SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 6 Salisbury University field hockey team hosts No. 19 York College of Pennsylvania in a Capital Athletic Conference tournament semifinal round on Wednesday, November 1 beginning at 6 p.m., at Sea Gull Stadium.
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How we got here
Salisbury went 11-3 in the regular season, going 5-1 in Capital Athletic Conference play, to earn the No. 2 seed in the CAC tournament. Salisbury's lone conference loss was a 1-0 setback at Christopher Newport University on September 30. The Sea Gulls have gone 5-1 since that contest, including a 5-0 mark in CAC play.
How they got here
The Spartans went 4-2 in CAC play to earn the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, falling only to Salisbury and Christopher Newport. The Spartans put together winning streaks of five and six games during the regular season and closed the year with a 3-1 win against Frostburg State University. The victory over the Bobcats snapped a season-long three-game losing streak.
Salisbury holds a 32-1 record against the Spartans all time, including a 21-0 mark in Salisbury. The Sea Gulls have won 32 in a row after falling in the first meeting between the two teams in 1982. Recently, the Sea Gulls have won five of the last six meetings by shutout, winning those games by a combined score of 27-2.
Last time we met
These teams met two weeks ago in York, Pennsylvania on October 18 where the Sea Gulls came away with a 3-0 victory. After the game went scoreless through the first 21 minutes, Salisbury found the back of the cage twice in a span of 97 seconds with goals from junior Emily Lemanski and senior Nicole Lindner to take control. Freshman Camryn Dennis scored her second goal of the year in the 45th minutes to cap the scoring. Senior goalkeeper Tressie Windsor recorded nine saves in the shutout, the most saves she had made in a game in her career at that point.
Scouting the Spartans
York has seen continued success during the 2017 season, winning 12 games in the regular season, three wins shy of the program record, while getting into the top 20 for the first time since early in the 2001 season. The Spartans enter the CAC playoffs ranked No. 17 in the nation. York comes into this match with the two top scorers in the CAC, with senior Autumn Mallory scoring 17 goals and sophomore Greta Plappert notching 14 scores this season. The Spartans rank 14th in the nation in scoring average, putting up 3.76 goals per game. The Spartan defense is giving up nearly two goals per game, standing fourth in the CAC with a 1.79 team goals-against average.
Defense wins championships
The Salisbury defense has been one of the best in the nation this season, with a team goals-against average of 0.57 which ranks leads the country. But the team has been even better lately, having not allowed a goal in 369:33, having recorded a shutout in five-straight games. Windsor has recorded 21 saves during the recent shutout run, including a career-high 10 against the University of Mary Washington on October 21.
The winner of Wednesday's CAC semifinal match will advance to the conference championship on Saturday, November 4, taking on the winner of the other semifinal game between top-seeded Christopher Newport and fourth-seeded University of Mary Washington. If Christopher Newport wins the other semifinal, the Captains will host the championship match, if not, the Salisbury/York winner will play host to the title contest.