No. 6 Gulls clinch top seed in CAC tournament with victory over Seahawks

No. 6 Gulls clinch top seed in CAC tournament with victory over Seahawks

SALISBURY, Md. – Junior Megan Wallenhorst registered a career-high nine points to guide the No. 6 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team over St. Mary's College of Maryland, 13-3, on Friday afternoon to clinch the top seed in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament. 

With the victory, the Sea Gulls (11-2, 7-0 CAC) sit as the lone squad in the league with an unblemished record, handing the Seahawks their first defeat of the season. 

Wallenhorst got things started for Salisbury just over a minute into the game, connecting with senior Kara O'Rourke at the 28:44 mark. O'Rourke, with the ball on the back-left side of the goal, found Wallenhorst cutting down the left side of the fan for a high quick-stick finish. 

It didn't take long for the Gulls to notch number two. Seeing sophomore Hannah Young win the draw control, a foul turned the play dead just over midfield. On the restart, Young sent the ball over top the defense to Wallenhorst who had nothing but empty field between her and the Seahawk goalkeeper. Drawing the keeper out, Wallenhorst made the late pass to freshman Kristen Murphy on the left side for the swift touch into the bottom of the net. 

The Seahawks (11-3, 5-1 CAC) added their first of two of the half less than five minutes in, but Salisbury answered with a three-goal run to extend the lead to four, off another finish by Wallenhorst and two by Young. O'Rourke assisted on the first Young goal, while Wallenhorst tossed out the helper on the other. 

With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, St. Mary's tacked on its second of the game, before the Gulls blasted home three more to take an 8-2 lead into the break. Sophomore Gabbi Nieves sliced through the defense and found the back of the net on a low finish for her contribution for the game, while Wallenhorst threw out helpers to junior Katelin Talbert and Murphy to notch the final two goals. 

At the break, Salisbury took 12 shots while the Sea Gull defense limited the Seahawks to just three. 

The scoring opened back up quickly in the second half, seeing O'Rourke and Wallenhorst connect on back-to-back goals. Just 44 seconds in, O'Rourke positioned herself around the backside of the goal as Wallenhorst dropped down the middle of the fan. Sending a high pass, Wallenhorst caught the ball and in one-fluent motion sent it into the top of the cage. The two would follow up less than five minutes later to extend the score to 10-2, before St. Mary's connected on its final goal of the game. 

In the final 12 minutes of the game, the Gulls added three more goals, two from freshman Dana King and a free-position finish by Talbert. 

For the fifth-consecutive game, the Sea Gull defense held its opponent to no more than four goals, only allowing seven shots on target, 12 total shots for the game. Freshman Gianna Falcone earned her 10th victory in the net, turning away four shots. Falcone moves her goals-against average to 4.56 for the season, making her the top goalkeeper in the country in the category. 

Wallenhorst's nine points culminated off four goals and five assists, while O'Rourke sent out four helpers for the game. The senior now has 37 assists for the season, placing her fourth in the nation. 

The women now get set for their final top-20 matchup for the regular season along with Senior Day, as they welcome No. 14 The College of New Jersey to Sea Gull Stadium on Sunday, April 12. First draw is set for 2 p.m.

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