Mechanicsburg, Pa. – With 2:27 left to play in overtime, junior forward Chandler Solimine (Pelham, N.Y.) sent a shot high into the back of the cage off an assist from senior co-captain Kelcie Finn (Weymouth, Mass.) to send the Trinity College field hockey team onto the field in a frenzy to celebrate a 2-1 overtime victory over No. 6-ranked Salisbury in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Anderson Field on the campus of Messiah College in Mechanicsville, Pa. Trinity's victory moves them to 14-6 overall and places them in tomorrow's quarterfinal game against regional host and top-ranked Messiah, who won the day's early game 3-2 over Washington & Lee, for a 1 p.m. game.
No. 11-ranked Trinity drew the game's first corner in the 5th minute which led to what appeared to be a Bantam goal, however it was waved off, keeping the game scoreless for the time being. Salisbury came down the field on the ensuing possession and jumped ahead to a 1-0 lead on a goal by junior Emily Lemanski (Severn, Md.). Trinity goalie Lori Berger (Scottsdale, Ariz.) saved an initial Sea Gull shot, but the rebound bounced directly to Lemanski who flipped the ball into the back of the cage for the score.
The Bantams stepped up the pressure offensively, keeping the ball in Salisbury's half for a large part of the first half, but the Sea Gull back line proved tough, holding the Bantams without an official shot on goal in the first 35 minutes. With less than ten minutes to play in the opening half, Finn appeared to tie the game off another Trinity penalty corner, but the Bantams were whistled for another penalty which wiped the equalizer off the board.
Salisbury nearly took a 2-0 lead in the 33rd minute but an outstanding defensive stand by Berger and first-year Katherine Devaney (Andover, Mass.) kept the deficit at one. Salisbury rookie Rebecca Lloyd (Gambrills, Md.) fired a shot on goal that Berger batted out of the air, but the rebound fell to Nicole Lindner (Pitman, N.J.) who ripped a shot destined for the back of the cage with Berger out of position due to the initial save. That is when Devaney stepped in front of the shot and knocked it out of harm's way to keep it a 1-0 game which stood as the score at the half.
The Sea Gulls picked up a penalty corner three minutes into the second half, but Berger was there to shut the door on a shot by Lemanski from the corner after good ball movement around the arc. A Salisbury green card preceded a Bantam penalty corner but the Sea Gull defense held strong once again as a high shot by Finn was blocked to keep Trinity off the board.
With 13:40 left to play, Trinity finally found the back of the cage on a beautiful score via a penalty corner. Sophomore Nicole Quinlan (Duxbury, Mass.) inserted which led to a shot from Finn that was blocked. The blocked shot, however, fell to back to Quinlan who slipped a pass across the front of Salisbury goalie Tressie Windsor (Belmar, Md.) to first-year Kendall Brown (Greenwich, Conn.) who was camped at the back-side post. Brown took care of the rest and hit the ball into the back of the cage off a one-timer to tie the game at 1-1. After 13 minutes without a shot by either side, Salisbury senior Natalie Wilkinson (Morgantown, Pa.) picked up a turnover in the Bantam half and fired a last-second shot but Berger calmly kicked it away as regulation ended with both teams entrenched in a 1-1 deadlock.
Salisbury drew a penalty corner two minutes into overtime which led to a shot by Jenna Partilla (Gambrills, Md.), but her offer missed the cage wide-left. The Sea Gulls looked surely to have the clincher a few minutes later when Lloyd found herself one-on-one with Berger after a Trinity turnover, but Berger stepped up to force the shot early which hit the cage's piping, to keep the Bantams alive. Berger came up with another clutch save just a few seconds later on a shot by Lemanski off a Salisbury corner which preceded the same situation at the other end of the field, this time with Windsor making a pair of clutch saves.
Finn and Solimine, Trinity's top-two leading scorers, connected on the game winner with the first overtime winding down after Finn corralled a loose ball just over the midfield line. Finn raced down the field with Solimine flanking her as just one defender stood between the pair. Finn sent a hard pass through the middle to Solimine who flicked a backhanded shot high over the reach of Windsor and just under the top crossbar as Trinity's bench erupted in celebration and stormed the field to celebrate the victory.
"We knew we were going to have to play a good game against a good team like Salisbury and we stepped up when it mattered," said Trinity Head Coach Anne Parmenter. "When I first saw the trajectory of Chandler's shot I didn't know where it was headed but our bench's reaction showed you the result. This game is just another example of the resiliency our team has shown all season."