Strong second half propels field hockey to season's third shutout; Sea Gulls top Washington, 3-0

Strong second half propels field hockey to season's third shutout; Sea Gulls top Washington, 3-0

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 3 Salisbury University field hockey team rolled to a 3-0 win against visiting Washington (Md.) College on Wednesday night at Sea Gull Stadium, accounting for the Sea Gulls' third win of the year.

Salisbury (3-1) got the scoring started in the 10th minute when putting on the offensive pressure resulted in a penalty stroke chance. Sophomore Arielle Johnston was called on to take the try and converted for the 1-0 lead. It marked the quickest goal of the season for the Sea Gulls, who have scored first in all four games this year.

Johnston had a chance to add to her scoring midway through the opening half on a penalty corner when she took the insert at the top of the circle from senior Natalie Wilkinson. Johnston controlled the ball and ripped a shot toward the right side of the cage, but Washington goalkeeper Morgan Domanico was able to kick the try away.

The best chance in the first 35 minutes for the Shorewomen came with just 13 minutes left in the half off their own penalty corner. The ball ended up on the stick of Emily Pantazes on the left side. Salisbury goalkeeper Tressie Windsor charged and Pantazes got a shot through Windsor, but sophomore Jillian Hughes was there to stop the shot for her first defensive save of the season, and sent the ball away with a back-handed blast to preserve the lead.

Just a few minutes later, Tara Daddio nearly doubled the Salisbury lead, getting a point-blank look at Domanico, but the Washington keeper knocked the chance away and the game went to the break at 1-0.

The offensive pressure in the first half allowed Salisbury to hold a 10-3 edge in shots, while earning four penalty-corner chances to the Shorewomen's three. Domanico made seven first-half saves.

The Sea Gulls got the insurance goal they needed five minutes into the second half when Emily Lemanski carried the ball down the right side before throwing a pass in front of the goal. A pair of Washington defenders were in position, but Rachel Domanico was able to get a stick in and slap the pass home for her fourth goal for the season and a 2-0 lead.

With just over 15 minutes left, freshman Jenna Partilla got her first career goal, collecting the rebound off a shot from the left side by Lemanski. Lemanski's try hit the post, and headed right to Partilla, who fired home the goal.

Windsor needed only two saves – both coming in the first half – to collect her third shutout of the year thanks to the strong play of the defense in front of her, led by Hughes, Johnston, and sophomore Lindsey Elgin. Washington attempted just three shots in the game, without getting a try in the second half, and rarely possessing the ball in its offensive third in the final 35 minutes of play.

The Sea Gulls hit the road for their next contest, heading to Cabrini University on Saturday, September 16. That match is slated to start at 12 p.m.