ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's soccer team traveled to St. Mary's College of Maryland Saturday afternoon in the first round of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament. An 89th minute tally would be the deciding factor as the Sea Gulls fell to the Seahawks, 2-1.
St. Mary's wasted no time opening up the offense as its first shot on goal came in the fifth minute, earning Hope Knussman her first save of the match and 64th total save of the season for the maroon and gold.
The Sea Gulls responded a few minutes later as Lauren Minghenelli got her first shot on goal for Salisbury in the 18th minute, but was saved by a waiting Sydney Larkin.
The Salisbury defensive line would play 35 minutes of quality soccer but it wouldn't be enough to keep the Eagles out as Gillan Sawyer gave her team the lead in the 36th minute. Sawyer converted a cross from Gabby Encarcion to give St. Mary's the one-goal cushion as time wound down in the first half.
At the break, St. Mary's was outshooting Salisbury 5-2 and splitting three corners apiece. Knussman and Larkin both collected two saves for their sides.
The second half emulated the opening minutes of the match as St. Mary's marched down the field with Gabby Encarnacion opening a shot during the initial three minutes, but was well wide of the target. A minute later Salisbury collected its third save of the contest as Emily Huey would get a good look on frame, but was thwarted by a well-positioned Knussman to keep the score at 1-0.
The next 37 minutes saw both teams battle end to end, in non-stop action with both teams getting positive looks on frame, but couldn't connect to put their team through.
The deciding goal came in the 89th minute as Sawyer notched her 16th goal of the season after she ran onto a through ball played over the Salisbury back line, and with a stroke of luck, the ball slipped through a sliding Knussman and an outstretched Anderson right to Sawyer's foot, who gathered up the loose ball and gave the Seahawks the lead with less than a minute left in regulation.
The Eagles outshot the Sea Gulls 13-7 in the game and held the edge in corner kicks, 4-3. Knussman played all 90 minutes for Salisbury, earning six saves in the contest, bringing her season total to 69 saves in 17 games and a goals-against average of 1.22. Larkin posted three saves for the Eagles.