By Lucas McCoy
The Salisbury University field hockey team extended their winning streak to six in a row on Wednesday night after defeating York College (Pa) in an important conference match-up. The Sea Gulls are now 10-1 overall and ranked third in the country.
After a week of rest between games, the Sea Gulls (10-1, 2-0) did not look flat coming out against a strong York Spartan team (10-3, 2-1). Salisbury kept their excitement and intensity levels up from the beginning to the end of the contest. This proved to be what made the difference in the game.
“I think coming out we were all super excited, and we knew this was going to be a big game because York has been really strong this year,” senior forward Becca Rinaca said.
“We all came in really fired up and I think we were all just excited to be out on the field and ready to go after a week-long break.”
Salisbury came into the game with aggressive play, notching four first-half goals on 14 shot attempts and dominating the time of possession. Rinaca was the early first-half spark for the Sea Gulls after she put in the game’s first two goals.
“Becca is a great goal-scorer for us, so we can count on her to get that job done. She has been very dynamic on the field,” SU head coach Dawn Chamberlin explained.
“She is always moving on the field and doing what she needs to do to get in the right place at the right time, and that pays off for her.”
Alongside her standout teammate Rinaca, senior back Annah Brittingham had a very strong performance against the Spartans. Brittingham also managed to score three goals in the first half for the Sea Gulls and that helped control the momentum through the rest of the game.
“They kept giving me the close post and I just kept hitting my spot every time, but it started with a good pass on each one and it was just a team effort,” Brittingham said.
The Sea Gulls went into halftime up 4-0 and did not let up once the second half began. Brittingham continued her aggressive play and recorded an assist for the Sea Gulls, overall scoring or assisting on more than half of her team’s six goals.
“Annah is all over the field and does a really good job of covering for our midfielders and our forwards,” Chamberlin said. “She has one of the hardest hits around, and today she was on. Those shots resulted in some real pretty goals as well.”
The Spartans almost climbed back into the game after scoring two quick back-to-back goals midway through the second half, making the score 4-2. The Sea Gulls lost a bit of their intensity during this small run, but ultimately kept it together and stepped on the gas offensively which resulted in the final score of 6-2.
“There was only about a 10-minute span that we forgot what we do well and kind of lost our composure a little bit, not controlling the controllable,” Chamberlin explained.
“We just wanted to focus on what we do best. Overall it’s not so much what the other team does, but it’s what we do and I think we played really well.”
With this win, the Salisbury University field hockey team is now riding a six-game winning streak. The win also moves Salisbury into sole possession of first place in the Capital Athletic Conference with their undefeated record. The Sea Gulls will be back in action Saturday, Oct. 15 as they hit the road to face the Frostburg State Bobcats.