NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Salisbury University women's soccer team traveled south on Wednesday evening to take on the nationally-ranked Capital Athletic Conference opponent Christopher Newport University, facing the league's leading offense in the 2-0 loss.
The Captains (12-1-0, 5-0-0 CAC) came out of the gate strong, scoring their first goal in the seventh minute on a shot by Maddie Cochran. Teammate Gabby Gillis crossed the ball to Cochran at the top of box in time to find an open look. The ball sailed over goalkeeper Regan Benton's reach before deflecting crisply off of the crossbar and down into the netting for the 1-0 advantage.
Christopher Newport didn't take its foot off the gas the rest of the first half, outshooting the Sea Gulls, 10-4.
Salisbury's best opportunity at an equalizer came in the 36th minute when defender Jenna Beck lined up a shot from outside the box that zipped in on net, but goalkeeper Haley Eiser timed her leaping save perfectly enough to tip the ball up over the crossbar.
The Sea Gulls (5-8-1, 2-3 CAC) controlled the ball better in the second half, almost doubling their shot output with seven. They almost tied the game a second time in the 73rd minute when Julianna Boller received a through ball alone at the top of the box. Eiser made a great diving save on Boller's shot, but the ball ricocheted out to Megan Brady for a second chance. Brady couldn't put enough on her shot to beat one of the Captain defenders, who cleared the ball off the line just before crossing over for a goal.
Less than two minutes later, the Captains doubled their lead on a shot by Riley Cook that was teed up perfectly by teammate Maxine Borris. Borris first received an inside cross from Carson Pokorny before poking the ball back out to Cook, who was positioned 20 feet out. As Benton rushed to secure the near post, Cook sent her shot into the bottom far corner of the net for the 2-0 advantage.
Despite picking up the loss, Benton had one of her best games of the season, making a season-high 13 saves to help keep her team in the contest all evening. She now sits third in the conference with a 1.19 goals against average.
The team returns to action on Saturday afternoon when it travels to Southern Virginia University for its final road contest of the regular season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.