Facing Trinity for the third straight time in the NCAA Division III final, the Salisbury women's lacrosse team won its second consecutive national title and third in five seasons with a 9-6 victory in Gettysburg, Pa.
The Sea Gulls' defense led the way, holding the Bantams (19-3) scoreless in the first half and to just six shots before intermission.
Sophomore attacker Megan Wallenhorst (Centennial) opened the scoring after catching a pass from senior attacker Shannon Carta (South River) and firing it past goalkeeper Emily Mooney. Carta found junior attacker Shelby Nemecek (Liberty) for a 2-0 lead, and junior attacker Kate Haker (Westminster) wrapped up the half with three consecutive goals for a 5-0 Sea Gulls (23-1) advantage.
"I think we played a great first half and the defense was spectacular," coach Jim Nestor said. "We really played well."
Trinity rallied somewhat to start the second half, scoring twice in the opening minutes, but Haker and Nemecek halted any Bantams comeback by sparking a four-goal run.
Goalkeeper Ashton Wheatley finished with four saves and tied game highs in caused turnovers and ground balls with two apiece. The senior captain ends her career as one of the most decorated women's lacrosse players in program history, finishing her career with 66 wins and 412 saves.
Senior defender Meghan Toomey (St. Mary's), sophomore defender Allison Toomey (St. Mary's), junior midfielder Bethany Baer (Westminster) and Wheatley were named to the all-tournament team.
Baer, who finished with 14 goals, three assists, 21 draw controls, 13 ground balls and five caused turnovers in the past five games, was honored as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Saints sophomore attackman Vinny Ricci was named Most Outstanding Player with four goals and an assist. Senior attackman Todd Nakasuji had a pair of goals, an assist and three ground balls. Senior midfielder Joshua Williams (St. Mary's) added a pair of scores, and sophomore attackman Kyle Rhatigan finished with a goal and two assists.
The title is Limestone's third in program history. The Saints (19-1) also won the 2000 and 2002 national championships.