BY RICKY POLLITT
The first game at the new Sea Gull Stadium can be summarized in one word – dominance.
The Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team shutdown rival Frostburg State with a 13-3 victory on Lax for Leukemia Youth Day.
“It’s a special day,” Sea Gulls’ head coach Jim Berkman said. “It doesn’t matter where you go in lacrosse world, this is about as good as it gets.”
As the SU players and coaches entered the new Sea Gull Stadium, Salisbury was determined to get the victory in the first game played in the $19 million project.
The Gulls (15-0, 7-0 CAC) started the game going up 5-0 over the Bobcats (12-3, 3-3 CAC) in the first quarter.
Senior midfielder Thomas Cirillo bounced a shot pass Frostburg goalie Tom Kraemer to give Salisbury its first score of the day.
Goals from attacks Brady Dashiell and Nathan Blondino, and midfielder Jake Rotman gave Salisbury the momentum early in the game.
Despite a slow second quarter for SU, the Gulls went into halftime up 6-2, outshooting the Bobcats 22-6 and causing 17 turnovers.
“Regardless of who was in, we were just finding open guys and getting some success,” Blondino said.
After allowing only one more goal to Frostburg, while putting up seven more, the Sea Gulls finished with strong showings on offense and defense.
Blondino led all scorers with three goals while Cirillo and Dashiell both found the back of the net twice.
The Bobcats entered the game averaging 12 goals and 40 shots per game, but when the final buzzer sounded, Frostburg had only managed to take 19 shots towards Salisbury goalie Colin Reymann.
While the offense put up big numbers, the SU defense forced 27 turnovers, cleared 23 balls and scooped up 44 ground balls.
“We’re a young defense, and we’re starting to progress,” sophomore defender Kyle Tucker said. “We just keep getting better each game.”
Frostburg top scorers, seniors Spenser Love and Tate Rolland, finished the day with zero goals or assist, while only registering four shots on goal.
“We thought we had pretty good matchups against them. We knew we had to shut down (Love and Rolland) being their two best guys, and I think we did a nice job of that,” Berkman said.
Like any lacrosse game, the battle at the X is key to the offense’s success early on. Both Frostburg and Salisbury entered with their team’s face off man ranking in the top 25 in Division III.
Sea Gulls’ junior Duncan Campbell got the upper hand over the Bobcats’ Erik Geiser winning 11 of the 17 face off battles.
“The face off play was excellent. Duncan was excellent today,” Berkman said. “It’s a three-headed monster. You’ve got (Duncan) winning at the X, and then battles are won at the wings with (Andrew) Ternahan and (Davis) Anderson who are both special players.”
Riding now a 15 game winning streak to start the season, Salisbury will hit the road and take on No. 4 York College on Wednesday. The winner of the match will likely claim the top seed in the CAC tournament.
With the offense averaging over 17 goals a game and the defense shutting down opponents, the confidence is at an all-time high for the Sea Gulls’ lacrosse team.
Confidence the team hopes will help them get back to the National Championship.
“This game helps get the confidence up and it sends a message to other teams that we’re ready to play,” Tucker said.