May 22, 2012

Salisbury leads all schools with seven USILA first-team All-Americans

BALTIMORE – The No. 1 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team is on its way to its third-consecutive Division III National Championship game and will be preparing for the contest against State University of New York at Cortland with seven United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Division III First-Team All-Americans on its roster.

The USILA released the All-American teams on Tuesdy and the Sea Gulls had the most players of any school to be named to the first team. In all, 12 Salisbury players were honored as All-Americans, the most the program has received in one season, topping 1995 and 2007's seasons with 11 All-Americans.

The senior trio of attackmen Matt Cannone and Erik Krum and midfielder Sam Bradman were all named to the first team and have combined for 306 points in 2012.

Bradman is making his third-straight appearance on the first team, dating back to 2010 when he was named the National Midfielder of the Year, as well. He is second on the team with 92 points and 65 goals. The Canton, N.Y., native has also dished out 27 assists which is good for third on the squad.

Cannone (61 goals and 64 assists) has had a huge 2012 campaign with a team-leading 125 points and is making his second-consecutive appearance on the first team. Krum has earned his first spot on the first team while leading Salisbury with 66 goals and registering 89 points.

Junior midfielder Ryan Clarke, senior defensive midfielder Dean Rossi, senior defender Andrew Sellers and junior midfielder Tyler Granelli all have been named first-team All-Americans for the first time, as well.

Clarke has been an important piece to the Salisbury offense on the first-string midfield line. He has netted 34 goals and helped on 28 assists for 62 points. Granelli, the team's face-off specialist, has continued to keep the Gull's first-ranked scoring offense on track with his dominance at the X. He has won 226-of-339 faceoffs (66.7 percent) and has netted three goals with four assists for seven points.

Sellers and Rossi both have played a role in keeping Salisbury's top-ranked scoring defense from allowing opponents on the scoreboard. Rossi has played in 21 games, starting one, while causing 11 turnovers and picking up 23 ground balls. Sellers has started all 22 games, causing 27 turnovers and picking up 53 ground balls.

Five other Sea Gulls were named to the All-American teams with senior long-stick midfielder Evan Hockel being honored on the third team. Senior attackman Tony Mendes, senior defensive midfielder Parker Dickerson, sophomore defender Zeke Smith and sophomore goalkeeper Alex Taylor were all name honorable mentions.

Hockel, Dickerson and Smith, all making their first All-American appearances, have been strong components of the Sea Gull defense. Hockel has caused 33 turnovers and picked up 38 ground balls, while Smith leads the team with 47 caused turnovers and is third with 63 ground ball pickups. Dickerson has caused 18 turnovers and picked up 20 ground balls in the defensive midfield. 

Taylor has stepped up in his first season as the Gulls' starting goalie to start all 22 games.  He currently is ranked No.1 in the country with a 4.62 goals against average and a .677 save percentage.

Mendes, honored with his second All-American honorable mention, has played well in his second season with Salisbury. The Chapel Hill, N.C. native has netted 33 goals and dished out 21 assists for 54 points. 

Salisbury will be taking on the Cortland Red Dragons in the National Championship game on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.; the game is set for 4 p.m.

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