SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's soccer team earned its first draw of the season, playing Virginia Wesleyan College to a 0-0 tie Wednesday afternoon at the SU Soccer Complex.
Junior Michelle Conrad stopped five Virginia Wesleyan (4-1-2) shots to keep the game tied. The Smithtown, N.Y., native also contributed offensively, putting on goal one of Salisbury's better chances in regulation.
Chances were tough to come by in the first half, as much of the half was spent pushed against the boundary line near the team benches and in the middle of the field. Salisbury (3-3-1) had a goal taken off the board roughly 12 minutes into the contest, when off a corner kick inserted by sophomore Samantha Beck, classmate Tabitha Brown settled the ball and inserted into the back of the net. While the Sea Gulls were celebrating what they thought was an early 1-0 lead, the officials conferred and waived off the goal, calling a handball on Brown. That would be the best scoring chance of the first 45 minutes for either team.
Even though Salisbury seemingly controlled the ball for much of the first half, it was outshot by the Marlins 8-3 in the first 45 minutes of play. For the game, Salisbury held the advantage in shots 18-13.
The second half saw Salisbury put more pressure on the Marlin defense getting off 10 shots in the second half to Virginia Wesleyan's three. Each team had one prime opportunity in the second half but were stymied by the opposing team.
With 18:51 remaining in regulation, Conrad took a free kick from just behind the midfield stripe, ripping a low liner on goal that caught Marlin goalie Megan Gerhart by surprise, but Gerhart held onto the shot for the save.
Conrad turned away the best chance for the Marlins in the second half just over six minutes later, when Virginia Wesleyan's Jasmine Dao put a ball through the Sea Gull defense, intended for a streaking teammate, but the pass was intercepted by a diving Conrad.
Neither team pushed the action in the first overtime, but Salisbury increased the tempo in the second overtime. The Sea Gulls held a 5-1 shot advantage in the second overtime, with each team having opportunities to get the game-winning goal. With four minutes remaining in the second overtime, Dao played in a corner kick that was played back out to her and she was able to play it to teammate Annie Hartman who got off a shot that went high.
Salisbury finished the contest with an offensive flurry but was unable to find the back of the net. With 89 seconds left in the contest, freshman Marissa Walker put a shot on goal that was turned away by Gerhart; and with 14 seconds remaining, sophomore Casey Arnone sent a point-blank shot just wide left of the net.
The women's soccer team is next in action a week from today, heading to Owings Mills, Md., to take on Stevenson University. That contest is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., at Mustang Stadium. The Sea Gulls are back at the SU Soccer Complex next Saturday, Sept. 28, hosting Capital Athletic Conference foe York College of Pennsylvania. That contest is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.