Salisbury came into Saturday’s matchup vs. Mary Washington (7-3, 0-1 CAC) with a 10-2 record (1-0 CAC) and a four-match win streak. The No. 7 Sea Gulls have only allowed one goal in their previous four games through their stingy defense, led by juniors Jillian Hughes, Sarah Jackson and Lindsey Elgin.
“I believe [our defense] has been a really big part [of our win streak. Our team] is really big on every player on our team playing defense,” Hughes explained. “Our forwards are our first line of defense, so it starts with them. When [the forwards] re-defend and stop the ball up front, [our team] considers that defense.”
The Eagles started the game out strong offensively, immediately driving down the field multiple times into Salisbury territory during the first 10 minutes of the game. Despite this, the Sea Gulls’ defense only held Mary Washington to a single shot on goal.
Salisbury then drove into the Eagles’ territory, setting up their first score of the night. Freshman midfielder Tara Flavin scored her second goal of the season off the assist from junior midfielder Arielle Johnston under 13 minutes into the first half.
With 10 minutes left in the first half, junior forward Tara Daddio scored her team-leading 15th goal of the year off the assist from senior forward Emily Lemanski. The Sea Gulls held on the final 10 minutes, taking their 2-0 lead into the half.
The Sea Gulls carried their momentum into the second half as junior forward Megan Jolikko quickly scored her second goal of the season, unassisted, to increase Salisbury’s lead to 3-0.
Later in the second half, junior forward Rachel Domanico scored her second goal on the season to further increase SU’s lead to 4-0. Johnston would get a late score off an assist by sophomore forward Rebecca Lloyd, putting the final nail in the coffin.
Mary Washington looked to prevent the shutout as they had an opportunity on a penalty stroke. Sophomore goalie Dom Farrace was able to get the stop, ending Mary Washington’s last chance to get on the board.
“You got to keep the confidence in yourself to know that you are going to save this ball and be ready for it and have your teammates’ backs,” Farrace explained.
Mary Washington sustained more drives and pressured Salisbury both on offense and defense throughout the game. However, the Sea Gulls shut down the Eagles to maintain their third straight shutout.
“Every time [Mary Washington] would get the ball over the midfield line, onto our side, we just locked them down,” Hughes explained. “Our defense was all over them and we did not give them much room to get a pass or shot off.”
Goalie Dom Farrace faced six shots on goal and made four saves to prevent the Eagles from scoring.
“Dom had a great game today; she really stepped her game up and played really, really well. [Dom] was very focused on what she needed to do to keep the ball out of the net,” SU field hockey coach Dawn Chamberlin said. “[Dom] was able to step up, giving her a lot of confidence, getting some really nice saves. Jillian and Camryn each got a defensive save and that really fired up the defense.”
The Sea Gulls, now 11-2 on the year (2-0 CAC), travel to York College (Pa.) for another conference matchup. The Spartans (8-5, 2-0 in CAC) are coming off of a huge 2-1 overtime upset of No. 10 Christopher Newport, leaving first place of the CAC wide open.
“Oh yeah! We’re ready for York,” Elgin exclaimed. “That’s our big game and we’re ready to come at them.”
BY BRANDON STARK
Featured photo: SU midfielder Arielle Johnston controls the ball during Salisbury’s win over Wesley. Oct. 10. Marshall Haas photo