Second half surge powers Sea Gulls past Cardinals

BY DIAMOND HOLTON

Staff Writer

The Salisbury University women’s soccer team defeated Catholic University of America, 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at the SU Soccer Complex.

Both teams controlled the ball equally with both defenses making major stops, eliminating many scoring opportunities.

As the game progressed, the Cardinals (5-2) managed to keep the game on SU’s side of the field. Twelve minutes into the contest, the Sea Gulls (5-2) attempted to clear the ball out near their own goal, but Catholic defender Lindsay Aleman stole the ball and knocked it in for the score, giving her team a 1-0 lead in the first half.

SU head coach Kwame Lloyd knew just what his team needed to do in order to get back in the game. He said his team needed to step up the intensity and keep it high.

“We got down early and I think we were a little anxious in the beginning, but once we settled down and played our game we created a lot of opportunities for ourselves,” Lloyd said. “It was about opportunities and controlling our midfield and being dangerous in our combinations in the final third.”

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The Sea Gulls turned the game around, tying the match up late in the first half. Sophomore midfielder Alex Pryor had two assists, one of which happened before the first half from the right side to junior midfielder Erin McQuate, who dribbled it into the box.

“Coach said when you come off the bench you’re a game changer, and he said you have to come in and change the game,” Pryor said. “I saw Erin making the run, and I just executed. What we did in practice, where we drop off the ball and play it through and I just saw it. I just had confidence that Erin was going to see it through.”

SU came out strong in the second half with help from sophomore midfielder Ruthie Lucas, who helped make major plays for her team. Four minutes into the second half, the Sea Gulls converted a corner kick, where Lucas headed the ball into Pryor’s direction, who also headed it to senior midfielder Christine Clark. Clark finished with a header to give SU the 2-1 lead.

The Cardinals attempted to get shots off, but sophomore goalkeeper Hope Knussman continued to make save after save, stopping Catholic from tying it up. A break away shot from senior midfielder Samantha Beck was almost converted, but instead turned into a foul in the box which gave SU a penalty kick attempt.

Senior forward Jenna DeLetto took the kick sending it past Cardinals goalkeeper Lexi Halperin to extend the lead 3-1 four minutes into the second half. SU’s defensive backfield helped shut down Catholic’s offense which was able to secure the win. The Sea Gulls outshot the Cardinals 14 to 11.

Riding a two-game winning streak, SU heads on the road to face Stevenson University in their last non-conference match before returning home where they will host Penn St.-Harrisburg on Sept. 26.

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