SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 12 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team fell in top-20 action on Sunday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium 9-8 in a contest that went into overtime against No. 15 Ohio Wesleyan University.
The game was a defensive battle early on, with the only goal of the first quarter coming at the 12:01 mark. Junior Thomas Cirillo took a pass from sophomore Chris Joyce at the right wing and ripped a shot into the lower-left corner of the cage for a 1-0 lead.
That score would hold for the next 24 minutes of action, as the Salisbury defense held the Battling Bishops to only seven shots in the span and caused three turnovers. The Ohio Wesleyan defense was just as stingy, holding Salisbury to only six shots in that time.
OWU broke the scoring draught just before halftime, with John Umbach scoring two goals in the final 3:16 of the first half, including one with three seconds left, to take a 2-1 lead into halftime.
At the break, Salisbury led in shots 14-11 and faceoffs, winning four-of-five, while the Battling Bishops led the ground ball margin 16-8. The Sea Gulls were also perfect on all seven clearing opportunities.
It didn't take the Gulls long to tie the game in the third quarter, as sophomore Andrew Ternahan picked up the ground ball after Salisbury won the opening faceoff of the second half, drove down the middle of the OWU defense, and scored on a low shot just 17 seconds into the quarter.
Salisbury scored two more goals in the third quarter to take a 5-2 lead into the fourth quarter. Senior Kyle Goss netted the first, curling around the right side of the crease and scoring a low shot at the 4:11 mark, and freshman Chase Berquist gave the Sea Gulls the three-goal advantage with 28 seconds left in the third, taking a pass from senior Adam Stork from behind the cage, running right, and shooting from the left wing 10 yards out.
Ohio Wesleyan's Kyle Foster scored the first goal of the fourth quarter just 14 seconds in, but Cirillo answered 50 seconds later for a 6-3 lead with 13:56 to go, driving right and ripping a shot just inside the left post of the goal.
The Battling Bishops used a 3-0 run over the next five minutes to tie the game, but Cirillo again responded, dodging from right to left into the middle of the OWU defense and slipping a shot between the goalkeeper's legs to regain the lead 7-6 with 4:09 to go.
Just over 30 seconds later, Ohio Wesleyan tied the game again, before taking its first lead of the game with a Tommy Minkler goal with 1:32 left in regulation.
The Sea Gulls would not go away, however, as junior James Burton curled around the left side of the crease and put a low shot into the cage 28 seconds later to tie the score 8-8 and force an overtime period.
In overtime, the Sea Gulls won the initial faceoff, but a turnover put the ball in the Battling Bishops' sticks, and Foster found the cage 62 seconds into the extra time for the win.
Cirillo led the team with three goals and three points, while Joyce and Fitzgerald both dished out one assist to tie for the team high.
Senior Connor Anderson got the start in the goal for Salisbury, the first of his career, making 10 saves in 61:02 in the cage.
Salisbury now looks to a mid-week game on Wednesday, March 11, hosting Hampden-Sydney College at Sea Gull Stadium; the opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m.