SALISBURY, Md. – The second-ranked Salisbury University men's lacrosse program cruised to a convincing 19-10 victory over No. 9 Denison University in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament on Wednesday evening.
Cross Ferrara, who posted a team-best performance with six points behind five goals and an assist, played a crucial role in the victory for the Sea Gulls (22-1). In total nine different players netted markers in the contest for the maroon and gold as it scored 13 unassisted goals in the win.
After an initial back-and-forth battle in the opening frame that saw the Big Red (18-3) jump out to an early 2-0 lead in the first five minutes, Salisbury managed to find its offensive rhythm as it went on a 12-3 run to close out the opening half, including a seven-goal second quarter to blow the game wide open.
After netting five goals in the first quarter to hold a slim 5-4 lead the maroon and gold embarked on a 6-0 run to open up the second quarter of action, scoring three goals in the first five minutes including two in a 19 second span. Brad Greik, who finished the contest with a career-best two-goal performance, got the scoring spree started with his first of the contest just over two minutes into the frame.
Josh Melton, who finished his evening with four points on three goals and an assist, played a role in three of the next four goals, firing home his first marker before finding a streaking Greik in transition on the right side of the cage to push the lead 8-4. Ferrara fired home two of the final three markers to close out the run to give the home team an 11-4 advantage with just over five minutes left to play in the half. Corey Gwin capped the monster second quarter for the maroon and gold, netting his second of four markers for the contest to give the Sea Gulls a 12-5 lead heading into the break.
Overall, four different players scored during the seven-goal quarter as Greik, Ferrara, and Melton each had two goals while Melton, Pierre Armstrong, and Gavin Dembeck each tallied an assist to help give Salisbury the seven-goal advantage.
The defense was equally as impressive throughout the contest for the Sea Gulls as the unit limited Denison to just one goal in the second frame, which broke a scoreless drought of 11:26 stretching from the first quarter and into the second. The unit totaled 11 caused turnovers led by Kevin Murphy's three while both Drew Borkowicz and Riley Ford each had two. Brett Malamphy led the team in groundballs with 11 while Ford and Greik combined for nine.
Salisbury returns to action on Sunday, May 19 when it hosts No. 6 Cabrini University in the National Semifinal at Sea Gull Stadium. It will be the second meeting this season between the two programs.