Salisbury Men’s Lacrosse Punches Ticket to NCAA Tournament

The No. 8 Salisbury University Men’s Lacrosse team earned its 19th Capital Athletic Conference championship on Saturday with a 14-5 victory over Frostburg Sate University at Sea Gull Stadium.

“Obviously we had to win this game to punch our ticket to move onto the next round, so I think there wasn’t a lack of anything to fire us up,” Salisbury senior defender and CAC Player of the Year Knute Kraus said. “We were excited all week and ready to get out here and prove were one of the best defenses in the country.”

Salisbury started the game with a 4-0 run 33 seconds into the game, when James Burton found Cason Kalama in the crease for a quick 1-0 lead.

Thomas Ciriillo added the second goal for the Sea Gulls when he launched a low shot that flew past the Frostburg goalie for a 2-0 lead. The score would remain there for the remainder of the first quarter.

Goalkeeper Connor Anderson had one of the best days of his lacrosse career keeping Frostburg out of the goal, for the first quarter and a half, recording a career high 16 saves while earning his 13th win of the season.

“Our defense knew what we had to do,” Salisbury keeper Connor Anderson said. “Our defense took the hands away from the kids we knew could shoot so the shots I was getting were all shots I like to see. Kudos to the defense, it’s easy when they do their part for me.”

Burton scored his second goal thanks to a pass from Cirillo minutes into the second quarter. Mike Kane then added a goal by scoring from the right side of the crease to give Salisbury a 4-0 lead.

Frostburg would then answer with two goals, cutting the score in half to 4-2, before Sean Fitzgerald added another goal for the Sea Gulls to start a 9-0 run for Salisbury.

Burton added his second goal to close out the first half with just over one minute left to give Salisbury a 6-2 halftime lead.  At the half Frostburg had a slight lead in shots taken 26-24, ground balls 19-14, and had won 7-10 face offs.

Salisbury opened up the second half with a man-up opportunity, which would begin a 7-0 run through the third quarter. Nathan Blondino found Kalama just thirty seconds into the third quarter. Cameron Maples then won the following face off and drove straight down the middle unassisted to score for Salisbury just eight seconds later.

“It was a great run in the third quarter, we ran that little fake flip play to start that man up they bit on it, Carson ended up with a dunk,” Head Coach Jim Berkman said. “Couldn’t ask for a better way to start the third quarter than run the man-up play you’ve been practicing for a while and you end up with a dunk to start the quarter.”

Davis Anderson then did the same thing off of a Frostburg turnover, driving right down the middle of the field for Salisbury’s third goal in a matter of minutes to give a 9-2 lead.

The 10th goal for Salisbury came from Christian Ottenritter from the left side of the crease. Kalama added two more goals, leading the team with four, and also scoring his 50th goal for the season. Fitzgerald added his second to close out the third quarter with a 13-2 lead.

Cirillo would add the final goal for Salisbury with just over 8 minutes left in the game.

As the CAC champion, Salisbury has earned an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

“It is what it is, we’re a good road team we won a lot big games in the past on the road,” Berkman said. “We really like the way we’re playing right now and we’re going to be a tough match for anybody that has to play us.”

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Looking Forward: Big Sea Gull Stadium Upgrades Coming Spring 2016

Salisbury University’s Homecoming and Family Weekend had a special significance for Salisbury athletics and alumni. On Saturday October 18, Salisbury revealed the designs of its new $19 million stadium, as well as a $10 million renovation for other athletic facilities around campus.

The new building will be a considerable upgrade over the 1980 one-story cinderblock structure currently there. “The stadium will be over 30,000 square feet,” said Matthew Groves, project manager. “The existing team building could fit into its lobby.”

“This is the largest athletics construction project during my 25 years here,” said Dr. Michael Vienna, athletics director. “This will put our stadium on par with the better Division III stadiums.

“Funding for these projects is coming from institutional, not state dollars, as well as gifts from generous donors,” Vienna said. “I’m grateful for all of their support, particularly the commitment which President Dudley-Eshbach has made to Sea Gull Athletics.”

Two nearly 80-foot tall towers will anchor the new stadium. It will have bleacher seating for almost 5,000 people, with about 2,800 on the home side. Inside the stadium, the first floor will have four locker rooms for our field hockey, football, and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, as well as one for visiting teams and referees.

“And I can tell you, our athletes and coaches are thrilled at the idea of not having to share spaces and walk under Route 13 from Maggs Gym anymore” said, President Dudley-Eshbach.

There will also be a retail shop selling Salisbury gear, a full concession stand, a ticket office, storage and, of course public restrooms. The second floor will feature an athletic training clinic and a classroom for team meetings. The third floor will have five covered suites for dignitaries and special guests. The fourth floor will be the stadium’s “nerve center” on game day. It will have a press box; a production booth for the Sea Gull Sports Network; coaches booths for home and visiting teams; radio booths for local and visiting broadcasters; and a game operations area for sports information staff, scoreboard and clock operators, and announcers.

“Today, I’m pleased to reveal that this top floor will be named Draper Athletics Communications Center, made possible by a substantial gift from Draper Holdings” said Dudley-Eshbach. “Draper is one of several generous benefactors and donors who have already stepped forward to provide support for this new facility. Others include two-time Salisbury graduate Lili Afkhami who is contributing to the field hockey and sports information areas; alumnus Michael Kelly, a former football player who is giving support that team’s space; and other graduates and community members who wish to remain anonymous.”

A major renovation of athletics playing field is being brought up for East Campus as well. A new tennis building will be added near the new tennis courts. Improvements for athletic fields include new bleachers and press boxes for baseball, softball, and men and women’s rugby teams. The ultimate goal for the athletics complex is a new field house. Though that is sometime in the future Vienna believes it would be transformative for the campus. These renovations are expected to take a couple of years.

“As an NCAA Division III school, we do not offer athletics scholarships,” Vienna said. “What attracts students, including athletes, is the overall excellence in education. Part of this educational experience is quality life outside the classroom, including our campus appearance. Good student-athletes want to play in good facilities. We think these enhancements will help in attracting students, not only those playing on teams, but those who participate in our very active intramural and club team sports, as well as their families and friends. I think of athletes as co-curricular, instilling values and disciplines that will serve students in their professional, personal and civic lives. These new facilities and upgrades will support that education.”

The new Sea Gull Stadium is expected to open in Spring 2016, with construction beginning after Christmas this year.

Salisbury Lacrosse Makes Statement Win, Dominates York College

The No. 10 Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team played its final regular-season home game Wednesday night in a CAC matchup against York College of Pennsylvania, taking a 19-6 victory at Sea Gull Stadium clinching the No.1 seed in the CAC tournament.

“It was definitely a great answer to the bell that win,” Salisbury head coach Jim Berkman said. “It’s kind of a midweek game, one of those games where you don’t know what you’re really going to get we came right of the gate and played extremely well.”

Sophomore Carson Kalama scored the first three goals of the game for the Sea Gulls all within the first five minutes f play, starting a dominant first half for the Sea Gulls.

“Ternahan kept coming down on the point and he had two assists for me today, which is huge,” Kalama said. “It’s nothing really what I’m doing, it’s people finding me and putting the shots away.”

Kalama’s first goal came 2:02 into the game where he picked up a ground ball off of a save to get a quick 1-0 lead. Kalama’s second came on a pass from sophomore Nathan Blondino, before Andrew Ternahan found Kalama on the crease for a man up score 16 seconds later. Kalama finished the game with a team leading six goals, and leads the Salisbury offense in scoring.

“He’s got a great lax IQ. He knows how to move in space,” Berkman said. “He plays in a position where his man is usually the guy who’s the help guy on defense and has to slide to some of the other people.”

After junior Thomas Cirillo scored his first goal of the night, Ternahan found Kalama again for a quick score to give Salisbury a 5-0 lead with 7:55 left in the first quarter.

Senior Kyle Goss and junior James Burton each added a goal, while Thomas Cirillo added his second to give Salisbury an 8-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Salisbury offense showed no signs of slowing down, scoring seven more goals in the first five minutes of the second quarter.

Senior Mike Kane had assists on the first three goals of the period to Cirillo, Kalama, and Blondino.

Sean Fitzgerald, Kalama, and Cirillo all scored unassisted goals to take a 15-0 lead with 10:20 left in the second quarter.

Burton scored his second goal of the night, followed by junior Christian Ottenritter who closed out the scoring of the first half to take a 17-0 lead into halftime.

The Salisbury defense played equally as well as the offense shutting out York in the first half. Salisbury out shot York 28-5 in the first half, and also in ground balls 26-9. Salisbury also won 15-19 face-offs.

Sophomore Chris Joyce scored for the Sea Gulls just 18 seconds into the second half. The final goal for Salisbury was scored by Daniel Long to give Salisbury a 19-0 lead with 7:32 left in the third quarter.

York added six goals in the final quarter and a half, but it was too little to late as Salisbury already held an insurmountable lead.

Goalkeeper Connor Anderson kept York from scoring, while recording two saves, and got his tenth win of the season.

The Sea Gulls travel to Washington College (Md.) on Saturday for the annual War on the Shore game for the Charles B. Clark Cup.

“It’ll be a huge crowd, a great environment as we hopefully win the conference and move forward into the playoffs,” Berkman said. “It’s a game we obviously want to win because number one it’s the Charles Clark Cup and number two as we move forward we keep increasing our regional ranking as we move into the NCAA tournament.”

Men’s Lacrosse Avenges Last Season Loss With Dominant Victory

The No. 11 Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team avenged last season’s overtime loss to Christopher Newport University, taking a dominant 16-3 CAC conference victory over the Capitan’s on Wednesday night at Sea Gull Stadium.

“We have been waiting 365 days for this,” junior defensive midfielder Preston Dabbs said. “We’ve been waiting a year for it so the defense had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder.”

Sophomore Nathan Blondino opened the scoring for the Salisbury offense with a goal at the 10:05 mark. Sophomore Carson Kalama gave the Sea Gulls a 3-0 when he scored two straight goals nearly 30 seconds apart with just under 8 minutes left in the first. Kalama then assisted senior Mike Kane giving the Sea Gulls a 4-0 lead heading into the 2nd. Christian Ottenritte, Thomas Cirillo, Adam Stork, Chase Berquist, and James Burton all added additional goals for the Salisbury offense.

Salisbury scored five more goals in the second quarter, while the defense held CNU scoreless through the entire first half. CNU only totaled six shots on goal in the first half, while turning the ball over 18 times.

James Burton scored for the Sea Gulls in the early minutes of the second. The next two Salisbury goals were by Blondino and Cirillo. Senior Sean Fitzgerald, who finished the night with a team leading six assists, assisted both.

“When we draw a slide and I get the ball someone is going to be open,” Fitzgerald said. “I just need to read the defense and figure out who it is. They left the crease open a lot today and we hit that then they were kind of crashing inside and we hit a skip pass for somebody on the back side.”

The Sea Gulls took a 9-0 lead into halftime, after a goal from junior Adam Stork and a second goal from Burton in the final minutes of the quarter.

Salisbury out shot CNU 25-6 in the first half, won the turnover battle 9-18, and picked up more ground balls 19-12.

Fitzgearld found Kane to begin the third quarter to make the score 10-0.  After CNU scored their first goal of the night, Burton was able to add his third goal of the night on an assist from Fitzgerald, moving the lead back up to double digits.

Kane and Kalama would each add another goal for the Sea Gulls, while Fitzgerald added two more assists to build a 15-1 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Kalama’s game leading fourth goal was the final one for Salisbury on the night just over 10 seconds into the fourth to make the score 16-1.

“If we flash back six weeks ago we are not the same team on offense,” Berkman said. “Getting Nate has helped a great deal, but Carson’s emergence in the crease. Kane on the left spot – not ideal, but yet he brings another dimension that he can play on the inside too and the first midfield line gets better every day.”

CNU would add two more goals throughout the fourth quarter.

Senior Connor Anderson got his eighth win on the season, playing 45 minutes and notching four saves while only giving up one goal.

Salisbury will be on the road for their next game against Frostburg State University in a CAC matchup on April 11.