Sea Gulls to clash with Red Devils for third time in program history

Sea Gulls to clash with Red Devils for third time in program history

SALISBURY, Md. - Salisbury University will host Centennial Conference champion Dickinson College in the NCAA quarterfinals Wednesday night at Sea Gull Stadium beginning at 7 p.m. This will be just the third time these two programs have faced each other with the Sea Gulls holding a 2-0 series lead.

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How we got here
The Sea Gulls advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals after a thrilling and impressive, 12-11, win over Christopher Newport University in the NCAA third round. Salisbury found itself down 9-3 at the break and 10-3 early in the third quarter before it embarked on a nine-goal run to take its only lead of the game while holding the Captains scoreless for nearly 27 minutes of game action.

Griffin Moroney netted a team-high three goals including the game winner with just under eight minutes to play. Garrett Reynolds, Josh Melton, and Corey Gwin all tallied multi-goal games as well with Gwin netting the game-tying goal at the 9:43 mark of the fourth quarter while Reynolds netted an insurance marker with just over two minutes left to play. Melton finished the game with a team-best four points tallying two goals and two assists.

How they got here
Dickinson earned a trip to the quarterfinal round in thrilling fashion as well, downing Washington & Lee University, 10-9, in overtime. The Red Devils raced out to a 6-3 lead heading into the final frame behind a four-goal second quarter. However, the Generals rallied back in the fourth quarter netting five goals to take an 8-6 lead with just over eight and a half minutes left to play. Dickinson rallied back to tally three of the final four goals scored in regulation before Nick Goles pumped in the game winner just 26 seconds into overtime.

Six different Devils tallied markers in the contest including a team-high, three, from Goles while Jack O'Connell and Dylan Maher each netted two markers while O'Connell also finished with a team-best two assists.

Scouting the Devils
The Red Devils offense has six players who have pumped in 20 plus goals this season led by Centennial Conference first-team selection Dylan Maher, who has posted team high's in both goals and points with 68 and 85. Tyler Strods currently sits second on the team with 47 goals and 72 points while Brodie Phillips has dished out a team-best 31 assists this season.

On the defensive end Dickinson is anchored by first team all-conference selection sophomore goalkeeper Cole Pellicano, who has posted a 14-3 record in the cage this season while posting a save percentage of 58.0 and a goals against average of 8.91. Pellicano is assisted on the defensive end by junior long-stick midfielder Nate Usich, who has posted a team-best 49 caused turnovers this season while scooping up another team-best 97 groundballs.

The last time we met
The last time these two teams met was five years ago on May 15, 2013 in the NCAA quarterfinal round. Dickinson entered the contest as the top ranked team in the country while Salisbury rolled into Carlisle, Pennsylvania ranked No. 12. The Red Devils raced out to a hot start taking a 4-1 lead after the opening quarter. However, the Sea Gulls stormed back using a 9-3 run between the second and third quarter to take a 10-7 lead heading into the final frame.

The Red Devils netted two goals in less than two minutes to pull within one, 10-9, with just over five minutes remaining in the contest but Salisbury netted the game clinching goal with three minutes left to play in the contest while making a final defensive stand in the waning minutes to earn the trip the national semifinals.

A bedeviling quarter
The Sea Gulls and Red Devils have met twice in each program's historic tradition. Salisbury is 2-0 all-time against Dickinson College defeating the Devils 12-4 in the quarterfinal round of 2011 here in Salisbury and then again 11-9 in 2013 in the same round in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

In both games Dickinson managed to keep the game close heading into the second half but big third quarters by the maroon and gold led to wins in both times. In 2011 Salisbury netted four goals while holding the Devils scoreless and just two year later pumped in five goals, including four straight to close out the third frame and head into the final quarter with a 10-7 lead, while holding the host to just two goals.

A comeback for the ages
Facing its largest deficit of the season, seven, and elimination from postseason play, Salisbury responded with a 9-0 run stretching across the third and fourth quarters to rally back and down the visiting Captains, 12-11. Five different members of the maroon and gold netted markers during the nine-goal run including three from Moroney, who netted the game winner with just under eight minutes left to play in regulation. The defense was equally impressive during the comeback anchoring down and holding the Christopher Newport offense scoreless for nearly 27 minutes of game time .

What's next?
The winner of tonight's game will advance to the NCAA semifinal round and will take on the winner of Gettysburg College and Ohio Wesleyan University on Sunday, May 20.

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