SALISBURY, Md. – The women's soccer team played their third home game in eight days on Sunday afternoon when it hosted conference opponent York College of Pennsylvania. The Spartans made things difficult for a Sea Gulls team that has found its stride by scoring game-winners early against Capital Athletic Conference foes, but a goal in the final minutes off a corner kick would seal the deal for the home team and give the Gulls their sixth consecutive CAC shutout victory.
Momentum hung slightly in Salisbury's favor for much of the first half. The Sea Gulls (8-7-0. 6-0-0 CAC) controlled possession much of the time and kept the ball on their offensive side of the field, but the Spartans (2-9-2, 1-4-1 CAC) protected in front of the net and made it difficult to open shots. Despite a Sea Gull lead in shots, 6-2, the teams went into halftime still tied, 0-0.
The first 10 minutes of play following halftime were more of the same, with Salisbury registering another three shots. One of those shots came on a free kick just outside the box by midfielder Jamie Tacka, but the ball soared high and wound up clearing the crossbar.
Momentum began to shift shortly thereafter, as the Spartans began to find their groove and control the ball. From the 67th minute to the 75th minute, York would line up for three corner kicks. Each one came dangerously close to becoming a goal, but goalkeeper Hope Knussman always seemed to be in the right place to grab the ball before any damage could be done.
The Sea Gulls finally broke through toward the end of regulation. Forward Ruthie Lucas would handle a corner kick in the 87th minute that led to the game winner when midfielder Brooke Rossiter deflected the inbound kick past the goalkeeper and into the right side of the net.
The score held in the final minutes, and Salisbury was able to steal a victory. Each of the Sea Gulls' six CAC victories have been earned by way of shutout and they have not given up a goal since their game at Bridgewater (Va.) College on September 24.
The Sea Gulls led Sunday's game in shots, 12-5. Each team recorded four corner kicks, and York led in fouls, 6-4.
Salisbury returns to action on Wednesday, October 18, for its final home game of the regular season against rival No. 9 Christopher Newport University. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.