March 26, 2010

Top-ranked Salisbury Sneaks Past Union

from press release

– Six days ago, the Salisbury University women's lacrosse team knocked off previously No. 1-ranked Franklin & Marshall University 16-11 to take the top spot in the country. On Friday afternoon, the Sea Gulls proved why they're the No.1-ranked team in the nation as they defeated No. 16-ranked Union (N.Y.) College, 9-8. The win marks Salisbury's 10th straight.

It wasn't an easy fight for Salisbury, though, as the Gulls fell behind early in the game and trailed the Dutchwomen 5-1 with just over 17 minutes remaining in the first half. The maroon and gold, unfazed, swiftly answered back with four straight goals, the last coming with just 39 seconds remaining in the half, to notch up the game at five apiece going into halftime.

Scoring was certainly balanced, as five different Sea Gulls scored the team's five goals in the first 30 minutes of play. Salisbury (10-0, 2-0 Capital Athletic Conference) outshot Union (2-3) by a slim margin, 18-14, in the first half; 12 of the Gulls' shots were on goal, compared to Union's 11, making for an extremely close game.

Salisbury's aggressive defense rushed the field in the second half as the Sea Gulls caused two turnovers in the first minute, allowing the Sea Gull offense to rip four shots within two minutes. That was the only burst of consecutive shots for either team, though, as Salisbury and Union battled for possession and exchanged goals in a nail-biting half.

The Sea Gulls and Dutchwomen were tied at eight goals apiece until a goal by junior midfielder Aileen McCausland (Phoenix, Md.) put the Gulls up 9-8 with 2:34 remaining in the game. Four lead changes occurred in the game, and the teams were tied five times throughout the contest.

Junior goalkeeper Julie Ann Caulfield (Drexel Hill, Pa.) earned the win, playing all 60 minutes and making seven saves; Union goalkeeper Cat Ruggiero made 22 saves as the Sea Gulls outshot the Dutchwomen 42-21 in the game. Senior attack Kim Cudmore (Bel Air, Md.) led the team with three goals and one assist.

The maroon and gold will be on the road for their next contest, against CAC opponent St. Mary's (Md.) College, on March 28 at 2 p.m. before returning home to face off against CAC foe Wesley College on March 31. The game, which is set to begin at 4 p.m., marks Salisbury's last regular-season home contest.

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