Salisbury advances to title game
Sea Gulls will face Jumbos in championship rematch
SALISBURY, Md. – Top-ranked Salisbury is heading back to Baltimore for its second-consecutive and 13th overall NCAA Division III national championship game after capturing a 16-7 victory against No. 7 Roanoke on Sunday.
Salisbury (20-1) will face Tufts, which defeated RIT 16-12 in the North Region semifinal, next Sunday at 7 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The maroon and gold will be competing for the program's ninth national championship. The Jumbos and Sea Gulls met in the 2010 national championship game, with Tufts claiming a 9-6 victory to earn its first national championship in program history.
After 10 minutes of scoreless play, the Sea Gulls tallied the game's first goal as attackman Matt Cannone took a feed from midfielder Ryan Clarke and finished it into the net for the 1-0 lead with 4:57 left in the first quarter. The Sea Gulls won the ensuing face-off, with midfielder Corey Nowak picking up the ground ball; the Ballston Lake, N.Y., native burst past his defender and ripped a shot on frame and into the net to hand Salisbury two goals in a span of 10 seconds. After gaining possession nearly a minute later, Roanoke (17-4) called a time-out with 2:06 remaining in the quarter. During the time-out, officials flagged a member of the Maroons (17-4) for an illegal stick, handing
Salisbury a three-minute man-up advantage. The Sea Gulls closed out the quarter with man-up goals from attackmen Kyle Quist and Tony Mendes.
Salisbury's man-up advantage continued to start off the second quarter, and the Sea Gulls took full advantage with junior attackman Erik Krum tallying an unassisted goal with 14:37 to play in the half. Over the next several minutes, the maroon and gold would tack on three additional goals, including another man-up goal from Krum, to extend the lead 8-0 in favor of the hosts. Roanoke got on the board with 10:14 remaining in the second quarter, as Jeff Keating recorded an unassisted goal. The Sea Gulls would outscore the Maroons 3-1 to close out the first half.
At the halftime break, Salisbury outshot Roanoke 23-10, picked up 21 groundballs compared to 11 for the Maroons and won 8-of-13 face-offs.
The Sea Gulls kicked off the third quarter with goals from Krum and Mendes before Roanoke ended the quarter with four-straight markers to cut the deficit to 13-6.
Krum added an unassisted goal just 23 seconds into the quarter to hand Salisbury a 14-6 lead and record his fourth and final goal of the contest. The Sea Gulls would take advantage of slashing penalty on the Maroons, their fifth of the contest, with Cannone scoring off of a pass from Quist. Roanoke's Conner DuBois scored the team's final goal of the game with 9:01 remaining before SU sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman closed out the scoring with an unassisted goal with 7:01 remaining.
Cannone led the way in the contest for Salisbury with a game-high six points on three goals and three assists. Krum (four goals) and Mendes (three goals, one assist) finished with four points, while Quist (two goals, one assist) followed shortly behind with three points.
Salisbury's goalkeeper Johnny Rodriguez notched 13 saves, one caused turnover and three groundballs to earn the win before being relieved by senior goalkeeper Tim Swinburn to a standing ovation from the Salisbury faithful.
Two Salisbury players deserving of special recognition are senior defender Collin Tokosch and Nowak. The two combined for 18 of the team's 45 groundballs in the victory.
Keating posted a team-high two goals for the Maroons, while Justin Tuma collected one goal and one assist.
Roanoke goalkeeper Charles Pease finished with seven saves in nearly 54 minutes of action, with Mike Hardon recording six minutes of playing time and staving off one Salisbury shot.