Gulls square up against Bombers for third round action

Gulls square up against Bombers for third round action

SALISBURY, Md. – After taking down Cabrini College on Sunday, May 14 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament, the No. 9 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team will take on Ithaca College in the regional semifinals. The game is set for Saturday, May 20 at 2:30 p.m., at Musselman Stadium.

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How we got here

The Sea Gulls earned a trip to the NCAA tournament after receiving the Capital Athletic Conference's automatic bid into the tournament when it defeated the York College of Pennsylvania, 7-2, in the conference championship game on April 29. Salisbury took on Hamilton College in the second round and defeated the Continenals, 7-5, to advance to the third round. Senior Gabbi Nieves and sophomore Lindsey Wagner both notched two goals each, while junior Krissy Murphy notched four points on one goal and three assists.

How they got here

Itahca College, earned an at-large bid into the tournament after finishing the regular season falling to St. John Fisher College in the Empire 8 semifinals, 17-10. The Bombers defeated No. 16 Wesleyan University, 11-10 in OT, in the second round of the NCAA tournament to head on to the regional semifinals.

Scouting the Bombers

The Bombers have had a potent offense in 2017, tallying 13.5 goals per game (41st), 19.89 points per game, and notching a 5.72 scoring margin. Ally Runyon has been a problem for the Bombers' opponents this season, tallying a team-high 69 goals, while Morgan Racicot leads the team in assists, dishing out 34 helpers in 2017. Becky Mehorter has been a big threat on defense for the Tigers, picking up a team-high 36 groundballs while Olivia Oppenheim leads the team with 29 caused turnovers.

Series history

Salisbury holds a 2-2 record against Ithaca College, in its program history. The last time the two teams met, the Sea Gulls fell short of the Bombers, 3-8, on April 12, 1997.

Movin' on up

Junior goalkeeper Gianna Falcone has been a stalwart in front of the net for the Sea Gulls for the past three years. The Florham Park, New Jersey native has moved up to fourth in program history in wins, tallying 42 in three seasons. Falcone has also accumulated 295 saves over her brief career, needing just 31 more saves to move into sixth in program history in the save category.

Coming on in the second

Salisbury has outscored its opponents, 230-119 in the 2017 season, but the biggest difference has been coming in the second half. The Sea Gulls have scored 111 goals in the final 30 minutes, while allowing just 56 goals from opponents this season.

Young stars

Despite having strong senior leaders, the Gulls have relied on several key underclassmen on the field, both on offense and defense. Salisburys freshmen class has tallied 34 goals and 15 assists combined, with Abigail Single leading the way with seven goals and six assists alongside Elaine Draper with six goals and two assists. Freshman goalkeeper Skye Graham has been a beacon of what is to come in front of the net for the Sea Gulls, tallying 20 saves and sporting a 3.19 goals against average. Sophomore Ryan Schrader has made an impact at the midline, notching 17 draw controls, which is good for fourth on the team. 

What's next?

The winner of Salisbury's game against Ithaca College, will take on the winner of the No. 7 Gettysburg College and Rhodes College matchup in the regional finals; that game will take place on Sunday, May 21 at Musselman Stadium with a game time of 2:30 p.m.