SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 6 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team had the hot stick again on Tuesday afternoon, coasting to a 15-2 victory over Capital Athletic Conference foe Christopher Newport University at Sea Gull Stadium.
For four-consecutive games, the Sea Gulls (10-2, 6-0 CAC) have downed their opponent by at least 13 goals. In Tuesday's matchup, senior Kara O'Rourke and junior Megan Wallenhorst paced the offensive front with seven and six points, respectively. The seven for O'Rourke set a new milestone in her career, as she finished with two goals and five assists. The senior now has a team-leading 33 helpers for the season, good enough for fourth best in the nation.
It only took Salisbury 43 seconds to get on the board after the opening draw win by sophomore Kacy Koolage, seeing senior Kate Haker capitalize on a free-position shot from the right side of the fan. The Westminster, Maryland native carried the consistency less than three minutes later when she was awarded another free-position shot from the top of the fan. Crashing down the eight-meter, Haker blasted a shot into the furthest part of the top right corner of the goal for the early 2-0 lead.
The Captains (7-6, 3-2 CAC) found their first good opportunity to get on the board five minutes into the game with Erin Callahan slicing into the fan. Before the Captain could get a shot off, sophomore Kieran Kelleher checked her stick to knock to ball loose and freshman goalkeeper Gianna Falcone scooped up the loose ball to send it the other way.
Wallenhorst capped off the Christopher Newport turnover with her first of three finishes of the day. The run continued for the Gulls, seeing sophomore Hannah Young and junior Katelin Talbert catch feeds from Wallenhorst to get their first goals of the day, before Wallenhorst tacked on another at the 18:26 mark to move the advantage to 6-0.
Sophomore Gabbi Nieves and O'Rourke found the back of the net over the next two minutes prior to the Captains hitting their first goal with 15:13 remaining in the first half.
The Gulls didn't slow up, going on another three-goal tear off finishes by Young, Talbert and Wallenhorst, before Christopher Newport hit its final goal of the game. O'Rourke capped off the scoring in the first half with 6:12 remaining on a free-position shot, cutting across the middle of the fan for a side-arm shot into the right side of the net.
In the second half, possession was the primary focus for Salisbury. In the first half, the Gulls totaled 21 shots compared to the 10 taken in the final 30 minutes. Of the 10 shots, three goals were recorded, each by freshmen.
Freshman Allie Hynson got the scoring underway off a backside feed by Wallenhorst. Freshman Alissa Talbert added her contribution, catching a pass from O'Rourke and spinning around a defender in front of the crease for the right-side finish. Freshman Dana King capped off the scoring for the game making a similar roll in front of the crease as Talbert, finding room on the right side for the side-arm finish.
The Sea Gulls put together a great day off the draw, winning 13-of-19, behind a career-high six by Koolage.
The backline, led by Kelleher and senior Anna Sparr, caused eight of the 16 Captain turnovers. Kelleher finished with a game-high three while Sparr chipped in with two. This is the fourth-consecutive game the Sea Gull backline has limited its opponent to less than four goals, third-straight only allowing two goals.
Falcone earned her ninth win protecting the net, making seven saves through her 52:25 of play. The freshman keeper now maintains a 4.76 goals-against average, good enough for second best in the nation. Senior Alyssa Harmke tended the cage for the remaining 7:35, turning away the lone shot faced.
The women are back in action on Friday, April 10, as the Sea Gulls celebrate Senior Appreciation Night prior to a league matchup against St. Mary's College of Maryland. First draw is set for 7 p.m., at Sea Gull Stadium.