SALISBURY, Md. – Another stellar team effort propelled the fifth-ranked Salisbury University field hockey team past ninth-ranked The College of New Jersey, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium.
With a meeting between two top-10 teams, the Sea Gulls (7-1) knew they had to score early and often – and wasted no time doing so. Less than five minutes into the contest, sophomore forward Emily Lemanski fired home a shot off a pass from senior midfielder Casie Preisch and netted Salisbury's first goal. In the 28th minute, sophomore forward Catherine Sweeney, assisted by freshman forward Rachel Domanico, made it a 2-0 contest; senior midfielder Abbey Shobe made it a three-goal advantage with less than three minutes left in the half, finding the lower-right corner of the cage.
An outstanding defensive stand by Salisbury enabled its offense to fire off 13 shots (seven on-goal) while preventing the Lions (4-3) from getting a single shot off in the first half. The Sea Gulls also had an 8-0 advantage in penalty corners in the first 35 minutes of play.
After earning three-straight penalty corners in the opening minutes of the second half, TCNJ had several good opportunities with a flurry of shots, but all were turned away by junior goalkeeper Tressie Windsor. A pair of defensive saves by senior midfielder Jessie Todd in the 48th minute preserved the shutout at the time.
But the shutout would not last. TCNJ's Lexi Smith took advantage of a penalty corner, ripping a shot from the top of the circle that found its way past Windsor to make it a 3-1 game with less than 10 minutes left. TCNJ continued to push, but a defensive save by freshman midfielder Jillian Hughes and a third by Todd in the closing minutes prevented the Lions from scoring a second goal, and wise clock management by the Gulls sealed the deal and the 3-1 final.
Overall, the Gulls held a 19-14 advantage in shots and a 15-8 edge in penalty corners. Salisbury has now outscored its opponents 37-6 in eight games.
Salisbury hits the road to square off against Lynchburg College in Fredericksburg, Virginia on Wednesday, September 28 at 4 p.m. The Gulls return home on Saturday, October 1, opening up Capital Athletic Conference play with a contest against No. 18 University of Mary Washington. That game is set to begin at 7 p.m.