CUA falls to top-ranked Salisbury 13-6 in regional final

CUA falls to top-ranked Salisbury 13-6 in regional final

SALISBURY, Md. – CUA hung tough with undefeated Salisbury on Sunday afternoon, but in the end the No. 1 Sea Gulls outlasted the Cardinals 13-6 in the regional final of the NCAA Tournament.  After CUA tied the game at three late in the first half, Salisbury scored seven straight to open up a 10-3 lead midway through the second.

Both teams took 24 shots on the day, while Salisbury won the ground ball battle 11-7.  CUA won 11 of the game's 21 draw controls and went 9 of 11 in clear attempts.

Mary Swarthout won a game-high six draw controls for CUA, and Tricia Pehnke stopped four shots in goal in 48 minutes of action.

Swarthout's 66th goal of the year put CUA in front 1-0 2:31 into the game, before Kara Koolage, Katie Bollhorst and Amanda Holsclaw scored three straight to put the Sea Gulls on top by two.

Katie Miller and Swarthout then netted back-to-back scores for CUA, which tied the score at three with 6:33 to play in the half.

Salisbury received goals from Lauren Feusahrens and Bollhorst to close out the half though, giving the Sea Gulls a two-goal advantage at the break.

The Sea Gulls continued their run in the second, netting the first five goals to open up a 10-3 lead with 13:30 on the clock.

Swarthout scored CUA's first goal of the half on a free position shot at the 13:06 mark, and after Caroline DiBartolomeo scored less than two minutes later, the Cardinals were within five.

Swarthout then cut it to a four-goal game with 7:26 to play, but the Sea Gulls kept CUA off the board and scored three more times down the stretch to seal the win.

Bollhorst led Salisbury with four goals, with Feusahrens and Allie Wheatley adding three scores apiece.

Ashton Wheatley sent back eight shots in goal for the Sea Gulls and also picked up three ground balls.

CUA wraps up its season with a record of 16-6, marking the fourth time in the last five seasons the Cardinals have won at least 15 games.

Salisbury improves to 21-0 and will compete in the Final Four next weekend in Montclair, New Jersey.