LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Salisbury University women's soccer team traveled to Lynchburg, Virginia on Friday to take part in the Shellenberger Classic, but ended up dropping their first game of the weekend to host Lynchburg College, 1-0.
The first half was a chess match between the two squads. Lynchburg maintained control of the ball often, but managed only three shots through the first 45 minutes. The Sea Gulls took an aggressive approach on defense by playing up field and trusting goalkeeper Hope Knussman to play out of the box and try and beat the opponent to the ball. The move paid off, leading to four offsides whistles against the Hornets.
Defenders Kayla Homeyer, Rachel Anderson, Alyssa Brady and Juliana Looney made it difficult for Lynchburg to find an open shot or allow a pass to cut between them for much of the half. Looney's timely block off a deflection prevented an early lead for Lynchburg in the 14th minute. With her back against the goal line, she managed to get a foot on the ball and clear it away from danger.
Knussman made two impressive saves in the first half. The first one came in the 25th on a flying punch across the back side of the net. The other play happened in the 38th minute when she slid between two attackers to break up a 2-on-1 opportunity for the Hornets.
Salisbury's best scoring chance of the game came early in the second half when Forward Ruthie Lucas, making her first appearance of the season, found herself on the right side of Lynchburg's last defender and a chance to take an open shot. Lynchburg goalkeeper Delia LoSapio managed to get her body on top of the ball before Lucas could get her foot there in time to take a shot.
A shot in the 49th minute almost gave Lynchburg the lead, but ended up contacting the crossbar and rebounding back out of the box. Knussman couldn't get to the ball in time to stop the shot, but created enough of an obstacle to cut off a clean look at the net for the attacking Hornet.
The only goal of the game came in the 60th minute on a pass from Georgia Duggan to Sarah Hammock for a shot that floated just over the reach of Knussman before dipping under the crossbar and into the back of the net. It was all the Hornets would need to pull of the one-goal victory.
The Sea Gulls return to action on Saturday for their final game of the tournament when they take on Roanoke College (1-1-1). Kickoff between the two teams is scheduled for 5 p.m.