May 15, 2011

Gettysburg Clips Salisbury for Semis Chance

from press release

– The third time was the charm for the Gettysburg College women's lacrosse team against Salisbury University as the Bullets knocked off the defending national champions 14-13 in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals Sunday at Sea Gull Stadium.

Gettysburg (17-4), which has seen its postseason runs end at the hands of Salisbury (19-3) in each of the last two seasons, erased an early four-goal deficit to earn its fifth trip in six seasons to the national semifinals. The Bullets will play SUNY Cortland (21-1), which defeated Colby College 15-4, on Saturday, May 21, at 8 p.m. at Motamed Field on the campus of Adelphi University. In Saturday's other Division III semifinal, Bowdoin College (17-3) will take on The College of New Jersey (20-0) at 5 p.m.

Junior Hannah Church (Ellicott City, Md./Mount de Sales) continued her postseason scoring binge with six goals to pace Gettysburg. Church has scored at least five goals in all three playoff games this spring. Freshmen Kelsey Markiewicz (Salisbury, Conn./Berkshire (Mass.)) tossed in three goals and fellow first-year Katie Blumenthal (Malvern, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame) posted two goals and one assist.

Junior Maddie Coleman (Lexington, Va./Rockbridge County) posted nine saves in the victory, but none bigger than a stop of the potential game-tying goal at the one-minute mark by 2010 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Aileen McCausland.

Salisbury came out of the gates firing, netting the opening two goals before Church posted her first off a free-position attempt at 23:40. The Sea Gulls put up three more scores to jump ahead 5-1 at 18:42, and after a goal by senior Marnie Commins (Fairfax Station, Va./Robinson) stopped the run, the hosts tacked on another tally by Trish DiGirolomo to jump back in front by four (6-2) with 16:07 left in the first half.

Gettysburg's offense received a spark from its defense as Coleman stonewalled a free-position attempt by Morgan Illian just inside the 12-minute mark. The Bullets came right back as Blumenthal found sophomore Lindsay Menton (Ellicott City, Md./Glenelg Country School) at 11:08. It was the start of a seven-goal burst by the visitors with Markiewicz and Church each adding a pair of solo efforts. Blumenthal capped the spurt off a feed from sophomore Lindsey Robinson (Potomac, Md./Holton-Arms) with 16 seconds before the end of half as Gettysburg went into the break with an 8-6 lead.

Church made it a three-goal lead with an unassisted tally to knock Salisbury's starting goalkeeper, Julie Ann Caulfield, from the game at the start of the second period. Salisbury answered with a goal by Allie Wheatley to pull to 9-7. The teams traded each of the next two goals to maintain the two-goal difference at 11-9 with 18:05 to play.

Gettysburg added some breathing room with back-to-back scores 26 seconds apart by Church and freshman Loren Pruitt (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) just before the halfway point of the final period. Church drove down the right side and snuck a ball inside the right post, while Pruitt finished off a nice feed from Robinson in front of the cage to make it 13-9 with 15:33 left. After the Sea Gulls scored at 12:34, Church posted her sixth and final tally off a free-position shot to make it 14-10 with 10 minutes left.

Salisbury started its comeback bid following a stop by new keeper Ashton Wheatley on a shot by Church at the eight-minute mark. DiGirolomo scored from behind the cage and Illian tossed in a free-position attempt to make it 14-12 at 3:55. DiGirolomo cut the deficit to one with a move around the right and low shot with just over two minutes to play.

Gettysburg won the final draw, but the Sea Gulls' pressure caused a turnover and set up a potential game-tying opportunity. Coleman came up with her biggest save of the season on a shot in traffic and the Bullets' cleared the ball up the field and avoided the host's pressure to close out the contest.

Salisbury finished with a 33-25 edge in shots, but Gettysburg took care of the draw, winning 17-of-29. Sophomore Mairead McGuirk (Bel Air, Md./John Carroll School) paced the Bullets with a career-high eight draw controls. Sophomore Kat Nestor (Darien, Conn./Darien) recorded three draw controls and two caused turnovers for the visitors.

DiGirolomo and Lauren Feusahrens posted three goals and and one assist, while Illian and Logan Bilderback each tossed in a pair of goals. Caulfield posted five saves, all in the first half, while Wheatley notched three in the second.

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