WASHINGTON - For their third shutout win in three consecutive contests, the No. 20 Catholic University Cardinals defeated No. 3 Salisbury 1-0 at Cardinal Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
"It's a nice feeling to get that win because Salisbury is such a strong program – year in and year out," said head coach Gia Cillizza. "It's always an intense game and it's good for our confidence and the program to get that win. Our game plan was to use our passing game, stay composed and execute corners."
The first half of play CUA and Salisbury went shot-for-shot, with the Cards outshooting the Gulls at a mere 6-to-5. Despite Salisbury taking the penalty corner advantage at 6-3, the mighty black and red defense maintained a strong presence, which Salisbury could not overpower.
Both teams entered the halftime intermission scoreless.
"At the half, we talked about breaking out and being options for each other on attack and making sure we made second, third and fourth efforts to finish each play," said Cillizza.
"Kimmy (Hermann) has had a really great start to the season and she's part of a strong, balanced attack. She worked very hard this summer to be at a high fitness level and she is making the most of her opportunities. She's also incredibly unselfish and passes well," said Cillizza.
With CUA leading 1-to-0, Salisbury pushed that much harder to score, attempting six shots and taking seven penalty corners. The Sea Gulls sent the 94 fans in attendance on their heels in the last five minutes of action, as Salisbury went for four consecutive corners and came within a few feet of the goal on each attempts.
"The last five minutes were definitely nerve-wracking. They could have scored at any time. I think we just played smart, composed hockey to come out with the win," said Cillizza.
The Cards remain at home for the next two contests, hosting Misericordia on Saturday, Sept. 21 and Mary Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
For more information on CUA Field Hockey, visit the official athletics website at www.cuacardinals.com.