Salisbury 4, Richard Stockton 2

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Whittington Scores Four Times As Gulls Overcome 2-0 Deficit in Sectional Final

SALISBURY, Md.-- Junior forward Bill Whittington scored a career-high four goals to lead the No. 3 ranked Salisbury men's soccer team past No. 15 Richard Stockton 4-2 in the sectional final of the NCAA Division III Tournament Sunday. The Sea Gulls advance to Friday's NCAA national semifinal for the first time in school history. Salisbury will face Messiah on Friday in Greensboro, NC.

Whittington helped the Sea Gulls rally from an early 2-0 deficit with all four goals while also setting a new Salisbury season record of 20 goals. He broke the previous mark of 18 set by Matt Bowman in 2001.Richard Stockton struck quickly, scoring the game's first goal just 2:20 into the match when junior Dan Morse scored on a rebound, placing the ball into the right corner past SU goalie Jason Cranford. The Ospreys maintained control and added their second goal at 12:17 when freshman Eric Lewis blasted a shot from inside the box that deflected off a Salisbury defender and into the net.

Whittington then stepped to the forefront. He cut the deficit in half at 16:39 as he scored on a rebound goal. The score remained 2-1 at halftime.

Salisbury seized control early in the second half and pushed much of the early play. The Gulls netted the game-tying goal at 53:32 as Whittington scored on a header in the box from a cross by senior Dan Lader.

Salisbury then claimed its first lead at 68:53 as junior J.J. King fed Whittington with a long lead pass. Whittington beat his defender and RSC goalie Tim McKenna to the ball and redirected the shot into an empty goal to push Salisbury ahead. The Sea Gulls then added an insurance marker at the 87:25 mark as junior Chris Mills created the action from the left side, then passed to Whittington, who blasted a low ball into the left corner for his fourth of the game and his 20th of the season.

After a sluggish opening 20 minutes Salisbury controlled much of the game, finishing with an 18-10 advantage in total shots, including 12-2 in the second half. Cranford recorded three saves in goal while freshman McKenna posted five saves for the Ospreys.

Richard Stockton finishes the season 18-4-3 overall. Salisbury improves to 20-0-3 and extends its team-record unbeaten streak to 23 games heading into its first-ever NCAA national semifinal appearance.

--Courtesy Salisbury