Salisbury breaks records in win over Southern Virginia


Sports Editor


Salisbury University’s football team slaughtered Southern Virginia University in its record setting 91-7 victory at Sea Gull Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The win set up three new records for Salisbury as they broke records for most points scored in a game, most touchdowns scored in a game, and largest margin of victory. All were previous records held by the 84-7 victory SU had over Husson September 18, 2010.

It was all ground and pound for the Sea Gulls (2-1) who put up 548 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns, while having 13 different players take turns running the ball against the Knights (0-3).

“Executing, doing what we do in practice and coming out here and playing definitely makes us more confident,” junior slot back Aaron Moore said. “We have to ignore the score and keep getting better each week.”

The game started with a 48-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Ryan Jones to senior wide receiver Isaiah Taylor to put the Gulls up 7-0. Jones only completed two passes during the game, but made the big plays when called upon.

“We’ve been doing a lot of play-action, which comes from the options we have, so the secondary will run down thinking its option, and I’ll pull back and dump it over the top,” Jones said.

Salisbury finished the first quarter with 28 points, and went into half time with a 63-7 score. The Gulls did allow SVU sophomore quarterback Shawn Honeycutt to find a wide-open receiver for a 48-yard score, but after that the Knights never saw the end zone again.

Sea Gulls head coach Sherman Wood was excited to show off his new team in front of the Salisbury home crowd for the first time this season.

“Fifty percent of the people out here today have probably never seen our program before,” Wood said. “It’s great to let them know we have a quality team, but it’s even more important seeing the execution, and taking care of things the way we needed to.”

The Gulls had eight different players reach the end zone on the day. Moore put up 104 rushing yards with three touchdowns, while Jones and junior super back Connor Cononico finished with 78 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and 71 yards rushing and one touchdown, respectively.

“(Southern Virginia) established what they were doing early on, and the line was doing a great job getting to their players,” Jones said. “We’re just doing what we can do to score whatever possible. If we do that, we’ll be alright.”

Salisbury now holds a record of 2-0 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference while the Knights continue to search for their first win of the season.

The Sea Gulls head on the road to face conference opponent TCNJ, before returning home to take on Rowan on homecoming weekend.

“We’re going to focus on being us. We’ll watch the video, and if there were mistakes we need to focus on correcting those mistakes,” Wood said. “It’s a different ballgame now, so it’s time for us to get going.”

Behind Jantzen, Salisbury stays undefeated

Staff Writer

Senior forward Courtney Jantzen knocked in two goals as the Salisbury University field hockey team took the victory over Johns Hopkins University at Sea Gull Stadium Wednesday night.

The Sea Gulls (6-0) came in aggressive from the start scoring just under five minutes into the game. Senior forward Sam Johnson raced up the middle, shipping the ball past the last defender, right into the cage past Johns Hopkins (4-3) senior goalie Greta Helvie, putting her team up early in the match.

“We were told that the goalie came out really far, so I figured if I caught her off guard something would work,” Johnson said. “I had a similar goal against Virginia Wesleyan so I figured it would work this time too.”

Johnson contributed two assists; both towards Jantzen’s goals, keeping her team together and making plays. Sea Gulls’ head coach Dawn Chamberlin said that’s how Johnson can play every game.

“She’s an amazing player and when she makes her mind up that she’s going to step up and play with that intensity level she can really run the show,” Chamberlin said. “She did a great job today, just a great effort on the field offensively and defensively.”

The first half was all SU as they outshot the Blue Jays 17-0. Penalty corners were in heavy favor for the Sea Gulls as they tallied 18, while Johns Hopkins only had one in the first half.

The Blue Jays struggled with keeping up with the intensity of Salisbury from beginning to end. Johns Hopkins’ head coach Megan Fraser made numerous substitutions at one time in efforts to keep up the pace.

As the first half came to a close, Johnson shot a long cross along the goal line as Jantzen tipped it into the cage giving Salisbury a 2-0 lead. The Sea Gulls kept it on Johns Hopkins’ side of the field as a scrum in front of the goal occurred, and senior forward Jessica Crew flicked the ball in right before the halftime buzzer, extending their lead to three.

Jantzen scored her second goal of the night deflecting the pass from Johnson off a long cross from right to make the score 4-0 with twenty minutes remaining in the game.

“We’ve been working on it a lot in practice and just drawing our defenders out to cut in front of them,” Jantzen said. “We weren’t capitalizing on our corners, so we had to put the ball in the goal somehow and it felt really good.”

Salisbury heads on the road Saturday to play top-ranked The College of New Jersey before returning to Sea Gull Stadium on October 4 to play its first conference game against Frostburg State.

Second half surge powers Sea Gulls past Cardinals


Staff Writer

The Salisbury University women’s soccer team defeated Catholic University of America, 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at the SU Soccer Complex.

Both teams controlled the ball equally with both defenses making major stops, eliminating many scoring opportunities.

As the game progressed, the Cardinals (5-2) managed to keep the game on SU’s side of the field. Twelve minutes into the contest, the Sea Gulls (5-2) attempted to clear the ball out near their own goal, but Catholic defender Lindsay Aleman stole the ball and knocked it in for the score, giving her team a 1-0 lead in the first half.

SU head coach Kwame Lloyd knew just what his team needed to do in order to get back in the game. He said his team needed to step up the intensity and keep it high.

“We got down early and I think we were a little anxious in the beginning, but once we settled down and played our game we created a lot of opportunities for ourselves,” Lloyd said. “It was about opportunities and controlling our midfield and being dangerous in our combinations in the final third.”


The Sea Gulls turned the game around, tying the match up late in the first half. Sophomore midfielder Alex Pryor had two assists, one of which happened before the first half from the right side to junior midfielder Erin McQuate, who dribbled it into the box.

“Coach said when you come off the bench you’re a game changer, and he said you have to come in and change the game,” Pryor said. “I saw Erin making the run, and I just executed. What we did in practice, where we drop off the ball and play it through and I just saw it. I just had confidence that Erin was going to see it through.”

SU came out strong in the second half with help from sophomore midfielder Ruthie Lucas, who helped make major plays for her team. Four minutes into the second half, the Sea Gulls converted a corner kick, where Lucas headed the ball into Pryor’s direction, who also headed it to senior midfielder Christine Clark. Clark finished with a header to give SU the 2-1 lead.

The Cardinals attempted to get shots off, but sophomore goalkeeper Hope Knussman continued to make save after save, stopping Catholic from tying it up. A break away shot from senior midfielder Samantha Beck was almost converted, but instead turned into a foul in the box which gave SU a penalty kick attempt.

Senior forward Jenna DeLetto took the kick sending it past Cardinals goalkeeper Lexi Halperin to extend the lead 3-1 four minutes into the second half. SU’s defensive backfield helped shut down Catholic’s offense which was able to secure the win. The Sea Gulls outshot the Cardinals 14 to 11.

Riding a two-game winning streak, SU heads on the road to face Stevenson University in their last non-conference match before returning home where they will host Penn St.-Harrisburg on Sept. 26.

Coaches Corner: Sherman Wood

By Ricky Pollitt

Sports Editor


The name Sherman Wood has been a familiar one around Salisbury the past three decades.

Some know him as the wise, passionate speaker at sports clinics. Others know him as the loving husband and father to his wife, Tonya and daughter, Sherece.

But when most people around SU hear the name Sherman Wood, they automatically think of the man who stands on the sidelines every Saturday in the fall and cares not just about winning, but about the well-being of his players and the students of Salisbury University.

A graduate of SU in 1984, Wood was a four-year letterman on the Sea Gull football team where he played defensive back and helped SU earn its first NCAA tournament berth in the team’s history.

“I just want instant respect for our program,” Wood said. “I played youth league sports ever since I was six-years-old and it’s always helped me help others with the game of football.”

After graduation, Wood returned to Salisbury as a volunteer assistant coach under head coach Mike McGlinchey. He continued his coaching career by going to Bowie State as a graduate assistant and Virginia Union University where he served as a full-time assistant.

Wood later returned to Bowie State where he was given his first head coaching job. After serving there for six seasons, and compiling a 21-37-1 record, Wood made the move back to his alma mater; back to the maroon and gold.

“When I first came here, we were just hoping to win a couple of games. A .500 record was the goal,” Wood said. “Now, when I put together goals and expectations, the kids know we expect to have long seasons. We expect to be in the national playoffs. We expect to win the conference championship. Anything else is not acceptable and that is our mentality.” Wood 2

Long seasons are exactly what SU players have had to prepare for the past few years. Since Wood has taken over, he has tallied six NCAA tournament appearances, two ACFC championships, two Empire 8 championships, and four ECAC Bowl championships.

To say the Wood era so far has been a success would be an understatement in many eyes. Back in 2005, he became the programs all-time winningest coach with 45 victories. Wood’s close to tripling that number, as he now stands at 115 victories going into the 2015 season.

Despite all the success, winning may not be the most important thing in the coach’s eye. An advocate for youth safety and a mentor for many local kids, Wood does his best to teach his players what it means to be a leader.

“(Coach) teaches you core values you need to succeed in life,” former Sea Gulls’ football player Jesse Langford III said. “He’s helped make me a better man.”

With all the honors, victories and lives he’s affected, there’s no doubt Wood is that rare person everyone loves to be around. From his ear-to-ear smile, to his father-like demeanor, Wood will always be regarded as one of the greats to wear the maroon and gold.

“I run a program designed to teach leadership while learning to be productive citizens,” Wood said.

Freshman goalkeeper Falcone takes the throne

By Ricky Pollitt

Staff Writer


Not too many freshman see playing time at the collegiate level when joining a sports team; especially when the team is a back-to-back national champion in Division III women’s lacrosse.

However, goalkeeper Gianna Falcone is not like most freshman.

Sporting recent three-time national goalkeeper of the year Ashton Wheatley’s number 46 jersey, the Florham, New Jersey native has become a force to be reckoned with as the final line of defense for the Sea Gulls.


“You can’t ever take anything for granted,” Falcone said. “I’m playing with some of the best players in D3 college lacrosse, and they help me get better each week.”

The goalie position was a question mark coming into the 2015 season. Salisbury lost Wheatley to graduation, and would have to rely on a group of players who had seen limited action for the Sea Gulls.

At the start of the year, Salisbury went with Alyssa Harmke; a senior who had played three seasons behind one of the best goalies in the nation. Sea Gulls’ head coach Jim Nestor had confidence in Harmke but knew she would have to play spot on in order to keep her starting spot.

“The competition for the [goalie] spot was great,” Nestor said. “There’s always going to be a battle for that spot.”

Salisbury opened their season with a home matchup against rival Stevenson. After trailing 7-0 at halftime, Nestor made the decision to pull Harmke and gave Falcone her first action in the cage.

Little did anyone know, the Sea Gulls were getting their first glance at their goalie of the future.

Falcone played lights out in the second half, only allowing two goals by the Stevenson offense. Her ability to shut down the opposing offense helped spark Salisbury’s attacks, and the Gulls were able to come back and claim a 10-9 overtime victory.

“When [Falcone] got the start she really didn’t play like a freshman,” Nestor said. “When it comes down to it, she knows how to make those tough saves and put her team in a spot to win.”

In her first career start against York College, Falcone made 11 saves to set a new milestone in her career before erasing that tally against Brockport the following week with 12.

As the season progressed, Falcone continued to catch the attention of not just Salisbury fans, but lacrosse fanatics all across the nation.

With 7 saves through 16 games, she has blossomed into the nation’s best, maintaining a 4.92 goals-against average; which is top in the country, and a .559 save percentage ranking third in the nation.

“I have to attribute it all to my team. Their support and everything gives me the confidence to be better,” Falcone said. “I don’t take any of the credit.”

Falcone did receive credit though, from representatives from the Capital Athletic Conference. She was awarded Rookie of the Year for her outstanding play in the cage this season.

The freshman keeper also put her name on the conference’s first team, where she was joined by teammates Kara O’Rourke, Megan Wallenhorst, Anna Sparr, Bethany Baer, and Kate Haker.

In the CAC tournament, the freshman only allowed seven goals and tallied 10 saves.

“The whole team coming together, and becoming one with the defense has allowed everyone to work together well and have good communication,” Falcone said.

At the start of the season, the goalie position was not the only one that was uncertain going in. Salisbury lost a number of defenders to graduation and injury, which forced younger players to step up along with Falcone.


Paired with seniors defenders Sparr and Laura Maskell, Hayden Hutzell and Kieran Kelleher have helped solidify the defensive wall that the Sea Gulls have.

“If we play together as a whole and not as individual players then we do a lot better,” Falcone said. “It all comes down to the passion and the heart, and I think we have that.”

The unit averages 5.46 goals per game, and has not allowed more than five goals in eight of their last nine matches.

With the offense struggling at times this season, due to injury and lack of chemistry, Nestor has relied on Falcone and his defense to keep Salisbury winning during big games.

“We need to put more points on the board, but our defense is holding them to five or six goals a game which is helping us out a lot,” Nestor said.

Allowing only 60 goals this season, Falcone looks to carry her success and confidence over into her first NCAA Tournament.

Despite her young age, Falcone has become a leader of one of the most successful defenses in Division III. With her in the cage, Salisbury is confident they have what it takes to get back to the national championship and bring home the program’s fourth title.

“We just have to do what we’ve been doing all along. We have to practice and make sure we’re all there supporting each other,” Falcone said. “As long as we all work together, we can get it done.”

Field Hockey continues undefeated season with win over Messiah

By Diamond Holton

Staff Writer 


The number two ranked Salisbury University field hockey team continued its undefeated season with a 1-0 victory against seventeenth ranked Messiah College at Sea Gull Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The Sea Gulls (4-0) took over in the matchup out shooting the Falcons (1-3) 18 to one, with the majority of the shots coming in the second half. Salisbury took advantage with their penalty corners totaling 11, while Messiah finished with three.

The second half belonged to the Sea Gulls as they tripled their shots on goal trying to  avoid a possible overtime period. With under seven minutes to go, junior midfielder Hannah Miller blasted from top of the circle off a  penalty corner, and into the right side of the cage with an assist from senior forward Sam Johnson for the score.

“Honestly I’ve never done it before,” Miller said. “Definitely a rush to have that one goal.”

Head coach Dawn Chamberlin felt her team dominated and played steady throughout the matchup. She did, however, feel her team needed more intensity to finish the game off early.

“Games like this can go either way, so we’re very happy that Hannah put the ball in and got the goal for us right there,” Chamberlin said. “I think we played well, but we just played a little flat against a good team like Messiah and that can be a little dangerous. Overall defensively we were very, very strong doing a great job in the backfield shutting down all their scoring opportunities.”

The game remained scoreless through the first half as junior defender Annah Brittingham and senior forward Courtney Jantzen had two shots a piece; one on goal for Jantzen and both shots on goal for Brittingham.

Despite the victory, Miller felt her and her teammates had been struggling to play as a complete unit.

“Our passing and communicating is there, but we haven’t exactly clicked yet which happens every year with a brand new team,” Miller said. “We’re a really young team this year with only five seniors, so today was it. It honestly gave me chills to see we finally clicked.”

Messiah managed to continuously keep fresh legs on the field defensively, but they were unable to prevail as Salisbury took the victory. An opportunity to extend their lead was given as junior midfielder Casie Preisch hit a penalty shot, but it soared over the cage leaving them with just the one goal.

Some frustration happened throughout the game as Salisbury received three player cards: two green cards, one by junior forward Becca Rinaca and another by Jantzen, and a yellow card by Brittingham.

Salisbury heads back on the road Thursday facing Virginia Wesleyan, before returning home to Sea Gull Stadium September 23 to take on Johns Hopkins University.

Vienna resigns as Athletic Director

By Jacob Troxell


Salisbury University Athletic Director Michael Vienna, who has been SU’s AD for 26 years, has resigned to take the AD job at Emory University.

Former men's basketball coach Josh Merkel celebrating after winning the 2015 CAC title, one of 155 under AD Michael Vienna. (Photo: Mitchell Northam)

Former men’s basketball coach Josh Merkel celebrating after winning the 2015 CAC title, one of 155 under AD Michael Vienna. (Photo: Mitchell Northam)

“I am eternally grateful to everyone whom I have had the incredible pleasure of working with for the past 26 years at SU,” Vienna said. “On a daily basis I stand in awe of the remarkable accomplishments of so many individuals who have made us A Maryland University of National Distinction.”

[Read more…]

Softball takes Regional Championship against Virginia Wesleyan

By Diamond Holton

Salisbury University women’s softball won the Regional Championship Saturday, defeating Virginia Wesleyan, 3-2, in a best of three series at SU Softball Field.

Despite an early run from senior Courtney Bogan to put the Marlins (30-7) up 1-0, the Sea Gulls managed to prevail late in the game. Salisbury (32-6) had a record of 4-5 when their opponent scores first, and Head Coach Margie Knight felt great about the win.

“We’re certainly elated that we were able to come out on top in this very tough region,” she said. “The format for one and then facing two really good teams, and certainly some great pitchers.”

Senior pitcher Rachel Johnson threw eight strikeouts allowing two runs off four hits. She managed to keep her composure throughout despite the first run in the beginning.

“I just settled down and there wasn’t really anything you could do,” Johnson said. “I just looked for the next pitch and I had confidence in my team that we had to score, so I just relaxed and focused on my next pitch.”

The tying run of the game came in the top of the fifth inning when Coach Knight switched in pinch hitter Annie Pietanza for sophomore Caitlin Lake as junior Molly Simpson was on second base. A base hit from Pietanza gave Simpson the run to tie the game and Knight had confidence in her to get the job done.

“If you could see Annie hit at practice, she’s got some power and a wonderful swing,” Knight said. “I explained to her what her job was yesterday and today I asked her what her job was and she told me and I said ok and walked away.”

Relief came in the top of the sixth inning as junior Annah Brittingham drove in two runs, juniors Kim Dorsey and Paige Knussman. With that the Sea Gulls took a 3-1 lead.

“I was just thinking about getting people home, getting RBIs, and getting runs for Rachel,” Brittingham said. “All I was thinking about was getting the hit.”

A triple by junior Kayla Malkos and a later pop fly out put the Marlins close behind eith a 3-2 deficit, but that was not enough as Johnson threw the heat causing Va. Wesleyan to hit pop flys and for the Sea Gulls to seal the game with the title.

Salisbury has some time off before the Super Regionals this weekend. The location and opponent will be determined by Monday night after all regional play finishes throughout the NCAA Tournament.

Men’s LAX advances to round two in NCAA tournament, will face Stevenson


Staff Writer


In a tight battle at Sea Gull Stadium on Wednesday night, the Salisbury men’s lacrosse team defeated Roanoke College, 6-3 to draw a rematch with rival Stevenson in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Both Roanoke (12-7) and Salisbury (16-4) came into the game with high scoring offenses, but it was the defenses of both teams that controlled the tempo.

“We’ve had a great defensive effort throughout the season,” Sea Gulls head coach Jim Berkman said. “We’ve held a lot of good teams in check, and I take my hat off to (the defense’s) ability to step up when we definitely weren’t playing on all eight cylinders on offense.”

The Sea Gulls’ defense shut out Roanoke’s offense in the second half, only allowing 24 shots throughout the game.

Senior goalkeeper Connor Anderson was coming off a career day where he recorded 16 saves against Frostburg in the CAC Championship game. Anderson had another impressive night holding the Maroons to three goals while tallying eight saves.

“We knew what we had to do going in, and now we’re moving forward,” Anderson said. “Knute (Kraus), Austin (Kemp) and Will (Nowesnick) were able to shut down their guys accordingly, which makes it easier for me.”

Salisbury was able to find the back of the net six times with attacks Carson Kalam (2), Mike Kane (1), Nathan Blondino (1), and midfielders Sean Fitzgerald (1) and Jake Rotman (1) all putting up goals for the Sea Gulls.

Early on in the match though, it looked like the game could go either way.

Roanoke was able to tie the game up after the first quarter with two goals from freshman attack Iv Stucker, but Salisbury’s defense continued to apply pressure and cause 14 turnovers by the Maroons.

“The coaches give us one of the best scouting reports,” Kraus said. “When we buckle down and do everything we need to do, you get results like that.”

As the game went on, almost everyone in the crowd was curious about the result of another lacrosse matchup going on. Stevenson defeated Eastern, 12-5 to give them a date with Salisbury on Saturday.

Stevenson beat the Sea Gulls earlier in the year at Sea Gull Stadium with a 9-8 overtime win. However, both teams look a lot different than they did a few months ago.

“It’s always an emotional game, but it’s playoffs now and it doesn’t matter who we’re playing,” Anderson said. “We’re just going to treat it like another game, scout accordingly and come out and play.

Men’s Lacrosse punches ticket to NCAA Tournament with conference championship

Staff Writer

The No. 8 Salisbury University Men’s Lacrosse team earned its 19th Capital Athletic Conference championship on Saturday with a 14-5 victory over Frostburg Sate University at Sea Gull Stadium.

“Obviously we had to win this game to punch our ticket to move onto the next round, so I think there wasn’t a lack of anything to fire us up,” Salisbury senior defender and CAC Player of the Year Knute Kraus said. “We were excited all week and ready to get out here and prove were one of the best defenses in the country.”

Salisbury started the game with a 4-0 run 33 seconds into the game, when James Burton found Cason Kalama in the crease for a quick 1-0 lead.

Thomas Ciriillo added the second goal for the Sea Gulls when he launched a low shot that flew past the Frostburg goalie for a 2-0 lead. The score would remain there for the remainder of the first quarter.

Goalkeeper Connor Anderson had one of the best days of his lacrosse career keeping Frostburg out of the goal, for the first quarter and a half, recording a career high 16 saves while earning his 13th win of the season.

“Our defense knew what we had to do,” Salisbury keeper Connor Anderson said. “Our defense took the hands away from the kids we knew could shoot so the shots I was getting were all shots I like to see. Kudos to the defense, it’s easy when they do their part for me.”

Burton scored his second goal thanks to a pass from Cirillo minutes into the second quarter. Mike Kane then added a goal by scoring from the right side of the crease to give Salisbury a 4-0 lead.

Frostburg would then answer with two goals, cutting the score in half to 4-2, before Sean Fitzgerald added another goal for the Sea Gulls to start a 9-0 run for Salisbury.

Burton added his second goal to close out the first half with just over one minute left to give Salisbury a 6-2 halftime lead.  At the half Frostburg had a slight lead in shots taken 26-24, ground balls 19-14, and had won 7-10 face offs.

Salisbury opened up the second half with a man-up opportunity, which would begin a 7-0 run through the third quarter. Nathan Blondino found Kalama just thirty seconds into the third quarter. Cameron Maples then won the following face off and drove straight down the middle unassisted to score for Salisbury just eight seconds later.

“It was a great run in the third quarter, we ran that little fake flip play to start that man up they bit on it, Carson ended up with a dunk,” Head Coach Jim Berkman said. “Couldn’t ask for a better way to start the third quarter than run the man-up play you’ve been practicing for a while and you end up with a dunk to start the quarter.”

Davis Anderson then did the same thing off of a Frostburg turnover, driving right down the middle of the field for Salisbury’s third goal in a matter of minutes to give a 9-2 lead.

The 10th goal for Salisbury came from Christian Ottenritter from the left side of the crease. Kalama added two more goals, leading the team with four, and also scoring his 50th goal for the season. Fitzgerald added his second to close out the third quarter with a 13-2 lead.

Cirillo would add the final goal for Salisbury with just over 8 minutes left in the game.

As the CAC champion, Salisbury has earned an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

“It is what it is, we’re a good road team we won a lot big games in the past on the road,” Berkman said. “We really like the way we’re playing right now and we’re going to be a tough match for anybody that has to play us.”


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