Salisbury makes move to top of the class
The latest USILA Division III poll has yet to be replaced, but Salisbury figures to be somewhere in the top two spots.
That’s because the No. 3 Sea Gulls nipped No. 1 Gettysburg, 11-10, in overtime this past Saturday. Sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman’s goal off a feed from junior midfielder Shawn Zordani with 15 seconds left in the extra period helped Salisbury improve to 10-0 and hand the Bullets their first loss of the season in 10 contests.
"I think it’s a significant win in regards to another quality win for the NCAA Tournament," coach Jim Berkman said Monday morning. "When we start to talk about power rankings and all of that other stuff for the Division III Tournament, that was a pretty significant win to making the tournament, hosting games, and all of that other kind of stuff that goes with it."
The key for the Sea Gulls was jumping out to leads of 5-0 and 6-1 before the first quarter even ended. That cushion helped the team especially as Gettysburg made a comeback and tied the score at 10 with 39 seconds left in regulation.
"We got some great opportunities in the first quarter and even in the second quarter when we didn’t capitalize on a couple," Berkman said. "We definitely got some advantageous offensive opportunities where we got some numbers that our kids capitalized on. We shot the ball pretty well in the beginning of the game. There was a little bit of chaos in the beginning of the game – which usually doesn’t happen when we play them – that allowed us to create some transition opportunities, and our kids jumped right on them."
Salisbury’s victory sets up a delicious showdown between the Sea Gulls and Capital Athletic Conference foe and No. 2 Stevenson (9-0) on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills. If Salisbury and the Mustangs can get past Mary Washington (4-5) and Hood (6-4), respectively, Saturday’s contest should feature a tilt between the top two teams in Division III.
Add the fact that Stevenson won two of last year’s three meetings – including a spot in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals – and there’s plenty of incentive for both teams.
"We don’t have to say anything about getting juiced up, and I don’t think [Mustangs] Coach [Paul] Cantabene is going to have to say anything about getting juiced up," Berkman said. "Everybody’s going to be fired up. Both teams are undefeated. It’s going to be No. 1 vs. No. 2. You can put the label on one and the other label on the other. It doesn’t matter to me. That’s what’s at stake. Both teams will be well-prepared, and both teams have some big-time players."