HAVERFORD, Pa. - The No. 2 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team began its national title defense with a 16-10 victory over No. 11 Haverford College on Saturday at Swann Field in the 2009 NCAA Division III tournament second round. The Sea Gulls (16-3), the two-time defending national champions, advance to Wednesday's national quarterfinal where they face a familiar foe in Capital Athletic Conference member and top-ranked Stevenson University (16-1) in Owings Mills, Md., at 4 p.m.
SU received balanced scoring in the contest as seniors Kylor Berkman (two assists) and Stephen Krasco (one assist), juniors Jake DeLillo (two assists), Mike Von Kamecke (one assist) and Mike Winter plus sophomore Erik Krum scored two goals. Senior Patrick Bonanno (one assist), junior Will Poletis and freshmen Matt Cannone (one assist) and Sam Bradman (two assists) each scored one goal. Freshman attackman Sean Hickey dished out one assist in the contest.
The game featured three runs of four goals or more for Salisbury as the Sea Gulls outscored Haverford 6-2 in the decisive third quarter.
The road victory against Haverford marks the first NCAA tournament road victory for Salisbury since May 8, 2002 when the Gulls defeated Hampden-Sydney College, 15-8. The win also improves SU's all-time record against the Fords to 3-0. This is the first time Salisbury and Haverford have played each other since 1988.
The Fords (13-4) scored the game's first goal just two minutes in. SU answered quickly as Bonanno, Berkman and Winter scored three straight goals to close out the first quarter up 3-1. Cannone scored his 50th goal of the season just 29 seconds into the second quarter.
Haverford tried to swing the momentum in its favor with a 3-0 run thanks to Myles Monaghan (three goals, one assist), who netted two goals in a minute span to knot the game at 4-4 midway through the second quarter. SU scored two goals, in 25 seconds, from Poletis and Krum off an assist from Cannone to take a 6-4 lead into the half.
The Sea Gulls outshot Haverford in the opening half 28-9, including 19-1 in the first quarter. SU scooped up 11 ground balls in the first half compared to eight ground balls for the Fords. Salisbury cleared the ball a perfect 10-for-10 in the first half and won 8-of-12 face-offs.
Haverford scored the first goal of the third quarter to cut the lead to one, 6-5, but that was as close as the Fords would get against the eight-time national champion Sea Gulls. SU scored four straight and six of the next seven goals to lead 12-6 after three quarters of play.
In the fourth quarter, SU opened with three straight goals in the opening five minutes as the Gulls led 15-6. Haverford outscored the Sea Gulls 4-1 over the final 10 minutes of play.
The Sea Gulls outshot the Fords 52-27 and won 16-of-29 face-offs. Salisbury cleared at an almost perfect rate (19-for-20) and scooped up 32 ground balls. The Fords were successful on 17-of-23 clears and scooped up 23 ground balls.
SU sophomore goalie Johnny Rodriguez played the entire game between the pipes and recorded five saves and scooped up two ground balls. Junior face-off specialist Ryan Finch won 15-of-24 face-offs and scooped up a team-high eight ground balls.
Haverford attackman Brian Fleishhacker and Monaghan each scored three goals in the loss. Freshman goalkeeper Joe Banno suffered the loss for the Fords as made nine saves in 54 minutes of action.
Stevenson defeated Cabrini 8-7 in another NCAA second round game to set up a rubber match between the top two teams in Division III. The Mustangs defeated the Sea Gulls 12-8 on April 4 at Sea Gull Stadium in front of a crowd of 2,672. Two weeks later in the CAC championship Salisbury defeated Stevenson 13-5 in front of 1,781 to hand the Mustangs their first and only loss of the season.