No. 14 Gulls use six-goal second half to cruise past Golden Eagles

No. 14 Gulls use six-goal second half to cruise past Golden Eagles

SALISBURY, Md. – A strong second half by the No. 14 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team boosted it to a 9-3 victory over the State University of New York at Brockport on Tuesday afternoon in Sea Gull Stadium.

With the score all knotted up at 3-3 at the 19:16 mark of the second half, the Sea Gulls (3-2) ignited a final 18 minutes that the Golden Eagles had no answer to. Coming out of the break, Brockport's Kelly Wall tied up the game with an unassisted finish less than a minute into the restart, but Salisbury put the game away quickly, scoring 35 seconds later and five more times to follow throughout the rest of the game.

Juniors Samantha Duranti and Megan Wallenhorst connected to start the six-goal frenzy. Seeing freshman Alissa Talbert cause a Brockport turnover off the draw control, Duranti received the ball on the restart with plenty of room in front of her in the offensive third. Bringing the ball down the right side, she found Wallenhorst wide open on the left side, who received the pass and finished with a high-left shot.

The Golden Eagles (1-2) saw an opportunity to even the score back up a minute later, receiving a free-position shot at the top of the fan, but freshman Gianna Falcone protected the net, turning away the shot. Building momentum off the save, the Sea Gull offense transitioned the defensive effort on the other end with a finish by sophomore Hannah Young. Wallenhorst, with the ball on the back right side of the goal, found Young cutting down the middle of the fan, to receive a high pass for a high finish.

Sophomore Gabbi Nieves added one of her two in the stretch a minute later. With her quick speed, she split two Brockport defenders eight meters out of the goal for a clear shot on target.

Young connected again on the next goal, before senior Kara O'Rourke and Nieves capped off the scoring for the game in the final six minutes with their second goals of the game. O'Rourke also added two assists to finish with a game-high four points for the day.

The first half played out quite differently, as the score remained close through the entire 30 minutes. Senior Kate Haker got the scoring started for the Sea Gulls under a minute into the game. Coming off a clear, Young and Haker found themselves all alone in the offensive third. Young, with the ball coming down the left side of the fan, passed the ball quickly over to Haker on the right side three-meters in front of the goal for the low right finish and the 1-0 early lead.

Both squads would trade goals throughout the half, before O'Rourke found the back of the net with just seven seconds remaining until halftime to give the Gulls a 3-2 lead at the break.

O'Rourke, Young, Wallenhorst, and Nieves all finished the game with two goals apiece, while Haker added the ninth finish.

The defense, led by senior Anna Sparr, caused 11 of the 15 turnovers by the Golden Eagles. Sparr tied Falcone for a game-high three caused turnovers.

Falcone put together another great effort in net, erasing her career high in saves that she set against York College of Pennsylvania last week, turning away 12 shots Tuesday afternoon. The freshman also set a career-high and game-high in ground balls with five for the day. Tending the net through all 60 minutes, the victory moves her record to 2-0 for the season.

The women head on the road for their next game, traveling to Buena Vista, Virginia for a matchup against Capital Athletic Conference opponent Southern Virginia University on Friday, March 20. First draw is set for 4 p.m.

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