SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 2 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team punched its ticket to the NCAA Division III tournament semifinals with a 15-5 victory over No. 4 Denison University on Wednesday night at Sea Gull Stadium in a quarterfinal matchup.
Denison struck first at the 13:55 mark of the first quarter, but Salisbury answered with an 8-0 run that stretched into the third quarter, led by senior midfielder Greg Korvin, senior attackman Luke Phipps, and junior attackman Mike Kane. All three players netted three goals in the game, while Phipps led the Gulls with six points, adding three assists.
Phipps found Kane on the crease with the Sea Gulls' first score to tie the game, 1-1, before Korvin netted two straight to gain a two-goal cushion.
With 7:45 left in the first, Korvin netted a shot from the right wing, before driving right and scoring a high shot just over one minute later.
Phipps closed the quarter, scoring from eight yards on a pass from Korvin to give SU a 4-1 lead.
Two-straight goals on the crease from Kane in the second built Salisbury's lead to 6-1, before assisting Phipps for his second; the Street, Md., native ripped a shot into the top, right corner of the cage as SU went into halftime with a 7-1 advantage.
At the break, the Gulls were outshooting the Big Red, 24-5, and had more ground balls, 15-11. SU also turned the ball over less, with only four to Denison's nine, but Denison had the faceoff advantage, 6-of-10.
Senior attackman Rhett DePol opened the second half with his first score just 12 seconds into the third quarter, taking a pass from Phipps and scoring on the crease.
The Big Red broke its scoring draught, answering with two-straight to cut into the lead, 8-3, but junior Sean Fitzgerald would sandwich a Phipps goal with two of his own to regain a big advantage, 11-3, before the final quarter.
The fourth started with a Denison score in the first five minutes, but Salisbury continued to keep its foot on the gas, outscoring the Big Red, 4-2, in the quarter, with goals from DePol, Korvin, and senior midfielders Donovan Lange and Brandon Kendrick to cap the win.
SU's defense, led by senior long-stick midfielder Zeke Smith and junior defender Austin Kemp with two caused turnovers, each. The unit went head-to-head with the No. 4 scoring offense in the country, allowing only five goals, while senior goalkeeper Alex Taylor earned the win, making nine saves in just over 56 minutes in the cage.
The Sea Gulls now look forward to the semifinal round on Sunday, going up against No. 5 Washington (Md.) College; the time and place are to be announced. Log on to www.suseagulls.com for more information as it becomes available.