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Tigers shutout Seahawks, even CAA record

By: Bryan Encarnacao

Emily Marshall constantly created opportunities for Towson and led them to the lone goal of the game for the win.

Emily Marshall constantly created opportunities for Towson and led them to the lone goal of the game for the win.

Another demon has been slayed.

Already this year the Towson women’s soccer team has earned their first-ever victory in Williamsburg, Va. Over William & Mary and then snapped a long dry spell against Delaware to earn their first win over the Blue Hens in seven years. On Friday afternoon, the Tigers earned their first victory over UNC Wilmington since 1994, snapping an overall five-year drought in the series with a 1-0 victory.

“We are proud of the heart and desire we played with today,” senior midfielder Emily Marshall said. “We definitely deserved the three points as we look forward to finishing the last three games of the season with everything we got.”

Marshall was Towson’s engine throughout the game as she continued a nonstop press up top while also being the catalyst for quick counter attacks with her efficient passing ability.

The Tigers scored in the 24th minute with a quick chance to take the lead with the game’s only goal. Marshall took a quick free kick and pushed the ball forward to Justine Stoner with the Seahawk defense still trying to get back. Stone superbly crossed the ball into the box to Marissa Green at the far post for the easy tap in.

That goal came not long after Towson was unable to capitalize on another great opportunity. With the Seahawks goalkeeper out of position, Green launched a long shot from 20 yards out. It was inches was being over the line but UNC Wilm ington goalkeeper Liisa Rahkola was able to make the stop before it fully crossed the line.

UNC Wilmington was pressuring Towson early and often in the game. Within the first 10 minutes the Seahawks had three plausible chances at goal as they continued to press high up the field. They nearly scored the first goal of the game in the 19th minute, but Serenity Waters rattled the cross bar with a long-ranged shot from outside the 18-yard box.

After Towson’s goal UNC Wilmington put even more pressure on, bringing the ball up with even more urgency. Seahawks forward Callie McClain continued to cause problems at the right wins as she continually pushed the ball up the field and created several chances. A close chance created from a cross was narrowly missed by the Seahawks as Baley Edwards just missed connecting on the header to tie the game.

With the lead, Towson settled down more in the second half and were able to keep the game more in the middle of the pitch. They played with a bit more grip on their possessions and moved the ball around more comfortably. They played with an extra body back there with Natalia Pinkney as the lone Tiger forward. And she still continued to cause problems as her electric pace kept the Seahawks defense on their toes and alert.

UNC Wilmington continued to press higher up the pitch, however, desperately throwing more bodies forward while searching for an equalizer. They almost found it too when Waters yet again sent a long shot towards the goal, but yet again, it hit the cross bar.

Tiger goalkeeper Taylor Sebolao continued to impress, though, as she remained calm in the pressure by the Seahawks and earned the shutout. She made only three saves in the game, but showcased great aerial presence being commanding in the air and snatching every cross the Seahawks kicker in front of her.

UNC Wilmington threatened with a couple of late corners, but to no avail as the Tigers fought and earned their fifth shutout of the year, evening their league record at 3-3.

The Tigers will conclude their home schedule on Sunday against College of Charleston at 1 pm. Before the game there will be a senior ceremony to honor the team’s six seniors playing in their final home games. After that they will conclude their season with road games as Northeastern and Hofstra as they continue to position themselves to a spot in the CAA playoffs.

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Bryan Encarnacao

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