ARLINGTON, Va. – The No. 9 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team concluded the regular season on Wednesday afternoon with a strong showing in Capital Athletic Conference play against Marymount (Va.) University, battling to a 19-5 victory.
With the win, SU enters the conference tournament with an unblemished record for the 13th-consecutive season. It also extends its winning streak in league play to 86 games, 111 including postseason games.
The scoring started out early for the Sea Gulls (12-3, 8-0 CAC), seeing the Saints score an own goal at the 26:07 mark. Carrying the momentum, it only took two more minutes for SU to tack on another, as senior Kara O'Rourke tallied her 40th assist of the season finding sophomore Hannah Young for the finish. O'Rourke finished the day with four helpers and a goal for a game-high five points. With 43 assists so far this season, the senior attacker now sits at No. 3 in the nation in the category.
Several minutes later, a solid defensive series by the Gulls shut down a clear attempt by Marymount. A turnover by Saints' goalkeeper Tylar Abrams was scooped up by junior Megan Wallenhorst and sent into the back of the net to extend the lead to 3-0 seven minutes in.
Marymount (4-10, 2-5 CAC) looked to rebound getting its first goal of the game at the 21:26 mark off a free-position shot by Taylor Johnson, and followed less than a minute later with another finish to cut the deficit to one, 3-2.
Cutting off the run was Wallenhorst, getting an unassisted finish following a senior Bethany Baer caused turnover. Baer, in her first game back since February 28 against Catholic University of America, finished the day with two caused turnovers and two ground balls.
Wasting no time, the Saints found the back of the net again to cut the score back to one, but Salisbury answered with a nine-goal tear to extend the lead to 13-3, before Marymount hit one final goal before the break. O'Rourke sent out helpers on the first two, finding junior Samantha Duranti for the first and sophomore Gabbi Nieves on the next, before the senior added one of her own on an unassisted finish at the 11:33 mark.
Young, freshman Allie Hynson and junior Katelin Talbert followed in suit before history was almost made by Duranti. With Talbert finishing her goal at the 4:42 mark, a won draw control by Baer sent the ball to Duranti for a finish just four seconds off the restart, missing the Division III women's lacrosse all-time record of quickest consecutive goals by one second. The record is currently three seconds set by Guilford College in 2009 against Randolph-Macon College.
Duranti and Talbert added another goal apiece followed by a finish by the Saints to take a 13-4 lead into the break.
The second half continued the scoring pace for the Sea Gulls, outscoring Marymount, 6-1, behind a hat trick from freshman Emma Wall. Also adding goals in the final 30 minutes were freshmen Kristen Murphy and Sammi Quilter and sophomore Ariana Maxwell, while freshmen Alissa Talbert and Dana King added helpers.
For the game, Salisbury outshot the Saints, 38-8, with 33 being on target. The Sea Gull defense limited Marymount to just six shots on goal, while causing seven of the 18 Saints turnovers. Along with Baer's two forced turnovers, the Gulls were also paced by sophomore Kacy Koolage with two.
Freshman Gianna Falcone earned the win in the net, tending for 15:00. Junior Chelsea Weinstein took over for the next 20:35, turning away one shot, before senior Alyssa Harmke protected the net for the remainder of the game.
The women will now travel back home and prepare for a CAC semifinal match at Sea Gull Stadium on Saturday, April 25. As the top seed in the tournament, Salisbury will await the winner of a first-round matchup between the No. 4 and 5 seed set to play on Tuesday, April 21. For more information on start time and opponent, be sure to check out www.suseagulls.com as it becomes available.