No. 5 Trinity Edges No. 1 Salisbury to Win Division III Crown

"This team is focused," said Trinity Head Coach Kate Livesay (6th Season). "We have been down during the year but our goal is to play well and we know that when we don't play well we could find ourselves behind in games. It is this team's desire to win that gets us out of those situations."

Trinity doubled Salisbury's ground ball total, 14-to-7, and held an 18-to-14 edge on shots, while Salisbury led on draw controls, 11-to-6, but committed 16 turnovers and came up empty on two free positions. Hildebrand had a hat trick, while Bruno totaled one goal, one assist, and a game-high five ground balls, and junior midfielder Megan Leonhard (Summit, N.J.) won four draw controls.

Beckler caused three turnovers, and Whitney finished with five saves. Baer scored three times for Salisbury, while senior midfielder Allie Wheatley (Cambridge, Mass.) totaled four draw controls, and Ashton Wheatley stopped four shots. The Bantam women's lacrosse squad, appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time and the third year in a row, gave Trinity its second NCAA title as an institution.

"We played well because we enjoyed this weekend from start to finish," added Livesay. "We have fun being together and playing well together as a team."

* * * *

MONTCLAIR, N.J. No. 1 Salisbury, trying to cap off an undefeated run, fell short of that goal with an 8-7 loss against Trinity (Conn.) Sunday afternoon. The Sea Gulls were trying to become the first team in the program's 40-year history to finish off the season undefeated and bring a second national championship back to the Eastern Shore.

Salisbury (22-1) got off to the slowest start of any game this season, not getting on the scoreboard until the second half. The first half was the only period this season where the Sea Gulls did not get on the board. The Sea Gulls battled back to take the lead but Trinity pulled out the win for the program's first national title.

"We struggled in the first half but the team came back," Head Coach Jim Nestor said. "Trinity is a tough team but I'm proud of the way we battled back."

Trinity (21-1) used a strategy that the Sea Gulls have seen in the past few games, where the Salisbury opponent attempts to control the time of possession, not allowing the Sea Gull attack to get in rhythm.

"Things didn't open up on the offensive end for us in the first half and when they did, Trinity closed things up quickly," Nestor said.

Kaitlin Hildebrand gave the Bantams the lead with an unassisted goal 12 minutes into the contest. Before that tally, Trinity kept the ball in their offensive third, content to pass the ball around and be patient. An opportunity opened up for Hildebrand to score when sophomore goalkeeper Ashton Wheatley came out of the cage trying to intercept a pass and the goal was left unattended. Hildebrand capitalized on that chance to give Trinity a 1-0 lead.

Trinity was able to score 7:13 later on a free position shot that Wheatley seemed to stop before the ball squirted over the goal line. After goals with 7:12 and 4:55 remaining in the first half, Salisbury found itself facing its biggest deficit of the year, down 4-0.

Junior Kara Koolage nearly got the Sea Gulls on the board with 4:19 left in the first half but her shot hit the post and bounced away. That was the first true scoring chance that the Sea Gulls had all half and went into the break down four. This was only the second time all season that Salisbury trailed at halftime.

The championship game was a contest of scoring runs and Salisbury started its major run at the outset of the second half. Senior Alyssa Fowler got the Sea Gulls on the board 48 seconds after halftime on an unassisted goal. Freshman Bethany Baer netted Salisbury's second goal with 22:06 left in the contest, the first of her team-high three goals in the contest. Less than a minute later, junior Lauren Feusahrens netted her first goal of the game to bring the Trinity lead to one goal. Two minutes later, Feusahrens netted her second goal to tie it at 4-4.

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