SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 20 Salisbury University men's soccer team recorded its eighth victory of the season and remained undefeated with a 1-0 Capital Athletic Conference victory over the University of Mary Washington Saturday afternoon at the SU Soccer Complex.
The first half for the Sea Gulls (8-0-3, 2-0 CAC) was a well-controlled 45 minutes, as the offense put together seven shots and the defense held strong to only give up three attempts, one of which was on target and saved by junior goalkeeper Drew Staedeli.
After five attempts for Salisbury to put the ball in the back of the net, the Gulls would finally capitalize in the 31st minute. Carrying the ball up to the goal line on the right side of the six-yard box, sophomore forward Nicholas McCrea played a quick pass on the ground four yards out of the right post where the ball met the foot of junior midfielder Michael Feeney. With little space between Eagle goalkeeper Matt Spencer and the right goal post, Feeney blasted the ball into the gap for what turned out to be the game-winning goal and his first collegiate finish.
The assist by McCrea was his first of his collegiate career, as well.
Seeing several more opportunities in the second half to expand the lead, Salisbury would not find the back of net through the second 45. One of the closest chances for the Gulls came in the 58th minute. Senior midfielder Stephen Poorman, with the ball on the right goal line, played a ground ball across the face of the goal past Spencer. Sprinting in and looking for an open-goal finish on the back left side of the net was sophomore midfielder Brad Martinelli, who was just a step too late to get a foot on the ball.
Mary Washington (4-5-2, 1-1 CAC) had its chances to get on the board late in regulation, with its best opportunity coming in the 76th minute. A ball placed over the top of the defense of Salisbury, met the foot of the Eagles' Jacob Burke, who carried the ball inside the 18-yard box for a one-on-one shot opportunity against Staedeli. Blasting a lined shot, Staedeli pulled in the save to keep UMW off the board and hold on for the seventh shutout of the season.
The Salisbury defense, led by seniors Kyle Westbrook and Logan Becker, only allowed three shots on target for the game. Staedeli recorded the victory in net to move his overall tally to 8-0-3 with seven shutouts. The Ellicott City, Maryland native now holds a 0.36 goals-against average, placing him in the top 10 nationally in the category.
At halftime of the match, Salisbury recognized seven former players who have been placed on the CAC Men's Soccer Silver Anniversary team. Of the seven honored in the ceremony were Jason Cranford, Darren LaRocque, Justin McGrath, Kyle Sterling, Matt Tirschman, Paul Kelly, and Mike Napolitano.
The men are back in action on Wednesday, October 8, as Salisbury looks to protect its turf against St. Mary's College of Maryland in a CAC matchup. First touch is set for 4 p.m., at the SU Soccer Complex.