Sea Gulls take first loss in battle of top-10 teams

Sea Gulls take first loss in battle of top-10 teams

LYNCHBURG, Va. – In a battle of top-10 teams, the No. 3 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team took its first loss of the season, 12-7, to No. 8 Lynchburg College on Saturday afternoon.

After a scoreless first-four minutes of the game, the Hornets found the cage first at the 11:08 mark. Lynchburg went on to score the first three goals of the game, before the Gulls would get on the board.

Junior Christian Ottenritter drove right and planted a low shot into the left side of the cage for Salisbury's first score with 3:08 left in the first quarter.

Lynchburg scored once more in the quarter for a 4-1 lead heading into the second; the Sea Gulls took 13 shots in the first quarter and had scoring opportunities, but Chris Hawley made seven saves for the Hornets to keep the SU offense at bay.

The teams' defenses clamped down in the second period, not allowing either offense to score in the first 10 minutes, but with 5:08 left in the first half, the Hornets scored the first of two-straight goals to push their lead to 6-1.

Salisbury answered with freshman Chase Berquist taking a pass on the crease from sophomore Chris Joyce and scoring for the Gulls' second goal.

After a final score to close the second quarter, Lynchburg took a 7-2 lead into halftime, but Salisbury was leading the shooting 21-16. The Hornets had won 6-of-11 first-half faceoffs and led the ground-ball margin 16-14.

Lynchburg scored first in the third quarter, but SU answered with two goals to cut the deficit to four. Ottenritter found the cage for his second, running around the crease to the left side of the cage, before junior Thomas Cirillo ripped a shot from the left wing into the top-right corner of the goal.

After the Hornets' ninth goal, the Gulls scored twice in the final five minutes to take a 9-6 deficit into the fourth quarter.

Junior Preston Dabbs caught Lynchburg in transition and found Berquist all alone on the crease with 4:12 left in the third. Cirillo then added his second after driving right and shooting from 10 yards.

Berquist, Cirillo, and Ottenritter tied for the team lead with two goals, each.

Senior Sean Fitzgerald added the final goal for Salisbury in the fourth quarter, as the Hornets outscored the Gulls 3-1 in the final period to take the win.

Senior Dan Feeney played 58:41 in the cage for SU, making nine saves in the game.

Salisbury returns to Sea Gull Stadium for its next game, the first of a four-game home stretch, to host Widener University on Saturday, February 21; the opening faceoff is set for 12 p.m.

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