SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 4 seeded Salisbury University women's soccer team took on the No. 5 seed University of Mary Washington in a thrilling Capital Athletic Conference tournament first-round matchup on Saturday, and the Eagles advanced past the Sea Gulls in penalty kicks.
Mary Washington came out with a fast tempo early on, controlling the ball during the beginning of the first half. Both defenses played strong in the half, and the first shot of the contest didn't come until 22:42, when the Eagles' Marisa Madaras took a shot that junior goalkeeper Alesha Seifert got in the way of to make the save.
Seifert's save sparked the Sea Gull offense, giving them momentum to go on the attack.
Less than five minutes later, Salisbury's first opportunity came in thrilling fashion when junior Jayne Pinsky fired a shot toward the net that ricocheted off the post, keeping the game at a scoreless tie.
Pinsky's shot was the last opportunity in the period for either squad until junior Lauren Minghenelli took a shot that went over the goal with 18 seconds left in the first.
Shooting was kept to the minimum in the period, as the Sea Gulls held a 2-1 shot advantage over the Eagles at the break.
In the second, Salisbury was the team that came out fast, notching two shots, both from senior Victoria Luc, in the first nine minutes.
Luc's first shot of the span came at 51:15 when she fired a ball toward the net that was blocked by a Mary Washington defender. Luc's second chance came a little less than three minutes later on an opportunity that almost gave the Sea Gulls a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Ruthie Lucas passed the ball to Luc, who had a close chance in the box, but her shot went just over the crossbar.
Mary Washington took the next six shots of the half and maintained possession for the bulk of the period, threatening the Salisbury defense. But the Sea Gull backline held strong, keeping the Eagles off the board during the stretch.
With eight minutes to go in regulation, two Mary Washington players pushed the ball down the field and had a two-on-two chance with the Salisbury defense. It looked like the Eagles were going to get a shot off, but junior Jenny Gavigan made a huge defensive play, clearing the ball out of the dangerous situation.
The Sea Gulls had one more chance to make something happen in regulation when senior Jenna DeLetto took a shot at 88:33, but the attempt was blocked by a member of the Eagles' backline.
In the first overtime period, Salisbury started off fast as sophomore Rachel Anderson took back-to-back shots in the 92nd minute, but both attempts were blocked.
Just over 30 seconds later, Mary Washington went on the attack and Jackson had a one-on-one chance with Seifert, but the Easton, Pennsylvania native kept the Sea Gulls alive, making a game-saving, diving save.
Three minutes into the second overtime period, Mary Washington's Kaitlyn Higgins had an opportunity to give the Eagles the victory when she blasted a shot from the right side from 20 yards out that banked just off the left post. That was the only shot attempt of the period, and the game was sent to a penalty-kick shootout.
Both teams missed their first two penalty kicks. Seifert came through with a big save on Mary Washington's second attempt, diving right and stopping the ball before it bounced off the post.
Anderson lined up to take the third attempt for Salisbury and cashed it, putting the ball into the middle of the net. The Eagles made their next two attempts to take a 2-1 advantage, but senior Christine Clark lined up and put the ball into the top-right portion of the net to even things out at 2-2. With a chance to move on, Higgins came up for Mary Washington and put the ball into the back of the net.
Seifert played all 110 minutes in goal for the Sea Gulls and picked up two saves, while Haley Randall played the entire match for the Eagles.
Both teams tallied nine shots in the contest, while Salisbury edged Mary Washington in corner kicks, 5-2.