SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's soccer team put forth a strong effort against No. 3 Messiah College, but could not hold on, as the Falcons won 3-0 on Saturday afternoon at the SU Soccer Complex.
The Sea Gulls (1-3-2) battled with the Falcons in the first half, and had some opportunities to go ahead early in play. At 15:19, Jenny Gavigan rocketed the ball towards the Messiah goal, but the ball just sailed over Falcon goalkeeper Audra Larson's head and above the crossbar. Salisbury had another chance just two minutes later when Victoria Luc fired a ball towards the net that was blocked and eventually cleared by a Messiah defender.
The Sea Gulls held their ground on the defensive end as well, with Tabitha Brown anchoring the backline for Salisbury. Despite a strong defensive effort for SU, the Falcons (5-0) finally broke through with a goal at 36:46 to take a 1-0 lead after Olivia Snare took a ball from Regina Stump and sent it past senior goalkeeper Michelle Conrad and into the back of the net. Conrad was a key contributor for the defense in the first half, grabbing four saves against a high-scoring Messiah offense.
Messiah's offense started to wear down on Salisbury's defense in the second half, finding the back of the net twice in the period to insure a Falcon victory. Marisa Weaver scored at 53:29 off an assist by Kyele Bridel to increase the lead to 2-0. Nikki Elsaesser put the final touch on 12 minutes later, scoring a goal assisted by Holly Burgard, to move the score to 3-0.
Logan O'Meara took two shots for Salisbury, and a slew of other Sea Gulls each had one shot attempt. Conrad played all 90 minutes in goal for SU and picked up a total of six saves in the match. Larsen recorded one save in 90 minutes of action for the Falcons. Messiah had a 12-7 advantage in shots, while Salisbury held a slight 2-1 edge in corner kicks.
The Sea Gulls will be back in action on Tuesday, September 16, when they travel to take on Virginia Wesleyan College at 7 p.m.