LYNCHBURG, Va.- The top-ranked Salisbury University men's lacrosse team took on Lynchburg College in the team's first road contest of the season and took down the Hornets, 9-8 at Shellenberger Field on Saturday afternoon. The win marks the first time since the 2010-11 season that the home team has not won the annual matchup.
The Gulls (2-0) struck first in the contest just under four minutes in as Nathan Blondino was able to find the back of the net for his second of the season. However, the home side was able to strike shortly after as Evan Lombardo got the Hornets' (0-1) first goal of the season at 6:08.
Blondino ended as the game's leading scorer, posting three goals and two assists.
Salisbury responded after Duncan Campbell started the game going 3-for-3 from the faceoff X, he won the draw after Lombardo's goal and the Gulls got on the board in the same possession when freshman Josh Melton was able to find Carson Kalama for the score. The Kalama goal started a stretch of three goals over a minute and a half. After Kalama scored, the Hornets went right down the field and scored and SU responded as Andrew Ternahan scooped up the groundball off the faceoff win and found Blondino who made the score 3-2.
Salisbury controlled the X all game, winning 15 draws to Lynchburg's six.
Kalama tied Blondino in goals with three as he needed just seven shots to pick up the hat trick.
From there Lynchburg got two quick goals to go ahead 4-3 by the 1:13 mark as it got a man-up goal then won the ensuing faceoff and went down to score.
Down 4-3 to start the second quarter, the Gulls started the scoring off a failed Lynchburg clear where Blondino was able to scoop up the loose ball and find Melton on the other side of the offensive box and the lefty was able to bury it.
The Gulls were able to get the game's next two goals. After killing off a two-minute penalty, Blondino had a highlight reel goal as he got his defender hung up behind the cage and went to his left but kept the stick in his right hand and tucked the ball in top shelf with very little angle. Corey Gwin got the next on the man up with Blondino slinging a hard pass across the zone and Gwin took one step into it and punished the top left corner from the high wing spot.
Lynchburg added one more before halftime at 1:31 to make the score 6-5. At the break Blondino already had three goals and two assists.
The third quarter saw just one goal when Garrett Reynolds got the ball outside the box and charged down hill to the cage, making a quick face dodge before finishing low right from seven yards out.
Salisbury opened the fourth quarter scoring when Reynolds nabbed a groundball off a Lynchburg save before moving the ball to an open Kalama to extend Salisbury's lead to 8-6.
Lynchburg got one back at 12:27 but Gwin inverted behind the cage and dodged to the left before hitting Kalama cross crease for the open net to make the score 9-7 with 5:14 to go. Harrison Brennan then cut the lead in half again with a goal with just over three minutes to go.
Down the stretch, the Gulls controlled the ball throughout and forced the Hornets to press out to try to get the ball and after finally getting possessions back with 10 seconds to play, they could not go the length of the field to score, ending the game at 9-8.
Colin Reymann was stellar in net all game as the Hornets tested him throughout. Reymann ended with 14 stops in the contest.
Ternahan led the defense with five groundballs as the Gulls held the edge all game with 32 groundballs to Lynchburg's 28.
Salisbury returns to action with a home contest against Montclair State University on Saturday, February 18. Faceoff is scheduled for noon.