SALISBURY, Md. – The fifth-ranked Salisbury University women's lacrosse team stumbled in their second game of the 2017 campaign as they fell to the Cardinals of The Catholic University of America on the road, Saturday afternoon by a score of 8-9.
The 11th-ranked Cardinals wasted no time testing junior goalkeeper Gianna Falcone early as her first save of the contest came in the second minute off a shot from Laura Dunn. Falcone earned her second save a minute later as the junior came up big for the gulls stopping Anna Stumme to keep the score level.
It took eleven minutes for the Gulls to break through the cardinal defensive unit as senior midfielder Gabbi Nieves got her side on the board with a beautiful solo effort. Nieves' goal sparked the Sea Gull offense a minute later as sophomore Lindsey Wagner converted her attempt to bring Salisbury within one, 3-2.
The Gulls offensive unit continued to soar as junior attacker Alissa Talbert earned her first point of the contest off a threaded pass from Nieves to bring Salisbury level at three goals a-piece. Less than a minute later Wagner notched her second point of the afternoon as she slotted home an unassisted goal to give the Gulls their first lead of the day at 4-3.
Salisbury extended their lead off a Cardinal man-up penalty in the 24th minute when senior Hannah Young got her name on the score sheet off a laser pass from junior Dana King to give the Gulls a one goal cushion as time wound down in the first.
The remainder of the half saw a tough end to end style as both teams headed to the locker room all tied up at five goals a-piece. At the end of the half, both teams shared a similar stat line with the Cardinals barely edging out the Sea Gulls on shots 13-12. After 20 minutes of play, Falcone earned four saves for Salisbury while Nanci Hernandez's notched six for Catholic.
At the start of the second half Salisbury got right to work as Nieves earned her third point of the day off an individual effort to give the Gulls a one goal cushion.
The next fourteen minutes saw Catholic notch three unanswered goals before Nieves collected her hat-trick of the afternoon, putting away a shot in the 27th minute to bring the Gulls within two, 9-7, with time winding down in the second half.
With less than a minute left in the contest the Gulls responded as Young buried her free position shot to bring Salisbury within one, but it wasn't enough to keep the Sea Gulls afloat as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
Salisbury ended the afternoon outshooting the Cardinals 22-20, junior goalie Falcone earned six saves on the day compared to Hernandez's 10.
Salisbury will return to action on the road Wednesday, March 1 as they take on Marymount University (Va.). That game is set to begin at 4 p.m.