SALISBURY, Md. – The 2014 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament kicks off Saturday, May 10, for the No. 2 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team, as the Sea Gulls faceoff against Farmingdale State College in a second-round tilt at Sea Gull Stadium. First draw is set for 3:30 p.m.
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How We Got Here
After going undefeated in the regular season of the conference for the 12th-consecutive year, Salisbury advanced past Christopher Newport University in a Capital Athletic Conference semifinal match, 21-4, before downing York College of Pennsylvania for the third-straight year in the conference title game, 13-6. The 14th championship for the Sea Gulls earned them the automatic bid into the NCAA Division III women's lacrosse tournament.
How They Got Here
After advancing to the Skyline Conference championship the past two years and falling at the hands of Montclair State University, the Rams proved that the third time is a charm, downing St. Joseph's College in the title match this season, 9-8, to claim its second conference championship. With the victory, Farmingdale State earned the automatic bid into the NCAA Division III women's lacrosse tournament.
61 and counting
Senior captain Ashton Wheatley has drawn up quite a resume while donning the maroon and gold, shattering the program's career-wins record with 61 and recording just two losses in her four years protecting the cage. Starting in 62 of the 75 games played in, Wheatley has been named the IWCLA Division III Goalkeeper of the Year and first-team All-American twice, while being honored as Lacrosse Magazine's Preseason Player of the Year and one of two Division III lacrosse players to be placed on the prestigious Tewaaraton Watch List this season. The senior has posted a 6.14 goals-against average in the 2014 campaign, landing her fifth in the country in that category. The Cambridge, Md., native also ranks second in program history with 124 groundballs, only 42 scoops behind first-place alumnus Mary Bateman.
Dynamic duo on attack
Of the 17 games played in together this season, senior Shannon Carta and junior Shelby Nemecek have been a force to be reckoned with. The duo has connected on 18 goals in 13 games with one scoring and the other tossing the helper, making them one of the most dangerous attacker pairings in the country. Nemecek and Carta lead the Sea Gull offense in points this season with 61 and 56, respectively. The junior has a team-high 57 goals and four assists, while the senior has a team-high 22 helpers and 34 finishers.
The winner between Salisbury and Farmingdale will await the victor between Augustana (Ill.) College and Adrian College in the regional semifinals next Saturday, May 17, with time and place to be determined.