Salisbury vs. Cabrini
May 14, 2008
The Game Story:
SALISBURY, Md. - The No. 1 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team advanced to the 2008 NCAA Division III semifinals for the sixth straight season with a 15-7 victory over No. 6 Cabrini College on Wednesday night before 883 at Sea Gull Stadium.

The Sea Gulls (20-0) will host No. 3 Gettysburg College on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Sea Gull Stadium with a berth into the national championship game (May 25) in Foxborough, Mass., on the line. This is the 18th time SU will make an appearance in the national semifinal round in program history and the fourth time the maroon and gold will go up against Gettysburg. The other national semifinal pits No. 2 SUNY Cortland against No. 7 Ithaca College.

The Bullets (17-2) defeated No. 5 Washington (Md.) College 12-5 in another quarterfinal round game on Wednesday afternoon. Salisbury and Gettysburg met on March 29 during the regular-season where the Gulls rallied in the second half from a seven-goal deficit to ultimately win, 11-8.

Salisbury has won 43 straight games since the beginning of the 2007 season and is 73-0 at home since April 17, 2003. The Sea Gulls are also 6-0 in the NCAA tournament since 2007 and 21-1 in the postseason since 2003.

The Sea Gull defense and face-off units continued their dominance in this year's tournament as the maroon and gold forced 15 Cabrini turnovers and won 18-of-23 face-offs. Sophomore long-stick midfielder Connor Burgasser led SU with three caused turnovers while senior Ryan Brown (13-for-15) and sophomore Ryan Finch (5-for-8) controlled the face-offs for SU.

Cabrini (17-3), in its first quarterfinal appearance, struggled on clears against the tough riding Salisbury defense as the Cavaliers were 27-for-38 in clear attempts. Salisbury successfully cleared 25-of-26.

Offensively, senior attackmen Greg Titus (five goals, one assist) and Matt Hickman (four goals, two assists) led the way for SU as the pair scored 11 points in the showdown with the Cavaliers. Junior Kylor Berkman (two goals, three assists) had a powerful performance as he recorded five points. The trio combined for 16 of the Sea Gulls' 24 points as they helped each other out. Hickman assisted two of Titus' goals, Titus assisted Hickman and Berkman assisted Titus twice and Hickman once.

Salisbury never trailed in the matchup and reached a 4-0 lead before the Cavaliers got on the board as time expired in the first quarter. Salisbury led 8-2 at the half as the Gulls scored three straight in the final three minutes to end the second quarter. Junior midfielder Patrick Bonanno scored the only SU extra-man goal at the 2:50 mark in the second quarter.

SU goalie Zach Krissoff recorded five saves in the game in his 57 minutes of work. Junior Riley Clark entered the contest for the final three minutes to close-out the victory for the defending national champions.

Cavalier goalie Bobby Chambers (four saves) started in between the pipes for Cabrini but was relieved by teammate Kevin Chenoweth 13 minutes into the game. Chambers allowed four goals in the opening quarter of play. Chenoweth (six saves) seemed to stabilize the Cavs in as back-to-back Cabrini goals got them within striking distance of SU, 9-5, with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter.

The Sea Gulls and Cavaliers proceeded to trade goals as Hickman and Matt McKinney (three goals) each netted a score to close out the third quarter at 10-6.

Five different Sea Gulls scored a goal in the final quarter as the maroon and gold broke loose on a 5-0 run to put the game out of reach and clinch a spot in the 2008 final four. Sophomores Mike Von Kamecke (two goals, two assists) and Jake DeLillo (one goal, one assist) helped SU during that fourth quarter run.

The Sea Gulls and Bullets are not new to the semifinals as the two met in the 2007 final four as SU won 9-6 en route to the 2007 national championship. The maroon and gold have met Gettysburg in the semifinals three times (1994, '95, '07) and are a perfect 3-0 against the Bullets. All three seasons ultimately ended with national titles for the Sea Gulls.