NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Salisbury University men's soccer team will play first-seeded Christopher Newport University in a Capital Athletic Conference tournament semifinal game on Wednesday, November 1 at 5 p.m.
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How we got here
The Sea Gulls went 4-3-2 in conference play to earn the fifth seed in the CAC tournament. In the first round game at York College of Pennsylvania on Saturday, October 28, Salisbury forced a penalty kick shootout to determine the advancing team after tying the game in the second half. The Spartans scored in the fourth minute, but the Sea Gulls capitalized on another penalty kick goal from Nick Carrington in the 59th minute. After neither team could score in the two overtime periods, the game was decided by penalty kicks. Salisbury keeper Trevor Brookhart converted his penalty kick in the 10th round and saved the following York attempt to advance the Sea Gulls to the semifinals.
How they got here
Christopher Newport went 13-2-1 overall and 8-0-1 in conference play to earn the top seed in the CAC tournament. The Captains are 12-0-1 in their last 13 matches and finished off the regular season with a 3-1 win over Marymount (Va.) University. Christopher Newport earned a first round bye in the CAC playoffs.
Salisbury holds a 16-10-4 advantage in the all-time series between the two teams, which dates back to 1982 when the Sea Gulls claimed a 4-1 win in the first-ever meeting. The Captains do have an edge on their home field, however, where the Sea Gulls have gone 5-6-3 all time. Since Christopher Newport joined the CAC in 2013, the teams have played each other evenly, going 1-1-3.
Last time we met
The Sea Gulls handed Christopher Newport its lone tie in conference play on Wednesday, October 18. The Captains' goal came in the 56th minute on a penalty kick by Andrew Gogolin, but Salisbury would respond just over 10 minutes later on a header by Alex Eiben. Neither team could find the game winner in overtime, settling for a 1-1 tie. Christopher Newport outshot Salisbury 22-7 but Brookhart made eight saves, including three in overtime, to end the Captains' 10-game winning streak.
Scouting the Captains
Christopher Newport comes into the match with the two leading goal scorers in the conference in senior Jimmy Grace and junior Stephen Durbin. Grace leads the conference in goals with 13 and points with 30, while Durbin ranks second in the conference with 12 goals and is third with 27 points. Goalkeeper Zach Pedini comes into the match with 16 goals against and a 1.08 goals-against average, good for third and fourth in the conference, respectively.
Wednesday's game will feature five players who are in the top six in the conference in shots on the season. Andrew Gogolin has taken 55 shots on the year, which is the most in the conference. Dolph Hegewisch is right behind with 54, while Grace and Durbin rank fourth and fifth with 48 and 47 shots, respectively. Brooks Zentgraf is tied for sixth with 40 shots on the year.
The winner of Saturday's match advances to the CAC championship on Saturday, November 4 to face the winner of the University of Mary Washington/St. Mary's College of Maryland game.