NCAA Quarterfinal: Tufts 1, Salisbury 0 (Penalty Shootout)

NCAA Quarterfinal: Tufts 1, Salisbury 0 (Penalty Shootout)

Courtesy of Tufts Sports Information

SALISBURY, Md. – Backed behind stellar goaltending from first-year Andie Stallman, the Tufts field hockey team defeated Salisbury University in a penalty shootout to advance to the NCAA Tournament Final Four on Sunday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium.

With the win, the Jumbos advance to their fifth final four and will face Johns Hopkins. The game will be played next weekend in Manheim, Pennsylvania at a time to be determined. Salisbury finished the season with a 17-2-1 record.

The Jumbos had an early scoring opportunity off a penalty corner in the 8th minute. Junior Rachel Hamilton ripped a shot wide left that almost found the corner of the net. Salisbury's Jenna Partilla had a free run at goal that was smothered 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 senior co-captain Gigi Tutoni, and first-years Sophie Schoeni and Gillian Roeca. Winding down the half, momentum favored the Jumbos, as the 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 were 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 its own end. Only a few minutes in, a collapse in the Sea Gulls defense nearly allowed Tutoni to give the Jumbos the lead. Farrace continued to stand tall, robbing Tutoni from point-blank range.

Tara Daddio and Partilla almost broke through the Jumbos' backline towards the end of the regulation with a two-on-one opportunity. Daddio dished a past to an open Partilla to her left right in front of Stallman, but the ball skipped over her stick.

As the half was closing, the Jumbos received two yellow cards that carried into overtime. 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.

In overtime, junior Marguerite Salamone killed a good portion of the clock, 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.

Shots were hard to come by in the second overtime period as each team found it challenging to work in the open space provided.

After two overtime periods, the game remained scoreless and would be decided by a penalty shootout. Shaughnessy shot first and got the Jumbos on the board. Johnston followed up and evened up the scoring. The Jumbos missed their next three strokes and found themselves in a hole. 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 denied by Stallman immediately after, as the Jumbos were able to win the nail-biting elimination game.

Farrace finished the game with eight saves while Stallman had three. Tufts held a slight 8-7 advantage in penalty corners and outshot the Gulls, 15-7 in the game.