SALEM, Va. – The fourth-ranked Salisbury University women's lacrosse team capped off a perfect season in the 2021 NCAA Division III National Championship game with a thrilling 14-13 victory over the third-ranked Tufts Jumbos to earn the program's fourth national title.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Salisbury got the game going with four unanswered goals to take the 4-0 advantage in the 12 minutes of the title game. During the run, Erin Scannell, Julie Talbert and Riley Hartman each netted unassisted goals. Alexis Strobel put away a free position to help the Sea Gulls take the early lead.
- Tufts cut the deficit to 4-3 in the middle of the first half with back-to-back goals by Colette Smith and an unassisted tally from Claire Wright.
- The Sea Gulls got a goal back at the nine-minute mark when Camryn Pepper fed a cutting Talbert inside the arc to push the lead to 5-3.
- Back-to-back goals less than two minutes apart by Tufts nodded the game at five with three minutes to go in the first half.
- A wrap-around man-up goal by Pepper gave Salisbury the lead, 6-5, with 39 seconds left in the half but Tufts was able to tie the game right before the half with a goal by Emily Games.
- The second half started with a three-goal run by Salisbury. Pepper put away her second goal of the game off an assist by Lydia McNulty in the first 40 seconds of the half. Later in the run, Delaney Hull put away a man-up free position then Lauren Valenti found the back of the net off an assist by Anna Robinson at the 22:30 mark.
- Games and Catherine Lawliss scored a minute apart to slash the Salisbury lead to 9-8.
- Salisbury responded Tufts's two-goal run with a two-goal run of its own with goals 15 seconds apart by Hartman and McNulty to stretch the lead to 11-8, 10 minutes into the second half.
- Lawliss kept Tufts in the game with two goals with a Valenti goal in between to cut the Salisbury lead back to 12-10 halfway through the second.
- The maroon and gold extended the lead by four, 14-10, behind two unassisted goals by Robinson and Hill with six minutes left in regulation.
- Tufts would not go quietly into the Virginia night with a three-goal run in the two-minute stretch to cut the SU lead down to 14-13.
- The Jumbos looked to tie the game with a minute left in the game but Mary Claire Hisle stepped out of the crease and intercepted a through pass by Kirsten Grazewski. The Sea Gulls then survived the full-field press by the Jumbos to clinch the national title.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Salisbury sealed the fourth national title (2010, 2013-14) and second undefeated season in program history (2013).
- Julie Talbert was named the Most Outstanding Player of the national tournament. She tallied two goals and caused a pair of turnovers.
- Lydia McNulty, Alexis Strobel and Riley Hartman were named to the All-Tournament team. Hartman netted two goals while Strobel and McNulty each recorded a goal and an assist.
- Delaney Hill and Lauren Valenti also netted two goals in the victory.
- Erin Scannell reeled in a team-best three draw controls.
- Mary Claire Hisle stopped four shots and scooped up three ground balls to earn the victory and cap off a perfect record in net.
TUFTS GAME NOTES
- Catherine Lawliss led the Jumbos with a game-high four goals and two assists.
- Emily Games notched a hat trick.
- Anna Clarke won eight draw controls.
- Tufts was competing in its first NCAA Championship game.