SALISBURY, MD – After a lack-luster first half, the No. 2 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team rallied to defeat No. 8 Franklin & Marshall College, 10-8, Sunday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium. The victory avenges last year's defeat to the Diplomats, an 11-10 double-overtime thriller, that handed the Sea Gulls their first defeat of the 2011 campaign.
Senior Allie Wheatley scored a game-high three goals for Salisbury (8-0), increasing her team-high goal count to 26 on the season; she also collected two ground balls in the contest for the Sea Gulls.
Franklin & Marshall (6-2) came out of the gate fast, controlling the action for much of the first half. The Diplomats put up the first three tallies on the scoreboard and held Salisbury scoreless until senior Amanda Holsclaw put one in the back of the net with 7:53 remaining in the first half. With over 22 minutes off the clock, this was the longest it has taken Salisbury to get on the scoreboard all season. Sunday's game marks only the second time this year that the Sea Gulls have not scored the first goal of the game.
The Sea Gulls were not able to score early as the ball was controlled by Franklin & Marshall in their offensive third for much of the opening half. The Sea Gull defense, anchored by sophomore goalie Ashton Wheatley, freshman Dominique Dipino, junior Alyssa Hardesty and sophomore Meghan Toomey weathered the Diplomat storm until the Sea Gulls could gain control of the ball and clear the zone. In the contest, Ashton Wheatley stopped 10 Diplomat shots and matched her career-high with four ground balls.
Utilizing their speed and quickness, the defense and midfielders Lauren Feusahrens, Alyssa Fowler, Kara Koolage and Mackenzie White were able to stymie the offensive onslaught the Sea Gulls faced in the first half allowing just four first-half goals.
After Holsclaw's goal, the Sea Gulls seized momentum in the game. Junior Katie Bollhorst scored back-to-back goals at the 5:53 and 3:04 marks to even the score at 3-3. Franklin & Marshall's Cat Serpe scored late in the first half to give the Diplomats a 4-3 lead going into the break, but the tide had turned in the Sea Gulls' direction.
Coming out of the break, the Sea Gulls wasted little time knotting the game again, as Feusahrens scored just 31 seconds after halftime. That was the first of seven-straight goals, putting the Sea Gulls up 10-4 at the 6:16 mark after a goal by senior Carrie Bray. During the run, Allie Wheatley netted her three goals, Feusahrens scored twice and Fowler tallied a goal as well.
Franklin & Marshall had a late charge, scoring the final four goals of the contest, but it proved to be too little to overcome the deficit.
The Sea Gulls stay at home to face Hood College on Tuesday, March 27. Gametime is 4 p.m., at Sea Gull Stadium.