SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 2 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team will continue its quest for a fourth national championship on Saturday, May 19 as it hosts Denison University in a third-round matchup at 11:30 a.m.
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How we got here
The Sea Gulls advanced to the third round with a 19-11 victory over visiting Meredith College on Sunday, May 13 in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Gabrielle Mongno and Emma Skoglund combined for six goals in the first half as Salisbury outscored the Avenging Angels 13-5 in the opening frame. The duo ended the game with 10 goals en route to the second-round victory.
How they got here
Denison rolled to a 21-4 victory over Calvin College in the second round after also earning a first-round bye. The win marks the Big Red's first NCAA tournament victory since 2012, an 11-10 double overtime win against Adrian College. Denison comes in with a 17-2 record, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament after capturing the North Coast Athletic Conference championship for the fifth straight season and 13th time overall.
Salisbury is 1-1 all-time against Denison, with the last game coming in 2000. The Sea Gulls defeated the Big Red 26-4 in the first round of the NCAA tournament that year. The first meeting between the two teams came in 1988, when Denison picked up a 13-7 win. Both games have come in Salisbury.
Scouting the Big Red
Denison comes in with the eighth-highest scoring offense in Division III, averaging 17.47 goals per game. Leading the offense is sophomore Kiely Noonan, who is tied for 21st in the country with 72 goals on the season. Noonan has added a team-high 28 assists, giving her 100 points on the year. The Big Red allow just 7.21 goals per game, which ranks 19th in the nation. Denison's 10.26 scoring margin is good for sixth in the country. Junior Jane Goodspeed is at the top of several categories on defense for the Big Red. Goodspeed has 37 caused turnovers, 68 groundballs, and 89 draw controls on the season, all of which are tops on the team.
The honors keep rolling in for the Sea Gulls in the 2018 campaign. On Thursday, the Eastern College Athletic Conference named Head Coach Jim Nestor the Division III women's lacrosse Coach of the Year. Gianna Falcone was named to the All-ECAC first team, while Krissy Murphy was selected to the second team. Salisbury also had five players named to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association All-Region teams on Thursday. Falcone, Murphy, Allie Hynson, and Martha Hutzell were all named to the first team in the Chesapeake Region, while Dana King was selected to the second team.
The senior class has made their mark on the record book. Both Murphy and King have entered the top 10 in career assists, as Murphy currently ranks seventh with 89 and King sits in 10th with 78. Murphy also ranks 10th in a single season with 39 assists to date. Hynson has cemented her name with 176 draw controls in her four years, which is good for second all-time. Falcone has left her mark in several categories, as she is fourth in program history with 434 saves, second with 61 wins, and sixth with 115 groundballs.
The winner of Saturday's third round game advances to Sunday's regional final, which will be held at 1 p.m. at Sea Gull Stadium. The game will feature the winner of Saturday's other third round matchup between Trinity (Conn.) College and Rhodes College.