SALISBURY, Md. – It was a rain-filled Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium, but that didn't stop the No. 16 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team from taking the field against No. 12 York College of Pennsylvania to open Capital Athletic Conference competition for the 2015 season. Separating the score early in the second half, the Gulls road out a 10-7 victory to extend their home-winning streak to 43 games.
The offense was clicking in this game, seeing sophomore Hannah Young connect on a game-high four goals, while three others found the back of the net, including senior Kate Haker, who recorded her second hat trick of the season.
But, even more impressive was the stat line for freshman Gianna Falcone, who started in her first collegiate game Saturday afternoon, protecting the net for all 60 minutes and turning away a career-high 11 shots.
Entering into the game as the underdog in the rankings, the Sea Gulls made their statement early with Young connecting on her first goal of the game less than two minutes off the first draw. Cutting down the eight-meter fan, the sophomore went low on the shot before Spartan goalkeeper Charlotte Wright could swing the stick to get SU on the board first.
York looked to rebound from the early deficit, taking three shots on target including a free-position attempt by Sarah Castle, but Falcone pulled in all three to keep York off the board until the 19:58 mark. The Spartans finally answered with two goals to take over the lead, but it wouldn't last long, as Salisbury reclaimed the advantage on a four-goal frenzy, an advantage it wouldn't surrender for the remainder of the game.
Haker cut off the two-goal run for York with her first of the game, rolling around the crease to rip a low shot. Wright was able to get her stick on it, but the pace of the ball was too fast that it banked off and into the back of the net. The senior would connect on another goal in the four-goal stretch for Salisbury, while junior Megan Wallenhorst put away an unassisted finish and junior Samantha Duranti capitalized on a free-position attempt.
The Spartans found the back of the net one more time before the end of the first half to cut the deficit to two at the break, 5-3. Salisbury wouldn't slow down though, coming out of the half to ignite another four-goal run, a run that saw Young cash in on three-consecutive finishes. Just three minutes into the restart, Young and Wallenhorst connected for the first goal. Wallenhorst, with the ball on the right side of the fan, made a high pass over the defense to a wide-open Young in front of the crease, who pulled the ball in and shot a low shot that bounced into the net. The sophomore would carry the trend into the next 11 minutes, scoring a free-position shot and teaming up with Haker for a finish.
Haker capped off the run with an unassisted finish at the 14:31 mark, finding space in the fan for the high right-side finish.
Trailing 9-3, York looked to make a late-game run scoring three-straight goals, but one more by Salisbury from Wallenhorst, off a senior Kara O'Rourke assist, would put the final touch on the game, as the Gulls got back into the win column with a 10-7 final.
The women will remain at home for their next contest, as Salisbury welcomes the State University of New York at Brockport on Tuesday, March 17 for a non-conference tilt at Sea Gull Stadium. First draw is set for 2 p.m.