SALISBURY, Md. – The top-seeded Salisbury University women's soccer team found itself down by one goal with less than 15 minutes remaining in regulation but the Sea Gulls fought back with two late goals to post a 3-2 victory over the University of Mary Washington in a Capital Athletic Conference semifinal match on Wednesday at the SU Soccer Complex. With the victory, SU earns its first CAC championship appearance since 2007.
Salisbury (12-5-2) opened the scoring in the contest when senior midfielder Amanda Miele headed home a perfectly executed cross from senior forward Sarah Jessilonis 23 minutes in. Mary Washington (9-7-2) evened the contest at one on a goal by Emmalee Denkler at the 31:20 mark before Jenny Mayo gave UMW a 2-1 lead six minutes later.
The contest was scoreless for the next 40 minutes before junior midfielder Casey Hafford took a feed from sophomore forward Colleen O'Connell and deposited the ball into the upper-left side of the net to tie the game at two. O'Connell would also have her hand in the game-winning score for SU a minute later, when she scored on a pass from junior forward Sarah Pfundstein.
The Sea Gulls outshot the fifth-seeded Eagles, 24-13, while also holding a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks.
SU was led by the outstanding effort of O'Connell, who ripped a game-high four shots (two on goal) to collect her second score of the season. Senior Amanda Zyzak had four shots of her own while Miele collected three shots on goal. Freshman goalkeeper Michelle Conrad picked up her 12th win on the season behind a six-save performance.
Mary Washington's two scores in the contest proved to be the first goals of the season for Denkler and Mayo. The Eagles were paced by Tina Brehm (10 saves), Carly Davis (three shots) and Erin Reynolds (two shots on goal).
Salisbury looks to claim its first CAC title since 2006 when the Sea Gulls host sixth-seeded St. Mary's (Md.) College in the CAC championship match on Saturday, Nov. 5.