March 20, 2010

Salisbury Flexes Guns, Beats F&M in Shootout

by Ben Penserga | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online | Game Blog

Salisbury's Kim Cudmore maintains focus, and possession, during the No. 2 Sea Gulls' 16-11 win over No. 1 Franklin & Marshall on Saturday. Cudmore scored two goals.

© Kevin P. Tucker

SALISBURY, Md. -- In a match between the top two teams in Division III women's lacrosse, No. 2 Salisbury beat No. 1 Franklin & Marshall on Saturday, 16-11.

While the Sea Gulls held the all-time regular season series between the two teams, the Diplomats had beaten SU twice in the D-III national championship game, including last year's 11-10 sudden death match-up.

But Saturday, senior attacker Kim Cudmore and the Sea Gulls exacted a little revenge on the Dips. Cudmore scored two goals and added four assists as the SU ran its regular season mark against F&M to 7-3 all-time.

"Franklin & Marshall always brings their 'A' game when they play us," Cudmore said. "We've come up against them twice in the national championship game since I've been here, and it's always a close game."

Coming into contest, both Salisbury (9-0) and Franklin & Marshall (4-1), where led by potent offenses, with the teams averaging 19 and 16 goals per game, respectively.

It was no different at Sea Gull Stadium on Saturday, with SU midfielder Jessica Chmielewski scoring the game's first goal less than 90 seconds in. Franklin & Marshall attacker Erin Dunne answered a few minutes later with her seventh goal of the season off attacker Blake Hargest's assist.

However, Cudmore came back with her two goals in a little more than a minute to give the Sea Gulls a lead they would not relinquish.

Coming out of halftime, the Diplomats got three straight goals from Maggie Mae Shields, Laura Ruppersberger and Hargest, but could not push themselves past the Sea Gulls.

"We just didn't really show up to play for the first 20 minutes and we dug ourselves in a hole," said Lauren Paul, Franklin & Marshall's second-year head coach. "You can see from the rest of the game, when we're playing the way we should be playing, it was an even game. We just dug ourselves in a hole early and we gave up three goals late because we were trying to get the ball back."

Salisbury head coach Jim Nestor said part of the Gulls' success Saturday was trying to understand Franklin & Marshall's mindset.

Four players from SU scored multiple goals. Chmielewski finished with four and Logan Bilderback had four, while Kim Cudmore and Ashley Cudmore added two apiece.

"Offensively, we really worked on how we thought they were going to play defensively," Nestor said. "We got some nice looks off what we were trying to accomplish."

While a win against the No. 1 team in Division III women's lacrosse was nice, Nestor said it doesn't give them an excuse to be complacent.

"It feels good, but we know we've got Union coming up next, which is a very strong team from New York. We can't look past anyone," he said.

For Paul and the Diplomats, Saturday's loss was a learning experience.

"This is only our fifth game, and we've got a lot more national, top-five teams that we have to play," she said. "Just by playing Salisbury, we've learned a lot about ourselves, what our weaknesses are and what we need to fix before we move on and play them."

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