The No. 7 Sea Gulls played their home opener on Wednesday evening against Stevenson University. The strong start to the 2019 season continued for Salisbury University as it topped the Mustangs, 3-0.
Head coach Dawn Chamberlin was pleased with the effort and performance of her team in the win.
“We didn’t have a very strong practice, and we wanted to rebound from that and have a good showing,” Chamberlin said.
The first quarter was dominated by the Salisbury attack, which led to ten shots on goal and five penalty corners, but the game remained scoreless. The Gulls (3-0) seemed to be neutralized until a last-second goal by senior defender Jillian Hughes found the back of the net.
Salisbury grew its lead just 36 seconds into the second quarter when senior midfielder Arielle Johnston assisted sophomore forward McKenzie Mitchell for the goal. The Sea Gulls recorded 16 total shots in the second quarter while only allowing the Mustangs a handful of trips across midfield.
Salisbury started the second half quickly, with several early shots on net and a penalty corner. The Sea Gull offense cashed in again as senior forward Rachel Domanico delivered a cross-crease assist that created the first career goal for freshman forward/midfielder Allie Davis.
The remainder of the third quarter was a defensive struggle between the two teams. Salisbury struggled to find clean looks on goal, and the Mustangs struggled to breach Sea Gull territory.
Stevenson’s prime scoring chance came when forward Anna Bauer raced down the right sideline and positioned herself for a shot. Before she could send the ball upfield, two Salisbury defenders corralled her and stole the ball back, effectively ending the Mustangs' best offensive possession on the day.
Salisbury notched 28 shots on the evening, while the Sea Gull defense held the Mustangs without a shot of their own in the contest. Junior goalie Dom Farrace mentioned the importance of the strong defensive showing in the win.
“The defense really stepped up tonight. They knew their timing and communicated really well,” Farrace said.
The Sea Gulls take on a strong opponent in No. 4 Messiah College this Saturday. Chamberlin acknowledged the upcoming matchup after the win.
“We played with a lot of fire today, and we need to have the same sense of urgency when we step on the field on Saturday,” Chamberlin said.
By Alex Boesman
Featured images by Joey Miller.