YORK, Pa. – For the fifth time in six seasons and fourth consecutive season, No. 3 Salisbury University squared off against No. 2 York College of Pennsylvania in the Capital Athletic Conference championship. The Sea Gulls claimed their 22nd CAC title, defeating the Spartans 13-7 on Saturday afternoon.
Brandon Warren led the way for Salisbury (19-1) as he tallied 16 saves, including three game-changing saves over the 60-minute contest that played a crucial role in the outcome.
After Cross Ferrara netted two markers in the opening two and a half minutes to give the Sea Gulls a 2-0 advantage. York (17-2) had an opportunity to level the game with 8:07 left in the first frame when it got a man-up opportunity. The Spartans got a look from inside 10 yards but Warren turned the shot away, leading to an eventual shot clock violation that forced the penalty kill, one of three kills for the maroon and gold in the first 30 minutes, to keep the score line at 2-1.
Goals from Jarrett Bromwell and Brett Malamphy on great individual efforts pushed Salisbury out to a 4-2 lead just over five minutes into the second quarter. However, York once again battled back to level the game at 4-4, converting on a man-up advantage with 7:37 left to play in the half.
Holding a 5-4 lead with exactly 1:01 left to play in the opening half, Josh Melton, who finished with two goals and an assist, had a hand in the final two markers of the opening 30 minutes as he finished off a pass from Zach Pompea to push the lead to two. Melton then found Pierre Armstrong with four seconds left to play in the half to give the Sea Gulls a 7-4 lead at the break.
Warren continued his dominant performance in the second half as he made two crucial saves midway through the third quarter as Salisbury faced a two-man deficit. Hunter Davis, who finished the game with a goal and assist, got a look but his shot was turned away by Warren. However, a loose ball in front of the net was picked up by Thomas Pfeiffer right on the door step but Warren made another save, leading to a clear and penalty kill for Salisbury to maintain its 9-5 lead.
Salisbury continued to keep the gas pedal down in the second half offensively as it outscored the Spartans 6-3, with six different players netting a marker, including Woodward and Ferrara, who finished with a team-high three.
With the win, Salisbury earns the CAC's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament, which is set to begin on Tuesday, May 7. The Sea Gulls will await the selection show on Sunday night to find out where their NCAA road will begin.