SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's soccer team will host a first-round Capital Athletic Conference tournament match against Penn State University-Harrisburg on Saturday, October 28 at 2 p.m. at Sea Gull Soccer Stadium.
Follow the game
For live stats, click here
For live video, click here
How we got here
After a slow start to the season, the Sea Gulls got things rolling just in time for CAC play, rattling off six straight shutout victories before falling to No. 1 seeded Christopher Newport University, 2-0. The only other loss in conference play came in the following match to current No. 2 seeded Frostburg State University, 1-0. Salisbury wrapped up the regular season on Wednesday, October 25 at Wesley College, defeating the Wolverines, 6-0. With the victory, the maroon and gold climbed to a 9-9-0 overall record, and a 7-2-0 mark in the CAC, earning the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
How they got here
Penn State-Harrisburg went 11-7-0 overall and 4-5-0 in CAC play. The Lions wrapped up their regular season on Wednesday, falling to No. 5 seeded University of Mary Washington at home, 2-0. Despite the loss, Penn State-Harrisburg earned the No. 6 seed in this year's tournament. It is the first time the team has made the postseason since the school joined the CAC in 2013.
This will be the first time these teams have met in postseason play. Since joining the conference in 2013, Penn State-Harrisburg has yet to capture a victory over the Sea Gulls in five contests.
Last time we met
The two teams faced off at Sea Gull Soccer Stadium as part of the homecoming weekend festivities on Saturday, October 7. The Sea Gulls held the Lions scoreless on their way to a 2-0 victory. Forward Julianna Boller scored the first goal for the maroon and gold in the 7th minute. Forward Ruthie Lucas doubled her team's lead in the 70th minute when she received a header from teammate Carly Glassford. Salisbury outshot the Lions, 24-7, while also holding the advantage in corner kicks, 6-1.
Scouting the Lions
Penn State-Harrisburg ranks second in the conference in overall goals with 42, but those numbers dropped to 12 against CAC opponents, and have been shut-out on five separate occasions. The Lions' leading scorer, Kristen Stark, sits in second place in the CAC with 13 goals on the season. In their previous matchup, Salisbury was able to contain Stark to only one shot. The Lions' goalkeeper, Kayla Arnold, has had a strong season, ranking fourth in the conference in both save percentage, at .841, and goals-against average, at 0.99.
Defense, defense, defense!
Salisbury's success in CAC play this season has been due in large part to the team's play on the back line and in net. In her third season as the Sea Gulls' primary goalkeeper, Hope Knussman has continued to play at a very high level. Knussman ranks fifth in the conference in goals-against average, at 1.19, and has helped contribute to seven shutout victories in CAC play. In front of Knussman is a defensive unit, led by seniors Jamie Tacka and Rachel Anderson, that has stifled opposing offenses since the start of conference play. Tacka and Knussman combined to win CAC Defensive Player of the Week honors three weeks straight, from October 2-16.
The winner of Saturday's match advances to the CAC semifinals on Wednesday, November 1 to face second seeded Frostburg State University.