Nemecek scores five times; Gulls down Eagles in CAC play

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – A six-goal run by the No. 1 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team to start the game gave the Sea Gulls their 33rd-consecutive victory, a 13-6 final against the University of Mary Washington on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Mary Washington (7-3, 1-1 CAC) opened up the game winning the first draw and holding possession for seven minutes, but Salisbury (10-0, 2-0 CAC) was the first to find the back of the net. Senior attacker Shannon Carta carried the ball on the left side of the fan, while junior attacker Shelby Nemecek made a swift cut down the middle. Taking the sharp pass, Nemecek would give SU the 1-0 lead on a high, left shot.

At the restart, Nemecek would win the draw control pushing it down the field with a pass to junior attacker Kate Haker. The junior bolted with the ball around the right side of the fan, cutting in for a low shot past Eagles' goalkeeper Kelly Dean.

Salisbury would go on to score four more goals in a 13-minute span to give the Sea Gulls a 6-0 lead. Junior midfielder Bethany Baer scored her first of two for the game to continue the run, receiving a pass from Carta on the left side of the crease for a turnaround shot.

With 9:26 remaining in the first half, a groundball pick up by Mary Washington's Mo Sunderland after a saved shot attempt by Dean would send the ball the other way, but sophomore attacker Megan Wallenhorst sprinted in behind Sunderland to cause the turnover. Wallenhorst made the pass back down into the offensive side to junior attacker Kara O'Rourke and a quick return pass to Wallenhorst would give the Gulls a 4-0 lead.

Nemecek and Carta would add goals number five and six, respectively, before the Eagles would finally find the back of the net with 3:42 remaining in the half, but a goal by sophomore Samantha Duranti gave Salisbury a 7-1 lead to take into the break.

At the half, the Sea Gulls outshot the Eagles, 10-2, while only turning the ball over two times to Mary Washington's seven.

The Eagles would open up the scoring to start the second half on a free-position goal just 1:20 in, but the Sea Gulls recorded three more goals through five minutes to extend the lead to 10-2. In the three-goal run, Baer, Nemecek and O'Rourke all recorded scores.

After another Mary Washington goal, Nemecek would add her final two goals to capitalize on another great game for the junior. The Marriottsville, Md., native scored a game-high five times on seven shots, while picking up three groundballs, winning two draw controls and causing two turnovers.

Haker put the final touch on the game with 22 seconds remaining on an unassisted goal. The junior wrapped around the right side of the goal, blasting a low shot past the keeper to seal up the 13-6 victory.

The defense caused 10 turnovers for the game, while the Eagles only forced four. Senior Meghan Toomey and Nemecek led the defense with two caused turnovers apiece. Junior Laura Maskell picked up a game-high five groundballs, as Salisbury doubled the Eagles pickups, 26-13.

Senior goalkeeper Ashton Wheatley recorded the victory in the cage making three saves through 54:42 of play. The senior captain is now 9-0 for the season, and ties the program record for wins in program history with 54; Ali Goetz (2003-06) sits atop the leaderboard with Wheatley.

The women are back in action tomorrow, March 30, as the Sea Gulls take on St. Mary's College of Maryland in a conference tilt. First draw is set for 3 p.m.

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