Salisbury is defiant, not depressed
Saturday’s 10-6 loss to Stevenson cost Salisbury its No. 1 ranking and a shot at its 16th consecutive Capital Athletic Conference Tournament championship.
But if you’re expecting the Sea Gulls players and coaches to be depressed, think again.
"We’ve lost one game now and we’ve played 18 games," a defiant Jim Berkman said. "We’ve played the best schedule in the country. Of the top four teams in the country, do any of the other three have three wins against the top four? No. I mean, we need to get a little credit in some of the articles that are being written here. We just didn’t go off the map here. We’ve lost one game and we’ve beaten three of the top four teams in the country over the course of the season here. Nobody else can say that. … You play that tough of a schedule, you might drop a game, and when you drop a game, it’s not the end of the world. I’d be sitting here and a lot more worried if we got outshot 40-20, which they do against a lot of teams and if we got crushed in face-offs, 25-5, which they’ve done to teams all year long. Then I’d be concerned. But we actually won the face-offs, 11-of-19. It was tied in shots [40-40]. We won groundballs [38-33]. We did all the things we had to do except we didn’t shoot worth a lick."
Shot efficiency was an issue for Salisbury. The first midfield of senior Mike Von Kamecke, junior Shawn Zordani and sophomore Sam Bradman combined for one goal on 18 shots and 10 turnovers. Add senior attackmen Jake DeLillo and Mike Winter, and those players went 3-for-31 with 13 turnovers.
"I don’t think we shot the ball very well," Berkman said. "We had a lot of shots that were a step too far, and we missed a couple balls in the fourth quarter when we were right on the doorstep. It wasn’t characteristic of us offensively to be making some of the plays that we made. Their goalie [senior Geoff Hebert] came up big. He had a couple of nice saves in the fourth quarter that were pretty big. He had two on Von Kamecke where he was about eight yards and had his hands free, and he saved both of them. So he played a great game, but if your top five scorers shoot 3-for-31, I don’t know that you’re going to beat anybody. It’s one thing if you’re getting outshot by 15 shots, and it’s another thing if you’re getting crushed at the face-offs, but the difference in the game was our shooting."
The Sea Gulls won’t play until May 8 in the War of the Shore series against Washington College, but that’s not as bad as it sounds. Sophomore defenseman Andrew Sellers, a Baltimore native and Archibishop Curley graduate whom Berkman called the team’s most athletic defenseman, has missed six consecutive games because of a knee injury. Senior midfielder/face-off specialist Ryan Finch, a Finksburg native and Westminster graduate, sat out three games before playing sparingly in the last two contests due to a pulled hamstring. And DeLillo has been playing on a severely sprained ankle.
"Right now, I think that’s good and bad," Berkman said of the two-week lay-off. "I think it’s good in that we have a couple guys hurt that we hope are going to be back. … We have three or four kids who were beat up pretty bad, and this rest is going to be good for them. But it’s tough not to play for a long time. But at least we’ve got one game before we play in the playoffs."