OWINGS MILLS, Md. – A stellar defensive performance, coupled with another strong offensive effort, lifted the seventh-ranked Salisbury University field hockey team over Stevenson University on Wednesday evening, 5-1.
Outside of a fast-break goal in the 40th minute that put Stevenson's (0-2) lone goal on the board, it was Salisbury's (4-0) game. Senior midfielder Abbey Shobe, assisted by senior forward Becca Rinaca, got things started for the maroon and gold in the 10th minute, capitalizing on one of the Sea Gulls' first penalty corners. Sophomore forward Emily Lemanski made it a 2-0 game less than two minutes later, taking a pass from classmate Kristen Yingling and firing it past Mustang keeper Kelsey Eure.
Seven minutes into the second half, Rinaca, who was named Capital Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, netted an unassisted goal to give the Gulls the 3-1 lead. An unassisted score by Shobe in the 51st minute made it 4-1.
With just 18 seconds left to play, Shobe ripped a shot from the far side of the circle, firing the ball into the lower-left corner of the cage to put the exclamation point on an exceptional team win and notching the first hat trick of her career.
In a physical game that saw two yellow cards (one to each team), it was Salisbury that dominated the stat sheet. The Sea Gulls outshot the Mustangs 27-2 (19 of which were on goal) and amassed 15 corners, compared to Stevenson's two.
Salisbury has now outscored its opponents 21-2 in four games.
The Sea Gulls have one more game on the road – against Messiah College on Saturday at 1 p.m. – before taking the field in their new and improved Sea Gull Stadium for the first time, against Cabrini College, on Saturday, September 17. That contest is slated to begin at 6 p.m.