SALISBURY, Md. – The top-ranked Salisbury University men's lacrosse welcomed Misericordia University to Sea Gull Stadium on Wednesday afternoon for an NCAA tournament second round game and took down the Cougars, 24-3.
The game started off with a slow brand of lacrosse being displayed as the Cougars showed an early zone that gave the Gulls some issues. The Cougars eventually struck with the game's first goal but Salisbury showed it ability to crack the zone as the game progressed.
Salisbury brought the score to 2-1 at the end of the first quarter with Carson Kalama netting both first period markers. On the first, Garrett Reynolds drew the eyes of the defense off a pick from Adam Huber and found Kalama wide open who had time to show his full arsenal of fakes before burying his 51st of the season.
Kalama ended the game with an impressive six goals and two assists for eight points to lead the game.
The Sea Gulls continued to control the game in the second quarter, outscoring the visitors 7-0 to bring the halftime score to 9-1. Kalama had four goals at halftime while Nathan Blondino, Nick Garbarino, Adam Huber, Reynolds, and Josh Melton all added single tallies.
Blondino and Garbarino both notched four goals in the game from the attack, while Blondino had a pair of helpers and Garbarino added one of his own.
Kalama's fourth came as Huber ripped a pass down to the crease that Kalama handled off a short hop and gave a low fake that got the keeper to bite low before he buried it to the top shelf.
At the half, Salisbury held a 26-14 edge in groundballs and a 21-14 lead in shots.
Salisbury avoided the slow start in the second half that it had in the first half with the team getting three goals under five minutes in. Kalama and Gabarino added to their goal total before Blondino snuck a lefty shot in from a severe angle for his second of the day. Blondino completed his hat trick at 8:58 in the third to cap off a 13-goal run for Salisbury.
The big third quarter continued for SU with the team working its lead up to 16-2 by the end of the third with the Cougars striking for their second on the day at the 8:02 mark. However, just after the Cougars' second of the day to break the 13-goal run, Salisbury answered with a 10-goal run.
Salisbury scored seven goals in both the second and third quarter and followed it up with an eight-goal fourth. Salisbury outshot the Cougars 52-23 by game's end.
Salisbury had eight goal scorers in the game while Blondino, Kalama, Garbarino, Reynolds, Huber, and Tyler Snyder all had multiple goals in the contest.
The SU defense continued its impressive season and featured its typical lockdown, physical defense. The starting line down low of Kyle Tucker, Aaron Leeds, and Will Nowesnick helped hold the visitors to just 12 shots on goal all game in front of keeper Colin Reymann. Reymann picked up his 18th win of the season and was credited with six saves while allowing just two goals.
Another key to the Gulls' success was the play at the faceoff X as they went 23-for-31 from the dot. Duncan Campbell won 13 of his 18 draws, while T.J. Logue won 10-of-13. Campbell had five groundballs in the game, while wingers Andrew Ternahan (five groundballs), Jeremiah LaClair (four groundballs), and Hunter Schaeffer (four groundballs) all helped out the effort on the faceoffs.
With the win Salisbury advances to the NCAA third round and will face off against Hampden-Sydney College on Saturday, May 13. The location and time of that game are yet to be determined.