The No. 12 Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team lost to No. 7 Stevenson in a tough overtime matchup, 9-8 yesterday at Sea Gull Stadium.
Sophomore attack, Carson Kalama and senior midfielder, Sean Fitzgerald had a great connection early on. Kalama scored the first four goals for Salisbury, while Fitzgerald added three assists to Kalama, as Salisbury was able to maintain possession for a majority of the first period. Fitzgerald, Thomas Cirillo, Nathan Blondino and James Burton added additional goals for the Sea Gulls.
“I just found the open space and (Fitzgerald) kept his head up and found me.” Kalama said. “(I was) just taking good shots, finding open space and getting good looks form Fitzgerald. (I did) what I’m supposed to do – hit net.”
The Sea Gulls struck first just over a minute into the game where Kalama gave the Sea Gulls a quick 1-0 lead, but Stevenson answered quickly on a break away a little over a minute later.
The Gulls took a 3-1 lead after Kalama and Fitzgerald connected two more times for quick goals, but Stevenson would add another goal with five seconds remaining in the period as Salisbury took a 3-2 lead into the second quarter.
Stevenson would strike back quickly at the start of the 2nd with two man-up goals to give them a 4-3 lead. Kalama would then add his fourth goal of the night with 8:28 left in the second. After another score by Stevenson, Fitzgerald added a goal of his own ripping it to the top right of the goal, with the assist from midfielder, Thomas Cirillo to make the score 5-5 at the half.
At the half Salisbury led in shots 18-11, ground balls 14-13, and won 7-11 faceoff opportunities. But the Sea Gulls were 0-3 on man-up opportunities, while Stevenson was 3-3.
Junior midfielder James Burton added the only goal of the 3rd period at the 12:10 mark to give the Sea Gulls a 6-5 lead heading into the 4th.
Stevenson maintained possession for a majority of the 4th period and was able to add three straight goals to take an 8-6 lead with just under 3 minutes left to play.
“As well as they played they were their own nemesis a little bit on the clear,” head coach Jim Berkman said. “We had a sophomore midfielder that threw the ball 45 yards up the field I don’t understand why and a couple defensemen that tried to run the ball over that gave them the ball right back after we had cleared it pretty good the whole game.”
With 1:10 remaining Cirillo scored a goal for the Sea Gulls to bring the score to 8-7. After winning the next face-off the Sea Gulls immediately called a timeout to talk about a game-tying play. It was Fitzgerald passing to Blondino who shot the ball right past the Stevenson goalie with 11 seconds remaining to tie the game at 8-8 and forcing overtime.
The Sea Gulls won the face-off in overtime, but were unable to land their two shots on Stevenson. With 1:22 left in overtime Stevenson was able to score the winning goal.
“I’m very proud of defensive effort,” Berkman said. “We played great defense holding a high-powered offense to 8 goals in regulation just like we held Ohio Welseyan to eight goals. Our defense is a top five team. The thing is we have got to score.”
Salisbury will be on the road for its next game, traveling to Southern Virginia University on Saturday, March 28 starting at 1 p.m.