UPDATED: Salisbury, Stevenson to be fully loaded for Saturday's showdown
When No. 2 Salisbury and No. 3 Stevenson meet on Saturday in a critical Capital Athletic Conference at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury, both teams are expected to have their full complement of players.
The Mustangs (13-1 overall and 6-0 in the CAC) is anticipating the return of fifth-year senior attackman Richie Ford, who has been shelved since pulling his hamstring in the second quarter of the team’s 14-13 loss to No. 1 Tufts on March 23.
“We hope he’s going to be ready,” coach Paul Cantabene said Tuesday. “We’re preparing like he is.”
Ford, who led Stevenson in goals last season with 57, had posted 16 goals and seven assists in seven games before his injury. He has been replaced in starting lineup by sophomore Tyler Reid, who has recorded 10 goals and five assists in those five games.
Cantabene said if Ford isn’t available for Saturday, the fourth-most prolific offense in Division III should roll along.
“It doesn’t do anything to our offense,” Cantabene said of Ford’s absence. “When Richie couldn’t play earlier in the season [due to a delay over his eligibility], we’re attacking the same way. I think we just do what we do – a lot of motion offense, a lot of different formations. I think that causes a lot of confusion for defenses. So it doesn’t really change the way we’ve attacked all season. It just means that we’ll have different personnel in the game, guys that can do different things.”
In a similar vein, the Sea Gulls will welcome back junior Sam Bradman, the reigning National Midfielder of the Year who has sat out the last three contests due to an unspecified injury. Bradman, who ranks second on the team in goals (30) and third in points (40), is expected to suit up against Marymount on Tuesday night, according to coach Jim Berkman.
“He had an injury, but he’s back,” Berkman said. “… He should be fine. He’s going full-go tonight.”
UPDATE: I neglected to include Salisbury's record, which is 14-0 overall and 7-0 in the CAC. Thanks to reader Mike Greenhill for pointing out the omission.