No. 2 Gulls set for regional finals against No. 7 Diplomats

No. 2 Gulls set for regional finals against No. 7 Diplomats

SALISBURY, Md. – With one more victory, the No. 2 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team will punch its ticket to championship weekend once again. The Sea Gulls must advance past No. 7 Franklin & Marshall College on Sunday, May 18, in a regional-final matchup to get the opportunity to travel to Gettysburg, Pa., next weekend. The first draw is set for 1 p.m. at Sea Gull Stadium.

Following the Game

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How We Got Here

After going undefeated in the regular season of the Capital Athletic Conference for the 12th-consecutive year, Salisbury downed York College of Pennsylvania for the third-straight year in the conference title game, 13-6. The 14th championship for the Sea Gulls earned them the automatic bid into the NCAA Division III women's lacrosse tournament. As one of two top-seeded teams in the tournament, Salisbury received a first-round bye. In the second round, the Sea Gulls defeated Farmingdale State College, 18-7, to advance to the regional semifinals where they toppled Augustana (Ill.) College, 16-3.

How They Got Here

After falling in the Centennial Conference championship to Gettysburg College, 9-5, F&M earned an at-large bid into the national tournament with a 15-5 record. Receiving a first-round bye, the Diplomats advanced to the regional semifinals after defeating Catholic University of America, 17-11, in a second-round tilt. In Salisbury, Md., F&M downed the State University of New York at Geneseo, 9-8, in the final eight seconds to advance to the regional finals.

Series History

Sunday's contest will mark the 16th meeting between these two programs, fourth in postseason play. The Sea Gulls hold an 11-4 advantage in the series, defeating the Diplomats in the regular season this year, 9-8, at Sea Gull Stadium. The two squads met up in the regional finals in Salisbury last season, with the Gulls coming out victorious with an 8-6 tally.

Sharing the Wealth

The wealth has been spread throughout the offense this season as nine Gulls have found the back of the net 10 or more times, while six have double-digit assists. Junior Shelby Nemecek paces the offense with 70 points off a team-high 64 goals and six assists, and senior Shannon Carta comes in close second with 65 points off 37 finishers and a team-high 28 helpers.

Unbreachable Protection

Senior Ashton Wheatley has proven herself worthy to be labeled as one of the best goalkeepers in the country, as the Cambridge, Md., native sports a 5.94 goals-against average this season, landing her fourth in the nation. Playing in 3647:46 for her career, Wheatley has turned away 397 attempts, leaving her just three shy of the 400 milestone. The 397 saves place her fourth in program history in the respected category. The captain is relentless once out of the crease, bringing back the high school midfielder days, as she sits third on the team in groundballs with 30 and caused 10 turnovers on acrobatic interceptions.

Up Next

The winner of Sunday's game will advance to the semifinals on Saturday, May 24, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania against the winner of the TCNJ/Amherst College matchup. First draw is set for 4 p.m., at Clark Field.

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