By BRAD KELLY
What: No. 2 Salisbury men’s lacrosse hosts No. 4 York (Pa.)
Where: Sea Gull Stadium
When: Saturday, April 28 at 1 p.m.
How to Watch: Sea Gulls Sports Network
Coming off two resounding wins in their respectful semifinal contests, both the Salisbury men’s lacrosse and the York (Pa.) Spartans, will face off yet again in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Championship game.
The Gulls will look to capture their twentieth CAC crown and have won the championship in two of the last three seasons. That one championship loss though, came at the hands of the Spartans last season, 10-9. The Spartan victory was their first ever CAC title and first win in program history over Salisbury.
Salisbury Offense: The Gulls exploded against Mary Washington last week to the tune of 22 goals. The team is now averaging 17 goals-per-game on an average of 47 shots-per-game. Ten players notched a goal for the Gulls last week, with senior attacker Nathan Blondino posting six goals himself alongside an assist.
Senior attacker Carson Kalama leads the team with 50 goals, ranking third in the conference. The Gulls’ offense has also found a spark in the return of senior attacker Nick Garbarino who has eight goals over his last three games, and 44 on the season despite missing the first four games.
York Defense: In the month of April, the Spartans have not surrendered more than 10 goals over those six games. Led by freshman Nick Roman, the team has stifled their opponents as of late. Roman has forced a team high 16 turnovers this seasons.
Between the pipes, junior goalie Landry Marshall is solid this season. Teams are only averaging 6.85 goals against him per game, and he has only surrendered 108 goals this season, ranking him fourth in the conference.
York Offense: The Spartans have three scorers at over 30 goals this season, with sophomore attacker Brendan McGrath leading the charge with 51 goals on the season. McGrath ranks second in the CAC in goals and fourth in points with 73 on a conference-high 125 shots. Sophomore midfielders Hunter Davis and Thomas Pfeiffer each add in 34 goals a-piece to the fold.
Sophomore middie Cameron Leech leads the team with 42 assists and displayed his facilitating prowess with a school-record seven assist game against Christopher Newport.
Salisbury Defense: The Gulls have not let up more than 11 goals in a game all season. They have caused more than 201 turnovers on the season, with junior defender Will Nowesnick leading the team with 38. Seniors long-stick middie Andrew Ternahan and defender Aaron Leeds follow suit, having 29 and 24 created turnovers respectively.
The Gulls have found a steady hand in senior goalie Colin Reymann within the cage this season. He leads the CAC in goals-against-average with a 6.25 average. Reymann also ranks third in the CAC with a 55.6 save percentage.
At the “X”: The Gulls and Spartans have performed well in the trenches this season. Salisbury has won 58 percent of face-offs, while the Spartans have succeeded 61 percent of the time. Gulls’ senior face-off specialist Duncan Campell will feature the most for the Sea Gulls, sporting his 60 percent win rate. Sasso is the primary face-off man for the Spartans on the other side, holding a similar 61 percent success rate.
SU Player to Watch: Sr. attacker Nathan Blondino
Blondino leads the CAC with 97 points, a 20-point gap between the next closest performer. He is also coming off a six-goal outburst against Mary Washington. Look for the Spartans to try and limit the impact that Blondino has on the game either as a passer or scorer.
York Player to Watch: So. attacker Brendan McGrath
McGrath is far and away the offensive centerpiece for York. He has 17 more goals than the next scorer on the team and has fired off 33 more shots. The Gulls’ game plan will be to have anyone but McGrath beat them on Saturday.