Sea Gulls set to host Captains in CAC semifinal game

Sea Gulls set to host Captains in CAC semifinal game

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's lacrosse team enters postseason play on Sunday, April 27, as it welcomes Christopher Newport University to Sea Gull Stadium for a Capital Athletic Conference semifinal game; first draw is set for 1 p.m.

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How we got here

The Sea Gulls bolstered yet another undefeated regular-season record in the conference, going 7-0. This is the 12th-consecutive season that Salisbury has held an unblemished record in the conference. With the 7-0 record, SU received the top seed and a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

How they got here

With a 3-4 record in the regular season of conference play, the Captains claimed the fifth seed in the tournament. CNU matched up against No. 4-seeded St. Mary's College of Maryland in the first round, toppling the Seahawks, 9-8, for the upset. Senior Ashton Marshall paced the Captains' offense with a tied game-high four goals off four shots.

The last time we met

Salisbury traveled to Newport News, Va., on April 8 this season for the regular-season matchup, as the Sea Gulls came out victorious with an 18-10 tally. Junior Shelby Nemecek led all scorers recording a career-high six goals and an assist for seven points. Junior Bethany Baer (four goals, one assist) and sophomore Samantha Duranti (two goals, three assists) chipped in five points apiece, while Baer set game-highs in groundballs and caused turnovers with six and four, respectively. Marshall paced the CNU offense with four goals off seven shots and four groundball pickups.

Great wall of defense

Salisbury's defense has shined in the conference this year, only allowing 38 goals through seven games for a goals-against average of 5.43, the Sea Gulls lead the CAC in both categories. For the entire season, SU has only allowed 106 goals, which ranks seventh in the country in scoring defense with 6.24 goals allowed per game. Christopher Newport comes in fifth in the conference for CAC play and the entire season with 79 and 173 goals allowed, respectively.

Goalkeeping at its finest

Senior Ashton Wheatley continues to be impressive in the cage for yet another season, as she ranks sixth in the nation and top in the conference in goals-against average at 6.30. Through 885:17 of play, Wheatley has only given up 93 goals, while saving 98 attempts for a .513 save percentage, ranking her 24th in the country and second in the conference behind York College of Pennsylvania's Ashley Smith who holds a .537 save percentage.

Let's go streaking!

Salisbury has maintained an untouchable repertoire in the conference since joining in 1995, only losing a total of nine games in the regular season. Of the 19 years in the CAC, the Sea Gulls have won 13 conference championships, with 11 of them in a row dating back to the 2003 season. Since March 19, 2003, Salisbury has gone 101-consecutive games without dropping a game, including postseason play. Limiting the streak to regular-season competition, SU has extended its conference winning streak to 78, which is an all-time Division III record. Along with their impressive CAC play, the Gulls have played incredibly well at Sea Gull Stadium, holding a 36-game winning streak on their turf.

What's next?

The winner of this semifinal match will move on to the CAC championship game on Saturday, May 3. If Salisbury wins, it will play host to the winner of the other semifinal match between No. 2-seeded York and No. 3-seeded University of Mary Washington. If Christopher Newport wins, the Captains will travel to the winner of the York-Mary Washington game. The time is to be announced.

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