March 24, 2009

Short-timers: Salisbury Stunned by No. 8 Colby

from press releases

SALISBURY, Md. - Hours after the Salisbury University women's lacrosse team took over the top spot in the Division III rankings the Sea Gulls suffered their first loss of the season. No. 8 Colby College scored a last second goal to upset No. 1 Salisbury, 15-14, on Tuesday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium.

This is the first loss at home for the Sea Gulls since they lost a NCAA tournament game at the end of the 2006 season to The College of New Jersey, a streak of 32 consecutive games. In fact, the last time the Sea Gulls lost a regular-season game at home occurred seven seasons ago, a streak of 45 straight games, when SU lost 13-10 to The College of New Jersey on March 15, 2003. The Colby setback also ends Salisbury's 31-game regular-season winning streak that began back at the start of 2007 season.

Salisbury (9-1), who trailed the majority of the game, tied the game at 14-14 with 31 seconds left in regulation when junior attacker Beth Rhodey (two goals, three assists) netted a free-position goal past Colby goalie Sarah Warnke (15 saves).

Colby won the ensuing draw control which set-up the game-winning goal. Senior midfielder Heather Nickerson (five goals, one assist) found a wide open Becky Julian (two goals) in front of the Sea Gull goal. Julian received the pass and spun and shot it past SU goalie Sonja Stuart (nine saves) with 12 seconds left in the game.

Time ran out on the Sea Gulls as the Mules (5-1) celebrated the win in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

Colby led 7-5 at the half and scored four of the first four goals to begin the second half. SU trailed 11-6 with just under 22 minutes left in the game. Salisbury rallied to score the next five goals in a 10-minute span to tie the game at 11.

Senior midfielder Robyn Bishop (three goals) scored two of her three goals during the run. Sophomore Logan Bilderback (two goals, one assist) added an unassisted goal and assisted on senior midfielder Ashleigh Gender's third goal on the day. The other goal was netted by senior midfielder Holly Johnson (two goals) off a Rhodey assist.

The two teams traded goals as junior attacker Kim Cudmore (one goal, three assists) found Bishop at the 4:50 mark to knot the game at 12. Colby scored back-to-back goals off the sticks of Nickerson and Kate Sheridan (two goals, two assists) to give the Mules a 14-12 lead with 2:11 left in the game. Salisbury didn't give up as Cudmore scored an unassisted goal a minute later before Rhodey tied the game for the eighth time with the free-position goal.

Salisbury scored the game's first goal when Cudmore assisted Gender less than two minutes into the game. SU led for five minutes before Nickerson scored her first goal on the day off an assist from Amy Campbell (one goal, one assist). The Sea Gulls regained the lead at the 12:09 mark in the first half when Bilderback netted her first goal on an assist from Rhodey to give SU a 4-3 advantage.

Colby answered seconds later on a goal by Nickerson and then a goal by Kathleen Kramer (two goals, one assist) at the 6:26 mark. The Mules scored the final two goals of the half to take a 7-5 lead into intermission.

Colby won 19-of-31 draw controls as the two teams both recorded 36 shots. Salisbury was nearly perfect on clears (14-of-15) while Colby converted 15-of-22 clear attempts. The Sea Gull defense caused 12 of the 16 Mule turnovers and scooped up 15 ground balls. Salisbury shot 50 percent on free-position attempts (3-for-6) while the Mules struggled with a 20 percent showing (2-for-10).

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