By Lucas McCoy
After two weeks of play with nothing to show in the win column, the Salisbury University women’s soccer team finished their regular season on a high note Wednesday afternoon. In their last home game of the season, the Sea Gulls defeated the Wesley College Wolverines 5-1.
Salisbury (5-7-4, 4-4-1 Capital Athletic Conference) came into the game playing very up-tempo resulting in three first-half goals, two of which were scored by sophomore forward Jenna Taylor in the first 20 minutes of play. Taylor’s aggressive play provided a spark for her team offensively that matched the energy that the team displayed on the field.
“We had a really competitive practice yesterday so I think I had that mindset that I just wanted to win no matter what,” Taylor explained after her two goal performance.
“This being our last home game, I just wanted to win. Obviously, the more goals the better, and I think that puts us at a higher rank [for the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) tournament]. Coming off this win, I think our confidence will build going into the playoffs,” Taylor continued.
Just before halftime, senior defender Lindsey Andonian scored her second goal of the season off of a tight pass through the box by senior midfielder Lauren Minghenelli. The three first-half goals were a season-high for the Sea Gulls, and they continued with similar success at the beginning of the second half.
“The last two days we were looking to be a bit more aggressive with our training in creating the methodology of how we want to score, and today we were able to execute that,” SU head coach Kwame Lloyd said. “I like the versatility of our players, because even some players that were in different roles in training the last few days executed flawlessly at times.”
The second half was not as fast paced as the first, but that still did not stop the Sea Gulls from scoring. Minghenelli scored her first goal of the season at the 56-minute mark of the game on a powerful and precise shot from about 30 yards out, perfectly hitting the upper 90 of the goal.
“I think everyone came in with the right mindset today that we needed to score goals, and we need that going into playoffs,” Minghenelli said.
“Coach [Kwame Lloyd] told me that my shot was coming and that he’s seen me shoot from far out before so it’s going to come, and I kind of just had that mentality that I wanted to get one and it just came. This win is huge for us, and now that we have it under our belt hopefully we can go into playoffs and take care of business,” Minghenelli continued.
Junior forward Ellen Anderson was in on the action scoring her second goal of the season 77 minutes in after volleying it off of a bounce from a pass sent through the box by freshman forward Megan Brady.
It was a season-high for goals in a single game by the Salisbury University women’s soccer team, and this win could be the confidence booster they need offensively going into the CAC Tournament this weekend.
“You always want to end your season on a positive note going into playoffs, so the ability to score goals in the fashion we did gives us confidence,” Lloyd said. “We don’t know who we are going to play yet, but we are confident that whoever it might be, we’ll have a good chance against them.”
After results came in Wednesday night from across the conference, the Sea Gulls discovered that they will be traveling to St. Mary’s College of Maryland for their first round CAC Tournament match-up on Saturday, Oct. 29. St. Mary’s (9-6-1, 6-2-1 CAC) finished the regular season in a tie for third place in the conference with Mary Washington, but the Seahawks were awarded the third seed after tiebreakers.
The Sea Gulls claimed the sixth seed in the tournament after their win alongside a loss by seventh place Penn State Harrisburg Tuesday night. Salisbury fell to St. Mary’s 2-0 in their match earlier this season which was played at the SU Soccer Complex.