It is not “just a prank, bro.”

BY LUKE WATHEN

Staff Writer

There has been recent controversy over the YouTube channel “DaddyOFive” and its video content. The channel contains several videos of two parents loudly berating their children, physically attacking them and destroying their property all for what they deem to be “pranks.” This kind of behavior on and off the Internet is simply unacceptable.

Thankfully, many YouTubers have vocally criticized both the parents and the nature of the channel itself, among them “Philip DeFranco”, Ethan Klein of “h3h3Productions” and even Steve-O of “Jackass” fame. Their biggest concern with these videos is that they are nothing more than thinly veiled child abuse, with the parents using the children’s emotional and physical turmoil as a means of gaining publicity as well as monetary gain.

A petition has been circulating requesting the Child Protective Services investigate the household and the parents themselves have insisted that the videos themselves are nothing more than harmless fun, though their children’s’ reactions would say otherwise.

The channel has since gone into full defensive mode; the videos have all been removed and the only video that remains now is a half-hearted apology from the callous parents that operate the channel. In their “apology,” they are more interested in demonizing Philip DeFranco than offering remorse for what is obviously child abuse.

With that said, the saga of “DaddyOFive” raises an important point as to what has been passing as a “prank” on YouTube for far too long. When one hears the word prank, images of harmless gags such as whoopee cushions, joy buzzers and ink-filled gum usually come to mind.

However in modern parlance, pranking has come to define actions that are much more lazy and, frankly, more excessive. A YouTube that is labelled as a “prank video” contains what used to be considered assault and abuse.

These pranks can include things as juvenile as screaming in people’s faces as they walk innocently down the street, hurling racial slurs at minorities or simply running up to individuals and punching them for no apparent reason. Upon meeting with a (justifiably) violent reaction, the instigators immediately try to deescalate the situation by shouting the classic catchphrase “It’s just a prank, bro!”

Now that these pranks are being pulled on children for the sake of arbitrary internet attention, there is finally some backlash against the sorry state of what internet pranks have become. The couple that make up “DaddyOFive” will hopefully see some major consequences for their actions following what could best be described as a collective epiphany from web users.

When it comes to senseless abuse, be it verbal or physical, it is never “just a prank, bro,” it is a major offense that carries with it major penalties.

If you would like to sign the petition to have Child Protective Services investigate the makers of the channel “DaddyOFive”, you can do so here: https://www.change.org/p/get-child-protective-services-to-re-investigate-youtube-channel-daddyofive

Literacy program helps local community

BY SAWYER CORNELIUS

Staff Writer

The crisis of adult illiteracy in the greater Salisbury area now faces a new enemy.

The Project READ program, sponsored by the Wicomico County Public Libraries, aims to decrease the proportion of illiterate adults within the local Salisbury and surrounding communities.

Project READ is a free one-on-one literacy program that assists adults in becoming fluent in basic reading, writing, fundamental mathematics, health and finance.

Wynnette Curtis, coordinator of the libraries’ program, spoke regarding the intentions and goals of the Project READ initiative.

literacy program

Photo from salisbury.edu

“The adult literacy program is an innovation of one-on-one tutoring in areas of basic writing and math to computer-operation skills,” Curtis said. “[It] is more effective and tailored to individual learning styles as opposed to class-like settings.”

The current READ program, launched in September 2016, is the third iteration of several attempts at decreasing the statistic of Salisbury’s illiterate populous.

Past issues pertaining to funding and staffing have made the jumpstarting of READ far from easeful.

This time around, grants have been secured from organizations such as the the United Way, Henson Foundation, Friends of the Library and various Salisbury Rotary Clubs to ensure a permanent, more stable duration of the program’s existence.

“In the long-run, we aim to make READ an incorporated service of the library,” Curtis said.

The program’s qualified and dedicated volunteer literacy coaches provide tutoring sessions twice a week solely for the benefit of serving those less educated.

Coaches range from Wicomico County Health Department employees to local retirees; all of whom sign privacy agreements to secure tutees’ confidentiality.

Two Salisbury University faculty members participate in training the program’s prospective coaches and even take part in mentoring local illiterate.

Leonard Arvi, Ph.D., a professor of economics and finance at SU, explains his involvement with the program.

“The experience is very fulfilling, and I believe that it is a positive change to which I can help contribute,”Arvi said. “I assist in matters of finance; ranging from budgeting, money management, debts and check-cashing locations.”

Arvi joined the initiative after attending a city council meeting regarding the high volume of local employment opportunities in comparison to the low supply of qualified workers.

“The Wicomico County libraries announced the project at the meeting,” Arvi said. “…and with my experience in teaching money-saving and investment lessons in the past at James M. Bennett High, I decided to help train interested volunteer coaches for the program.”

Koomi Kim, Ph.D., a member of SU’s May Literacy Center, is also an integral part of the university’s contribution to the program at large.

As the host of supportive sessions of READ’s numerous tutors often held at the May Center, Kim shared some insight.

“I am very impressed with both the coordination of the program and motivation of the program’s volunteer coaches,” Kim said.

The program encourages one-on-one coaching staff from within the community.

The libraries’ downtown branch will be hosting an employment readiness seminar on Wednesday, April 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

More information about Project READ is available at www.wicomicolibrary.org/project-read or 410-749-3612, ext. 159.

Lighthouse Literary Guild at SU offers community to local writers

BY SAMUEL STEVENS

Editor-in-Chief

Salisbury University’s Center for Extended and Lifelong Learning (CELL) started creative writing classes this month through their Lighthouse Literary Guild program. The courses run for three weeks this month.

CELL offers three classes taught by SU faculty and area residents, each with a different theme and focus, a press release from SU reported.

Mindie Burgoyne, a travel writer and photographer featured in The Washington Post and CBS News, teaches “Travel Writing: Sharing Your Journey.” The class shows students how to find subjects and hone them for compelling travel narratives. Burgoyne is also a past president of the Eastern Shore Writer Association.

The class entitled “Using Journaling as a Springboard to Creative Writing” gives aspiring writers a way of starting the creative process, taught by long time creative writing instructor Shannon Hinman.

“Getting Real, Close to Home” helps participants use life experiences to guide their writing. Nancy Mitchell, a professor in SU’s environmental studies department and a poet, teaches the course. “Close to Home” has a poetry concentration, but is open to any genre.

CELL classes are open to all ages, but they typically draw senior citizens. Mitchell liked this about the courses, since the participants offer a different perspective from college creative writing students. “They have a very rich experience to draw from,” Mitchell said.

Typically, the CELL students work on an assignment, email it to their instructor and then workshop it with their peers at the next class. After the writers revise their work, they have a portfolio at the end of the six-week course.

In addition to classroom activity, the writers do different exercises to guide their creative process, such as sitting alone and finding their place to write. “People are afraid of that silence,” Mitchell said.

In Mitchell’s course, she likes to break down preconceived notions about writing in her class. She said that students sometimes bring the idea that writing is “an elitist activity,” but through the course, she tells students to embrace their own voice.

While the courses are more open-ended and the structure is designed to fit the needs of the class, some of the CELL participants prefer a stricter, syllabus driven course.

The Lighthouse Literary Guild courses provide a community for the writers. Mitchell said, “Writing is a real solitary practice. You really need a community of writers so you don’t feel like…‘am I talking to myself?’”

The goal of Lighthouse Literary Guild is “to be the destination on the Eastern Shore for both local and vacationing writers,” their website says. They also plan to promote the works of writers in Salisbury and the region through readings.

The CELL programs try to create a link between SU and the city of Salisbury. “Our overall goal is to build community,” Mitchell said. “To even get students involved—that would be good.”

Reach Out Editions helps sexual assault victims

Reach Out Editions. Image

Photo by Haley Dick

BY HALEY DICK

Gull Life Editor

According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds.

Sexual assault is a widespread issue that cannot be narrowed to just one month of focus. However, April is nationally known as Sexual Assault Awareness month, which was designed for victims of sexual assault to know that they are not alone, and that the hardships they have endured are being addressed.

RAINN states that “ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault.” Look around the room. College students generally fall in this age range, and many students struggle to take the initiative to get the help and support they need.

Capptivation, a small company consisting of four partners, has designed an application that allows sexual assault victims on high school and college campuses, as well as their loved ones, get the help and support they need at their fingertips. The brains behind the operation are Jack Zandi, Billy Sadik-Khan, Racquel Giner and Zach Csillag.

The application, known as Reach Out Editions, compiles information that was found buried under various PDFs and student handbooks on how to seek help following an assault, and brings it to the hands of the user. The administrators of the campuses are provided information from the team on how to update the information on their personal displays to best benefit the student users.

Jack Zandi, contributor to the data maintenance of Reach Out Editions and cofounder of Capptivation, and his colleagues are high school friends who regrouped after college and brought their own beliefs and educations to the table to collaborate to create an app to aid victims of sexual assault in any way possible.

“We felt like creating an app would be unique and a lot of fun to do from an entrepreneurial standpoint,” Zandi said. “If we could help a neglected part of the population then we felt it was a win-win on a massive scale for us.”

Their inspiration for creating the app stemmed from being overall civically minded, but ultimately sparked when media attention started to focus on sexual assault more frequently and in depth. After doing some research on how to seek help and develop a plan of action, the creators noticed how difficult it was to locate support services, giving them the idea to make a change.

“We want to help people that want to help themselves and their friends, and if we can give them an avenue that is not only easy, but is useful, then we feel like we are creating not just a service, but a function for people of all backgrounds to find vital information in their most trying time,” Zandi shared.

The app itself is catered specifically to whichever college or university a student attends, so student victims simply must type the name of the university into the organization slot and personalized information will be generated. Some of the categories include campus resources, which indicates to students exactly where to go to seek immediate help, reporting options in which students can learn the different ways to handle the assault, and various advocacy and educational links that can take the matter of sexual assault farther than one incident.

The application serves roughly 2600 two and four year colleges, as well as various high schools who felt it necessary to have the resource available to their students. It is free to download, and all activity within the app remains completely anonymous.

Senior art displays in Fulton Hall gallery

By THERESA TUMMINELLO 

Staff Writer

The 56th bi-annual Senior Art Exhibition, “Transcendence,” opened on Tuesday, April 4. Salisbury University’s graduating art students have their work on display in the Fulton Hall art gallery.

art gallery photo

Fulton Hall art gallery, photo by Franny Clark

Senior students worked together to plan and orchestrate two different shows. The Fine Arts show is open now until Saturday, April 22 and the Graphic Design show runs from May 1 to May 20. Each show has an awards reception where artists present their portfolios and interact with others in the industry.

Using their specific track, each student chose an overall theme for their work. Elizabeth Kauffman, professor of the Senior Exhibition course, notes that this show is looked forward to every year and is always changing with the different skills and techniques of each graduating class.

At this time, pieces in the gallery range between photographs, drawings, paintings, sculptures, mixed media and more. Students display their best work encompassing themes close to their heart, including photographs of nature, sculptures of animals, self-portraits, mystical creatures and character drawings.

Rachel Price, majoring in fine arts with a concentration in glass, created a series of three photographs that used steel, iron and glass on female bodies to depict body dysmorphia. Throughout her work, she wants to bring awareness to mental illnesses and show support to those who may be struggling with body image.

“I feel as though body dysmorphia is not as well-known and often overlooked, and it is not always tied with eating disorders—it can lead to them,” Price said. “I wanted my photographs to show the impossible beauty standards set by the media and how this leaves an unrealistic impression on girls at a very young age.”

With the help of Rise Up Coffee on campus, Katherine Mellos, majoring in fine arts with a concentration in photography, used her love of coffee to create a series of photographs showing the process of producing coffee from start to finish. She shows the steps in coffee making by capturing moments of movement from the grinding of coffee beans to the pouring, serving and drinking of the beverage itself.

Another student, Chris Foreman, majoring in fine arts with a concentration in glass, created characters frozen in time influenced by pop art. Fusing together glass and steel, his work includes four figures on display in the gallery.

These are just a few of the many pieces featured in the “Transcendence” show. Students can stop by before April 22 to see these creative pieces for themselves, and visit May 1 through May 22 to see the Graphic Design show. The exhibit is housed in Fulton Hall 109 and is free to the public. The schedule can be found on the University’s website.

Spring: The worst of the seasons

By LILLY METCALFE

Staff Writer

It is that time of year again. We are  in the midst of the season that many people dread despite its beauty. Spring has sprung and the human race is paying for it. However, there are ways to make this predicament more bearable.

The accumulation of pollen from plants cover everything in a horrible snot green color. Not only that, it is a human’s immune system’s worst nightmare. Allergies target people of all ages, race and gender. They ensure that there will be repercussions when going outside during the spring season, including but not limited to: coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and dry or itchy throat.

The weather is horrible because of its unpredictability. It is often cold in the mornings, yet extremely hot during the afternoon. Buildings are either blasting the air conditioner or still using heat because people are unsure what is needed.

When it begins to consistently be nice outside, the average student becomes very unproductive. The classic dilemma that they face during this season is whether thumbnail_IMG_9434they should go to class/study or take a trip to the beach to enjoy the weather.

Once it begins to get warm out, the bugs come out of hibernation. Mosquitoes are naturally everyone’s least favorite, and the millions of ants that invade their homes in search of food are so hard to get rid of.

The largest problem the Eastern Shore faces is gnats, fruit flies and drain flies, which can all seen around the Salisbury campus. They are frustrating as they land on belongings and are impossible to kill.

However, there is hope! There are ways to survive this spring season.

The student wellness center located at Holloway Hall has free allergy medicine available. It comes in a little brown bag and includes salt to gargle, cough drops and some allergy medication. Medication will help with symptoms, but also make sure to clean air condition filters and dust. This will help reduce the amount of pollen that can further impact allergies.

Enjoy the weather when you can! Study outside or take a break during the day. To deal with cold mornings, wear a sweater that you can take off.  It also will be helpful in cold, air conditioned rooms.

There are many ways to treat a bug problem, such as sprays, traps and bug bombs. There are natural remedies for flies that could be cheaper. Get a bottle (like a Gatorade bottle or water bottle) and fill it up with either apple vinegar or alcohol. Cover the opening with clear plastic and seal with a rubber band or hair tie. Poke small holes in the plastic and then wait. The flies like the sweet smells from the vinegar and alcohol and once they get into the bottle they won’t be able to find their way out and will die.

Spring is a storm that we all must endure before the great season of summer liberates us from its evil. This is why it is important to know how to weather this storm in the best way possible.

Berkman career win mark just a step towards greater goal

By CHRIS MACKOWIAK

Sports Editor

@cmackowiakSGSN

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After a game-winning overtime goal from senior offensive middie Brendan Bromwell, the Sea Gulls celebrate a win over then-No. 6 Gettysburg College. Hannah Wichrowski photo

SU men’s lacrosse senior face-off specialist Duncan Campbell scoops up a groundball and rushes toward York’s side of the field. The senior fakes a pass and rips a shot into the lower frame of the goal. 1-0 Gulls.

Last week marked one of the most highly anticipated matches of 2017. No. 1 Salisbury hosted No. 3 York (Pa.) in the considered Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) regular season title game.

From Campbell’s opening goal—his first of the season—the Sea Gulls’ offense showcased their talents in front of a national audience to win 17-10 and claim home-field advantage in the upcoming conference tournament.

The Sea Gulls are soaring into the CAC Championship Game on Saturday with a 16-1 overall record. However, it was one win recently that rose above them all for this team, one step in the greater road to a second-straight National Championship.

Back on March 29 up Route 13 at Wesley College, SU men’s lacrosse head coach Jim Berkman struck gold, and some maroon too, with career win No. 500 in a 26-4 victory. With 11 National Championships, 19 conference titles and 28 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) appearances all under his belt, this particular victory has been a long time coming for the historic head coach.

“All the work he’s put in over the years—it shows year after year, and I’m glad that I could be a part of it,” SU senior goalkeeper Colin Reymann said.

In all of those accolades, coach Berkman sees the hard work that so many players and coaches have put in alongside him on and off the field.

“It’s just a tribute to all the players and coaches that have been here over the last 29 years and how hard they’ve worked to make this all possible,” coach Berkman said. “It’s something to honor their efforts and success over the last 29 years. I just happen to be the guy that’s running the ship.”

“It’s definitely a very special moment for him, and he’s humble about it the whole time. All the credit goes out to him in his 20-plus seasons in lacrosse and at Salisbury,” SU senior attacker Carson Kalama said.

It is the humbling quality that may provide the greatest foundation for such a successful men’s lacrosse program. It seems fitting that this honor comes after a 2016 season that saw much adversity towards the start of NCAA Tournament play. In 2017, coach Berkman also faced a key mentor in his life: Gettysburg head coach Hank Jancyk, who has accumulated over 420 wins in his long career.

All but one season of coaching—at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam—have been here at Salisbury for coach Berkman. Since then, the former All-American midfielder at St. Lawrence has capitalized on his time at Salisbury, using his numerous experiences at different stops along the way.

As one of his favorite moments, coach Berkman fondly remembers his first title at Salisbury, facing Hobart College in 1994. One that matches that memory is the 2008 National Title that he had the opportunity to win with his son Kylor, a three-time National Midfielder of the Year.

“He was a guy that made a big impact to our program. He didn’t go Division I, and he stayed here,” coach Berkman said. “He won a couple championships and played in three championship games.”

The maroon and gold continues to run very deep in the Berkman family. His daughter Keli was a member of the 2010 Salisbury women’s lacrosse team that won a National Title under current head coach Jim Nestor.

Berkman’s Salisbury imprint stretches beyond Sea Gull Stadium into the SU Soccer Complex, leading the SU women’s soccer program for seven seasons and to two CAC Championships.

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SU freshman attacker Josh Melton tries to round the corner vs. the CNU defense. Hannah Wichrowski photo

For the many players that have played under Berkman and walked the tunnel walk, they feel an impact from their head coach, making them both better players and better people. The culture that Berkman has developed trickles even to the players today.

“I feel like there’s role models to look up to in every class, even some of the younger guys on our team you can look up to at times,” Reymann said. “We just have a great culture.”

At the core, it is the hard-work ethic that has created the foundation for many of Berkman’s players.

“He’s taught us many things that relate to lacrosse, but importantly, [about] being a better man. On and off the field, I think one of the biggest lessons that he’s taught me is that effort equals outcome,” Kalama said.

Within the future playoff games, there may lie yet another milestone for the head coach: 500 wins just at Salisbury University. It is a milestone that the seniors are keeping an eye on, and it may align with an early round of the NCAA Tournament.

At the end of the day for Berkman and his Sea Gulls, the win at Wesley is just that—a win on the road to greater prizes: a CAC Championship and then potentially a trip to Boston in late May.

“Anything that results in us doing our jobs on a day-to-day basis is just icing on the cake,” coach Berkman said.

While this men’s lacrosse program enjoyed a brief celebration on a Wednesday night in March, their hunger grows for greater rewards from the top work ethic that coach Berkman teaches his players each and every day.

From weak link to cornerstone: Sea Gulls’ pitching staff

By CHASE GORSKI

Staff Writer

@cgorski12

Note to readers: this article was originally published prior to the 2017 CAC Tournament.

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SU junior pitcher Brad Keith delivers a pitch from the mound earlier this season. Sophie Wilson photo

When the Salisbury baseball team’s 2016 playoff run was cut short following a loss to Penn State Berks in the Mid-Atlantic Regional, it left a bitter taste in the mouths of all the would-be returners.

The dominant offense that was known throughout last season for averaging almost 10 runs per game had hit a cold streak at the worst time, scraping across just eight runs in three regional matchups. The lack of production, combined with continued struggles on the mound, gave SU an early exit from the NCAA tournament and a long offseason to ponder what could have been.

But the Sea Gulls had their work cut out for them preparing for their 2017 campaign. It was no question that their formidable offense would return strong.

All eyes would be on the pitching staff after recording the second-worst ERA in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) at 6.50 and struggling for the majority of the season. Junior right-hander Connor Reeves, a go-to reliever for the Sea Gulls, was a part of the returning bullpen that knew they needed to improve.

“We needed a little bit of everything for this year,” Reeves said. “We really weren’t that strong in relief or starting.”

With a handful of returners, Salisbury was poised to have a comeback year on the mound, especially behind two strong returning seniors in Pete Grasso and Jeff Oster. Both Oster and Grasso were two of the top Sea Gull starters last season, but saw room for improvement in endurance of the starting pitchers.

“We would always start off five innings strong,” Oster said. “But then, in the late innings, giving up two or three runs that would let teams back in the game.”

Using the motivation from the end of last season, the pitchers went to work preparing for the upcoming season. SU head coach Troy Brohawn started the year issuing a challenge to his staff, telling his pitchers they needed to be better this year if the team was going to succeed.

In the beginning of the season, it was a new year, but the same Gulls, with the pitching staff showing similar flaws from the previous season in their first seven games, allowing double-digit runs to opponents in five of those seven. Salisbury began the year with an underwhelming 7.43 ERA and a 3-4 record.

The Sea Gulls were not going to let this be the story of their season again. Following a four-game stretch of losses in mid-February, the pitching staff met to address the recent struggles and to figure out their next steps.

“We didn’t want to be the weak part of the team,” Grasso said. “We had a meeting after those games, and we really came together and said ‘we don’t want to be the weak link of the team.’”

Fast forward to the middle of April, and the Sea Gulls stand at the top of the CAC standings with a 24-8 record. While the offense has produced this year by averaging over eight runs per game, it is the once shaky pitching staff that has formed into the backbone of the squad.

Salisbury holds the second-lowest ERA in the CAC as a team at 3.31 with multiple pitchers recording sub-3.00 ERAs as well. The statistical improvements from last season are numerous, from a better team ERA to lowering opponents’ batting average from over .300 last season to just .235 this year.

“With three seniors leading the staff this year, experience plays a big role,” coach Brohawn said. “We had a young staff last year and they’ve learned from it; I think as a staff in general we are more aggressive this year.”

Those three seniors—Micah Wells, Oster and Grasso—have certainly stepped up to coach Brohawn’s challenge and are not taking anything for granted in their final year.

“All the alumni always say ‘don’t regret anything for your final season,’ so coming into my last year I never wanted to regret something,” Oster said. “It’s my last season and I don’t want to leave anything out there; I think it’s the same for [Pete] and [Micah].”

Oster has been the top starter that coach Brohawn has turned to so far this season, getting the nod nine times and recording a 5-0 record and posting the fifth-best individual ERA in the CAC at 2.91 while also holding opposing batters to an average of .204.

Grasso, a two-way athlete for Salisbury, has been as dominant as ever on the mound this season and holds a CAC-best 1.38 ERA throughout his 11 appearances with a 5-0 record as well.

“I’ve been pitching more to contact this year, last year I would get deeper in counts and it would be 3-2 every batter I faced,” Grasso said. “Now I attack early and let them hit it and our defense makes the plays.”

Other than the Sea Gull standouts, the entire pitching staff has bought into the new aggressive mentality, relying on their mental toughness to help them succeed. The mentality of each SU pitcher has played a big role in the improvements from last year, as well as their work ethic.

“I’ve been here for five years now, and this is the hardest working staff I’ve been around,” Oster said. “We work hard every single day in practice and it’s been showing.”

With the CAC tournament coming up soon, Salisbury seems to be getting hot at just the right time on the mound, with starters putting forth countless quality starts and relievers slamming the door when they enter the late innings.

Coach Brohawn knows exactly who he will rely on down the home stretch of the season.  Aside from their top performers, Sea Gull fans can expect to see continued success from bullpen guys such as juniors Ryan Gough, Andrew Kramer and Logan Manz.

“We’ll probably go with a six- or seven-man staff through the tournament and role with it through that,” Brohawn said. “We’re going to rely on [Wells, Oster and Grasso] to continue to set the tone early and hopefully the guys behind them can follow their lead.”

The dominant pitching staff that has formed this season for Salisbury has been exactly what the program has needed, and each member has a few ideas on why this year is the one where everything has fallen into place.

Some attribute it to the closeness of each of the guys on the team, stating that the atmosphere in the pitching staff has improved greatly. Others feel it is the competitive nature teamed with the snowball effect, where the young pitchers see the seniors performing at peak levels and they want to out-do them.

No matter the reason, this is a different effect of that meeting called back in February, and now the pitching staff has turned themselves into the strongest part of this Sea Gull team. With the postseason right around the corner, the timing could not be better and, from the looks of it, the best is yet to come.

“Our confidence is through the roof—we’re going to run through [CACs],” Grasso said.

With a mentality like that, the enthusiasm becomes contagious, and it is clear to see that everyone on the pitching staff is on the same page.

“With our staff that we have and our starters, it’s probably the top in the nation and we are going to go out there and give our team the best chance to win,” Oster said. “We’re looking to run through the CAC, going through the Regionals and hopefully winning some games in the World Series.”

Under the Feathers: Salisbury WLAX’s Gabbi Nieves

By CHRIS MACKOWIAK

Sports Editor

@cmackowiakSGSN

Gabbi Nieves - SU Athletics

SU Athletics photo

No. 6 Gabbi Nieves

Senior midfielder for Salisbury women’s lacrosse

Hometown: Centreville, Va.

 

What are your majors/minors and career aspirations?

“Communications major with a marketing minor. My major focus is on journalism and PR, so I hope to do something with that in my future. I love to write, so hopefully my future employer needs a writer!”

What made you want to play women’s lacrosse at, or simply come to, Salisbury?

“I always knew I wanted to play lacrosse in college, but I was unsure of where to go until my senior year. I was looking at some small Division I schools, but Salisbury really caught my attention because of their dominance in Division III. Not to mention my brother went here and played lacrosse, so that first introduced me to the school and women’s team.”

What has been your favorite moment as part of SU women’s lacrosse while here at Salisbury, and why?

“My favorite moment on the women’s team here at Salisbury would definitely be winning the National Championship my freshman year [in 2014]. Just getting to the Final Four and being a part of something so special was amazing. Being a freshman and having the opportunity to play in that national championship game was also amazing. We’ve had good seasons since then; however, [we] haven’t ended up where we want to be. We’re very hopeful that this year is the year that we can get another ring.”

What do you enjoy about playing middie, and what do you believe you bring to the team with your abilities?

“What I love most about being a middie is being able to make an impact on both ends of the field. Defense and offense are two totally different aspects of the game. However, I love being able to play both and help our team get the job done on both ends. With that being said, I think being able to play two positions on the field brings a lot to the table—myself and the rest of the middies love our position, so that passion really shows when we get out on the field.”

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After a win over Mary Washington in the CAC Semifinals, Salisbury looks ahead to match-up with top-seed York (Pa.) in the conference championship. Hannah Wichrowski photo

April 8 was Senior Day for you and some of your teammates. What was going through your mind during that moment, and what do you feel makes your senior class so unique/special?

“The morning of senior day I woke up and of course it hit me and I was sad. Not because the season is anywhere close to over yet, but because the fact that I’m about to graduate in two short months is unreal. I remember every senior day from the grades above me, thinking, ‘it’ll be a long time before that’s my senior day.’ But I was so wrong. These past four years flew by and all of us seniors kept saying how he couldn’t believe it was our senior day.

“I think our senior class is so unique and special because we’re close on and off the field. We’ve been together since freshman year in the dorms and since then all of our friendships have grown immensely.”

What is your favorite part of Salisbury University Athletics or your team-environment here at SU?

“My favorite part of SU Athletics is mainly the atmosphere. Everyone on the different sports teams are friends for that reason and with that, everyone on my team are all friends on and off the field. We have great team chemistry and that comes from being close off the field.”

What are your hobbies and interests off the field?

“Some of my hobbies and interests off the field would definitely be just hanging out with my friends and family, exercising whenever I have free time and eating. A lot.”

Where is your favorite place to go for a meal or snack on- or off-campus? Favorite food?

“Favorite place to go for a meal would hands down be Chipotle. If not Chipotle, I’ll go to East Moon, Ruby Tuesday’s, Panera Bread…basically anywhere. I love Hungry Minds on campus as well as Chick-Fil-A. Favorite food is mac ‘n cheese.”

What music do you listen to in order to get ready for game-time, or what do you like to generally listen to?

“In order to get ready for a game, I listen to major pump-up music. Hip hop, pop…and lots of rap.”

MLAX: SU set to host CAC title after 22-9 win over UMW

By ZACH GILLELAND

Staff Writer

@_zachariahg

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SU sophomore offensive middie Corey Gwin makes an offensive run vs. Montclair State. Amy Wojtowicz photo

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.