BY ZACH GILLELAND
A week after suffering its first loss of the season, the Salisbury women’s field hockey team rebounded nicely in its first home game Saturday, scoring a 6-0 win over Cabrini University.
Salisbury was able to hold possession of the ball for the majority of the game, constantly creating pressure on Cavalier goalkeeper Taylor Bookman. The Sea Gulls fired 29 shots throughout the game.
The Gulls scored often and early, with freshman midfielder Arielle Johnston scoring less than six minutes into the game off of a penalty corner. Junior forward Natalie Wilkinson and senior midfielder Abbey Shobe both added unassisted goals, and a laser shot from Johnston would send Salisbury to the half with a 4-0 lead.
In her first career home game, Johnston scored the first goal at newly renovated Sea Gull Stadium.
“I spent a lot of time thinking about different things I needed to do,” Johnston said. “God just helped me to stay focus and knowing I owe it to my team to do my best helped me.”
During the second half, Salisbury kept the momentum going. The Sea Gulls continued to terrorize the Cavalier defense with senior defender Annah Brittingham and sophomore forward Kristen Yingling adding goals.
“We put in a lot of hard work this week, every day we worked harder and harder,” Johnston said. “Nobody wanted to feel the pain from losing again and we brought all that intensity to the game this week.”
The Sea Gull defense also had a strong showing Friday night, not allowing a single shot on net all night leaving junior goalkeeper Tressie Windsor mostly standing and watching. This is the third time Salisbury has held an opponent scoreless this season.
“This is our first home game and we wanted to set the tone,” said Head Coach Dawn Chamberlin. “I think we came out and did what we need to do right from the get-go. We knew they were going to be a strong, physical team. We knew we had to come out and really set it from the start and I think we did that. We showed that we’re up there and we did a great job.”
Cabrini (2-5) struggled to create offense the entire game. After defeating third-ranked College of New Jersey earlier this month, the Cavaliers were unable to notch another top-10 upset.
After creating an insurmountable lead, the Sea Gulls were able to pass around for a lot of playing time. Salisbury had 11 substitutions during the game and seven freshmen played for the Gulls.
“It’s awesome to see my buddies get out,” Johnston said. “Everyone just played so well.”
With a win today Salisbury improves to 6-1 this season and have outscored opponents 30-4. After a tough loss to Messiah earlier this week, the Sea Gulls came back strong.
“We had some things we needed to fix,” Chamberlin said. ”We worked hard on those all week and we were ready to shine today.”
The Sea Gulls will look to carry the momentum into next week, as they travel to Baltimore to take on Johns Hopkins. Salisbury returns home Sept. 24 for a top-10 showdown against The College of New Jersey.