No. 3 Stevenson edges No. 2 Salisbury
Mustangs grab top seed in CAC tournament with upset win
SALISBURY, Md. -- No. 2 Salisbury team suffered a 16-12 defeat to third-ranked Stevenson in front of 1,697 in attendance at Sea Gull Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, the Mustangs (15-1, 8-0 Capital Athletic Conference) claim the top seed and home-field advantage in the upcoming CAC tournament (April 16-23). The Sea Gulls (14-1, 7-1 CAC) earn the second seed in the tournament, which comes with a first-round bye.
Even with the loss, it was a special day for the Salisbury University men's lacrosse community at Sea Gull Stadium. Prior to the game, eight Sea Gull seniors were honored for their hard work, as this was their last regular-season game at Sea Gull Stadium. The game was also part of the "Lax for Leukemia" event, in which over $14,000 was donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the National Marrow Donor Program.
Stevenson opened up the contest with the game's first five goals, including a pair from Jimmy Dailey. The Sea Gulls recorded their first goal of the contest with 1:39 remaining in the first quarter, as junior attackman Tony Mendes netted a goal off an assist from senior midfielder Shawn Zordani. The Salisbury offense was plagued by turnovers in the quarter with a game-high eight turnovers in the frame.
The Mustangs tallied the first goal of the second quarter off an unassisted tally from Richie Ford. Zordani recorded his first marker of the game at the 10:43 mark, before Stevenson played home a pair of goals to extend the lead to 8-2 with 6:36 remaining. The Salisbury offense responded with three goals to close out the half, including a man-up goal from junior midfielder Sam Bradman off an assist from junior attackman Matt Cannone.
Stevenson outshot Salisbury 29-21 and held a 19-16 advantage in ground balls throughout the first half. The Sea Gulls won 8-of-15 face-offs in the half, including 6-of-8 on face-off attempts in the second quarter.
The Sea Gulls extended their scoring streak to four goals after Mendes tallied a man-up goal off an assist from Bradman to close the lead to 8-6. The Mustangs answered with six of the next eight goals to extend their lead to 14-8.
Despite the six-goal margin, the Sea Gulls continued to press and were rewarded with three-straight goals to kick off the fourth quarter with a score of 15-11, but that would be as close as it would get. The Mustangs recorded two goals over the last six minutes, sandwiched in between an unassisted Salisbury goal from sophomore midfielder Tyler Granelli.
It was a physical game between the two teams, as there were a combined 24 penalties called on the CAC foes.
Bradman (one goal, three aissts) and Zordani (two goals, two assists) led the way for the Sea Gulls with a team-high four points, while Mendes finished shortly behind with three points on three goals. Senior goalkeeper Johnny Rodriguez finished with 15 saves for the maroon and gold.
Stevenson received a game-high five points from Kyle Moffitt on four goals and one assist. Neal Barthelme (one assist) and Dailey each recorded three goals for the Mustangs. Goalkeeper Ian Bolland posted eight saves to earn the victory for Stevenson.
The Sea Gulls are set to return to action this Wednesday in the CAC semifinals. Salisbury will square off with the winner of the contest between fourth-seed York (Pa.) College and fifth-seed St. Mary's (Md.) College, which will be played on Sunday in York, Pa. Please check back on www.suseagulls.com for additional updates as they become available.