VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The women's soccer team traveled south on Wednesday evening to take on the Virginia Wesleyan University Marlins, but suffered a tough 1-0 loss.
The Marlins' speed up front forced Salisbury to be physically aggressive on defense early on, which led to four fouls being called on the Sea Gulls in the first six minutes of play.
A goal by forward Anna Pedicone in the 13th minute put the Marlins on top early and proved to be the game winner. Forward Alex Davidson managed to break past a defender and kick the ball out to Pedicone, who was waiting in the top right corner of the box.
Virginia Wesleyan had another opportunity four minutes later when an outside shot began to pinball in front of the Salisbury net. This led to two or three point-blank shots by the Marlins, but each one was deflected out of harm's way before crossing the end line.
The best scoring opportunity in the first half for the maroon and gold came with eight minutes left to play. Midfielder Carliane LaGuerre burst up the left side of the field before leaning into a strong shot from just inside the box, but a Marlin defender got just enough of her foot in front of the ball to deflect it out of play. Less than a minute later, forward Megan Brady made a similar push towards the net, but this time a defender managed to cut the angle enough to force Brady's shot wide. The Sea Gulls entered halftime still down a goal, but only trailing in shots, 5-4.
At the start of the second half LaGuerre once again found the ball at her feet in the 47th minute but her shot from the top of the box was chipped just enough by a Marlins defender to redirect the ball above the crossbar.
Virginia Wesleyan tallied a shot in the 48th minute which almost doubled the Marlins' lead when it rolled past a diving Hope Knussman before deflecting off the left post and rolling alongside the front of the goal line. The goalkeeper managed to retreat and scoop up the ball in the nick of time.
It was another great outing by Knusmann, who made nine saves on the night.
The Sea Gulls return home this Saturday afternoon to host The Catholic University of America. The match is set to kickoff at 1 p.m.