SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 3 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team will host No. 8 University of Mary Washington on Saturday, May 5 in the Capital Athletic Conference championship game. The Sea Gulls will look to capture their 16th consecutive CAC championship as they take on the Eagles at 1 p.m.
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How we got here
The top-seeded Sea Gulls defeated fourth-seeded Christopher Newport University, 18-9, on Wednesday in the semifinal round. Gabrielle Mongno and Krissy Murphy led the offensive charge, as Mongno notched five goals and Murphy tallied eight assists to go along with one goal.
How they got here
The third-seeded Eagles went 16-3 overall in the regular season and 6-2 in CAC play. Mary Washington picked up a 17-6 win over Marymount (Va.) University in the first round and went on to beat second-seeded York College of Pennsylvania 12-11 in a dramatic overtime game in the CAC semifinals. The Eagles trailed 9-5 with under 20 minutes remaining before coming back to tie the game twice, including a goal with 52 seconds left to send it to overtime. Paige Haskins provided the game-winner 1:47 into overtime to send the Eagles to the title game.
Salisbury holds a 36-9 advantage in the all-time series between the two teams, including a 24-4 record at home. This will be the 10th meeting between the Sea Gulls and Eagles in the CAC championship game, with Salisbury going 8-1 in those title games. The Sea Gulls have won the previous eight championship games between the two teams, with the last coming in 2011.
Last time we met
Salisbury and Mary Washington met at Sea Gull Stadium three weeks ago on April 14 in a thrilling 11-10 Sea Gull victory. Salisbury erased a five-goal deficit with eight minutes remaining before Emma Skoglund notched the game-winner with 1:09 left. Skoglund, Mongno, Murphy, and Dana King each recorded two goals for Salisbury, while Haskins and Julia Albert tallied three apiece for the Eagles.
Scouting the Eagles
Mary Washington comes in as the top scoring team in the conference, averaging 14.68 goals per game. The Eagles have six different players that have scored at least 30 goals, led by Albert and Holly Hudson, who are tied for ninth in the conference with 39 goals each. Molly Maguire ranks second in the CAC with 70 points on 34 goals and 36 assists. The Mary Washington defense has a goals-against average of 8.25, good for third in the conference.
The Sea Gulls and Eagles boast two of the top goalkeepers in the CAC in Gianna Falcone and Hanna Ashby, respectively. Falcone is tops in the conference with a 7.22 goals-against average and 54.9 save percentage. Ashby has only appeared in seven games this season, but is coming off a First-Team All-CAC and Third-Team All-American season last year. Falcone also has Third-Team All-American and two First-Team All-CAC honors to her name.
Salisbury has three players ranked in the top 10 in assists in the CAC. Murphy, coming off an eight-assist game, is tied for second with 36 assists, Alissa Talbert is sixth with 27, and Alexis Strobel is tied for ninth with 20. As a team, Salisbury ranks 21st in Division III with 123 total assists, averaging 7.24 per game.
The winner of Saturday's championship will receive the CAC's automatic berth in the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament, while the runner up will wait to see if it has earned an at-large bid. The selections for the NCAA tournament will be released on Sunday, May 6. The tournament begins with opening-round action on Saturday, May 12.