SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 7 Salisbury University field hockey team locked up the top seed in the upcoming Capital Athletic Conference tournament with a thrilling 2-1 win against CAC opponent and No. 15-ranked Christopher Newport University on Wednesday evening.
Once the first whistle sounded, Salisbury wasted no time getting on the board, netting its first goal in the third minute of play. Freshman Tara Flavin crossed the ball in front of the Christopher Newport (11-5, 3-2 CAC) cage; the ball was batted out of the air and into the net by junior Tara Daddio for the early 1-0 lead. It would be the only goal of the first half as the Sea Gulls and Captains locked up in a defensive battle.
Christopher Newport was able to equalize less than 10 minutes into the second half, capitalizing on its only second half penalty corner, to knot things up at 1-1. Once again, defense became the focus of the match, with both teams in a deadlock.
With less than four minutes remaining and inching closer to overtime, it was sophomore Jenna Partilla who scored the game winner, collecting her own rebound off a first shot and firing in a second shot that flew past goalkeeper Olivia Davis. Smart play by Salisbury in the final minutes kept the ball far from the Captains' goal for the 2-1 victory.
Each team earned four penalty corners in the match; Salisbury outshot Christopher Newport by a margin of 11-6.
With the win, the Sea Gulls have earned a first-round bye in the CAC tournament. Salisbury will host a CAC semifinal game on Wednesday, October 31 at a time to be announced. The Sea Gulls will face the winner of a first round clash between University of Mary Washington and St. Mary's College of Maryland, which will be played on Sunday, October 28.