SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 7 Salisbury University field hockey team claimed the program's 21st Capital Athletic Conference championship on Saturday night at Sea Gull Stadium, topping No. 16 Christopher Newport University, 3-1.
The Sea Gulls (16-2) struck first, scoring in the 17th minute following a long run by junior Tara Daddio, who carried the ball into the circle and was able to dribble around Christopher Newport goalkeeper Olivia Davis, getting stopped by a CNU defender, but a foul on the play drew a penalty stroke for Salisbury.
Junior Jillian Hughes was called upon for the try, and despite not getting a solid attempt off, the ball managed to get across the goal line for the 1-0 lead.
The Captains (13-6) were able to answer four minutes later on one of their nine penalty corners in the contest, getting three shots off – one turned away by a defensive save by junior Sarah Jackson – but Bailey Miller was able to slot home the equalizer, with less than 15 minutes showing on the clock in the first half.
Jackson made two defensive saves as the Salisbury defense limited its opponent to one or fewer goals for the 15th time this season. Sophomore goalkeeper Dom Farrace made three saves in the game.
Junior Rachel Domanico was able to regain the lead just before halftime, taking one swipe at a ball that Davis saved before gathering her own rebound and putting the Sea Gulls ahead 2-1 with her third goal of the year.
With the victory, the Sea Gulls earn an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament which begins next week. Salisbury will find out where its path to a possible sixth national championship will begin when the bracket is announced on Sunday night.