SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 7 Salisbury University women's lacrosse team advanced to the national semifinals with a thrilling 8-7 victory over No. 12 Amherst College on Sunday afternoon, as Emma Skoglund scored the game-winner with just four seconds remaining in regulation.
The quarterfinal game was scoreless for the first five minutes, with the Mammoths holding much of the possession, but the Salisbury (19-3) defense held strong with the anchor of Skye Graham in net, recording two of her six first half saves in the first two minutes of play.
Amherst (14-6) broke through with a man-down goal before scoring two more in the next two minutes to take a 3-0 lead just under eight minutes into the game.
Julie Talbert finally broke the scoreless drought for the Sea Gulls, converting on a free-position opportunity at the 17:33 mark of the first half. Courtney Fegan then scored on a free-position shot of her own before Taylor Poore evened the score with a blast from the top of the arc on a feed from Gianna Demato.
The Mammoths got two goals from Isabelle Sennett before halftime to take a 5-3 lead into the break, however.
Demato and Poore then switched roles, as Demato finished off a pass from Poore to open the second half scoring. Alexis Strobel tied the game once again with an unassisted goal just under nine minutes into the second frame.
Amherst took the lead back several minutes later, but Poore took matters into her own hands, scoring on two free-position shots to give Salisbury its first lead of the game. Poore's first free-position goal came on a man-down opportunity, while her second gave the Sea Gulls the lead with 4:05 to play. She finished the day with three goals, one assist, five caused turnovers, and two groundballs.
The Mammoths found the equalizer with 3:18 remaining, however, setting up for a dramatic finish.
After an Amherst turnover with under two minutes to play, the Sea Gulls had a successful clear before calling a timeout. Skoglund then beat her defender and found the opposite side of the net for the game-winner with four seconds remaining.
Salisbury will travel to Ashland, Virginia for championship weekend, where it will face No. 4 Tufts University on Saturday, May 25. The Sea Gulls and Jumbos will begin play at 2:30 p.m. at Randolph-Macon College.