By CHRIS MACKOWIAK
After a brief pause for about a week following their respective Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Championships, the Salisbury men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse teams discovered their paths to the National Title during the NCAA DIII Selection Shows Sunday night.
At a 17-1 overall record, SU men’s lacrosse is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. They will seek to repeat as National Champions following their title win over Tufts University in Philadelphia a season ago.
The Sea Gulls will have to wait until Tuesday afternoon to discover their opponent in the second round on Wednesday at a time to be determined. In a Tuesday neutral site first round game at Sea Gull Stadium, Lasell College (13-3, 8-0 GNAC) will battle with Misericordia University (12-3, 6-2 MAC Freedom).
The Lasell Lasers are coming off a tight Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship win over Mount Ida 13-12 on Saturday. The Newton, Mass. school sports an offense that scores 13.13 goals per game, but the team does give up over nine goals per game on the other side of the field.
Misericordia enters the NCAA Tournament as MAC Freedom champions after a 6-1 home victory over Eastern University on Saturday. The Sea Gulls and Cougars do share a common opponent during the regular season: the Methodist Monarchs. Salisbury defeated Methodist 21-2 in their 2017 opener, while the Cougars struggled with the Monarchs, falling 13-12 in overtime during a neutral-site contest.
Misericordia scores just under 13 goals per game, and the team gives up under eight goals per game. A meeting with either of these schools would be a first in Salisbury program history.
From the CAC, York College (Pa.) received an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
As the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Salisbury would host any games they play in the rest of the tournament, other than the National Championship game, which will be held in Foxboro, Mass. If the Sea Gulls advance to the third round, they will host a game Saturday.
On the women’s lacrosse side, the Sea Gulls were not as fortunate, despite taking the CAC crown last Saturday with their 15th consecutive conference championship. Salisbury (13-5, 7-1 CAC) will hit the road to start the NCAA Tournament.
The Sea Gulls will move up to Clinton, N.Y. to Hamilton College to face Regis College (Mass.). The Pride (15-4, 8-0 NECC) took the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) crown on Saturday with a 15-13 win over Elms. The Weston, Mass. school is strong on both ends of the field, averaging over 13 goals per game alongside a defense that lets in under seven goals per game.
If Salisbury gets by Regis, they would face the host school of Hamilton College (12-5, 8-2 NESCAC). The Continentals are coming off a tough NESCAC Tournament where Hamilton fell 12-3 in the semifinals to Trinity (Conn.).
The two schools share one common opponent in Colby College. The Sea Gulls defeated Colby 6-5 in a neutral-site game earlier this season, while the Continentals also took them down 8-5 in their 2017 open. Through a tough schedule, Hamilton averages just 9.57 goals per game and holds a 7.59 goals-against average.
From the CAC, both York College (Pa.) and the University of Mary Washington both received at-large bids into the tournament.
In the end, Salisbury’s solid strength of schedule hurt their chances of hosting. The Sea Gulls are 4-5 this season against ranked opponents. However, SU is battle-tested and may be peaking at the right moment.
Stay tuned with The Flyer for updates on both SU lacrosse teams as they trek towards a hopeful end in Foxboro, Ma. during the last weekend in May. For the interactive NCAA Division III online brackets, visit here for men’s lacrosse, and here for women’s lacrosse.