Nov. 10, 2010

Courtesy of Salisbury Athletics

The sticks of the seventh-ranked Salisbury University field hockey team came alive in the second half of the NCAA first-round game against the University of Mary Washington on Wednesday afternoon, scoring three goals in a span of 18 minutes to notch a solid 4-1 victory against the Eagles. With the victory, Salisbury moves on to the second round of the NCAA Division III Field Hockey tournament.

An early goal by junior midfielder Courtney Webster seemed to give the Sea Gulls (15-3) confidence. Salisbury maintained possession of the ball for the majority of the remainder of the half and continued to fire off shots. It seemed as though the Sea Gulls would take that single-goal lead into halftime, but a scuffle in front of the goal following a penalty corner in the 32nd minute of play resulted in a Mary Washington (14-8) goal. The teams entered halftime with one goal apiece.

Though the score was tied at the conclusion of the first half, Salisbury held an 11-1 advantage in shots and a 10-1 edge in penalty corner opportunities.

The shots kept coming for the maroon and gold as soon as the whistle blew for the second half of play, but the score would remain the same - until the 45th minute of the contest, when senior back Ashley Kisner ripped the ball past Eagle goalkeeper Chrissy Bowdren (12 saves) to give Salisbury a 2-1 lead. The goal was Kisner's first of the season.

But the Duncannon, Pa., native wasn't done quite yet. With less than nine minutes remaining in the game, Kisner gained control of the ball and cut past a Mary Washington defender before shooting the ball into the bottom-right corner of the goal to give the Sea Gulls a two-goal lead. An insurance goal by senior Kandice Hancock just over one minute later sealed the deal, and Salisbury captured the win in the team's last home game of the season.

Salisbury outshot Mary Washington 19-2 in the contest. Junior goalkeeper Anna Cooke made one save, due in part to yet another outstanding defensive effort by the Sea Gulls.

The maroon and gold now hit the road, traveling to Grantham, Pa., to face Rhodes College on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. If they win, the Sea Gulls would advance to the quarterfinal game on Sunday.