Sea Gulls earn 16th CAC championship, take down St. Mary’s, 12-5

Sea Gulls earn 16th CAC championship, take down St. Mary’s, 12-5

SALISBURY, Md. – Senior Megan Wallenhorst tallied five points on two goals and three assists to lead the No. 3 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team to a 12-5 win over No. 13 St. Mary's College of Maryland in the Capital Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday, April 30, notching its 16th conference title.

St. Mary's (Md.) (16-3) got on the board first in the contest, scoring just over a minute in to the first half when Tori Poffenberger found the back of the net on an unassisted goal.

Despite the quick start, Salisbury would not be phased as it held the Seahawks scoreless for the rest of the first half.

Along with holding the Seahawks scoreless for the rest of the period, the Sea Gulls rattled off seven goals in a row to take a commanding 7-1 advantage into halftime.

Junior Ariana Maxwell started the scoring at 26:38 to tie the game at 1-1 when she dashed into the middle of the crease and finished the ball past St. Mary's goalkeeper Kayla Dunn after taking the ball from Wallenhorst.

A minute and a half later, Salisbury took a 2-1 lead after junior Hannah Young received the ball from Wallenhorst and put it into the middle of the net; the Sea Gulls would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.

At 23:52, sophomore Kristen Murphy found sophomore Emma Wall who scored to go up 3-1 and keep the run going.

For the next 10 minutes each team traded possessions, but could not find the back of the net. At 17:19, after a successful clear, the Seahawks' Gabby Beese had an opportunity to put the score at 3-2, but sophomore goalkeeper Gianna Falcone came up with a big save to keep St. Mary's off the board.

With 13:26 remaining in the half, Wall had the chance at a free-position shot, but she passed the ball off to junior Gabbi Nieves to her left who put it into the back of the net to make the score 4-1.

Salisbury scored three more goals to end the half, as Young, Murphy, and Wallenhorst each scored to put the Gulls up 7-1 at the break.

Just over five minutes into the second half, Salisbury went up 8-1 when Wallenhorst notched her second goal of the day on a free-position shot, but St. Mary's would battle back, scoring the next two goals over the next two minutes to cut the lead to 8-3.

The Sea Gulls were not rattled, as they went on a three-goal run that lasted just over three minutes to go up 11-3 with 14:04 left in the contest.

Sophomore Dana King led Salisbury during the run, scoring a goal and notched assists on goals from freshman Lindsey Wagner and Nieves.

Megan Cannon notched an unassisted goal at 13:44, before Nieves notched her team-leading 33rd goal of the season to put the Gulls up 12-4 with 12:48 left.

St. Mary's scored another goal with just over two minutes left to put the score at 12-5, but that goal would cap the scoring in the game as Salisbury held on to win.

Falcone was dominant in front of the net for the Sea Gulls, tallying a game-high eight saves and earning her 14th win in goal. Nieves had a strong day defensively, notching a game-high five groundballs and causing two turnovers.

With the CAC championship win, the Sea Gulls earn the conference's automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament.

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