SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 2 Salisbury University field hockey team has only No. 6 Ursinus College standing between it and a trip to the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Tournament championship weekend as the teams square off in NCAA third-round action on Sunday, November 13 at Sea Gull Stadium beginning at 1 p.m.
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How we got here
After earning a first-round bye into the NCAA tournament, Salisbury faced Kenyon College on Saturday, November 12, and came away with a 3-0 victory. The Sea Gulls did not score until the 25th minute, when sophomore Kristen Yingling picked up the rebound of her shot attempt and slotted a pass to Abbey Shobe, who finished on the right side for what would be the game-winning goal. Salisbury got scores from Casie Preisch and Natalie Wilkinson in the second half to cap the win. Junior goalkeeper Tressie Windsor recorded three saves in the shutout.
How they got here
Ursinus also received a first-round bye and began their play in the tournament on Saturday, picking up a 2-1 win against No. 9 Trinity (Conn.) College. Freshman Erin Saybolt had a goal and an assist for the Bears in the contest, as she scored in the first half and sent a cross through traffic to Colleen Leahy at the back post for the game winner in the 49th minute.
The teams have met three times with two of those contests coming in the postseason. In 2005, the Sea Gulls picked up a 3-2 victory in the NCAA semifinal round played in Lexington, Virginia. The next day, Salisbury topped Messiah College for the program's fourth national title. Five years ago, the teams squared off in an NCAA third-round game in Sea Gull Stadium, and it was the Bears that came away with victory, 1-0, in overtime. Ursinus went on to lose the next week to eventual national champion, The College of Jersey in the NCAA semifinals. The only regular-season meeting between these two teams was played in 2009, a 2-0 Salisbury victory.
Last time we met
In that 2011 meeting, Salisbury dominated the stat sheet, outshooting the Bears 25-5, including a 25-1 edge in regulation time, but neither team could find the back of the cage, sending the game to overtime. In the extra session, Corinne Freeman scored the sudden-victory tally off an assist from current Ursinus assistant coach Alyssa Thren on a breakaway, sending the Bears on to the championship weekend. Ursinus goalkeeper Jill Lukens recorded 10 saves, with Katie McEwen getting a defensive save to keep the Bears in the game.
The Bears used only one substitution during yesterday's 2-1 win to get to today's game, and Head Coach Janelle Brenner has been consistent with her starting lineup, sending only two different starting lineups out to the field this season. The same lineup has gone out for the opening whistle for the past 15 games.
Top seeds roll
The four host teams played their first games of the NCAA tournament on Saturday, with all four teams winning by shutout, by a combined score of 13-0. Messiah College earned the most lopsided win of the day, winning 5-0, while Salisbury and Babson College each picked up 3-0 wins and Tufts University had that closest top-seed win of the second round, collecting a 2-0 victory.
The winning team will head to Geneva, N.Y., and William Smith College for the NCAA championship weekend on November 19 and 20. In the semifinal round, the winner from Sea Gull Stadium will take on either Tufts or Skidmore College.