SALISBURY, Md. – Backed by stellar goaltending from freshman Andie Stallman, the No. 4 Jumbo field hockey team defeated No. 6 Salisbury University in penalty strokes, advancing to the NCAA Tournament Final Four with the 1-0 win Sunday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium.
|Shaughnessy scored two of the team's three penalty stroke goals|
The Jumbos (18-2) have now made it to their fifth final four and will face Johns Hopkins next Saturday. The game will be played in Manheim Pennsylvania, while the game time is to be determined. Middlebury and Rowan are the other two teams in the semi-finals. Salisbury was eliminated from the tournament with the loss, finishing the season with a 17-3 record.
In a battle of two top defenses, early on the Jumbos maintained possession and made it difficult for Salisbury to advance the ball upfield. Off a Jumbo penalty corner in the eighth minute, junior Rachel Hamilton ripped a shot wide left that almost found the corner of the net, just narrowly slipping by. Jenna Partilla for the Sea Gulls then had a free run at goal that was extinguished by senior co-captain Fallon Shaughnessy and senior Issy Del Priore.
Goalkeeper Dom Farrace made her presence known throughout the half for Salisbury, as she denied shots from Jumbo senior co-captain Gigi Tutoni, freshman Sophie Schoeni and freshman Gillian Roeca. Winding down the half, momentum favored the Jumbos, as penalty corners started to accumulate. However, Salisbury was able to defensively stop each opportunity. Nearing the end of the frame, the Sea Gulls received their first penalty corner of the game and almost capitalized on it. Arielle Johnston had two good looks at the top of the circle, but had both shots blocked by a tenacious Jumbos' defense.
As the second half started, with the score still being knotted at 0-0, each team controlled the ball well while Salisbury was more cautious in their own end. Only a few minutes in, a collapse in the Sea Gulls defense almost allowed Tutoni to give the Jumbos the lead. Farrace continued to stand tall though, robbing Tutoni from point-blank range.
Later in the half, things started to cool down as each team had a hard time creating any separation. Tara Daddio and Partilla almost broke through the Jumbos' backline towards the end of regulation with a two-on-one opportunity. Daddio dished a pass to an open Partilla to her left right in front of Stallman, but the ball skipped over her stick.
Due to the game's aggressive nature, each team had green and yellow cards assessed to a number of different players. As the half was closing, the Jumbos were hit with two yellow cards which would carry into overtime. With the Jumbos down two players, Salisbury upped the tempo and possessed the ball well on the Jumbos' side. However, each opportunity came up short as the teams prepared to head into overtime.
With two fewer players on the field, creating a seven-on-five situation, the Jumbos looked to control the ball until their players got back into the action. Junior Marguerite Salamone killed a good portion of the clock to start which allowed the Jumbos to push towards even strength. Nearing the end of the first overtime, Salisbury had a string of four straight penalty corners. The Jumbos refused to cave in, while Stallman made a huge leg save against Jillian Hughes as the ball continued to move along the crease.
Heading into the next overtime period, each team again controlled the ball well and didn't want to make a costly mistake. Shots were hard to come by, while defensively it was hard for each offense to work in the space provided.
When the game wasn't decided in overtime, it went to penalty strokes. Shaughnessy shot first and got the Jumbos on the board. Johnston followed and evened up the scoring. The Jumbos missed their next three strokes and found themselves in a 2-1 hole after Emily Lemanski scored for the hosts. In the fifth round Tutoni scored to keep the Jumbos' hopes alive. Needing a save, Stallman again came up big and sent the strokes to a sixth round. Shaughnessy, who scored the first goal, scored again and put the pressure on Salisbury. Johnston was then denied by Stallman and the Jumbos were able to win the nail-biting elimination game.
The Jumbos had eight penalty corners while Salisbury finished with seven. Tufts produced 15 shots compared to the Sea Gulls' seven. Farrace finished the game with eight saves while Stallman had three.
Written by Athletic Communications Intern Ryan Servant