SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's soccer team took on No. 4 William Smith College on the final day of the Salisbury University Classic Saturday afternoon, but were unable to secure a win against one of the top teams in the country.
Although the team was able to hold their opponents to only one goal on the day, it was unable create many opportunities offensively, as the Herons kept the ball up field for most of the contest.
Despite the loss, the coaching staff was extremely proud of how the team played and the effort they put forth against such a highly-ranked opponent that had defeated No. 16 McDaniel College by five goals only a day prior.
The Maroon and Gold looked to be a formidable matchup in the first half, especially on defense. The Herons kept pushing forward, but managed to get in on goal only periodically. While they went into halftime behind in shots 6-3, all three of the Sea Gulls' shots were on goal.
The Sea Gulls also refused to allow themselves to be bullied physically. In Friday's game against McDaniel, William Smith committed 12 fouls, while their foul total was only three on Saturday. It wasn't because the Herons decided to play a less physical game, but Salisbury was able to find the space needed to keep from being pushed around constantly.
The second half saw William Smith pressuring offensely, although the Sea Gulls continued to close up the holes defensively, led by freshman Kayla Homeyer, and seniors Erin Chamberlin and Rachel Anderson.
Senior goalkeeper Hope Knussman finished the game with nine saves. The only goal of the day came in the 73rd minute when the Herons crashed the net from all sides and there was little Knussman could do to stop the play. Knussman's day was highlighted by point blank saves in the 38th and 53rd minutes.
Senior midfielder Jamie Tacka led the team offensively with two well-aimed shots on goal, but Herons goalkeeper Veronica Romines accurately anticipated each scoring attempt on her way to securing her second shutout of the tournament.
The team returns to Sea Gull Soccer Stadium on Tuesday afternoon as they play host to visiting Washington College (1-0). The contest is set to kick off at 4 p.m.