BY RICKY POLLITT
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.