SALISBURY, Md. – In an Eastern Shore rivalry which consistently brings in over 2,000 spirited spectators, only one team can take home the Charles B. Clark Cup. On Saturday afternoon, for the seventh straight year, the No. 2-ranked Salisbury University men's lacrosse team took home the trophy as the Sea Gulls defeated the Shoremen of Washington (Md.) College, 12-7.
The series, affectionately known as “War on the Shore” by fans, certainly lived up to its name on Saturday as both teams came ready to play. 2,504 fans made the trek to Sea Gull Stadium to watch the battle unfold. The Shoremen (4-10) were the first to strike as Doug Herdegen fired a shot past junior goalkeeper Johnny Rodriguez (Gambrills, Md.) just two minutes into the game. It would be the first of just three leads for Washington on the day as the Shoremen went up, 1-0, over the Gulls.
Undeterred, Salisbury (18-1) struck back just 26 seconds later as senior attackman Mike Winter (Port Washington, N.Y.) scored off of an assist from sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman (Canton, N.Y.) to knot up the score at one apiece. Each team netted one more goal to end the first quarter tied, 2-2.
But the back-and-forth play wouldn't end there. The Sea Gulls and Shoremen continued to rack up the goals in the second quarter and entered halftime tied up at 6 goals apiece. Bradman led the Gulls in scoring for the half, netting three, along with a score off the stick of sophomore attackman Matt Cannone (Bayport, N.Y.) and a man-up goal by senior attackman Jake DeLillo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.). First-half statistics were relatively balanced between the teams, with Salisbury holding a narrow edge on shots (20-16) and ground balls (25-21).
The second half, however, was a different story as the maroon and gold outscored the Shoremen 6-1. Salisbury shut out Washington in scoring in the third quarter, netting three goals in the 15 minute span, to take a commanding 9-6 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Shoremen would score their only goal of the second half at the start of that quarter but the Gulls proceeded to crank out three more scores, including a goal by senior defensive midfielder Will Poletis (Baltimore, Md.) with just four seconds left, to seal the victory. Salisbury has won every Charles B. Clark Cup since the annual contest began in 2004.
Rodriguez was a brick wall in the cage in the second half, as eight of his nine total saves came in the last 30 minutes of play. Additionally, he caused two turnovers.
The game was also an opportunity for the Sea Gulls to recognize their eight graduating seniors: DeLillo, Winter, Poletis, midfielders Mike Von Kamecke (Winter Park, Fla.), Kevin Finn (Evanston, Ill.) and Ryan Finch (Finksburg, Md.), long-stick midfielder Connor Burgasser (Mendon, N.Y.) and defender Jeff Breeding (Cockeysville, Md.). The contest marked the final regular-season game at Sea Gull Stadium for the players.
Salisbury will now await the announcement of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse tournament field, which will be announced on Sunday, May 9 at 10 p.m. on the CBS College Sports Network.