By BRAD KELLY
The top ranked Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team (7-0, 1-0 CAC) continued their roll on Saturday, staying undefeated by taking the down the University of Mary Washington Eagles (3-5, 0-1 CAC) by a score of 17-5 in the opening game of Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) play.
The Sea Gulls used a 16-goal barrage after the first quarter to completely overwhelm the Eagles. Mary Washington came into the game with questions in goal, but did take a 2-1 lead coming out of the first quarter thanks to the efforts of sophomore goalie Billy Senicola who stopped five shots on goal.
The Gulls thoroughly dominated the action in the early going, even though the results were not there. The Eagles even took a 3-1 lead with 10 minutes in the second quarter. Salisbury quickly answered one of the goals, cutting the deficit to one. But, SU head coach Jim Berkman was forced to call a timeout to rally the troops as their next offensive possession unraveled.
“It was a grind early,” Coach Berkman said. “We dominated the shots early on, but we settled for too many long-range shots.”
After that timeout, the Salisbury offense took off and never looked back. A mere 20 seconds later, the Gulls tied the game on a goal from senior midfielder Brendan Bromwell. Bromwell’s goal spearheaded what became an eight-goal unanswered scoring streak that firmly put the Gulls ahead for the rest of the game.
The Salisbury offense averaged 40 shots a game heading into the contest, but outshot the Eagles by a staggering 37 shots, firing off 56 shots on the day. The Gulls fired 34 shots on goal, while the slow-tempo Eagles offense only mustered nine.
Seven players got into the score column for the Gulls, but two specifically carried the load. Leading Salisbury goal-scorer, senior attacker Carson Kalama, added to his 13 goals on the season with a five-goal performance on Saturday. The second leading point scorer on the Gulls, senior attacker Nathan Blondino, impressed with a goal and six assists.
Not to be outmatched, senior attacker Nick Garbarino notched five goals as well, giving him 12 goals through his first three games since returning from suspension.
“Nick (Garbarino) is a finisher and gives us a third bonafide scorer out there,” Coach Berkman said. “But, above all, he is a real leader on the field.
The Eagles had five players with a goal apiece. One of the big storylines entering the game was the matchup of the stout Salisbury defense, letting up 5.50 goals-per-game and the top scoring duo of UMW senior attackers in Mike Marson, 18 goals this season, and Miles Davis, with 12 goals. The Gulls got the better of the matchup, shutting out both scorers for the day.
Even though the Gulls are undefeated on the season, the team still sees areas for improvement; especially, in trying to get off to faster starts.
“We have to come out hotter,” Garbarino said. “We have to bury those early shots and not give goalies any confidence.”
The Gulls look to stay undefeated on Wednesday, as they face off with Marymount (Va.) at 7 p.m. in Sea Gull Stadium.