Nieves scores first goal of return season as Sea Gulls down UMW in Lax for Leukemia game on Senior Day

Nieves scores first goal of return season as Sea Gulls down UMW in Lax for Leukemia game on Senior Day

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 6 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team celebrated Senior Day and its Lax for Leukemia game on Saturday, defeating Capital Athletic Conference-opponent No. 17 the University of Mary Washington, 20-4, at Sea Gull Stadium.

Sophomore midfielder Alex Nieves, playing his first season following a battle with leukemia after being diagnosed in the fall of 2010, scored his first goal of the season in the fourth quarter of the game. With 2:39 left, Nieves, positioned on the crease, took a pass from freshman midfielder Stephen Lambrides, turned to the right and shot past the keeper to give the Gulls an 18-4 lead.

The score was one of seven Sea Gull goals in the final period that capped the victory.

Mary Washington's Luke Dick, one of four Eagles with one goal in the game, scored the game's first goal in the first quarter, but the Salisbury (11-3, 4-0 CAC) offense answered with seven consecutive goals to take a commanding lead.

At the 6:52 mark, junior midfielder Tyler Smith tied the game, 1-1, ripping an underhand shot between the goalkeeper's legs on a pass from senior midfielder Eric Kluge. The tie was broken by senior attackman Stephen Norris less than 90 seconds later as he dodged a defender on the left side of the crease and planted a shot into the back of the cage.

The final three goals of the first quarter came from Kluge, Smith and sophomore attackman Wade Korvin; Kluge and Smith both scored two during the run to lead the Gulls.

Freshman attackman Brady Dashiell opened the second quarter, scoring just over 60 seconds into the period, by running from the right sideline to the right wing and ripping a shot. Kluge followed with his second before UMW (7-2, 1-1 CAC) would score again.

The Eagles put two in at the 11:04 and 8:19 marks, but Kluge would score his team-leading third of the day, followed by a diving goal on the crease by junior attackman Rhett DePol to end the first half. The Gulls entered halftime leading 9-3.

At the break, Salisbury was leading in shots, 22-17, ground balls, 28-15, and faceoffs won, 12-of-13. The team won 25-of-27 faceoffs in the game.

Junior midfielder Greg Korvin scored two goals at the start of the third quarter, followed by goals from seniors, defender Brett Baer and midfielder Tyler Granelli, as the Gulls shut out the Eagles in the quarter before the seven-goal fourth.

Junior goalkeeper Alex Taylor played 56:34 in the goal, making nine saves in the win.

Eight seniors were honored before the game for their contributions to the Salisbury men's lacrosse program; the group consisted of Baer, Granelli, Kluge, Norris, Ryan Clarke, Evan Hammersly, Zach Hill and Mitch Meredith. In the past four seasons, the Sea Gulls have played in three National Championship games, while winning two of them, and won two CAC championships.

The Sea Gulls will next be in action in the first game of a three-game road trip to end the regular season, traveling to Wesley College for a CAC game on Saturday, April 10; the contest is set for 7 p.m.

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