SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's lacrosse team captured its 20th Capital Athletic Conference tournament victory and secured its 29th consecutive berth into the NCAA tournament with a 15-5 win on Saturday afternoon over York College of Pennsylvania.
Salisbury got out to an 11-0 lead in the first half to put away the game early and get the conference championship win after York had beat Salisbury on the same stage last season.
Salisbury got the first goal of the game just over two minutes in with Nathan Blondino driving from X and placing the turnaround shot into the top shelf.
Blondino would end the game with eight points off three goals and five assists to break the 100-point mark for the second-straight season. Blondino heads into the NCAA tournament with 105 points.
Kevin McDermott, Adam Huber, and Nick Garbarino all scored after Blondino's initial tally before Blondino capped the scoring for the quarter with just 44 seconds to play. The Garbarino goal was a great display of teamwork with Brendan Bromwell turning down an open look to dish it to Blondino on the crease who quick sticked the ball cross crease to Garbarino who had a majority of the 36 square feet to pick from as the quick passing got keeper Landry Marshall out of position.
Garbrino got the first three goals of the second quarter as well with the senior ending his championship game with six goals on just eight shots to go along with four groundballs.
A nice on-the-run man-up goal from Huber brought the score to 11-0 with just over a minute until half time but the Spartans went on to get their first of the day 22 seconds prior to the break. The SU man-up unit converted on 4-of-7 of its opportunities by game's end.
At the break up 11-1, Salisbury was outshooting York 28-12 and had the edge in groundballs, 25-12.
By the final whistle, Aaron Leeds led the Gulls in groundballs with five to go along with three caused turnovers.
York struck just 51 seconds into the third quarter but Salisbury was able to put a stop to any momentum. A three-minute non-releasable penalty by the Spartans late in the third let Salisbury get man-up goals from Carson Kalama and Garbarino to bring the score to 13-2 before Garbarino made it 14-2 with two minutes left in the third. The last goal for Garbarino brought his season goal total to 50.
Following Garbarino's 50th goal, the Spartans outscored the Gulls 3-1 the rest of the contest but Salisbury had already done plenty of damage to hoist the trophy after the final whistle.
Duncan Campbell was the Gulls' X factor in the win with the senior winning 61 percent of his faceoffs to let Salisbury play make-it take-it lacrosse all afternoon.
Colin Reymann made nine stops for a 60 percent save percentage to pick up the win in net for Salisbury.
Salisbury will now wait for Sunday, May 7 for the NCAA selection show to hear what awaits the Gulls in the 2017 NCAA tournament. Be sure to check www.suseagulls.com for updates when they become available.