Nov. 22, 2009

By Bob Birge
Special to

SOUTH HADLEY, Massachusetts – It may not be the most crowd-pleasing style, but Salisbury is perfectly content to win games 1-0.

It won both games here by that score en route to the school’s fifth Division III national championship.
In the 29-year history of the Division III tournament, only twice has a team posted shutouts in both games of the final four.
The first time occurred in 1987, when Bloomsburg blanked Southern Maine, 2-0, in the semifinals and William Smith, 1-0, in the finals. However, Salisbury became the first club to win a pair of 1-0 contests.
“We play tough defense,” Salisbury coach Dawn Chamberlain said. “We’ve had a lot of shutouts throughout the season (13, which led Division III). We play very, very strong in our defensive end. This team has been very poised under pressure, and that showed today.”
PERFECT IN THE FINALS: While Messiah dropped to 0-7 in the finals, Salisbury improved to 5-0.
“I think there’s a lot of pride,” Chamberlain added. “We have a reputation, and our reputation is one of being a strong program and being very successful, and knowing how to finish the season hard. We do a very good job of peaking at the right time.”
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Caitlin Walker, who scored the only goal Sunday, was one of four Salisbury players selected to the all-tournament team. She was joined by teammates Tara McGovern, Lauren Correll and goaltender Anna Cooke.
Four Messiah players also made it, led by Kourtney Ehly, who scored three goals in the Falcons’ 4-3 semifinal victory over Ursinus. Other Messiah players on the squad included Nikki Carroll, Julie Barton and Elizabeth Ziegler.
Completing the team were Alyssa Thren and Jen Hooven of Ursinus and Tufts’ Margi  Scholtes, who suffered a dislocated finger in the Jumbos’ semifinal loss to Salisbury.
IT’S NOT JUST FIELD HOCKEY: While Messiah again was denied the school’s first field hockey title, the Falcons are a powerhouse in a number of sports.
The school boasts six national championships in men’s soccer, three in women’s soccer and one in softball. Remarkably, the school won titles in all three sports last year.
Both of Messiah’s soccer teams were in action Sunday and looking to return to the final four.
ATTENDANCE – Sunday’s final attracted a crowd of 767 for a two-day total of 1,683. Saturday’s semifinals drew 916.