Salisbury falls in NCAA semifinal against Gettysburg

Salisbury falls in NCAA semifinal against Gettysburg

SALEM, Va. – The No. 2 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team saw its season come to a close with a 12-7 defeat at the hands of the defending national champion No. 3 Gettysburg College on Saturday afternoon at Kerr Stadium on the campus of Roanoke College in the semifinal round of the NCAA tournament.

Gettysburg (20-2) got the scoring started with a pair of goals in the opening eight minutes. Maggie Welch held the ball on the right side, passing in front to Courtney Patterson, who fired into the left side of the goal for the 1-0 lead. Patterson put home the second goal for the Bullets on another strong feed just in front of the goal.

Gabrielle Mongno had a pair of looks in the first eight minutes of the game for Salisbury (21-2), first taking a flip from Dana King on the right side and shooting near post, but putting the effort off the side of the cage. A few minutes later a long cross-crease pass gave Mongno another look on the right side, but Gettysburg goalkeeper Bailey Pilder made the save on the well-placed shot toward the lower portion of the cage.

Gettysburg put home a pair of goals in the span of 50 seconds near the midway point of the first half to push the lead to 4-0 as the Bullet defense clogged the middle of the fan, reducing the chances for Salisbury's cutters in front of the net.

With 12:40 left, Salisbury broke through as the Sea Gulls were awarded a free-position try, which freshman Emma Skoglund capitalized on, ripping the shot after taking just one step toward the goal into the top left corner for the first goal of the day.

The Sea Gulls turned away two free-position tries, while down a player after a yellow card, following Salisbury's first goal. The first was strong defensive pressure forcing a weak shot that missed the target and senior goalkeeper Gianna Falcone came up with a save on the second. Falcone made nine saves in the game to bring her career total to 453, ranking her fourth in program history.

The Bullets put home another, while Pilder made three saves in the final five minutes, but Salisbury got one try past her when Courtney Fegan cut across middle of fan, took a feed from Krissy Murphy and shot to the high left corner, cutting the deficit to 5-2 before halftime.

Salisbury took the opening draw of the second half and got a quick try from King, firing a shot from the wing, but her effort went just wide to the left.

The Bullets scored early in the half, but Salisbury matched the effort with 25:29 showing on the clock when King found Murphy for a goal, again making a three-goal game, down 6-3. The deficit was cut to two when Alissa Talbert charged through a double team and beat Pilder, making it a 6-4 game.

Pilder robbed the Sea Gulls again moments later, making one of her 11 saves in the game, as King found a cutting Mongno in front of the cage. Mongno's try was destined for the right side of the goal, but Pilder threw her body against the post, stopping the shot. The save quickly turned into offense as Steph Colson scooped up the ground ball and raced crease to crease, scoring the seventh Gettysburg goal.

The Sea Gulls found an answer again when Skoglund got inside position on her defender near the eight-meter fan, took a pass from Murphy, and ran in on Pilder, firing home her second goal of the day to make it 7-5. Skoglund's goal with 19:09 remaining marked the final time Salisbury would be within two goals.

The Bullets pushed the lead back to four goals with 15 minutes left before Salisbury tallied its final goal of the day. Approaching a possession clock violation, Murphy sent a desperation pass in front to Skoglund, who slapped the ball on a bounce in the top of the goal, getting the score to 10-7, but Pilder and the Gettysburg defense held off Salisbury over the final few minutes.

The Bullets put two more on the board to push the game to its final margin, 12-7.

Skoglund scored three times in the game while Murphy tallied a team-high five points on one goal and four assists. Murphy finishes her career with 97 total assists, which is good for seventh in program history. Her 47 assists in the 2018 campaign rank ninth in a single season in Salisbury history.

Falcone caused a team-high two turnovers while also scooping up a team-best three groundballs. Her three groundballs give her 121 in her career, placing her fourth in program history.

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