By Diamond Holton
The number two ranked Salisbury University field hockey team continued its undefeated season with a 1-0 victory against seventeenth ranked Messiah College at Sea Gull Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Sea Gulls (4-0) took over in the matchup out shooting the Falcons (1-3) 18 to one, with the majority of the shots coming in the second half. Salisbury took advantage with their penalty corners totaling 11, while Messiah finished with three.
The second half belonged to the Sea Gulls as they tripled their shots on goal trying to avoid a possible overtime period. With under seven minutes to go, junior midfielder Hannah Miller blasted from top of the circle off a penalty corner, and into the right side of the cage with an assist from senior forward Sam Johnson for the score.
“Honestly I’ve never done it before,” Miller said. “Definitely a rush to have that one goal.”
Head coach Dawn Chamberlin felt her team dominated and played steady throughout the matchup. She did, however, feel her team needed more intensity to finish the game off early.
“Games like this can go either way, so we’re very happy that Hannah put the ball in and got the goal for us right there,” Chamberlin said. “I think we played well, but we just played a little flat against a good team like Messiah and that can be a little dangerous. Overall defensively we were very, very strong doing a great job in the backfield shutting down all their scoring opportunities.”
The game remained scoreless through the first half as junior defender Annah Brittingham and senior forward Courtney Jantzen had two shots a piece; one on goal for Jantzen and both shots on goal for Brittingham.
Despite the victory, Miller felt her and her teammates had been struggling to play as a complete unit.
“Our passing and communicating is there, but we haven’t exactly clicked yet which happens every year with a brand new team,” Miller said. “We’re a really young team this year with only five seniors, so today was it. It honestly gave me chills to see we finally clicked.”
Messiah managed to continuously keep fresh legs on the field defensively, but they were unable to prevail as Salisbury took the victory. An opportunity to extend their lead was given as junior midfielder Casie Preisch hit a penalty shot, but it soared over the cage leaving them with just the one goal.
Some frustration happened throughout the game as Salisbury received three player cards: two green cards, one by junior forward Becca Rinaca and another by Jantzen, and a yellow card by Brittingham.
Salisbury heads back on the road Thursday facing Virginia Wesleyan, before returning home to Sea Gull Stadium September 23 to take on Johns Hopkins University.