By ZACH GILLELAND
Following a 22-9 win over Mary Washington in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Semifinals on Saturday, the rematch is set.
A date between the top-ranked Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team (16-1, 9-0 CAC) and the York College (Pa.) Spartans is set for April 29 and if anything is certain, revenge is in the air.
“We all know what’s on the line come next week,” senior goalkeeper Colin Reymann said. “We really want revenge from last year.”
That revenge refers to the Spartans’ 10-9 win in the CAC final at Sea Gull Stadium a season ago. Salisbury defeated York 17-10 earlier this season but senior attacker Nate Blondino said the team wants more.
“We’re really hungry for Saturday,” Blondino said. “It’s been a year waiting for this game. We won a National Championship last year but I know everyone on this team is waiting to get redemption.”
On Senior Day the offense clicked, dumping 22 goals off of 58 shots. The Sea Gulls more than doubled their goal total from their previous outing—an 11-10 overtime loss at then-No. 14 Cabrini University.
“We took the blame for only putting up 10 goals,” Blondino said. “We had a hard week of practice and focused on getting better and getting back to what we had been doing the few weeks before. We executed really well and played well.”
Blondino tallied the game’s first goal less than a minute and a half into the game. The senior contributed a career-high six goals to lead the team.
The Eagles (9-8, 6-4 CAC) responded with an unassisted goal from junior midfielder Owen Dingman to tie the game. Less than two minutes later, SU junior midfielder Garrett Reynolds added an unassisted goal of his own to break the tie.
Salisbury took advantage of a man-up possession opportunity with senior attacker Adam Huber’s nineteenth goal of the season skipping under the legs of Mary Washington goalkeeper Billy Senicola. Blondino added a rocket to the top right corner of the cage to give the Sea Gulls a 4-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter started with more fireworks with Blondino adding his third goal of the game three-and-a-half minutes in. The Eagles answered back after Dingman flared a shot over the head of Reymann to cut the deficit to three.
Following the goal, the Salisbury offense rallied for an eight-goal run that put the game out of reach. The Sea Gull offense stayed aggressive, scoring eight goals in the third quarter.
“If we play the way we did on offense today and we get good faceoff play, I like our chances against anyone going forward,” SU head coach Jim Berkman said.
The SU offense tested Mary Washington sophomore goalkeeper Billy Senicola throughout. The sophomore saved 11 shots and allowed 19 goals.
With the absence of senior defender Aaron Leeds, the Sea Gulls went to a pair of freshman to fill the void. Defenders Kevin Murphy and Drew Borkowicz stepped in for a defense that allowed only three goals through the first three quarters. The defense accounted for 50 ground balls and caused 10 turnovers.
With the CAC Championship game a week away, the Spartans will travel back to Salisbury. The Sea Gulls will look to regain the CAC crown once more against the team that handed them their only loss a season ago.
“Our confidence is sky-high and we all know what’s on the line,” Reymann said.