LANCASTER, Pa. – In its biggest test so far in this young season, the No. 2 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team answered any questions about this year's team with a convincing 13-7 win over No. 3 State University of New York at Cortland.
In what was a highly anticipated contest, Salisbury (5-0) was able to control the game and solidified its status as a force in Division III women's lacrosse. Leading the Sea Gull attack was senior Lauren Feusahrens, who had a game-high six points, including a team-high five goals.
It was the Salisbury defense that rose to the occasion, limiting Cortland's (3-1) offensive attack. Coming into today's contest, the Red Dragons were averaging 16 goals per game. Anchored by junior Ashton Wheatley, the Sea Gull defense suffocated the Cortland offense. The Cambridge, Md., native stopped 10 Cortland shots, making the most of the lead provided by the Salisbury offense.
Feusahrens gave Salisbury an early lead, with goals at the 2:30 and 5:15 marks of the contest. Cortland's Maria Di Fato answered back with two goals of her own, and the game would take a back-and-forth tone early on. Senior Katie Bollhorst gave the Sea Gulls the lead for good at the 19:17 mark in the first half, the first of her two goals.
Junior Shannon Carta gave Salisbury a 4-2 lead when she put one home with the assist from Bollhorst, the first of her four helpers on the afternoon. After Di Fato's third goal of the contest, sophomore Bethany Baer netted the first of her three goals, also assisted by Bollhorst. That assist moved the Severna Park, Md., native into third place on the program's all-time assist leaderboard, passing Kim Cudmore.
Cortland was able to control the ball off draw controls – a 13-9 advantage - but the Red Dragons were not able to convert ball control into points on the scoreboard. Salisbury caused seven Red Dragon turnovers in the first half, while only turning the ball over three times in the first 30 minutes. The Sea Gulls picked up twice as many ground balls in the contest, holding a 12-6 edge. The edge in ball control allowed Salisbury to outshoot the Red Dragons, 25-19, including a 19-10 advantage in the first half.
The Salisbury defensive unit, consisting of seniors Kat Gartner and Alyssa Hardesty, juniors Anna Sparr and Meghan Toomey, and sophomores Dominique Dipino and Laura Maskell clamped down on the Red Dragon offense.
Baer and Maskell led the Sea Gulls with three caused turnovers each. Baer also led the Sea Gulls with a game-high four ground balls.
Junior Shelby Nemecek added two goals for the Sea Gulls.
After being on the road for three weeks, the Sea Gulls return to Sea Gull Stadium this Sunday, March 17, hosting the State University of New York at Brockport. That contest is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.