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June 29, 2011

Review & preview: Salisbury

Here is the seventh and final installment of a series that checks in with the seven Division III programs in the state to evaluate the past and offer a glimpse into the future. Friday, we take a visit with Salisbury.

REVIEW

The good: For much of the 2011 campaign, the Sea Gulls (21-1 overall and 7-1 in the Capital Athletic Conference) had done a pretty good job of refraining from talking about last year’s 9-6 loss to Tufts in the NCAA tournament final. But after beating Roanoke in the semifinals and guaranteeing a rematch with the Jumbos, the players openly relished another shot at Tufts and exacted a measure of revenge with a 19-7 thrashing. “The year before, I think in everybody’s minds and the players especially, we didn’t give our best effort that day,” coach Jim Berkman said. “We didn’t mentally or physically play up to our capabilities. It’s one thing to get beat when you don’t play well, and obviously, Tufts did some things to not allow us to play well on that day, but the performance that we exhibited there in 2010 was nothing remotely like we had played down the stretch. Scoring six goals which is kind of unheard of from us, but again, credit has to be given to Tufts. By the same token, we had some kids that hadn’t been there before, and when the lights were on, they didn’t play very well. In 2011, some of those same guys played unbelievable because it was their second time there and they were a little more comfortable.” … Several players had career years, including sophomore Ryan Clarke, who joined junior Sam Bradman and senior Shawn Zordani on the first midfield. Clarke registered 10 goals and 12 assists and meshed well with Bradman (55, 23) and Zordani (31, 29), who got more touches than Clarke. “To see Ryan Clarke go from the second midfield to the first midfield down the stretch and get big goals, he just really, really blossomed,” Berkman said. “And it’s scary to see how good he could really become if he works on his shooting.” … After graduating faceoff specialist Ryan Finch (211-of-349 for .605 and 146 ground balls), Salisbury didn’t miss a beat with the insertion of Tyler Granelli. The sophomore went 220-of-337 for .653 and collected 110 ground balls despite not playing much in 2009 as a freshman at Cortland and sitting out 2010 after undergoing knee surgery in the preseason. “After each game, he just got better and better,” Berkman said. “… For him to play that well and continue to improve during the course of the season and really grab that role, I had no idea how good he was going to be. EspeciaIly with him coming off of knee surgery the year before, and he virtually had no college experience because he really didn’t play at Cortland.”

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May 30, 2011

Postscript from Salisbury vs. Tufts

Salisbury’s reputation as an offensive-minded team was re-emphasized Sunday night when the offense exploded for 19 goals in a 12-goal rout of Tufts in the NCAA Division III tournament final. The output was the third most by a team in the title game.

But the Sea Gulls, ranked No. 1 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, deserve credit for a defensive strategy that held the No. 5 Jumbos to their third-worst production of the season.

In fact, Salisbury (21-1) has been a top-5 defense all season, and that’s not a coincidence, according to senior defenseman Nick Mooney.

“All year, we were just really focused on defense,” he said. “Pressuring hard, coming out hard, coming out from the beginning and stopping everyone. We wanted to be a dominant defense. All year, we wanted to be the best defense in the nation, and we are. Hands down, we’re the best defense in the nation. We wanted to be physical, and we wanted to basically scare the opponent. We wanted to scare them off the field. That was our goal.”

The Sea Gulls were especially suffocating in the postseason. Their four opponents in the tournament – Endicott, Dickinson, Roanoke and Tufts – combined for an average of 13.9 goals prior to meeting Salisbury. Those four teams combined for an average of 6.5 goals against the Sea Gulls.

“They’re just very athletic, a tough defense,” said Jumbos senior attackman D.J. Hessler, whose offense had averaged 12.9 goals prior to Sunday night. “Our guys up top weren’t really able to dodge on them. All credit goes to them.”

Salisbury junior defenseman Chad Surman admitted that the defense  gets to hone its game by practicing against the team’s potent offense on a daily basis.

“We play against the best offense in the country every day,” Surman said. “So we know that when we go against another team, we’re not facing players who are nearly as good as the ones we see at practice every day.”

Other notes:

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May 29, 2011

Salisbury vs. Tufts: Three things to watch

The heavily anticipated rematch of last year’s NCAA Division III tournament final pits Salisbury (20-1) against reigning 2010 national champion Tufts (18-2). The Sea Gulls, ranked No. 1 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, advanced to its 10th title game in 13 years and are seeking the program’s ninth crown. Since falling to Bowdoin in the regular-season finale, the No.  5 Jumbos have won six consecutive games and are 13-1 in one-goal contests over the last two seasons. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday.

1) Salisbury’s ball security. Salisbury can play fast and go on the attack with many of its peers, but the players tend to protect the ball very well during those risky situations. But the Sea Gulls committed five more turnovers than Tufts in last year’s final. Fourteen of those 25 turnovers occurred in the second half, and although the Jumbos didn’t really convert those takeaways into goals, the inability to protect the ball hampered Salisbury’s chances of making a comeback. “We turned the ball over a lot on offense last year, and that was our downfall there,” Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman recalled. “When they made their little run, they got some goals where we made mistakes defensively, but by the same token, we had several empty possessions where we didn’t even get a shot, which is uncharacteristic. We may shoot early sometimes, but we’re usually getting some shots. We got some possessions where we forced things, kids were flat-footed, we started to press a little bit where we didn’t even get shots on goal to force the goalie to make some saves. Hopefully, we’re going to take care of the ball a little bit better, which we’ve been doing. I think our first six or seven offensive players have been playing extremely well. So hopefully, we’ll take care of the ball and get some good possessions, especially early in the game.”

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May 28, 2011

Torn labrum doesn't diminsh Zordani's importance to Salisbury

Shawn Zordani is overshadowed by some of his Salisbury teammates, but only by the numbers.
Hardly anyone would confuse Zordani, a senior midfielder, with the likes of Sea Gulls senior Johnny Rodriguez, Division III’s National Goalkeeper of the Year, or junior attackman Matt Cannone and junior midfielder Sam Bradman, a pair of first-team All Americans.

But Zordani is just as important to his teammates because of his grit and determination.

In the fall, Zordani dislocated his left shoulder while getting tangled with a defender. The shoulder popped back into place, but Zordani was later diagnosed with a torn left labrum.

The severity of such an injury usually requires season-ending surgery, but Zordani declined that option.

“It popped into my mind real quick, but it didn’t take me too long to say no,” he said Wednesday. “It’s my senior season and I’m a captain. I really didn’t want to redshirt. I wanted to be there for the team and be a leader. I didn’t want to have to sit out.”

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May 26, 2011

Three area players earn national distinction

Stevenson seniors Jimmy Dailey and Evan Douglass and Salisbury senior Johnny Rodriguez headline a group of players for area Division III programs that earned All-American honors.

Dailey was named the nation’s Outstanding Player of the Year by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association on Wednesday. Dailey, a Westminster native and Winters Mill graduate, led the country in points (118) and assists (58) this season and is the Mustangs’ all-time leader in points (329) and assists (163).

Douglass was chosen as the Outstanding Defensive Player. His 59 caused turnovers are first in the nation, and he graduates as the school’s career leader in caused turnovers with 136.

Rodriguez was selected as the National Goalkeeper of the Year. His 5.97 goals-against average ranks third in the country, and he ranks fourth in school history with 475 career saves in three years at Salisbury.

Those three players made the All-American first team. They were joined by Salisbury junior attackman Matt Cannone, junior midfielder Sam Bradman and senior defenseman Collin Tokosch.

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Denver's run aided by former Salisbury attackman

Denver’s appearance in the NCAA tournament semifinals – the first in the program’s history – has been fueled by a prolific attack and a Bill Tierney-coached defense. There’s also been the contribution from sophomore Eric Law, a former Salisbury attackman.

In 16 games – 13 of which he has started as a midfielder and attackman – Law has registered 15 goals and 12 assists, ranking sixth among the Pioneers in points. Law, who posted seven goals and two assists for the Division III Sea Gulls, credited his smooth transition into the starting lineup to his first season in Salisbury.

“I have to give a lot of my success this year to the fact that I played at Salisbury and I played under [coach] Jim Berkman last year,” Law said Monday in a phone interview. “I learned so much from all those players last year, and they all helped me a great deal – not just in terms of learning the game, but also growing up into a bigger person. That definitely helped me out and it helped me become more of a leader.”

Law, a native of Centennial, Colo., said he agonized over his decision to transfer, waiting until the final day in August when tuition was due at both Denver and Salisbury before pulling the trigger on enrolling with the Pioneers.

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May 25, 2011

Tufts' postseason run moving without last year's title-winning goalie

Tufts’ second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament final has been fueled by an opportunistic offense and a 7-1 record in one-goal games.

But one ingredient in the Jumbos’ ability to defeat Salisbury for last year’s national championship is not expected to play in Sunday’s title against the Sea Gulls.

Junior goalkeeper Steven Foglietta, who keyed Tufts’ 9-6 victory a year ago, suffered an unspecified injury in the team’s 14-13 win against Stevenson on March 23 and made two more starts before being replaced by Patton Watkins.

Since then, the freshman has started in each of the last 14 contests, going 12-2 while registering a 9.00 goals-against average and a .626 save percentage.

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Salisbury's attack grabbing spotlight

For the first time in three years, an attackman leads Salisbury in scoring.

In fact, attackmen occupy three of the top four spots among the Sea Gulls, who will meet Tufts in the NCAA Division III tournament final for the second straight year.

That’s a little bit of a departure from previous seasons when the offense leaned on midfielders Kylor Berkman and Sam Bradman to pace the unit.

“The attack has definitely gotten better as the season has gone on,” coach Jim Berkman said Tuesday morning during an NCAA-organized conference call involving the two Division III coaches, four Division I coaches and two Division II coaches who will appear at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore this weekend. “[We’ve] got some attackmen that can get to the goal versus just being shooters and finishers. So I think we’re a more well-rounded offense.”

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May 23, 2011

Postscript from Roanoke at Salisbury

Many people deserve a second chance. Tony Mendes is enjoying his third chance, and that’s why the Salisbury junior attackman sounded grateful after the Sea Gulls overwhelmed Roanoke for the right to play in the NCAA Division III tournament final.

“I hadn’t played in two years, and to come here and have a real good opportunity to get to the national championship, it feels awesome,” Mendes said. “I’m glad I got the opportunity from Coach [Jim] Berkman.”

Mendes’ journey to this stage is a long, complicated road. As a freshman at Maryland in 2008, he played in 16 games, including one start and compiled five goals and two assists.

After leaving the program and enrolling at Syracuse in the fall of 2009, Mendes pulled out of school and decided to join the Sea Gulls. He was required by the NCAA to sit out the 2010 season.

Mendes’ decision was a fortuitous one for Salisbury, which has witnessed Mendes rank fourth on the team in goals (44) and points (60) this season. Junior attackman Matt Cannone is one teammate who said he is thankful that Mendes, who registered three goals and one assist on Sunday, joined the program.

“I’m the happiest person that it happened,” Cannone said. “We became best friends and being best friends out there, you look for each other. You see him on the backside, you want to get him the ball. He’s an amazing player. He can shoot it from anywhere. It’s just the greatest thing. I love it.”

Mendes said life at schools like Maryland and Syracuse isn’t vastly different from that with the Sea Gulls.

“It’s the same intensity at practice,” he said. “I have to work just as hard., I just feel that Division I, it was more of a business to me. I had a lot of fun when I was playing at Maryland, but once I came down here, I’m having a lot more fun. I’m just enjoying myself a lot more. I’ve got the best teammates in the world right here, and they have my back no matter what. So I can’t complain. I’m having the time of my life.”

Mendes said he still keeps in touch with a few of his former Terps teammates including roommate and junior midfielder Drew Snider and senior attackman Ryan Young. Mendes said he’s been watching Maryland’s progress in the Division I tournament with great interest.

“I was kind of disappointed that I didn’t get to watch,” Mendes said of the Terps’ 6-5 overtime win against top-seeded Syracuse in the NCAA quarterfinals on Sunday. “My brother told me the score. So that’s awesome. I’ll get to see all of my friends in Baltimore.”

Other notes:

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May 22, 2011

Roanoke at Salisbury: Halftime thoughts

In a weekend littered with upsets on the Division I level, Salisbury is playing the role of favorite to the hilt as the Sea Gulls have sprinted to an 11-2 advantage over visiting Roanoke at halftime of a NCAA Division III tournament semifinal at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury on Sunday.

Salisbury (19-1), ranked No. 1 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, scored the game’s first eight goals in a span of 18 minutes, 56 seconds. The Sea Gulls, who lost to Tufts in last year’s championship final, have appeared faster and confident thus far.

The contest appeared to turn on a three-minute penalty on Maroons freshman defenseman Troy Grogan with 2:38 left in the first quarter for playing with an illegal stick. Salisbury scored twice and got a third goal one second after the penalty expired in the second quarter.

So far, this game is far removed from the March 23rd meeting between these teams when the Sea Gulls escaped with a 10-7. That was the last time Roanoke lost. So barring a complete collapse by Salisbury or a monumental rally by the Maroons, their 12-game winning streak appears to be coming to an end.

Other notes:

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Roanoke at Salisbury: Three things to watch

The NCAA Division III tournament semifinal between Roanoke and Salisbury is the second meeting this season between these teams. The Sea Gulls (19-1), ranked No. 1 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, is seeking their 10th trip in 13 years to the championship game. The No. 7 Maroons (17-3) have won 12 straight contests and are looking for their first berth in the NCAA final since 1992. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury on Sunday.

1) Clamp down on Roanoke’s Big 3 (again). As mentioned in the blog on Wednesday, the Maroons finished the regular season with the third-most prolific offense in the country, and the unit has increased its 16.2 goals-per-game average to 17.7 in the postseason. But their top three scorers – junior attackman Jeff Keating, sophomore attackman Richard Lachlan and sophomore midfielder Mike Hayden – were shut out in the 10-7 loss to Salisbury on March 23. Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman didn’t want to tip his hand on whether the defense would copy that strategy for Sunday’s meeting. “I don’t know if we’re tweaking anything, but we’ve had different packages in depending on what the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses are,” he said. “Obviously, they have a great midfield line. So the match-ups are going to be a little bit different than if we were playing a team that had a great attack. We’ve got to negate that first midfield line from having a day like they’ve had against other teams.”

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May 21, 2011

Denver's Law has support of at least one former teammate at Salisbury

No. 6 seed Denver has a shot to reach the NCAA Division I tournament semifinals for the first time in school history and sophomore Eric Law will try to help the Pioneers get past No. 3 seed Johns Hopkins on Saturday.

Law has the support of at least one of his former teammates at Salisbury. Junior attackman Matt Cannone talked to Law on Monday after Denver defeated Villanova, 13-10, in the first round.

“I told him it was a great game, and it was awesome to see him out there doing awesome,” Cannone said of Law, a Colorado native who left the Sea Gulls during the offseason. “I really loved the kid. He was always a great teammate and a great person. He wanted to go back home, and I understand. Denver’s a beautiful place, and people have their own reasons for going home. You can’t hold that against them. He’s a wonderful kid, and I’m just happy to see that he’s doing great.”

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May 20, 2011

Salisbury prepping for different Roanoke team

As Roanoke’s 13-12 victory over Stevenson in the NCAA Division III tournament quarterfinals suggests, this Maroons team is drastically different from the one in the regular season.

That’s the approach that Salisbury is taking as the Sea Gulls, ranked No. 1 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, prepare to welcome No. 7 Roanoke to Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury in a semifinal matchup on Sunday.

The Sea Gulls defeated the Maroons, 10-7, on March 23, but that’s the last time Roanoke (17-3) lost.

“They’ve won 12 games in a row, so they obviously have more confidence,” Salisbury coach Jim Berkman said Thursday. “They’ve got some kids that had to step into new roles, and they’ve had a whole season since then. Twelve games is a whole year to adapt to their roles. They filled some holes, and the kids are just playing a lot better.”

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May 19, 2011

Salisbury advances to Final Four, but won't face expected rival

Salisbury’s 12-4 victory over Dickinson on Wednesday night guaranteed the program’s seventh trip in the last eight years to the NCAA Division III tournament semifinals. As a reward, not only do the Sea Gulls (19-1) get to host one-half of the Final Four on Sunday at 1 p.m., but they also won’t have to deal with Capital Athletic Conference rival Stevenson.

That’s because the Mustangs, ranked No. 3 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, fell to No. 7 Roanoke, 13-12, in a tournament quarterfinal on Wednesday. Stevenson (18-3) had won three straight against the Maroons – including a 16-6 rout on March 16 – but Roanoke (17-3) returned the favor to extend its winning streak to 12.

In fact, the Maroons’ last loss took place on March 23 when Salisbury visited Donald J. Kerr Stadium in Salem, Va., and left with a 10-7 victory. Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman told SFMSports.net after his team’s win against the Red Devils that Roanoke is a formidable opponent that will not be taken lightly.

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May 18, 2011

Dickinson at Salisbury: Three things to watch

The NCAA Division III tournament quarterfinal between Dickinson and Salisbury is the first meeting between these teams. The Sea Gulls (18-1), ranked No. 1 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, is the reigning Capital Athletic Conference tournament champion. The No. 6 Red Devils (17-1) have won 12 straight contests, including capturing the school’s first Centennial Conference tournament crown. A Salisbury victory would ensure a second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament semifinals. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury on Wednesday night.

1) Handcuff Dickinson’s offense. The Sea Gulls wrapped up the regular season with the fourth-stingiest defense in the country, surrendering just 5.5 goals per contest. That unit will get challenged by the Red Devils, who boast six players with at least 30 points or more and two more with at least 13 points. Salisbury coach Jim Berkman acknowledged that the defense must study and win its matchups. “They definitely have a real, real solid first midfield and a pretty good second midfield, but everybody that plays on that first midfield line is a threat,” Berkman said. “And then they’ve got a righty attackman, a lefty attackman and a crease guy, and all three of those players are pretty good players. But I think we’ve got some pretty good defensemen , too. So I think I like our match-ups. We know who they’ve got, and it’s up to us to stop them.”

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May 17, 2011

Salisbury getting crash course in history

With Salisbury reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III tournament final, the temptation to eye a potential re-match with Capital Athletic Conference rival Stevenson in the semifinals is ripe.

But if the Sea Gulls, who are ranked No. 1 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, are even remotely considering overlooking No. 6 Dickinson on Wednesday night, guess again.

Coach Jim Berkman has made it very clear that Salisbury can’t afford to look past the Red Devils after the Sea Gulls needed a goal with 33 seconds left in regulation and then another in overtime to escape Gettysburg, 12-11, in last year’s quarterfinals stage.

“I think our kids are excited about where we are and how much we’ve improved,” Berkman said. “They’re ready to seize the moment. They’ve been made well aware of how fortunate we were to get out of the quarterfinals with a one-goal, overtime win in a game that we shouldn’t have won. So they know how good everybody is, and we’ve got to take it and get it done on Wednesday night.”

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May 16, 2011

Salisbury, Stevenson prep for matchups in NCAA quarterfinals

Like their Division I brethren, Salisbury and Stevenson are fully aware of their opponents in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday.

The Sea Gulls, ranked No. 1 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, will play host to No. 6 Dickinson at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury at 7:30 p.m.

Salisbury (18-1) is the reigning Capital Athletic Conference tournament champion – for the 16th time in the school’s history – and hasn’t lost since dropping a 16-12 decision to Stevenson on April 16, which was the regular-season finale for both teams.

Like the Sea Gulls, the Red Devils have suffered just one setback, losing to Skidmore, 9-7, on March 16. Since then, Dickinson (17-1) has won 12 straight contests, including capturing the school’s first Centennial Conference tournament crown.

This will be the first meeting between Salisbury and the Red Devils.

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May 13, 2011

Second-round opponent no stranger to Salisbury

In the second round of the NCAA tournament, Salisbury meets a team that did this season what the Sea Gulls couldn’t do last May.

On Saturday, Endicott visits Salisbury, the No. 1 ranked team in Division III in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. One of the Gulls’ 16 wins include a 9-8 decision against Tufts on April 12. Tufts defeated the Sea Gulls, 9-6, to capture the national championship a year ago.

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May 10, 2011

Difficult roads await Salisbury, Stevenson

The Division III bracket for the NCAA tournament was unveiled late Sunday night, and a sleepless night or two might visit Salisbury coach Jim Berkman and Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene.

The Sea Gulls (17-1), the Capital Athletic Conference tournament champions who are ranked No. 1 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, might perhaps have the tougher path to the South region final.

They get a bye in the first round, but could face an Endicott team (15-4) that tagged reigning national champion Tufts with one of its two losses. A third-round meeting with Dickinson (16-1) beckons before a potential Final Four meeting with Stevenson.

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May 7, 2011

Salisbury at Washington: Three things to watch

The “War on the Shore” series hasn’t been much of a contest lately with Salisbury claiming 12 of the last 13 meetings, including the past 10 games. The No. 1 Sea Gulls (16-1) are virtually assured of a top two seeding in the South region of the NCAA tournament, but a loss would likely seal the No. 1 seed to Capital Athletic Conference rival Stevenson. Washington (5-8) had dropped four straight prior to defeating Cabrini two weeks ago, but a victory would send the Shoremen into the offseason on a positive note. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Roy Kirby Jr. Stadium in Chestertown on Saturday.

1) Test Rodriguez. Salisbury has relied on the goalkeeping prowess of senior Johnny Rodriguez, who is 15-1 as a starter this season. But the senior’s last outing was a disastrous one as Rodriguez made just four saves while allowing 11 goals in 22 minutes, 52 seconds of play against Stevenson in the CAC tournament final on April 23. But Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman said Rodriguez will start against Washington, and Shoremen coach Jim Shirk said he is anticipating a different goalkeeper. “It could go both ways, to be honest with you,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of goalies have an off day and then they bounce back and stand on their heads in the very next game. So I think our game plan is going to approach it to where we’re going to give everything we have and hopefully, it’s enough, but we’re definitely not going to bank on being in his head because I’m going to assume that he’s going to bring his best game and we’re going to get the best Rodriguez there is.”

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May 6, 2011

Leftovers from Q&A with Salisbury's Johnny Rodriguez

Friday’s editions included a Q&A with Salisbury senior goalie Johnny Rodriguez. Due to space constraints, here are some more answers that didn’t make the cut.

To compete for a national crown, you will likely meet Stevenson for the third time in a single season for the third year in a row. Do you ever get tired of seeing the Mustangs?
We’ve played each other eight times over the last three seasons, and there’s little scouting you can do. We know all of those guys. It’s the same matchups, the same shooting tendencies. It’s just a matter of coming to play mentally. But it’s always a blast. We see those guys every summer, and while we may hate each other on the field, we respect each other off the field.

Who is the toughest offensive player you’ve faced during your career at Salisbury?
I’d probably have to pick [Stevenson senior attackman] Jimmy Dailey. He probably has the most goals on me because we’ve played them so many times. He’s just a great attackman. He’s quick, and he’s a tough guy to guard and a tough guy to stop in terms of his shot, too.

Have you ever scored a goal as a goalkeeper?
I scored in my junior year against Marymount [on April 15, 2010]. I’ve had a few assists in my sophomore year, too. It’s definitely intense. You’re always joking around with the guys about going down there. It’s not every day that a goalie gets to score a goal. So it was definitely exciting. And I can attest that it’s not much fun when you’re on the other end. [Stevenson junior goalie] Ian Bolland took a shot against me that missed the net by about six inches. That would have been devastating.

Has an opposing goalie ever scored against you?
I can honestly say no.

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May 4, 2011

Stevenson makes case for No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament

Seven days after falling to Capital Athletic Conference rival Salisbury in the conference tournament final, No. 3 Stevenson took out its frustration on No. 16 Denison, racing to a 14-1 advantage after three quarters en route to a 14-2 thumping on Saturday.

Mustangs coach Paul Cantabene acknowledged that there might have been a little carryover effect from losing to the Sea Gulls in the CAC title game on April 23.

“I thought the guys were pretty motivated after that game and did a real good job of understanding that we still have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the South for the tournament,” he said Tuesday. “So I thought they came out and played really well and dictated the pace. So it was a good effort by the guys, to refocus and understand how we needed to play.”

Although Salisbury (16-1) is the top-ranked team in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, Stevenson may have just as strong of a case for the No. 1 seed in the South Region of the NCAA tournament, which will be announced on Sunday.

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April 28, 2011

Stevenson's Dailey named CAC Player of the Year

Attackman Jimmy Dailey headlined a group of seven Stevenson players to be named to the Capital Athletic Conference first and second teams, the league announced Wednesday.

Dailey, a senior from Westminster who graduated from Winters Mill, is the first Mustang to capture the Player of the Year honors, breaking Salisbury’s 16-year stranglehold on the award. Dailey, who leads Division III in points per game (5.9) and total assists (51), is a four-time first-team selection and a former Rookie of the Year in 2007.

Freshman long-stick midfielder Ryan Rubenstein shares the Rookie of the Year award with Frostburg State attackman Ryan Serio. Hood coach Jeremy Mattoon shares Coach of the Year honors with Mary Washington’s Kurt Glaeser. Mattoon guided the Blazers to their first berth in the CAC tournament.

Joining Dailey on the first team are senior attackman Neal Barthelme, senior midfielder Kyle Moffitt, senior defenseman Evan Douglass and senior faceoff specialist Ray Witte.

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April 26, 2011

A desperate time called for desperate measure by Salisbury

Salisbury hasn’t captured eight NCAA Division III titles by sitting around and being complacent.

The Sea Gulls have embodied the bold, risk-taking nature of their coach in Jim Berkman and have taken the necessary measures to be one of the more consistent and successful programs in Division III lacrosse.

Still, Berkman conceded that the coaches’ decision to pull senior goalkeeper Johnny Rodriguez – who had won 15 of 16 games this season – with senior Tim Swinburn for the final 37 minutes of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament final against then-No. 1 Stevenson on Saturday was the only move the team had left after finding itself in a 10-5 hole midway through the second quarter.

“Let’s put it this way: if things kept going the way they were going, we weren’t going anywhere anyway,” Berkman recalled Monday of his thought process. “So at that point, I don’t think it mattered whether it was a calculated risk or not because the way we were playing, we needed to make some changes. We kind of went with Timmy. He’s a fifth-year senior, he’s a solid goalie who was a high school All American, and he seized the moment just as [goalie] Nick Fiorentino did a few years ago for us when he stepped in for the semifinal and the championship game and played outstanding, beating Gettysburg and Cortland back-to-back [in 2008]. That’s kind of what your bench is for, to be ready when you need them and be able to step in. that’s what Timmy did, and we’re extremely proud of what he did on Saturday.”

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April 23, 2011

Salisbury at Stevenson: Three things to watch

The back-and-forth between these Capital Athletic Conference rivals resumes once again as No. 3 Salisbury (15-1) visits top-ranked Stevenson (16-1) for the right to be the conference tournament champion. In the previous two seasons, the winner of the regular-season meeting could not repeat that outcome in the CAC tournament final, and the visiting team captured the title. Will history repeat itself and usher in the Sea Gulls as this year’s tournament champion? Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills on Saturday.

1) Tokosch vs. Dailey. In last Saturday’s 16-12 victory, the Mustangs got three goals from leading scorer Jimmy Dailey, including two in a span of 106 seconds during a 5-0 run to begin the contest. According to Salisbury coach Jim Berkman, the defense countered by assigning senior Collin Tokosch, who limited the senior attackman to just one goal for the remainder of the game. “He obviously knows he’s going to be a big part of Saturday, and hopefully, we can keep Dailey in check or he can neutralize him a little bit to make him earn his goals,” Berkman said of Tokosch, who has caused 15 turnovers and collected 28 ground balls. “The two goals that he had at the beginning of the game, he flat-out burned [senior] Nick Mooney, and it was so quick that we couldn’t even help out on him. So we’re hoping that by switching Collin on him, that won’t happen, especially in the beginning of the game.”

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April 22, 2011

Stevenson, Salisbury hope they got the sluggishness out

Salisbury and Stevenson survived closer-than-anticipated contests on Wednesday to advance to the Capital Athletic Conference tournament final on Saturday at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills.

The No. 3 Sea Gulls (15-1) didn’t score their first goal against Mary Washington until more than 11 minutes had elapsed in the first quarter. Salisbury eventually won, 15-5, after routing the Eagles by 16 goals on March 26.

“I think there was a logical letdown because it was such an emotional day on Saturday,” coach Jim Berkman said, referring to Salisbury’s 16-12 loss to the Mustangs. “The stands were packed, and it was a chippy game, real physical. It was a battle for 60 minutes and not only physically, but mentally. So I think there was a logical letdown in that regard, especially when both teams had beaten their opponents handedly a couple of weeks ago. … But both teams got done what they needed to get done.”

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April 21, 2011

Postscript from St. Mary's at Stevenson

As impressive as Stevenson’s potent offense and stingy defense have been this season, one oft-overlooked factor in the team’s success this season has been the performance of senior faceoff specialist Ray Witte.

The Annapolis native and St. Peter and Paul graduate has won 194-of-295 draws, including 18-of-25 in the top-ranked Mustangs’ 16-7 victory over visiting St. Mary’s in a Capital Athletic Conference tournament semifinal at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills on Wednesday.

Witte also scored a pair of goals with both goals following tallies by teammates and extending Stevenson’s runs.

“He’s pretty unique in that he also has the talent to put the ball in the net,” coach Paul Cantabene said of Witte, who has surpassed his career-high of eight goals by one this season. “He could run on one of our offensive midfield lines if we needed him to, but we just need him to settle it down. And he’s really been a catalyst for us. He’s a lot better than people think. Just because he doesn’t have the greatest percentage, some people think he’s not one of the best. But when it comes to the big games, there’s nobody better.”

Witte said he didn’t feel comfortable taking a shot after winning a faceoff until last season when he succeeded Greg Furshman as the primary faceoff specialist.

“My shot has kind of developed as my season has progressed,” Witte said. “… First, we like to get it to the offense and let them work it around fastbreak-style. But if I see that it’s something that I can get done, I’m going.”

But Witte has his priorities in order, saying that scoring goals is a nice bonus but not his mission.

“If we have the ball, we can score,” he said. “If we don’t have the ball, we can’t score. It’s that simple. So I want to keep winning them.”

Other notes:

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April 19, 2011

CORRECTION: St. Mary's rounding into health -- and maybe form

St. Mary’s three-game winning streak is not necessarily a coincidence, according to coach Chris Hasbrouck.

The injury-plagued Saints Seahawks are getting healthy and just in time for Wednesday’s Capital Athletic Conference tournament semifinal at newly anointed No. 1 Stevenson.

“Without a doubt, we’re playing our best lacrosse of the year now,” Hasbrouck said. “We had a few injuries earlier in the year that we’ve overcome, and we’re excited to be here right now. There’s only four Capital Athletic Conference teams playing, and we’re one of them. So that’s a good thing.”

Freshman midfielder Gordy Long missed six games while nursing a high ankle sprain, and starting short-stick defensive midfielders Colin Gload and Tim Fortner have missed a few games in the middle of the season with unspecified injuries.

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On the rebound, Salisbury eager to overcome uncharacteristic errors

Salisbury has made a habit out of befuddling opponents and forcing them into making mistakes they usually aren’t prone to make.

That trend was reversed on Saturday as the Sea Gulls dropped a 16-12 decision to Stevenson on Saturday.

Salisbury, which fell from No. 2 to No. 3 in Monday’s United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, misfired on six clears, committed 22 turnovers, and collected 11 fewer ground balls than the Mustangs (15-1), who vaulted to the top of the USILA poll from No. 3 on Monday.

“We dug ourselves a hole too early, and we were constantly fighting from behind,” said Berkman, whose team fell behind, 6-1, 3 minutes, 40 seconds into the second quarter. “We ended up shooting ourselves in the foot a million times with a couple bad clears, turning the ball over too much, too many penalties. We dug ourselves a hole at 8-2, but then we fought all the way back and got it to 8-6 40 seconds into the third quarter. But every time we got it to two or three in the second half, that next possession, we would shoot ourselves in the foot before giving ourselves a chance to cut it to two or one. So we’ve got to play a lot better than we played as far as not making the foolish mistakes.”

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April 16, 2011

Stevenson at Salisbury: Three things to watch

There are plenty of storylines as No. 3 Stevenson visits No. 2 Salisbury. At stake is first place in the Capital Athletic Conference and the top seed in the conference tournament, which also entails home-field advantage throughout the tournament. There’s also firing the first salvo that in what could be a three-meeting series this season between these rivals. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury on Saturday.

1) Minding the midfield. While the Mustangs boast the fourth-most prolific offense in Division III, the Sea Gulls (14-0) aren’t exactly wallflowers as they were ninth with a 15.0 goals-per-game average as of Tuesday. Salisbury has relied on a starting midfield powered by reigning National Midfielder of the Year Sam Bradman, but coach Jim Berkman said the team has benefited from the development of a second line composed of junior Jeff McGuire (10 goals and four assists), sophomore Ryan Clarke (6, 8) and senior Spencer Smith (8, 4). “We’re seeing an emergence of some of the second line middies that are getting better,” Berkman said. “… They have given us a little bit more firepower. That’s always a plus because if they can get in the field and not turn the ball over and get you a couple goals a game, that’s a big advantage.”

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April 13, 2011

History lesson for Salisbury, Stevenson

If history is any indicator of the future, Saturday’s rivalry game between No. 2 Salisbury and No. 3 Stevenson figures to have significant ramifications for both teams in the NCAA tournament.

In the past two seasons, the winner of the regular-season contest has lost in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament final but bounced back to prevail in the NCAA tournament.

That’s what happened in 2009 with the Mustangs winning in the regular season, losing in the CAC final, and ousting the Sea Gulls in the NCAA quarterfinals. The Following year, Salisbury won the first meeting, dropped the CAC title, and advanced to the national championship game by edging Stevenson in overtime in the semifinals.

Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman wasn’t sure what to make of the pattern.

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April 12, 2011

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.

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March 29, 2011

Loyola, Salisbury snag weekly awards

Loyola sophomore long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff earned Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

Ratliff helped the Greyhounds score four goals in transition, registering one goal and two assists in the team’s 14-12 win against Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday. He also collected a career- and game-high six ground balls.

Salisbury junior attackman Matt Cannone took home Offensive Player of the Week laurels from the Capital Athletic Conference.

Cannone posted 10 points in two victories, including five goals in the No. 2 Sea Gulls’ 10-7 decision against then-No. 8 Roanoke on Wednesday night. With 121 career goals, Cannone is just 10 goals away from passing Eric Bishop for 10th place on the school’s all-time goals list.

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March 22, 2011

Salisbury taking care of business while keeping an eye on rivals

While rivals like top-ranked Tufts, No. 2 Stevenson and No. 4 Cortland battle each other and other quality opponents, No. 3 Salisbury has been dismantling its opponents while sprinting to a 7-0 start.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the Sea Gulls aren’t aware of what’s occurring outside of the friendly confines of their campus.

“I know that they’re winning, and I’ve seen who’s scoring their goals,” coach Jim Berkman said. “I’ve watched them on webcasts when we’re not playing and have seen them all play. We’ve been doing that for a long time.”

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March 18, 2011

Q&A with former D-III National Player of the Year Tommy Kehoe

Tommy Kehoe was named the Division III National Player of the Year after the long-stick midfielder helped guide Gettysburg to the NCAA tournament final in 2009. A contributor to Inside Lacrosse who shared his thoughts on Stevenson senior attackman Jimmy Dailey for Saturday’s edition, Kehoe also offered his perspective on a few area topics of interest.

Question: What’s going to be the key for No. 2 Stevenson to beat No. 4 Cortland on Saturday? Can the Mustangs pierce Cortland’s defense, which is allowing just 2.5 goals per game thus far?
Answer: More than any other factor, you’ll see a lot of this game play out in the faceoff battle. [Senior Chris] Deluca of Cortland, the reigning National Player of the Year, is a threat off the draw, but really finds ways to contribute in every facet, starting with transition, then into settled offense, and then back onto defense. Stevenson, for obvious reasons, has always been great at facing off, and [senior] Ray Witte can do all the things Deluca can, but is complemented with a more fluid attack in transition. I have the distinct pleasure of knowing [Stevenson volunteer assistant and former faceoff specialist] Gregory Furshman, who handles the faceoff instruction up there, and his knowledge pertaining to digging one out is as humbling as it is inspiring. So I’d suspect him to come up with a plan of attack detailing the exact angle and velocity Witte is to clamp. It’ll be interesting to see if these guys get into stalemates or if it turns into a home-run derby with both guys getting 50/50 shots at pushing it forward cleanly. I’d say the stalemates would favor Stevenson because Cortland’s offense isn’t as dynamic. So they’d benefit more than Stevenson from the high-percentage looks in transition. As to Cortland’s defense, I know they’re good because I’ve seen them play and I have a lot of respect for their coach [Steve Beville], who has what I wish was my [2009] national championship ring somewhere in his house. But I would not put much weight into their goals-allowed average at this point in the season. The 2.5 goals a game means they're executing, but I’d expect any top-four defense to execute against their schedule thus far. The impressive Gettysburg win should be the feather in that defense’s hat, but as much as it pains me to say, Gettysburg’s offense has been sputtering all season. So it’s not as commanding as a statement as it would of been in years past. This game will tell the tale, which is why it’s on the schedule.

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March 8, 2011

Division III weekly honors announced

Salisbury swept the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week awards announced by the Capital Athletic Conference.

Junior attackman Erik Krum was named the Offensive Player of the Week after scoring a combined seven goals in two games. Krum registered three goals in the No. 3 Sea Gulls’ 8-2 victory over No. 12 Gettysburg on Saturday.

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March 1, 2011

Loyola's Hagelin, Salisbury's Tokosch earn weekly honors

Loyola’s Jake Hagelin was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week Monday.

The senior goalkeeper surrendered just two goals in the No. 11 Greyhounds’ one-goal win against Towson last Saturday. The Havre de Grace native and Boys’ Latin graduate made six saves and was part of a defensive effort that gave up just eight shots on net and 21 overall. 

Salisbury’s Collin Tokosch was selected by the Capital Athletic Conference as that league’s Defensive Player of the Week.

The senior defenseman tied a career high with five caused turnovers and collected three ground balls in the No. 3 Sea Gulls’ 7-4 win against Washington & Lee last Wednesday. The Arnold native and Broadneck graduate has helped the defense allow an average of 3.7 goals per game thus far.

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February 23, 2011

Salisbury's Bradman earns award

In what should be the first of many such honors, Salisbury’s Sam Bradman was named the Capital Athletic Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week Tuesday.

The reigning National Midfielder of the Year scored a career-high eight goals in the No. 2 Sea Gulls’ 13-5 rout of No. 109 Lynchburg. The junior leads the team in both goals (12) and points (15).

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February 21, 2011

Salisbury continues fast start

Hardly anyone batted an eye when Salisbury overwhelmed Greensboro, 25-2, in both teams’ season opener on Feb. 13. But the Seagulls, who are ranked No. 2 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches poll, put a similar beating on Lynchburg, outpointing a team ranked No. 10 in the same poll by eight goals.

Saturday’s 13-5 victory on the Hornets’ home field in Virginia proved to Salisbury that the team is prepared for this season.

“Our guys obviously got some confidence from going on the road and playing in a tough environment after a long trip, about six hours, and coming away with a solid win,” coach Jim Berkman said Sunday. “There’s also the realization that we made a couple of mistakes that we’ve got to correct if we’re going to continue to improve.”

After scoring 11 goals in the first quarter against Greensboro, the offense scored the game’s first four goals against Lynchburg and enjoyed an 8-4 advantage at halftime.

“We got on them right away,” Berkman said. “We scored four quick goals, and it was 4-0 before you could blink your eyes. I thought it was clutch to get a little bit of a cushion and have people relax.”

“I think our first six or seven offensive players are pretty electrifying and can shoot the ball,” Berkman later added. “If we get an opening, we can score some goals. We scored 11 goals in the first quarter against Greensboro last week in our first game. Even though we weren’t dealing with the same quality of opponent, 11 goals is a lot of goals in 15 minutes. We’ve got some guys down there that can finish on attack, and we’ve got a couple of middies that can create separation. We can get some quick goals, I think.”

Other notes:

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February 17, 2011

Salisbury preview

This entry is the final in a series taking a look at each of the seven Division III programs in this state according to their order of finish from last season. The Sun’s lacrosse preview is slated to be published on Thursday, Feb. 17. Today is Stevenson’s turn.

Overview: The Sea Gulls enjoyed the kind of success they have become accustomed to, winning 21 of 23 games, knocking off Capital Athletic Conference rival Stevenson twice, and advancing to their seventh NCAA Tournament final in the last eight years. But a 9-6 setback to Tufts in the title game left the players and coaches with a bad taste in their mouths. The motivation to make amends is there, but foes like the aforementioned Mustangs, Roanoke and Gettysburg loom on the horizon.

Reason for optimism: A program that has long been built on offense is quite stacked on defense this spring. Seniors Collin Tokosch and Nick Mooney return as starting defensemen, and junior Chad Surman, a transfer from Onondaga Community College and freshman Danny Sherr are competing for No. 3 role. Junior long-stick midfielder Andrew Sellers, one of the team’s better athletes, is completely healed after sitting out six consecutive games last season because of a knee injury, and coach Jim Berkman is excited about juniors Dean Rossi and Parker Dickerson at short-stick defensive midfielder. “We’re pretty excited about what we’re doing on the defensive end right now,” Berkman said.

Reason for pessimism: The attack graduated a pair of 40-goal scorers in Mike Winter (53 goals and seven assists) and Jake DeLillo (43, 22). Junior Matt Cannone (51, 33) is back, but junior Erik Krum missed last season after undergoing knee surgery and junior Tony Mendes is still getting acclimated to making the move from the midfield. But a second group that could include juniors Kyle Quist, Lantz Carter and Evan Hammersly and freshman Zack Ward could provide some punch. “The attack is a work in progress because there are a couple new guys down there,” Berkman conceded. “But we’re playing together every day and the attack has a lot of promise.”

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June 24, 2010

Review & preview: Salisbury

Here is the seventh and final installment of a series that checks in with the seven Division III programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and the future. Thursday, we take a visit with Salisbury.

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June 8, 2010

Salisbury's Berkman not interested in Division I openings

Since the head coaching positions at Maryland and Penn State became vacant, I’ve seen and read a few e-mails and comments on the blog asking about Jim Berkman and whether the Salisbury coach would pursue a similar job on the Division I level.

Berkman’s response? "That doesn’t interest me in the slightest bit."

Then I asked him why.

"We have a great situation," said Berkman, who has guided the Sea Gulls to eight NCAA Division III championships. "My wife works for the college, we’re ingrained within the community, we have great friends. The grass isn’t always greener when you know the house across the street isn’t any better. It’s got its downfalls, too. Obviously, if you’re the winningest coach ever at the University of Maryland and you get fired, then the grass isn’t really that green on that side of the street. What we do here and what we put out in terms of young men and lacrosse players is truly rewarding."

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May 28, 2010

Salisbury, Tufts comfortable with unsettled situations

The NCAA Division III Tournament pits two teams that thrive under chaotic circumstances.

There are no official statistics on goals scored during transition or unsettled situations, but Tufts, the No. 2 seed from the North region, has outscored its opponents by 91 goals this season and boasts seven players with at least 11 goals each.

Salisbury, the No. 1 seed from the South region, has outscored its opponents by a mind-boggling 189 goals and features seven players with at least 10 goals each.

Jumbos coach Mike Daly said his players look forward to taking advantage of unsettled situations.

"Certainly something that our guys are great about embracing and working with me on is we’re about to put 18- to 22-year-old young men on the field and with 20 of them on at the same time, a lot of crazy stuff happens," he said. "So we embrace that chaos a little bit and our guys are great about not worrying about the last play but worrying about the next play. We like – as Salisbury does – to create as much of those 18- to 22-year-old chaos and mistakes, and when it goes great, it’s one of the most beautiful things to watch. So we want to harness that energy and turn into what we’ve been able to turn it into 19 times this year."

Salisbury, however, might be one team well-prepared for Tufts’ transition game, according to coach Jim Berkman.

"Well, I don’t think it’s anything different from what we do every day in practice," he said. That’s the way we play. We’re running up and down and we’re making good decisions, and our drills reflect that in practice. We’ve never had a problem with playing fast."

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May 27, 2010

Salisbury's Bradman tutored by predecessor

Thursday’s edition of The Sun included a feature on sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman, who has been one of the key ingredients in Salisbury returning to the NCAA Division III Tournament final for the 12th time in 20 years.

Bradman appears to be following in the footsteps of former Sea Gull Kylor Berkman, who became the first player in Division III history to be named the National Midfielder of the Year three times and in three consecutive years.

Bradman fondly recalled his days playing alongside Berkman.

"As a freshman, he just led me along the way and taught me how to be a college lacrosse player," Bradman said. "He taught me the Salisbury way of lacrosse on offense and just embedded it in my head. He told me I’d have to take over his spot next year. He just pointed me in the right direction."

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May 26, 2010

Bradman continues Salisbury's streak of midfield awards

Sam Bradman became the sixth midfielder in Salisbury's history to claim National Midfielder of the Year honors, a distinction announced by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Wednesday.

The sophomore joins Dan Mergot (1995), Chris Turner (1999, 2000), Andy Murray (2003, 2004), Justin Smith (2005) and Kylor Berkman (2007, 2008, 2009) as Sea Gulls to have captured the award.

Bradman leads Salisbury, the No. 1 seed in the South region of the NCAA Division III Tournament which will meet Tufts on Sunday in the national title game, in both goals (58) and points (85). He has also collected 42 groundballs and caused 24 turnovers this season.

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May 25, 2010

Stevenson, Salisbury top All-American list

The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association released its All-American list for the 2010 season, and three players from Stevenson and Salisbury made the first team.

Senior attackman Steve Kazimer and junior attackman Jimmy Dailey represented the Mustangs. Kazimer led the team in assists (49) and points (95) and ranked second in goals (46). Kazimer ranked 12th in the nation in points per game (4.57) and 11 in assists per game (2.38). Dailey was second among Stevenson players in assists (37) and third in goals (44) and points (81).

The Sea Gulls, who will meet Tufts on Sunday for the national championship, were represented on the first team by sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman, who led the team in goals (58) and points (85).

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Categories: Goucher, McDaniel, Salisbury, St. Mary's, Stevenson
        

Salisbury back where it belongs

Salisbury has returned to familiarity.

The South region’s top-seeded Sea Gulls’ 14-13 victory over No. 2 seed Stevenson in a NCAA Tournament semifinal on Sunday marked the 10th time in 12 years that the team has earned a spot in the national championship game.

Cementing a spot in the tournament final against Tufts on Sunday at 12 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium has required a long journey after Salisbury fell to Stevenson in the quarterfinals last May.

"It’s always a goal at Salisbury," coach Jim Berkman said of returning to the championship game for a program that has captured eight NCAA titles. "There’s such a tradition here. This is the 12th time in 22 years that we’ve been there, and to most kids here, the bar has been set by the alumni. If you don’t get there, it’s not a good season. So obviously, that motivated our guys, especially our eight seniors. They kind of used that as fuel to pump them up and do all the right things through the course of the year to hopefully prepare themselves for the opportunity that’s now presented itself."

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May 23, 2010

Stevenson at Salisbury: Three things to watch

Salisbury and Stevenson clash for the fifth time in two seasons. The Sea Gulls, the top seed in the South region of the NCAA Division III Tournament, are 11-7 in the national semifinals. Meanwhile, the Mustangs, the No. 2 seed in the South region, are eager to make their first appearance in a title game. The winner of Sunday’s contest at 1 p.m. at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury will move on and face either North region No. 1 seed and reigning national champion Cortland (17-2) or No. 2 seed Tufts (18-1) on Sunday, May 30 at 12 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

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May 20, 2010

Postscript from Haverford at Salisbury

With a trip to the national semifinals at stake, Salisbury put the ball in the hands of their eighth-leading goal scorer.

That’s not a dig at senior face-off specialist Ryan Finch, but a realization of the hot hand that he had against No. 4 seed and visiting Haverford (12-6) in a NCAA Tournament quarterfinal at Sea Gull Stadium Wednesday night.

Finch, a Finksburg native and Westminster graduate who had scored five goals entering Wednesday’s contest, scored twice including the game-winner after winning the face-off just 12 seconds into overtime to catapult top-seeded Salisbury (20-1) to a 12-11 decision and a semifinal meeting with No. 2 seed Stevenson.

Finch, who had dominated the face-off X to the tune of 18 wins in 24 attempts, popped the ball forward, scooped up the loose ball, and sprinted down to the box. Recognizing that no Fords player was sliding, Finch took the shot and scored.

"They hadn’t been sliding all night on the fast breaks because they didn’t want our attack to score on fast breaks," Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman said. "He threw a little fake like he was going to throw it to the point, which froze them even more. … He came right off the face-off on a fast break, they held on the attackmen, and before you knew it, he was already to about six or seven yards from the goal, and he just ripped it high and hard to the corner."

Salisbury trailed, 11-9, after Haverford senior midfielder Andrew Kim scored with 7:07 left in regulation. But sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman scored his first goal of the game with 5:56 remaining, and junior midfielder Shawn Zordani tied it up with 33 seconds left.

Despite the late deficit, Berkman said he never sensed any anxiety on the part of his players.

"I was really happy with the way our kids kept their composure and stayed the course and kept running the things that we do and kept playing solid defense," he said. "They didn’t panic or take a penalty that would’ve been really critical to us in terms of maybe not coming back. … There was a good sign of confidence on the sideline."

Other notes:

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May 19, 2010

Defense provides foundation for offense at Salisbury

Salisbury has historically boasted some of the most explosive offenses in Division III history. And that’s no different this year as the offense ranks 14th in the country with a 16.2 average.

But the 19-1 Sea Gulls, the top seed in the NCAA Tournament, have also been buoyed by a stingy defense that is 17th in the nation with a 6.9 average. Only four opponents this season have scored 10 or more goals, and only one (Stevenson) walked away with a victory.

Coach Jim Berkman said the team’s prowess on offense is directly linked to the success of the defense.

"The reason the offense scores so many goals is because of the defense," he said. "… The defense generates possessions, and that’s always been the case here. If you look at the teams from 2003 to 2008, they gave up six or seven goals a game, and that’s it. They got the ball on the ground and they created situations on the other end so that we could score goals. So even though we’re scoring a lot of goals, it’s the defense that’s always done that. I’ve been very pleased with our defensive effort. We’ve kept some of the best teams in the country down to 10 goals, and we really believe that if we hold anybody to 10 goals, we should be winning the game."

Other notes:

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May 14, 2010

Salisbury seeks to use element of unfamiliarity to its advantage

Salisbury coach Jim Berkman didn’t have a rooting interest in the NCAA Tournament first-round game between Widener and Springfield on Wednesday afternoon. But that didn’t mean that he wasn’t pleased when the Pride stifled Widener, 7-1.

That’s because the South region’s top-seeded Sea Gulls (18-1) like to play fast, and their overall speed usually catches first-time opponents off guard. Teams that have played Salisbury earlier in a season are generally prepared for the Sea Gulls’ penchant for frenetic, unsettled style of lacrosse.

"Obviously, if a team has been in an arena already, what mistakes they may have made, they’ll probably make adjustments," Berkman said. "If it’s the first time, you’re kind of feeling each other out. Is there more of a homefield advantage if they haven’t been here? Maybe."

Another advantage for Salisbury is that Springfield (13-5) will have just two days between the first- and second-round games to recover and prep for Saturday’s showdown at 7:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Sea Gulls have been waiting since knocking off Washington College last Saturday.

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May 11, 2010

Stevenson settles for No. 2 seed in South region

A year removed from getting the top seed in the South region of the NCAA Division III tournament, Stevenson was not regarded as highly this time around.

When the bracket was unveiled late Sunday night, the Mustangs (17-1) were awarded the No. 2 seed. The No. 1 seed went to Capital Athletic Conference rival Salisbury.

"We knew that it would be either us or Salisbury that would be the No. 1 seed, and we thought we had more regional wins against regional-ranked teams and a stronger schedule than them," Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene said. "So we thought our body of work was a little bit better even though they did beat Cortland out-of-region. But we also had two wins against out-of-region ranked teams as well. We thought we had a little better resume for that, but in the end, you’ve got to play teams. Everybody you play in the NCAA Tournament is going to be very good, and whether you’re the 1 or the 2 or the 3 or the 4, you’ve got to play good teams."

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Salisbury hurdles Stevenson for top seed in South region

Ranked No. 2 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, Salisbury got the top seed in the South region of the NCAA Division III tournament Sunday night.

The Sea Gulls (18-1) appeared to be battling with top-ranked Stevenson (17-1) for the No. 1 seed, but it appeared that the selection committee rewarded Salisbury for a strength of schedule that included contests against the Mustangs (a 16-10 win on April 3 and a 10-6 loss on April 24), North region No. 1 seed and reigning national champion Cortland (a 12-11 win on March 10), No. 3 seed Gettysburg (an 11-10 overtime win on March 27), unseeded Widener (a 9-7 win on Feb. 27), unseeded Ohio Wesleyan (a 16-5 win on March 13) and Lynchburg (a 14-9 win on Feb. 20), the 10th-ranked team in the USILA poll that was not invited to the NCAA Tournament.

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May 10, 2010

Salisbury, Stevenson join "Group of Death"

When the NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse bracket was revealed late Sunday night, Salisbury and Stevenson learned that they will be playing in the sport’s version of "The Group of Death."

The Sea Gulls, the top seed in the South region, and the Mustangs, the No. 2 seed, are included in a portion of the tournament that is is loaded with six of the top 10 teams in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll.

Besides Stevenson, which is ranked No. 1, and Salisbury, which is No. 2, No. 3 Gettysburg is the third seed, and No. 5 Roanoke, No. 7 Dickinson and No. 9 Cabrini are unseeded. No. 14 Denison is also unseeded, while No. 17 Haverford, which upended Gettysburg to capture the Centennial Conference tournament championship, is the fourth seed.

The six top-10 teams have a combined win-loss record of 94-11 (an .895 winning percentage), and when you add Denison and Haverford, the mark grows to 115-19 (.858).

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May 6, 2010

Records don't matter in War on the Shore series

Saturday adds another installment to the War on the Shore series when Washington visits Salisbury at 1 p.m.

On paper, the game doesn’t appear competitive as the Sea Gulls are 17-1 and poised to earn one of the top two seeds in the Southern region of the NCAA Division III Tournament. Meanwhile, the Shoremen are 4-9 and have dropped six of their last seven contests.

But don’t buy into the records, Salisbury coach Jim Berkman cautioned. Even though the Sea Gulls have won 11 of the last 12 meetings – including the last nine – they know what to expect on Saturday.

"There’s a lot of tradition to this game, and that plays into the emotions," Berkman said. "Washington College has had two weeks to practice since their last game, and I’m sure that in the back of their minds, they’re thinking, ‘This could make our season.’ … Watching them on film, they’re a very solid team. They have good athletes, they’re well-organized, they’re well-coached. They’ve had some hard luck in some one-goal games. They’ve got a huge goalie who is good. We’re going to have to play well – as we have all season – against a very good team."

Asked if his players view Saturday’s game as the team’s Super Bowl, Washington coach J.B. Clarke replied, "I think certainly in the back of their minds, they’re thinking that way. … But the hype of the game doesn’t require us to give them many motivational tools this week. When you’re playing in a game like this, I think one of the main things you have to do is almost calm them down so that they just don’t go out there like chickens with their heads cut off. So I don’t think that will be something we’ll need to use this week."

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May 4, 2010

Salisbury on the mend

Salisbury coach Jim Berkman talked last week about how a two-week layoff between the team’s final two regular-season contests would benefit a few key players trying to overcome injuries.

Berkman spoke on Monday and seemed optimistic that sophomore defenseman Andrew Sellers, senior attackman Jake DeLillo and senior midfielder/face-off specialist Ryan Finch would be able to play as early as this Saturday when the No. 2 Sea Gulls plays host to Washington in the teams’ annual War on the Shore series.

Sellers, a Baltimore native and Archbishop Curley graduate, has missed six consecutive games because of an injured knee, and although his long-term health is a priority, Berkman said he would like to see Sellers suit up against the Shoremen rather than wait until the NCAA Tournament.

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April 29, 2010

Stevenson, Salisbury, St. Mary's dominate all-conference teams

No. 1 Stevenson, No. 3 Salisbury and St. Mary's peppered the All-Capital Athletic Conference teams announced Wednesday by the league.

The Mustangs, who became the first program other than Salisbury to capture the tournament championship, put six players on the all-conference first team, including all three attackmen in seniors Steve Kazimer and Richie Ford (Towson) and junior Jimmy Dailey (Winters Mills). Junior defenseman Evan Douglass, junior midfielder Kyle Moffit and junior face-off specialist Ray Witte also made the first team.

The Sea Gulls were represnted by five first-team players, including sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman who was named the Player of the Year. Bradman, who is the only Division III player among the 26 semifinalists for the Tewaaraton Award, is the 16th straight Salisbury player to be named the conference's Player of the Year.

The Sea Gulls placed senior midfielder Mike Von Kamecke, junior defenseman Collin Tokosch (Broadneck), senior long-stick midfielder Connor Burgasser and junior goalkeeper Johnny Rodriguez (Mount St. Joseph) on the first team. Jim Berkman was selected as the Coach of the Year for the eighth time in his career.

St. Mary's senior defenseman Ryder Henry also made the first team.

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April 27, 2010

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.

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April 24, 2010

Salisbury & Stevenson: Together again

When No. 1 Salisbury and No. 3 Stevenson meet on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the championship final of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament at Sea Gulls Stadium in Salisbury, these teams will have faced each other five times in less than two full seasons.

Much of that has to do with occupying space in the same conference, but since both schools are in the South region, they could meet for a sixth time in the NCAA Tournament. In fact, Salisbury coach Jim Berkman is banking on that.

"The reality of the situation is that unless somebody stumbles, this is probably going to be the fifth of six times this year," he said. "I don’t see any way around it, that either in the quarterfinals or semifinals [of the NCAA Tournament] and if both teams keep playing to the level that they’ve played all year, they’re on a collision course to meet for a sixth time. The game probably wasn’t drawn up to be that way, the physical nature in terms of having to play a team three times in a season. But it is what it is, and I don’t see that going away in the future. I see two teams that are going to be here and be on the national scene. The reality of the situation is, we’re in the same conference, and we’re probably going to end up playing each other two or three times a year for probably a while."

Mustangs coach Paul Cantabene also sounded resigned to the fact of multiple meetings in a single year. But he also said the team looked forward to challenging a program as storied as the Sea Gulls’.

"They’re what we want to be," he said. "They’re the top program in Division III and we want to be there. We don’t think we’re too far behind. We have great respect for what they do, but we do meet a lot. I don’t think we’re meant to meet this many times in college lacrosse, but that’s what we have to do."

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April 23, 2010

Salisbury playing for 16th straight conference title

When No. 1 Salisbury takes the field at Sea Gull Stadium on Saturday, the team will be playing against No. 3 Stevenson for the school’s 16th consecutive Capital Athletic Conference Tournament championship.

In fact, the Sea Gulls have never lost a CAC title since joining the conference in 1995. That history is not lost on the players, according to coach Jim Berkman.

"I think anybody that plays for the Salisbury Sea Gulls knows the tradition of our team and the things that have transpired here," he said. "We talk about how it’s a special place to play and how the guys before have done an awful lot and now it’s up to them to uphold that tradition. They’re aware of where we’ve been and where we want to be."

While that legacy is something to marvel at, it can be a weighty reminder of the expectations placed upon a program, especially one that has captured eight NCAA championships.

"I don’t know if it’s a burden as much as it is hopefully a motivator," Berkman said. "We’ve got to work real hard and do all of the little things so tht we can be at the level of play that we need to be to keep this thing going. I think that’s been critical for this year’s team."

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April 12, 2010

Salisbury's DeLillo picks up weekly honor

Jake DeLillo of Salisbury was recognized by the Capital Athletic Conference as its Player of the week.

The senior attackman scored four times in the No. 1 Sea Gulls' 18-5 rout of St. Mary's on Wednesday. DeLillo added one goal and three assists in the team's 29-2 thumping of Hood on Saturday.

DeLillo ranks third on Salisbury (14-0, 5-0 in the CAC) in goals (30) and points (46) and fourth in assists (16).

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April 6, 2010

Salisbury looking ahead, not back

The euphoria is gone. After toppling then-No. 1 Stevenson by a 16-10 score on Saturday, Salisbury had a chance to relish the victory before heading back to the office.

“It was a good day on Saturday, and I told them to enjoy the moment, but right now, we’re focusing on beating [Capital Athletic Conference rival] St. Mary’s on Wednesday,” coach Jim Berkman said. “That’s our next thing, considering how we’re playing for first place in the conference on Wednesday night.”

After beating reigning Division III national champion Cortland by a goal and edging then-No. 1 Gettysburg in overtime by the same margin, the Sea Gulls didn’t stress out about challenging the Mustangs, who had opened the season with 10 consecutive wins.

“I think it definitely helped us, to prepare us for that kind of environment,” Berkman said of the team’s last eight contests which included four ranked opponents. “We had played two other teams that were very similar in ability and where when you went into the game, it was a 50-50 game. I think when you’ve been in that arena and when you’ve been in an arena where it’s going down and you’ve still got to make good decision in the last two minutes of the game because it’s 12-11 or an overtime game, you can’t duplicate that experience in practice.”

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April 3, 2010

Salisbury at Stevenson: Three things to watch

It doesn’t get any more thrilling than this: No. 2 Salisbury at No. 1 Stevenson at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills on Saturday at 2 p.m. Here are a few developments that factor into the outcome.

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April 1, 2010

Salisbury coach thinks Sea Gulls will stay at DIII level

Salisbury has been a dominant force in Division III lacrosse, winning eight national titles under head coach Rick Berkman, who is in his 21st season at the school.

Berkman is often asked if the Sea Gulls with move up to Division I, but he doesn't see that happening in the foreseeable future.

"I don't see us doing [that]. In fact, it's almost impossible to do it unless you do it like Hobart did," Berkman said. "In that situation, Hobart can't give scholarships and I think we can all say Hobart isn't the old Hobart. If you do that, you have to have tremendous commitment, which requires your other sports to go DI, or at least one of the women's sports to move up as well. I don't think we have the financial commitment from the school to move up."

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March 30, 2010

Salisbury's Bradman claims another award

A day after being named the Capital Athletic Conference’s Player of the Week honors for lifting No. 2 Salisbury to a pair of victories last week, Sam Bradman was chosen as the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Metro/South Region Co-Offensive Player of the Week. It’s the second time this season that Bradman has earned the award.

The sophomore midfielder registered two goals and two assists in the Sea Gulls’ 24-5 thumping of Wesley on Wednesday. Three days later, Bradman posted four goals and one assist in the team’s 11-10 decision against then-No. 1 Gettysburg. He scored the game-winning goal with 15 seconds left in overtime.

Bradman currently leads the team in goals (33) and points (48). He has scored at least two goals in every game this season.

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March 29, 2010

Salisbury's Bradman garners weekly award again

For the second time in three weeks, Sam Bradman earned the Capital Atheltic Conference's Player of the Week honors for lifting No. 2 Salisbury to a pair of victories last week.

The sophomore midfielder registered two goals and two assists in the Sea Gulls' 24-5 thumping of Wesley on Wednesday. Three days later, Bradman posted four goals and one assist in the team's 11-10 decision against then-No. 1 Gettysburg. He scored the game-winning goal with 15 seconds left in overtime.

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Stevenson, Salisbury top latest Division III rankings

As expected, Stevenson and Salisbury moved to the top of the USILA Division III poll Monday afternoon.

The Mustangs, who had been ranked No. 2, moved one spot to No. 1. Stevenson improved to 9-0 after thrashing then-No. 7 Roanoke, 18-9, on Saturday.

The Sea Gulls are No. 2 after being No. 3 a week ago. Salisbury edged then-No. 1 Gettysburg, 11-10, in overtime, improving to 10-0. The Bullets are ranked No. 3.

The moves mean that the Mustangs and Sea Gulls will meet in a showdown between Nos. 1 and 2 when Salisbury visits the Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills on Saturday at 2 p.m. The outcome will have ramifications on the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament and could impact seedings for the NCAA Tournament.

Last year, Stevenson won the regular-season meeting, 12-8, to snap the Sea Gulls' 105-game unbeaten streak against CAC opponents. Salisbury turned the tables in the CAC Tournament, routing the Mustangs, 13-5, for the tournament championship. But Stevenson had the last laugh with an 11-9 victory in a NCAA Tournament quarterfinal.

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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.

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March 26, 2010

As usual, No. 1 ranking at stake when Salisbury and Gettysburg clash

When Salisbury and Gettysburg get together, a No. 1 ranking is usually involved. It will be no different when the Sea Gulls pay the Bullets a visit on Saturday at 1 p.m.

In the last 10 meetings between these teams, one of the teams has been ranked atop Division III. But for the first time in that span, Salisbury is not the No. 1 team – which is just fine with Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman.

"It’s a great game because you’re playing a team that is one of the top teams in the country, and you’ve got to play well for 60 minutes," he said. "That’s what athletes want to do. They want to compete, and they want to play against the best. This game has become a big rivalry game. … It’s a fun game to play in, and I know our guys are looking forward to it as are their guys. It’ll be a real test to see where we stand and where we need to go from there."

Both teams enter with identical 9-0 records and similar weapons. Salisbury ranks sixth in the country in scoring, while Gettysburg is 12th. The Bullets are tied for 11th in man-up offense, while the Sea Gulls are 19th.

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March 15, 2010

Salisbury's Bradman earns weekly award

Salisbury sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman was named the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Week for his performances in the Sea Gulls' pair of victories over nationally-ranked opponents.

In a 12-11 win against reigning national champion SUNY-Cortland last Wednesday, Bradman registered six points on four goals and two assists, including feeding junior midfielder Shawn Zordani for the game-winner. In a 16-5 victory over Ohio Wesleyan last saturday, Bradman set a personal record with seven points on four goals and three assists.

Through six games, Bradman has posted 33 points, which is just eight shy of his point total from last season.

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March 11, 2010

No "statement" from Salisbury's win against 2009 champion Cortland

After a NCAA-record 351 career wins and eight national championships, many of the victories don’t stand out to Salisbury coach Jim Berkman.

That’s why he wasn’t about to declare the No. 4 Sea Gulls’ 12-11 triumph over reigning national titlist and No. 5 SUNY-Cortland Wednesday as a turning point for a program that didn’t reach the NCAA Tournament final last May for the first time since 2002.

"I don’t think it’s a ‘statement’ win," Berkman said Thursday morning. "They’re a good team, and we’re a good team. We happened to have one more goal than they did yesterday. But I definitely think it shows that Salisbury is a pretty good team."

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February 23, 2010

Salisbury's Cannone wins weekly award

Salisbury attackman Matt Cannone was honored as the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Week, the league announced Tuesday.

Cannone, a sophomore who led the Sea Gulls with 53 goals last spring, has scored a team-high eight goals and is tied with sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman with 10 points each. Cannone registered four goals and one assist in each of No. 4 Salisbury's wins against Greensboro and No. 18 Lynchburg. 

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February 17, 2010

Salisbury preview

After taking a look at the Division I schools in Maryland, let’s take a spin with the Division III teams. Today’s entry is the fourth of a week-long series taking a look at each of the seven Division III programs in this state according to alphabetical order. Tomorrow’s subject will be St. Mary's, but today is Salisbury’s turn.

Overview: By many accounts, a 16-4 record, a 15th consecutive Capital Athletic Conference Tournament championship and a quarterfinal appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament would be deemed a success. But for the Sea Gulls, last season was equal parts sweet and equal parts sour. The four losses were the most incurred since 2002 when that team went 13-5, and Salisbury's 12-8 loss to Stevenson on April 4 ended the program's 105-game winning streak against CAC opponents. But as pointed out by the school's sports information office, the Sea Gulls bounced back from the 13-5 record with a 20-1 campaign and the first of three straight national titles. "It's a good omen if you repeat it," coach Jim Berkman said.

Reason for optimism: Traditionally known for boasting explosive offenses, Salisbury returns its entire starting attack of seniors Mike Winter (48 goals and six assists) and Jake DeLillo (35, 17) and sophomore Matt Cannone (53, 14). That trio accounted for 173 points, which was 34.3 percent of the team's points. "They're all two steps better than they were last year," Berkman said. "Jake and Matt are much better dodgers and their off-hands are a lot better. Mike's a great leader on the inside to really keep people where they need to be. And then we added a great fourth piece of the puzzle in the Colorado Player of the Year in Eric Law, who is in the mix. So we feel that we have four very talented attackmen who can score and move the ball." 

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May 28, 2009

Maryland well-represented in MLL Draft

The Major Lacrosse League held its annual college draft Wednesday night, and fair number of players with connections to the Baltimore area were selected. The first player from Baltimore to be drafted was North Carolina face-off specialist and Boys’ Latin graduate Shane Walterhoefer, who was taken by the Denver Outlaws with the seventh overall pick in the first round.

In the second round, the Washington Bayhawks selected Loyola long-stick midfielder P.T. Ricci with the 11th overall pick and Denver drafted Johns Hopkins midfielder Brian Christopher at No. 14.

In the third round, Notre Dame attackman and Dulaney graduate Ryan Hoff went to the Chicago Machine at No. 17, Johns Hopkins defenseman Michael Evans to Washington at No. 18, and UMBC midfielder Peet Poillon to the Boston Cannons at No. 20. The Outlaws took Loyola attackman Shane Koppens at No. 21 before the Bayhawks selected Maryland midfielders Jeff Reynolds and Dan Groot at Nos. 23 and 26, respectively.

In the fourth round, North Carolina midfielder and Severna Park graduate Ben Hunt went to Washington at No. 28 and Denver drafted UMBC midfielder Alex Hopmann and UMBC goalkeeper Jeremy Blevins at Nos. 35 and 36, respectively.

In the fifth and final round, the Bayhawks took Salisbury midfielder Kylor Berkman with the 38th overall pick, and the Outlaws selected Cornell midfielder and Boys’ Latin graduate Rocco Romero at No. 41.

Syracuse, which became the first school to win back-to-back national championships since Princeton won three straight between 1996 and 1998, had the most players drafted with midfielders Dan Hardy and Matt Abbott, attackman Kenny Nims and defenseman Sid Smith taken in the first round. Nims was the first overall pick by Chicago.

UMBC, Cornell and Virginia were next with three players each.

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:45 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Salisbury, UMBC
        

May 21, 2009

Stevenson's Kazimer and Washington's Cohen earn national awards

In my haste to mention Salisbury’s Kylor Berkman winning his third consecutive Midfielder of the Year award, I neglected to also single out Stevenson’s Steve Kazimer and Washington’s Gordon Cohen for being named the Division III Attackman and Goalie of the Year, respectively.

Kazimer, a junior for a top-ranked Mustangs squad that advanced to the NCAA tournament semifinals for the first time in school history, paced Stevenson with a team-high 69 points on 33 goals and 36 assists. In just two seasons, Kazimer has posted 152 points on 70 goals and 82 assists.

Cohen, a senior for the Shoremen, finished the season ranked sixth in the country in save percentage (.631) and 17th in goals-against average (7.20). Earlier, Cohen became the first Washington goalie in 11 years to be named to the All-American first team.

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:33 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Salisbury, Washington
        

May 20, 2009

Third time's the charm for Salisbury's Kylor Berkman

The Sea Gulls’ Kylor Berkman collected National Midfielder of the Year honors, becoming the first player to win the award three times and in three straight seasons.

Berkman separated himself from a group of two-time winners that includes Salisbury’s Andy Murray (2003-04) and Chris Turner (1999-2000), Nazareth’s Brent Rothfuss (1997-98) and Hobart’s Mark Darcangelo (1980, 1982).

Berkman, who was the Division III Player of the Year last season, ranked first among the Sea Gulls in points (83), assists (41) and man-up goals (11). He also finished third in goals (42) and fourth in ground balls (49). Berkman, who was named the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, ended his career with 298 points and dished out 170 assists – both of which rank second all-time in program history.

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:46 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Salisbury
        

May 19, 2009

Area Division III players named All Americans

The USILA released its All American teams in Division III and a number of area players populate the list.

Stevenson, which finished the regular season ranked No. 1 and advanced to the school's first NCAA tournament semifinal, put attackmen Steve Kazimer and Jimmy Dailey on the first team. They were joined by Salisbury midfielder Kylor Berkman and Washington goalkeeper Gordon Cohen.

The Mustangs placed two more players on the second team: midfielder Nicola Bevacqua and defenseman Mike Simon. Salisbury defenseman Kevin Maynard was the only area representative on the third team.

The honorable mention list included Stevenson attackman Richie Ford and midfielder Greg Furshman, Salisbury attackman Matt Cannone and midfielder Mike Von Kamecke, Washington midfielder Thayer Damm, McDaniel midfielder Michael Hatton and St. Mary's midfielder Marc DiPasquale.

Update on Wednesday, May 20: I mistakenly left off St. Mary's midfielder Ryan Alexander from the All-American honorable mention list. Thanks to Seahawks sports information director Nairem Moran for pointing out the omission. My apologies to Ryan.

Posted by Edward Lee at 12:23 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: McDaniel, Salisbury, St. Mary's, Stevenson, Washington
        

May 14, 2009

Stevenson revels in first NCAA tournament semifinal in school history

After the Mustangs’ 12-8 win against Salisbury on April 4, I asked coach Paul Cantabene about the importance of that victory, which snapped the Sea Gulls’ 105-game winning streak in the Capital Athletic Conference.

On Thursday, we had a similar conversation, in which I asked Cantabene to elaborate on the significance of his team’s 11-9 win, a victory that bounced eight-time reigning national champion Salisbury out of the NCAA tournament quarterfinal round.

"It’s pretty meaningful because it’s the first time a program at our school has ever been to the national semifinals," he said. "If you’re considering it from that aspect, I think that it means more than the first time because it’s more significant to the program. But I think it means a lot to us to beat a conference foe for the second time in the season in kind of like a three-game series. I think it meant a lot more to the guys because of how we played in that second game [a 13-5 loss to the Sea Gulls at home on April 19]. I thought we were a little embarrassed by how we played. Usually, you don’t play that way at home, and we were a little embarrassed by that. So I thought they came out with a good chip on their shoulders and got the job done. … I think it just proves that our program is moving on. Each game is another step for us in the development of the program."

Continue reading "Stevenson revels in first NCAA tournament semifinal in school history" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 2:51 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

A rare early exit for Salisbury

The No. 2 Sea Gulls’ 11-9 loss to top-ranked Stevenson Wednesday in the NCAA Division III tournament quarterfinals wasn’t what you would label as a typical upset.

After all, Salisbury had dropped a 12-8 decision to the Mustangs on April 4, and this current Sea Gulls squad (16-4) had incurred more losses since 2002, when that team went 13-5. And after Salisbury had beaten Stevenson to capture the Capital Athletic Conference tournament title and the automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament, Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman acknowledged his the team had been in danger of being shut out of the NCAA tournament.

Still, Salisbury’s abbreviated stay in the NCAA tournament is a little surprising. It is the first time the program has not played in a tournament semifinal since 2002. And consider this: the Sea Gulls have played in 14 semifinals since Berkman became the head coach prior to the 1989 season. In those same 21 years, Salisbury has made 10 championship final appearances and won eight of those games.

The Sea Gulls’ loss also ended the career of Kylor Berkman. The reigning National Player of the Year and two-time Midfielder of the Year, Berkman finished his career ranked second on the school’s all-time list in career points (298) and assists (170) behind Jason Coffman (451, 202).

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:07 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

May 13, 2009

Salisbury at Stevenson: Three things to watch

Much will be at stake when the eight-time reigning national champion Sea Gulls (16-3) visit the top-ranked Mustangs (16-1) Wednesday at 4 p.m. in a NCAA Division III tournament quarterfinal. These three developments could have an impact on the outcome.

Continue reading "Salisbury at Stevenson: Three things to watch" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson, Three things to watch
        

May 12, 2009

Salisbury, Stevenson to meet in Division III NCAA tournament quarterfinals

When the top-ranked Mustangs and No. 2 Sea Gulls meet for the third time this season in the Division III NCAA tournament quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Stevenson, comparisons will be made to Game 7 in a NBA or NHL playoff series.

Paul Cantabene prefers another sports analogy.

"I would say it’s more like an Ali-Frazier match," the Stevenson coach said. "Here are two teams that have taken every punch thrown by each other, and we’re going for round three to see who the better team is. There’s definitely going to be that intensity. Both teams have been very much into the games and left everything on the field both times. This game is going to have a great atmosphere to it, and both teams are going to be ready to play."

The winner Wednesday earns the right to face the winner of Gettysburg-Denison in a semifinal on Sunday, but deciding the rubber match in the series between these Capital Athletic Conference rivals is the first priority.

The Mustangs (16-1) won the first meeting on April 4, scoring a 12-8 decision that snapped Salisbury’s 105-game winning streak against CAC foes. The eight-time reigning national champion Sea Gulls (16-3) returned the favor 15 days later, blasting Stevenson, 13-5, in the conference tournament final.

So it’s safe to say that both sides know what to anticipate Wednesday.

Continue reading "Salisbury, Stevenson to meet in Division III NCAA tournament quarterfinals" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 12:04 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

May 4, 2009

Salisbury and Stevenson in Division III tournament

With much attention centered on the Division I tournament, let’s recognize the inclusion of Salisbury and Stevenson in the Division III tournament.

The No. 5 and eight-time reigning national champion Sea Gulls (15-3) earned the automatic qualifier after winning the Capital Athletic Conference tournament and will visit No. 8 Haverford (13-3) in a second-round game on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The No. 4 Mustangs (15-1) earned a first-round bye and will play host to the winner of Montclair State-No. 14 Cabrini in the second round on Saturday at 1 p.m.

If both Salisbury and Stevenson win, the teams would meet in a quarterfinal on Wednesday, May 13. The CAC rivals have split the season series with the Mustangs winning, 12-8, on April 4 and the Sea Gulls returning the favor, 13-5, in the CAC tournament final on April 19.

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:00 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

April 28, 2009

Weekly awards for Loyola, UMBC, Salisbury

Two Loyola players earned weekly awards from the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

Loyola junior attackman Collin Finnerty shared Offensive Player of the Week honors with Penn State sophomore midfielder Chris Hogan. Finnerty matched a career high with four goals – all in the first quarter – in the No. 18 Greyhounds’ 16-7 win against Hobart.

Sophomore goalkeeper Jake Hagelin made eight saves and surrendered just five goals to the Statesmen. The reigning ECAC Rookie of the Year split the Defensive Player of the Week award with Georgetown senior defenseman Steve Bauer.

UMBC’s Ryan Smith was named by the America East as the league’s Player of the Week. The senior attackman posted seven points on four goals and three assists in the No. 11 Retrievers’ 18-5 victory over Vermont to help the school clinch a share of the regular-season championship for the fifth consecutive season.

In Division III news, Salisbury senior midfielder Kylor Berkman collected Capital Athletic Conference’s Player of the Week honors for registering four goals and one assist in the No. 5 Sea Gulls’ 12-11 victory over Washington. Berkman was recently named the conference’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Posted by Edward Lee at 2:41 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola, Salisbury, UMBC
        

April 26, 2009

Postscript from Salisbury at Washington

With a 15-3 record in the regular season, the No. 5 Sea Gulls will just have to sit and wait until the Division III bracket is released. Coach Jim Berkman thinks eight-time reigning national champion Salisbury will not get a seed higher than No. 4 in the South Region, which would mean a first-round bye and maybe one game at Sea Gull Stadium. But Berkman said his team should be prepared for life on the road.

"With the road that we have paved, we are going to have to win games on opponents’ fields," he said. "We might get one home playoff game. The journey to Stevenson, the journey to Washington College, we’re not going to get any harder avenues to play in. So that’s been good for this team, to experience that, so that when we go to the playoffs and they know it’s do or die and we’re going to play on someone else’s field, it’s not like it’s the first time."

With three losses, this Salisbury squad has accumulated more setbacks than the Sea Gulls had compiled since 2003. (That would be a total of two losses.) But if the sharks smell blood in the water, junior midfielder Mike Von Kamecke is not concerned.

"We’re defending our championship right now," he said. "Anyone can win it this year. It’s up for grabs, and that just makes it that much more interesting. Once you win that championship, you definitely want to go back and win it again."

Other notes:

Continue reading "Postscript from Salisbury at Washington" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Postscript, Salisbury, Washington
        

April 25, 2009

Salisbury at Washington: Three things to watch

It’s another installment in the annual "War on the Shore" series. The Sea Gulls have won 10 of the past 11 meetings, including the last eight. But Salisbury doesn’t look nearly as invulnerable as in previous seasons, and the Shoremen are eager to get their first victory in the series since May 4, 2002. Here are a few developments that could intrigue me as I watch from Roy Kirby Jr. Stadium in Chestertown.

Continue reading "Salisbury at Washington: Three things to watch" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:00 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Salisbury, Three things to watch, Washington
        

April 24, 2009

Capital Athletic Conference honorees announced

Sea Gulls senior midfielder Kylor Berkman was named Player of the Year in the Capital Athletic Conference, becoming the fourth player in league history to win the award in back-to-back seasons. Freshman attackman Matt Cannone was recognized as the conference’s Rookie of the Year.

With Berkman, the reigning Division III National Player of the Year and two-time National Midfielder of the Year, the four players to win the award in consecutive years are from Salisbury. Berkman, who leads the team in assists (39) and points (74), joins Jason Coffman (1995-96), Chris Turner (1999-2000) and Chase Caruso (2006-07). A Sea Gulls player has been selected the CAC Player of the Year every year since the school joined the league in 1995.

Cannone leads Salisbury in goals (49) and man-up scores (nine), and he has also posted 13 assists. Cannone joins Jarod Leiberman (1998), Andy Arnold (2001) and Jeff Bigas (2002) as the only Sea Gulls to collect conference rookie of the year honors.

In addition to Berkman and Cannone, senior defenseman Kevin Maynard, junior face-off specialist Ryan Finch (Westminster) and junior defensive midfielder Will Poletis (Loyola) were placed on the second team.

Continue reading "Capital Athletic Conference honorees announced" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 12:00 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Salisbury, St. Mary's, Stevenson
        

No Tewaaraton love for Division III?

Part of today’s article on Kylor Berkman included the Salisbury senior midfielder's being left off the list of 21 finalists for the Tewaaraton Trophy, which is awarded to the country’s best player.

Since the award’s debut in 2001, a Division III player has never won the trophy, and Hank Janczyk thinks that trend will continue.

"In my personal opinion, I don’t think that will happen," said the Gettysburg coach, who is a member of the selection committee for the Tewaaraton. "I think it would be incredibly hard for a Division III person to win the award. But I do think that if there was ever a Division III player to open the eyes of people associated with the Tewaaraton, it’s certainly Kylor Berkman."

Cortland coach Steve Beville said he thinks a factor is the media attention devoted to Division I lacrosse. With games involving Division I programs taking place at venues like M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands, audiences and coaches are exposed more to Division I players.

Continue reading "No Tewaaraton love for Division III?" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Salisbury
        

April 23, 2009

Conference honors for Salisbury players

Sea Gulls senior midfielder Kylor Berkman was named Player of the Year in the Capital Athletic Conference, becoming the fourth player in league history to win the award in back-to-back seasons. Freshman attackman Matt Cannone was recognized as the conference’s Rookie of the Year.

With Berkman, the reigning Division III National Player of the Year and two-time National Midfielder of the Year, the four players to win the award in consecutive years are from Salisbury. Berkman, who leads the team in assists (39) and points (74), joins Jason Coffman (1995-96), Chris Turner (1999-2000) and Chase Caruso (2006-07). A Sea Gulls player has been selected the CAC Player of the Year every year since the school joined the league in 1995.

Cannone leads Salisbury in goals (49) and man-up tallies (nine), and he has 13 assists. Cannone joins Jarod Leiberman (1998), Andy Arnold (2001) and Jeff Bigas (2002) as the only Sea Gulls to collect conference Rookie of the Year honors.

In addition to Berkman and Cannone, senior defenseman Kevin Maynard, junior faceoff specialist Ryan Finch and junior midfielder Will Poletis were placed on the second team. This is Maynard’s second straight appearance on the second team.

Posted by Edward Lee at 4:43 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Salisbury
        

April 20, 2009

Salisbury on the bubble?

Sounds like an implausible situation for a program that has captured eight Division III national championships, including the last two titles. For those associated with the Sea Gulls, such a possibility was rendered moot after the team routed Stevenson and collected its 15th consecutive Capital Athletic Conference Tournament crown Sunday.

But Salisbury coach Jim Berkman admitted Monday morning that had the team lost to the Mustangs in the tournament final, the Sea Gulls -- who leaped from No. 10 to No. 5 in the USILA coaches poll -- may have been shut out of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1988.

"If we would have lost yesterday, we would have had four losses," Berkman said of his team’s 14-3 record. "I think it’s going to be hard for any team this year -- with only five at-large bids -- to get into the tournament with four losses."

Salisbury’s march to its 21st consecutive NCAA tournament entailed re-matches against the then-No. 1 Mustangs and St. Mary’s, both of which had tagged the Sea Gulls with back-to-back CAC losses for the first time in the program’s history. Salisbury, which had lost those two contests by a combined five goals, outscored Stevenson and the Seahawks, 31-10.

"I don’t think there’s ever been a shortage of confidence here," Berkman said. "I think during the week, there was a sense of urgency that we really needed to pay attention to detail and to play what we wanted to play going into the games. There was a real sense of urgency that our backs were against the wall, that we really needed to win this game because if we didn’t win this game, I don’t know if we would have been in the at-large pool consideration to make the tournament. So there was a real sense of urgency that we needed to get it done and play together and be unselfish to do the things that we needed to do to be successful."

Posted by Edward Lee at 2:31 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Salisbury
        

April 5, 2009

Stevenson nets significant victory over Salisbury

Many coaches try to dilute the significance of a win -- or loss -- sticking to the time-honored cliché of one game at a time. Thank goodness for us, coach Paul Cantabene, whose No. 1 Mustangs tagged eight-time reigning national Division III champion Salisbury its first loss in the Capital Athletic Conference in 106 games on Saturday night, is not one of those coaches.

"It’s a big victory," Cantabene said. "Any time you can go out there and recruit and say that you beat Salisbury, I think that gives you a leg up, and we’ll continue to hold the No. 1 ranking, which is great. It also gives us home-field advantage throughout the CAC tournament, which is huge, to play the championship game at home. That’s something that Salisbury, which has had such a great run and such a great program, has always been able to play at home. To get back to that game, they have to come to us, which is something that is a little bit different for them."

The Sea Gulls hadn’t lost since joining the conference in 1995, capturing 14 league titles. Unless Stevenson (11-0 overall and 5-0 in the CAC) loses its last two conference games to Marymount (5-6, 1-4) and Hood (1-11, 0-5), Salisbury (11-2, 5-1) will have to defend its league championship outside the friendly confines of Sea Gulls Stadium.

The Mustangs clung to a 6-5 lead at halftime, and after Salisbury junior midfielder Mike Von Kamecke scored 77 seconds into the third quarter to tie the game, Stevenson went on a 5-0 run to put the contest out of reach.

"I thought the big factor was we knew we could win the game," Cantabene said. "When you’ve played Salisbury over the years, your hope is to stay close. I think our kids knew that if they played well, they could win the game. I think the other factor was we played very patiently in the third quarter and really tired them out a little bit. They fouled us a lot because we had them on defense so much that they kind of got a little tired, and that’s when we made them pay for their little mistakes."

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:53 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

March 30, 2009

Salisbury not licking its wounds

If you're expecting the eight-time reigning national champion Sea Gulls, who fell from No. 1 to No. 4 in the latest Division III poll after Saturday's upset loss to Gettysburg, to feel a little blue, guess again. The team is eager to regain its status atop the poll, and that process begins Tuesday against Mary Washington.

"I think everybody in lacrosse cares that they’re No. 1," Salisbury coach Jim Berkman said earlier today. "I think if they say they’re not, they’re pulling wool over your eyes. It’s a lot of prestige for your program, and it gives the kids a sense of confidence and a sense of pride. I think anybody would be lying to you if they told you that they didn’t want to be No. 1."

The 11-10 setback to the No. 9 Bullets (6-3) snapped the 10-1 Sea Gulls' 55-game winning streak and 87-game regular-season winning run. Salisbury also suffered a loss at home for the first time since April 10, 2003 -- a span of 80 contests.

Continue reading "Salisbury not licking its wounds" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:05 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Salisbury
        

March 18, 2009

Salisbury gets lucky with Cannone

Winning has its privileges. Just ask Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman.

Freshman attackman Matt Cannone leads the country among Division III players in goals with 30, and Berkman admitted that the eight-time national championship school scored a coup with attracting Cannone, who transferred from Delaware.

"Once you build a program, there are some things that do come to you, and you get kind of lucky once in a while," Berkman said. "He was the lefty that we needed. We lost Matt Hickman, a first-team All American at that left-handed attack spot, and he has really filled the void with maybe even some skills that we didn’t have last year. He’s a dodger and he can score and he’s a shooter. He’s a good player."

With an 8-0 start, Salisbury has won 53 consecutive games and has not lost a regular-season contest since 2003, a span of 85 games that is not lost on the players and coaches.

"We talk about it now and again," Berkman said. "I don’t think it’s a major point of emphasis, but we do talk about it when we need to drop a little energy. It helps to get them in focus and not only make them realize what they’ve accomplished, but also what’s at stake so that we get the effort that’s needed so that they don’t let it get away."

Other Division III notes:

*The school formerly known as Villa Julie set a new program record for most consecutive wins to begin the season. Stevenson’s 19-3 victory over Wooster yesterday improved the team to 7-0, besting the previous mark of six set in 2007. The Mustangs have won 10 consecutive regular-season contests and seven straight at home.

*Washington collected two weekly awards when the Centennial Conference tabbed Jimmy Kielek and Thom Cecere as the league’s Offense and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively. Kielek, a senior attackman and an Archbishop Curley graduate, totaled four goals and six assists in two games last week, including a hat trick and four assists in a 16-7 win against Muhlenberg on Saturday. Cecere, a junior defenseman and St. Mary’s graduate, posted seven groundballs and three caused turnovers last week, and he scored his first collegiate goal in a 11-7 victory over Hampden-Sydney on Wednesday.

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:18 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson, Washington
        

March 2, 2009

Salisbury's Matt Cannone wins award

Freshman attackman Matt Cannone became the second Sea Gulls player in as many weeks to claim the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Week award after he compiled 12 points in two games last week.

Cannone scored five goals in Salisbury's 18-5 victory over Wesley on Wednesday. Three days later, he recorded career highs in goals (six) and points (seven). Cannone ranks second among the Sea Gulls in goals (15) and points (18), trailing only reigning Division III National Player of the Year Kylor Berkman's 18 goals and 31 points.

Posted by Edward Lee at 7:37 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Salisbury
        

February 25, 2009

Navy's Leone, Salisbury's Berkman honored

Navy senior Geoff Leone was recognized by the Patriot League as the Defensive Player of the Week late yesterday. The short-stick defensive midfielder quarterbacks a man-down unit that has shut out Midshipmen opponents on all six extra-man opportunities this season. Last year's unit surrendered just nine goals in 35 man-down situations.

Salisbury senior Kylor Berkman was named Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Week. The two-time National Midfielder of the Year and reigning Division III Player of the Year recorded four goals and three assists in the No. 1 Sea Gulls' 18-6 rout of No. 6 Lynchburg. Berkman leads Salisbury in goals (eight), assists (eight) and points (16).

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:56 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy, Salisbury
        
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