May 9, 2009

Courtesy of Haverford Athletics

HAVERFORD, Pa.M - A six-goal third quarter by No. 2 Salisbury University helped salt away a win for the visiting Sea Gulls in their 16-10 victory over No. 11 Haverford College (13-4) Saturday afternoon at Swan Field in the second round of the NCAA Division III men's lacrosse tournament.

Nationally-ranked Salisbury (16-3) moves on to the NCAA quarterfinals where they will meet fellow Capital Athletic Conference foe No. 1 Stevensen (Md.) University who defeated Cabrini College by an 8-7 score on Saturday.

Salisbury's six goal third quarter was part of a second half string where the visitor's out scored the Fords by a 9-1 margin to take what had been a narrow 6-4 Sea Gulls halftime lead and turned it into a long uphill climb for host Haverford.

The Fords got on the scoreboard first, however, as Zack Cohen buried a shot past Sea Gulls goalie Johnny Rodriguez less than two minutes after the game's opening face-off. Cohen took a feed from teammate Max Hjelm and fired a laser into the upper corner of the frame to give the Fords what would prove to be their only lead of the game.

Salisbury bounced back from the early deficit with four unanswered goals for a 4-1 lead in the opening moments of the second quarter.

The Fords had an answer to the Sea Gulls outburst scoring three in a row to knot the score up at 4-4 midway through the second 15 minute stanza.

Jory Fong circled counter-clockwise from the top of the zone and got off a shot that beat Rodriguez from about eight yards out to his left to cut the lead to three at 13:43 of the second.

Myles Monaghan followed with a pair of goals exactly one minute apart to tie the score. His first was a diving effort from just behind the goalie's right that skipped in low under Rodrieguez' netting, and his tying goal came from seven yards out front off a quick flip from a Phillip Valliant pass.

Haverford's momentum was broken with Salisbury goals only 15 seconds apart in the quarter's ninth minute, setting the score at 6-4 which is how the opening 30 minutes ended.

An early strike from Haverford opened up the third quarter and trimmed the lead to just one. Travis Gregory fired a low shot from up high in the attack zone with Valliant earning another assist.

Trailing by just one goal at 6-5 now, the Fords seemed on the verge of staging another momentum shift but this time Salisbury broke back quickly and began their 9-1 run that lasted into the fifth minute of the fourth quarter.

Monaghan netted his third of the game in the middle of Salisbury's streak but by the 10:01 mark of the final quarter, the Fords were down 15-6 and their season was slipping away.

Desperately trying to get back into the game, Haverford's Brian Fleishhacker ended the Salisbury run and scored twice within 12 seconds to give his team hope.

Goals from Gregory and Fleishhacker late in the quarter allowed the Fords to out score the Gulls by a 4-1 margin over the final nine minutes but the visitor's lead was just too great to overcome and Haverford's season finally came to an end with the final horn.

Haverford's Fleishhacker and Monaghan led all scorers in the contest with three goals apiece. Six different players scored two goals each for Salisbury in the win with four other Sea Gulls registering one goal.

Rodriguez earned the win in goal for the Sea Gulls making five saves while surrendering 10 goals. At the Haverford defensive end, Joe Banno finished with 16 saves but was saddled with the losing decision.

Though the Fords season ended on Saturday, the 2009 campaign was the most successful one in program history.

Their 13 wins was a program record and the Fords captured their first ever regular season Centennial Conference title earning the right to host the postseason conference tournament last weekend. And seven different players earned postseason league honors with head coach Mike Murphy -- whose 64 wins at the school ties him for the most career victories with program founder Dana Swan -- getting the nod as Coach of the Year.