Sea Gulls fall 9-8 in overtime to Stevenson

Sea Gulls fall 9-8 in overtime to Stevenson

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 12 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team dropped a hard-fought overtime contest to No. 7 Stevenson University 9-8 on Wednesday night at Sea Gull Stadium.

Sophomore Carson Kalama and senior Sean Fitzgerald had the connection early on, combining for the Sea Gulls' first three goals, as Salisbury controlled the ball for the majority of the first quarter.

Fitzgerald found Kalama on the crease 70 seconds into the contest for a quick 1-0 lead, but Stevenson answered with a transition goal a little over a minute later to knot the score.

At the 11:20 mark, Kalama regained the lead for the Sea Gulls, as Fitzgerald passed from the right wing to the left side of the crease for a five-yard shot. The pair followed with a similar play less than two minutes later for a 3-1 lead.

The Gulls took a 3-2 lead into the second quarter, after the Mustangs netted their second score with five seconds left in the first.

Two man-up goals in the first two minutes of the quarter for Stevenson flipped the lead 4-3, but Kalama tallied his fourth at the 8:28 mark, picking up a ground ball on the crease and putting the ball home to tie the score again.

After another Mustang score, junior Thomas Cirillo and Fitzgerald ran a pick-and-roll to perfection, as Cirillo ran around the screen left to right and pass to Fitzgerald on the left wing for a rip into the top right corner of the cage for a 5-5 halftime score.

At the half, Salisbury led in shots 18-11, ground balls 14-13, and had won 7-of-11 faceoffs.

Junior James Burton found the cage at the 12:10 mark of the third quarter for the only score of the period for a 6-5 lead heading into the fourth. Burton ran from the middle to the left wing, ripping a left-handed shot into the top-left corner.

Stevenson went on a three-goal run to take a two-goal lead, 8-6, with only 2:56 remaining in regulation.

Cirillo netted his second at the 1:10 mark to bring the Sea Gulls to within one, hitting the top-left corner of the goal from the right wing, on an assist from sophomore Nathan Blondino.

After winning the next faceoff, Salisbury called a timeout to draw up the potential game-tying play, and Blondino came through again in a clutch moment. Fitzgerald zipped a pass across the face of the goal from the right side, finding a cutting Blondino who tucked the ball in the lower-left corner of the cage with 11 seconds left to tie the game 8-8 and force overtime.

The Sea Gulls won the faceoff to start the extra time, and had two shots on goal, including one on the crease, but after the second save, Stevenson cleared the ball and netted the game-winner with 1:22 left in the game.

Fitzgerald led the team with five points, with four assists, while Kalama led with the four scores.

Salisbury hits the road for its next game, traveling to Southern Virginia University on Saturday, March 28; the game is set for 1 p.m.

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