SU defense shuts down No. 8 TCNJ for 11-5 win
SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 2 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team picked up its fourth win over a top-10 opponent with an 11-5 victory over No. 8 The College of New Jersey, Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium.
It was the defense leading the way for Salisbury (13-0), keeping TCNJ (9-4) to 10 goals under its season average. Junior Ashton Wheatley turned away 10 Lion shots to pick up the win in the cage, making several point-blank saves for the maroon and gold. Wheatley, along with defenders Dominique Dipino, Kat Gartner, Alyssa Hardesty, Laura Maskell, Allison Toomey and Meghan Toomey clamped down on the prolific Lion attack, giving Salisbury another big win this season.
TCNJ controlled the ball for much of the first half, starting out with winning the opening draw control. The Lions proceeded to maintain possession for five of the first six minutes of the contest, before senior Maggie Roundy put Salisbury on the board at the 22:41 mark, taking a pass from classmate Lauren Feusahrens and getting off a spinning shot. Less than a minute later, senior Katie Bollhorst took a pass from sophomore Bethany Baer and bounced the ball past TCNJ goalie Kelsey Zinck for a 2-0 Salisbury lead with 21:46 remaining in the first half.
The Lions got on the scoreboard eight minutes later when Marissa Pennypacker put a free-position shot past Wheatley. Less than four minutes later, Bollhorst answered with her own free-position goal to put the Salisbury lead back to two goals.
After a Feusahrens goal, TCNJ scored the final two goals of the half to bring the score to 4-3 at the break. The Lions used their draw control advantage in the first half, 6-2, to control the clock, but it was Salisbury controlling the statsheet in the first half otherwise. The Sea Gulls outshot TCNJ 17-8 in each half and picked up seven more ground balls in the first half, and four more overall in the contest, 18-14.
Salisbury came out of the break with a vengeance, scoring the first five goals of the half. Feusahrens netted the first three goals of the half to put the game away. The Solomons, Md., native charged past the right side of the Lions defense to net an unassisted goal 1:19 into the second period. Sixteen seconds later, she took a pass from Baer and went five-hole with a bounce shot. Showing off her athleticism, six minutes into the second half, Feusahrens was at the top of the fan, fell to one knee, regrouped and fired a shot past Zinck for her third-consecutive goal.
Salisbury was able to control the possessions in the second half, when Head Coach Jim Nestor entrusted the draw control circle to freshman Katelin Talbert, spinning the ball off her stick to fellow Sea Gulls for the possession. Salisbury held an 8-2 advantage in draw controls in the second half for a 10-8 edge in the contest.
The six defenders were aided by midfielders Baer and Kara Koolage to lock down the high-scoring Lion offense. Setting up the Salisbury attack was the advantage in turnovers, 9-3, in the first 30 minutes of play and 15-10 overall. Wheatley led the Sea Gulls with a game-high three caused turnovers.
Salisbury is next in action this Wednesday, April 17, with York (Pa.) College coming to Sea Gull Stadium. Each team is 4-0 in conference heading into the contest and the winner will have the inside track toward gaining the Capital Athletic Conference regular-season crown. Salisbury also looks to extend its Division III record 69-game regular season conference winning streak. Wednesday's contest is scheduled to begin 6 p.m.