SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 3 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team will play host to No. 13 St. Mary's College of Maryland on Saturday, April 30, in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament championship game for a chance to earn its 16th conference title. First draw is set for 12 p.m.
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How we got here
The Sea Gulls (15-2) went undefeated in the CAC for the 14th-straight season with an 8-0 record and earned the top seed in the CAC tournament along with a first-round bye. Salisbury took down fourth-seeded York College of Pennsylvania, 8-7, in a thrilling CAC semifinal match on Saturday, April 23. Senior Megan Wallenhorst scored the game-winning goal with 6:15 left in the game, and sophomore Gianna Falcone notched a game-clinching save in front of the net while time expired to seal the victory.
How they got here
The Seahawks (16-2) notched a 6-2 record in conference play, which earned them the No. 2 seed in the CAC tournament and a first-round bye. St. Mary's (Md.) hosted third-seeded University of Mary Washington last Saturday and came away with a 9-8 victory. The Seahawks fell behind 8-7 midway through the second half, but St. Mary's battled back with two unanswered goals to put the game away.
Salisbury holds an overall record of 31-6 over St. Mary's, which dates back all the way to 1987. The Sea Gulls are currently on a 19-game winning streak against the Seahawks.
Last time we met
Salisbury travelled to St. Mary's for a conference matchup on April 9, and came away with a 10-3 road victory. The Sea Gulls built a 5-1 lead in the first half and never looked back, scoring five more times in the second half, while allowing just two second-half goals from the Seahawks. Sophomore Kristen Murphy led the team with four points on the day, scoring three goals and adding an assist.
Scouting St. Mary's
The Seahawks have three weapons offensively in Tori Poffenberger, Shelby Newman, and Meg Gesner, who are ranked in the top 10 in goals in the conference. Poffenberger has 42 goals on the season, which is fourth in the CAC, while Newman is seventh in the conference with 38 goals and Gesner is tied for 10th in the league with 31 goals.
Defensively, goalkeeper Kayla Dun leads St. Mary's with 143 saves, which is third in the conference, while notching a 7.81 goals against average. Kate Somerville leads the team with 26 caused turnovers, which is second-best in the CAC.
Salisbury's defense has been a force to be reckoned with all season long, allowing just 5.29 goals per game as a team. The Sea Gulls are fifth in the nation in scoring defense, while notching a team save percentage of .521, which is 23rd in the country. Falcone is 11th in Division III in goals against average, with a 6.34 mark, while notching 92 saves.
The winner of the CAC championship will not only hoist the trophy, but it will also earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The selection show for the Division III women's lacrosse national tournament is set for 9:30 p.m., Sunday, May 8 on NCAA.com.