Sea Gulls erase seven-goal deficit to down Christopher Newport; advance to NCAA quarterfinals

Sea Gulls erase seven-goal deficit to down Christopher Newport; advance to NCAA quarterfinals

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 7 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team erased a seven-goal deficit to defeat No. 16 Christopher Newport University in NCAA tournament third-round action on Saturday night. The Sea Gulls used a nine-goal second half to pick up their third win over the Captains this season, 12-11.

The Sea Gulls (18-3) took the lead one time in the contest but it came at the most crucial time in the game as Griffin Moroney, who netted a team-high three goals, gave Salisbury its only lead of the contest at the 7:50 mark, converting on a pass from Josh Melton to give the maroon and gold an 11-10 advantage.

The Captains (15-5) stormed out of the gates, scoring the first three goals in the opening five minutes of the game.

Salisbury (18-3) responded with two goals midway through the first quarter, the first coming on a man-up goal by Corey Gwin off a feed from Melton. Gwin found Emory Wongus just over a minute later to cut the deficit to one. Gwin finished his night with two goals and an assist as he achieved the 100th point of his career. 

Christopher Newport ended the first quarter with two goals in the final 1:22, including one with just two seconds remaining on the clock.

The Captains then scored the first four goals of the second quarter, going on a 6-0 run to put them up 9-2.

The Sea Gulls got on the board for the first time in the second quarter at the 1:00 mark, as Melton netted his first of the day from Zach Pompea, making it 9-3 Christopher Newport heading into halftime.

After the Captains struck first in the third quarter, Salisbury rallied off nine-straight goals, holding Christopher Newport scoreless for over 27 minutes of game action. Moroney got the comeback started on Pompea's second helper of the night with 9:43 remaining in the third.

After nearly seven minutes of no scoring, Melton picked up a rebound in front of the net and deposited it in the back of the net, bringing the score to 10-5. Less than a minute later, Moroney fired a bullet into the top of the net to bring Salisbury within four, 10-6.

Garrett Reynolds made it three goals in the final three minutes of the third quarter, receiving a pass from behind the net from Pierre Armstrong and ripping a shot past the Christopher Newport keeper, Scott McAneney, who recorded 19 saves throughout the contest.

With just under three minutes expired in the fourth, Pompea beat his defender to the right side and beat the goalie up high to make it 10-8. Exactly one minute later, Reynolds found Armstrong wide open on the left side, as Armstrong snuck a shot under the keeper's stick to bring Salisbury within one.

Gwin evened the score on his second of the night as he juked a defender on the right side, tying the game at 10.

Reynolds gave Salisbury a much-needed insurance goal as he put a swim move on his defender, putting the Sea Gulls up 12-10 with 2:31 left to play.

The Captains ended the 9-0 run with 59 seconds remaining to make it 12-11, but Salisbury held them off to secure the second one-goal victory over Christopher Newport this season.

Brandon Warren made seven saves on 17 shots to earn the win in net, including four saves in the fourth quarter. Cory Berry led the defensive effort, causing three of Christopher Newport's 17 turnovers while collecting four groundballs.

With the win, Salisbury advances to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament on Wednesday, May 16. The Sea Gulls will take on Dickinson College at a time and place to be determined.

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