SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's soccer team opened up their season – and the new Sea Gull Soccer Stadium– on Friday afternoon against visiting Shenandoah University, but a late offensive surge wasn't enough to overcome a one-goal deficit before time expired. The Hornets went on to defeat the Maroon and Gold by a score of 2-1 in a tightly-fought contest that can best be described as a tale of two halves.
Shenandoah got things rolling early, scoring two goals in the first half while also outshooting the Sea Gulls 10-2. The first of the Hornets' two goals came in the 12th minute on a smooth pass inside from Rebecca Collimore that set up teammate Jessica Stuart perfectly. Stuart then redirected the ball past starting goalkeeper Hope Knussman and into the right side of the net to put her team up one.
The Sea Gulls almost tied things up in the 15th minute when Senior Carliane LaGuerre intercepted a misplaced ball by Hornet goalie Charlotte Evans. LaGuerre took the ball back into the box before driving a beautiful shot that ended up sailing just wide left of the goal.
The Hornets would double their lead in the 40th minute when Emily Yergin broke through the Sea Gull defense to take the ball 20 yards downfield before sneaking the ball in from the right side of the goal.
Even though the team trailed by two goals at halftime, there appeared to be a rejuvenated spirit and increased energy from the Sea Gulls when play commenced in the second half. Less than three minutes in, the score was cut in half when sophomore Julianna Boller received a pass downfield that she was able to hold on to and dribble through a pair of defenders before recording Salisbury's first goal of the season.
Still down a goal, the game was almost put out of reach when Shenandoah took advantage of an opportunity in the offensive zone, but a remarkable point-blank save by Knussman kept the team alive and initiated a powerful onslaught in the waning minutes. Knussman finished the game with four saves.
While the Sea Gulls were able to outshoot their opponents 8-2 in the second half, they were never able to capitalize on another one of their chances and tie things up.
The team returns to their field tomorrow for another home match versus No. 4 William Smith College. Play will commence at 1 p.m.