Three Gulls post hat tricks; down Catholic, 17-9

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 1 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team defeated Catholic University of America, 17-9, Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium, extending its winning streak to 26.

In the opening 10 minutes, the game looked to be a close one as the teams traded goals. Junior attacker Shelby Nemecek would find the back of the net first off a pass from junior midfielder Bethany Baer. Driving left, Nemecek finished with a high shot to give the Sea Gulls a 1-0 lead. Catholic (1-1) answered back three minutes later with an unassisted goal by Clair Schmitzer to draw the score even for the only time in the game.

Salisbury (3-0) drew momentum from the Catholic score, following up with eight-straight goals. Junior attacker Kate Haker sparked the scoring, receiving a pass from sophomore attacker Megan Wallenhorst on the back-right side of the goal, curling around for a quick shot past Cardinals' goalkeeper Yasmeen Ajdari.

Senior Shannon Carta followed up less than two minutes later after intercepting a pass by Catholic in stride, then driving toward the crease for a high shot.

Haker would score her other two goals in the 8-0 run, along with goals by Nemecek, Wallenhorst and Baer. Haker ended the game with three goals and two assists for five points.  

After a Catholic score with four minutes remaining in the first half, Nemecek answered back with Salisbury's final goal of the half to cap her third-consecutive hat trick for the season.

The Cardinals started out the second half scoring first, but the Sea Gulls added four more goals in a three-minute span to draw the score to 14-4. Sophomore midfielder Samantha Duranti recorded two of the four goals, scoring her first goal of the season to kick off the run. Sophomore midfielder Katelin Talbert and Baer tallied the other two goals. Baer ended the game with three goals and an assist for four points.

Junior midfielder Kylie Hanley scored her first two goals of the season, along with another goal by Wallenhorst to cap off the scoring for the Sea Gulls.

Salisbury outshot Catholic, 33-21, for the game, along with a 21-14 edge in groundballs. Draw controls were evenly split between both teams, 14-14.

The defense led by senior Meghan Toomey and junior Dominique DiPino, caused 16 turnovers through 60 minutes of play. Toomey and DiPino paced the defense with three caused turnovers and three groundballs, each.

Senior goalkeeper Ashton Wheatley recorded 10 saves for the game, as she now boasts over 300 saves in her career.

With the win, the program has reached 399 victories since 1973.

The women are back in action Saturday, March 8, as Salisbury welcomes Washington and Lee University to Sea Gull Stadium. The game is set to begin at 1 p.m.

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