No. 1 Salisbury wins battle against Ohio Wesleyan

No. 1 Salisbury wins battle against Ohio Wesleyan

SALISBURY, Md. - Top-ranked Salisbury University celebrated the 30th men's lacrosse meeting with Ohio Wesleyan University with a 15-8 victory before 760 sun-drenched fans Sunday at Sea Gull Stadium. The Sea Gulls, winners of the past eight matchups against the Battling Bishops, hold a 24-6 series advantage over OWU since the first meeting occurred in 1975.

Salisbury (6-0) broke open the very physical game in the second half as the Gulls scored four unanswered goals late in the third quarter into the fourth to take a 13-6 lead. The two teams traded two goals apiece in the final quarter of play to close out the game.

SU freshman attackman Matt Cannone (one assist) led all-scorers with five goals while junior attackman Mike Winter, junior midfielder Mike Von Kamecke and freshman midfielder Sam Bradman scored two goals and two assists each. Senior All-American Kylor Berkman was held to one goal as he passed out two assists for a three-point game. Berkman has recorded one point in the past 55 games, since he was held scoreless against Washington (Md.) College on April 29, 2006.

The victory is the 51st in a row for the Sea Gulls, the two-time defending NCAA Division III national champions. SU has not lost a game at home in the past 78 contests and has won 83 consecutive regular-season games since 2003.

Salisbury jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead over OWU (2-2) in the first two minutes to force the Battling Bishops to take a timeout. Bradman scored his first goal minutes later off an assist from senior Stephen Krasco (one goal, one assist) to give the Sea Gulls a 4-0 lead. OWU battled back with three straight marks, two on extra-man opportunities, to cut the SU lead to one with a minute left in the first quarter. SU long-stick midfielder Connor Burgasser capped off the opening quarter with a transition goal that brought the crowd to its feet.

The Sea Gulls outscored the Bishops 3-2 in the second quarter as SU marched into halftime up 8-5.

OWU was led by senior attackman Nick Gallagher who scored two goals. The Bishops had seven different goal scorers while junior attackman Gavin Cunningham passed out a team-high two assists.

SU outshot OWU 50-45, made 22-of-25 clear attempts and scooped up 40 ground balls. The Sea Gulls won 17-of-25 face-offs as junior midfielder Ryan Finch (eight ground balls) went 16-for-22. Salisbury and Ohio Wesleyan combined for 27 penalties as the Sea Gulls scored six extra-man goals.

Sophomore goalie Johnny Rodriguez made a career-high 17 saves as he played the entire 60 minutes for the first time this season for SU. Rodriguez's counterpart Jud Hall made 12 saves for OWU. Both goalies made six saves in the second quarter.

The Sea Gulls will next host Marymount (Va.) University on Wednesday, March 11, for a 4 p.m. Capital Athletic Conference game.

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