Updated: Jan 25, 2019
The Salisbury University women’s soccer team (3-4-1) came into Wednesday’s match after climbing out of their early four-match losing streak. Despite playing on the road, the Sea Gulls defeated Shenandoah 3-0 and drew Catholic 1-1.
“[Our team] needed this [past] weekend,” Salisbury Women’s Soccer Head Coach Kwame Lloyd said. “[Our team] played really well against Shenandoah defensively. We showed a lot of character on how we played [vs Catholic.]”
Standing in Salisbury’s way Wednesday afternoon was Rutgers University-Newark. The Scarlet Raiders (4-2-1) provided Salisbury with a huge test, coming in off a 7-1 victory over Brooklyn College.
Through the first seven games of the year, Rutgers-Newark outscored their opponents 26-8, including four shutouts. This was the only scheduled regular season game the Scarlet Raiders would play out of the New York/New Jersey area.
Once the game got underway, both Salisbury and Rutgers-Newark moved the ball down the field during the first 10 minutes of the match. Then, the Sea Gulls quickly got going on offense and dominated with shots. The first goal of the game eventually came early on, spurred on by the Sea Gull defense.
SU freshman midfielder Ally Goetz assisted junior forward Lydia Narum to get the first tally, giving Salisbury a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute. Late in the half, Salisbury scored another goal to double their lead. Off freshman forward Dakota Campbell’s assist, junior midfielder Julie Venere scored on her run, carrying a 2-0 lead into halftime.
The Scarlet Raiders had only trailed once at half so far this season when they trailed 2-1 at the break when they met The College of New Jersey. Salisbury did not allow a single shot on goal in the first half.
“[Our team] has been here before. We have been [up] 2-0 [at halftime] and lost,” Lloyd said. “[Our team] knows we need to come out and press hard. The character of this coach and the character of this team would not have given up.”
Salisbury came out of the half putting these words into action. Just 61 seconds into the second half, Narum assisted Goetz on a score to give the Sea Gulls a 3-0 lead.
“[Our team] knew that [Rutgers-Newark] were going to come out hard,” SU freshman goalie Regan Benton said. “[Rutgers-Newark] was going to come out strong and [our team] knew we had to match that.”
The Scarlet Raiders then began to apply pressure to Salisbury, rarely allowing the Sea Gulls to get the ball into offensive territory. Despite this late surge by the Scarlet Raiders, Salisbury’s defense stood strong, only allowing one shot on goal, which Benton saved.
Salisbury eventually sealed the win with a late goal scored by freshman forward Alyssa Chesney, off sophomore forward Brooke Rossiter’s assist. Rutgers-Newark senior midfielder Juliana Ceballos put the Scarlet Raiders on the board with a late goal, which finished the match as a 4-1 SU victory.
“This game was just fun for everyone,” Narum said. “Four different [players] scored. No one was selfish when we got to the goal. We all looked up to see who had the best shot instead of ‘let me just take it.’”
After their match on Sept. 4 against Virginia Wesleyan, Salisbury saw a change in goal. Freshman Regan Benton started every match for Salisbury since then.
“The initial change was due to an [injury] Emma Hill had,” Coach Lloyd said. “Emma Hill, [SU’s] starter [in goal] going into the season only had one practice session [since the injury] going into the game today.”
Through the Sea Gull’s first four matches of the year, Salisbury was outscored 8-2, with three consecutive shutouts. Over their next four games including this win over Rutgers-Newark, the Sea Gulls have outscored their opponents 10-5, including a shutout of their own.
“Scoring was our problem,” Narum said. “Each practice, [our team] figures out a problem, identifies it and focus on it to fix it. We were not able to get the ball in the back of the net and now [we’re able to score.]”
Salisbury’s next home match is this upcoming Saturday at 1 p.m. when the Sea Gulls host St. John Fisher.
By BRANDON STARK
Featured photo: SU midfielder Carly Glassford passes the ball up the field. Sept. 19 (Brendan Link image).