By Lucas McCoy
The Salisbury University women’s soccer team took on Southern Virginia University on Saturday afternoon in a tough match that went down to the wire. Coming off of two losses, the Sea Gulls fought through adversity and came out victorious, topping the Knights 1-0 in the Capital Athletic Conference matchup.
The Sea Gulls (2-2-3, 1-0) were led by junior forward Ruthie Lucas, who managed to put in the game’s only goal late into the second half. As the game appeared to slow down, suddenly Lucas found herself slightly in front of the Southern Virginia defensive line on a breakaway and beat their last defender, perfectly placing the ball in the top right corner where SVU goalkeeper Megan Turner had no chance to save it.
“When I was in front of the goal my mind was really just on hitting the corner and not missing or hitting the keeper. There has been a big focus on finishing this week and as a target forward that’s definitely my job,” Lucas said.
By taking down the Knights, the Sea Gulls are now 1-0 in conference play and have a nice break in the upcoming week with no games on the schedule. With Ruthie Lucas coming off an injury and with senior midfielder Jayne Pinsky going down in today’s match, the Sea Gulls have a chance to recover and get healthier in the upcoming week before their next conference game.
“The ankle definitely still hurts but I really wanted to play today and it felt a lot better than it has in the past, so going into this game I was really pumped,” Lucas said. “Scoring definitely made playing today that much sweeter. It just felt so good.”
Salisbury has gone through a tough stretch the past five games, drawing in three of them and losing two of them. Saturday’s game against the Knights, however, looks to be the momentum changer the Sea Gulls needed when looking down the road at the rest of their season. Even though the beginning was tough, they are undefeated in conference play.
“Today I was proud on our ability to finish the game. We’re 1-0 in the conference now and that’s right where you want to be,” SU Head Coach Kwame Lloyd said. ”This win gives confidence to our back line and our goalkeeper who both did a tremendous job. It just gives us the confidence that we are now 1-0 in the conference, and the confidence to know that we can compete.”
Even though Ruthie Lucas tallied in the game’s only goal, it was a complete team effort in the win against Southern Virginia (3-5). Every unit from goalkeeper and defense to the midfielders and forwards did exactly what they were supposed to do in order to receive their first conference victory.
“It took us persevering through some injuries, but overall Ruthie [Lucas] did a tremendous job. When she was up, top she became very dangerous,” said Coach Lloyd.
“Some key players would be our back line, [juniors] Rachel Anderson and Jamie Tacka had one of their best days. [Senior defender] Lindsey Andonian did a great job of being consistent throughout the whole game, and some of our freshmen were also able to step in and do some good things for us.”
With Pinsky unable to play in the second half, it took maximum effort for the Sea Gulls mid field line to step up and show leadership in order to finish out the game strong. Even though Pinsky is a senior leader, the women’s team showed that they have multiple leaders ready to step up whenever needed.
“We had to deal with some adversity with Pinsky going down today, but I am proud of the team and how they responded,” Coach Lloyd said. “Our midfield is just so solid for us and they show such poise.”
After the win on Saturday, the Sea Gulls will look to build on the momentum as they remain at home for their next non-conference match when they take on Virginia Wesleyan College on Sunday, Sept. 25th at 3:00 p.m.