SALISBURY, Md. -- The Meredith College lacrosse Angels concluded the 2018 season Sunday with a 19-11 loss to second-ranked Salisbury in NCAA Division III tournament action. Holly Hite led the Avenging Angels with six goals, 11 draw controls in the loss.
Meredith held their own with the nationally ranked Gulls through the midpoint of the first period, trailing by just one at 14:17. But Salisbury turned up the pressure and scored seven unanswered goals to close out the half with an eight-point advantage. Led by Carlee Joseph's lone goal, the Angels jumped out of the gate scoring the first three points in the second period.
SU goalie Gianna Falcone stopped Meredith's next four attempts giving her team a chance to spread the gap back to eight, and Meredith's final two goals would not stretch far enough to keep the Angels in the fight.
Salisbury kicked off the scoring with a quick goal by Krissy Murphy, but Holly Hite outran the Sea Gulls to collect the resulting draw. The Avenging Angels burned most of the shot clock ending with an unassisted score by Hite to tie the match.
Another quick play from SU followed by a second goal from Gabrielle Mongno return the lead back to Salisbury.
The Angels defense forced a Salisbury turnover and made their way through the clear to Hite. Hite found a gap among the white jerseys and put the ball in the net to leave Meredith trailing by one at 22:56. Hite battled for the next draw and found her way to the net, but Falcone interfered with the attempt. SU's Dana King finished off the next series to extend the Sea Gulls lead back to two.
Another scoreless effort left the Avenging Angels vulnerable again, but Joy Deitrich stopped the next shot on goal. Meredith missed a give-and-go opportunity on the other end to force the defense back into action with 19:13 on the clock in the first period, and the Sea Gulls midfield found the cage for a 5-2 lead.
Hite out-stretched her opponent to produce the next draw but hit the pipe on her attempt at the net. The Gulls came up with the loose ball. Emma Skoglund recovered her first shot that ricocheted off the post and circled around to find the goal from the opposite side for a 6-2 SU lead with just under 17 on the clock.
Julie Capretti scored Meredith's third goal on an eight-meter attempt, her 17th on the season, and Hite followed with another free position score to pull the Avenging Angels back to within two at 15:10. Meredith continued to attack, as Capretti found her way past Falcone for the Angels' fifth goal to trail by just one. A Salisbury foul on the draw returned the ball to the Avenging Angels, but a turnover gave the ball back to SU.
The Sea Gulls scored the next three goals before Deitrich was able to stop the attack. But an unsuccessful clear attempt returned possession to SU. A false start on a free position attempt gave the Angels another opportunity, but the tenacious Salisbury defense thwarted the effort. The host closed out the half with four more goals to hold a 13-5 advantage heading into the final 30 minutes of play.
In the next series a near Angels turnover behind the cage left Cruz open for a goal to pull Meredith back to within six at 25:13. At 23:40 Hite ran right through the SU defense to earn a free position attempt, and scored her fourth goal of the match from the line.
After three unanswered Meredith goals, SU's Murphy finally converted with a shot into the far, high corner for a 14-8 advantage. The Avenging Angels missed back-to-back opportunities from the eight-meter line, but Whitfield interfered with Salisbury's attack on the opposite end.
Joseph maneuvered around the defense to earn a free chance from the line, but Falcone picked up her sixth save on the attempt.
Meredith continued to battle and found their way to the net twice more, but Salisbury continued to press for the win.
Just four Avenging Angels scored in today's pairing with three credited to Capretti, including two free position attempts, and one to Cruz. Cruz added one assist and one ground ball. Sarah Arbes recorded six draw controls, one ground ball, with Cameron Ruffin and Hite crediting the only two caused turnovers to the MC Lax defense.
Deitrich earned the loss with six saves in her seventh start in goal for the Avenging Angels. Whitfield entered from the bench late in the first period and stopped 10 Salisbury attempts to hold back the SU Gulls down the stretch. Falcone finished with eight saves in her 17th season win, and Sky Graham stopped two to close out the match.
The Sea Gulls advance to next weekend's Regionals play and will host Denison University.