, the junior would add another unassisted goal, making a cut in on the right side for a shot into the top right corner. Baer would end the game with two goals and two assists.

Sophomore attacker Melissa Webster added her goal with less than 22 minutes remaining. Baer made a deflected pass that Webster would come down with right outside of the crease. With her back turned towards the goal, the sophomore would make a quick turn for a low shot on goal to make the score 10-1. Webster recorded a goal and an assist for the game.

Sophomore newcomer Megan Wallenhorst found the back of the net twice in her first game with the Sea Gulls, scoring an unassisted goal with 12:39 remaining and another two minutes later off a pass by Webster. Wallenhorst added an assist to her line for three points.

O'Rourke and sophomore midfielder Katelin Talbert would add the final touch to the game, scoring the final two goals.

The defense, led by senior Meghan Toomey and junior Dominique DiPino, only allowed nine shots for the contest. DiPino caused three turnovers and picked up four groundballs, while Toomey would scoop three, to pace the Sea Gulls' backline.

Wheatley recorded the victory making seven saves for the match. For her career, the senior now has 46 wins, eight shy of the program record.

Salisbury takes the road for its next contest on Saturday, Feb. 22, as the Sea Gulls head to No. 19 Stevenson University for a non-conference tilt. The game is set to start at 1 p.m.

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