March 24, 2009

No. 1 Salisbury squeaks by York (Pa.)

YORK, Pa. - The top-ranked Salisbury University men's lacrosse team had their hands full on Tuesday against York (Pa.) College on the road in a Capital Athletic Conference match-up. The Sea Gulls rallied to win 13-9 to remain perfect in conference play.

Salisbury (10-0, 4-0 CAC) has not lost a CAC game since it joined the conference in 1995, a streak of 104 consecutive games including conference tournament games. The win also extends SU's overall win streak to 55 straight games plus the Gulls haven't dropped a regular-season game in over 87 tries.

Freshmen Matt Cannone (four goals) and Sam Bradman (four assists) along with junior attackman Mike Winter (four goals) sparked the comeback for SU in the third quarter. Salisbury trailed 5-4 at the half before the Sea Gulls outscored York 5-0 in the decisive third quarter. Cannone scored two of his four goals while Winter scored three of his four goals. Bradman and senior midfielder Patrick Bonanno (one goal, two assists) had two assists while junior midfielder Mike Von Kamecke (one goal, one assist) added an assist.

York (3-5, 1-2 CAC) threw everything it could at Salisbury in the 11th meeting between the two schools since 2000. Of all the previous match-ups this is the closest margin of victory for SU in the series history.

The Spartans began the fourth quarter with three consecutive goals to close the lead to 9-8 with 11:53 left in the game. The two teams traded goals over the next few minutes before SU increased its lead from one, 10-9, to four with three minutes left in the game. SU received fourth quarter goals from junior attackman Jake DeLillo, Winter, senior midfielder Kylor Berkman (one assist) and junior defensive midfielder Will Poletis.

Salisbury outshot York 51-24, scooped up 45 ground balls, converted 22-of-25 clear attempts and won 13-of-25 face-offs. The Sea Gulls struggled with their man-up offense (0-for-9) while York was plagued with nine penalties, five of which came in the third quarter.

York jumped out to quick lead on an unassisted goal by Josh Gamble (three goals, two assists) just 56 seconds into the game. The Gulls tallied a pair of unassisted goals by Bonanno and Von Kamecke before York went on a 4-0 run to jump out to a 5-2 lead in the second quarter. The Spartans were able to take the three-goal lead because of the great play of their goalie Chris Collins (22 saves) who made 12 saves in the first half. SU sophomore goalie Johnny Rodriguez made nine saves in the win for the Sea Gulls. Cannone scored SU's final two goals of the second quarters as the Sea Gulls trailed for the first time this season at halftime.

SU returns home for a key three-game homestand at Sea Gull Stadium. The Sea Gulls will welcome regional rival Gettysburg College to town on Saturday, March 28, at 1 p.m. The Bullets (4-3) are currently ranked No. 16 in the nation. The two teams met twice last season as SU won a thrilling 11-10 double overtime game in the NCAA semifinals to send the Sea Gulls to the national championship game for a sixth year in a row. SU also rallied on the road during the regular-season to defeat the Bullets 11-8.

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