FROSTBURG, Md. - The No. 11 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team kept itself at the top of the Capital Athletic Conference standings on Saturday afternoon with a 8-7 overtime victory at Frostburg State University.
Entering the fourth quarter with a tied 6-6 score, it took until the 5:50 mark of the period for either team to break the tie, as Frostburg's Spenser Love gave the Bobcats a one-goal lead.
Salisbury's comeback attempt began after winning the ensuing faceoff. After a saved shot and Frostburg clear, senior Austin Kemp caused a turnover to put the ball back in the offense's sticks, and after two high Sea Gull shots, sophomore Brendan Bromwell knotted the score at 7-7, driving left and ripping a shot into the top right corner to force Salisbury's third overtime game of the season.
Frostburg won the faceoff to start the extra time, but senior Mike Kane forced a turnover and gathered the ground ball to allow the Sea Gulls to take a timeout. Out of the break, the Gulls pass the ball around the box right to left, before sophomore Nathan Blondino took a pass from junior Thomas Cirillo on the left wing and planted the winning shot inside the left post, keeping the Gulls' unblemished record in CAC play at 7-0.
The Sea Gulls wasted no time to get on the scoreboard to start the game. After winning the opening faceoff, Cirillo took the ball from the middle of the offensive box, dodged right to beat his defender, and ripped a shot from 10 yards out just 44 seconds into the game for a 1-0 lead.
Play evened out after the opening goal, with the teams trading possessions for the next several minutes. Frostburg tallied four shots in the span, with three on goal, but all were saved by senior Connor Anderson, preserving the advantage for the Gulls.
Cirillo broke through again to tally his second with 6:28 left in the opening quarter, and the 2-0 lead would hold for the rest of the period.
Salisbury again started quickly in the opening minute of the second quarter, scoring just 12 seconds into the frame off the opening faceoff. Sophomore Andrew Ternahan gathered the ground ball and found sophomore Carson Kalama on the left wing, who instantly redirected the ball to Blondino on the crease for the 3-0 lead.
The Bobcats responded with their first to cut the advantage back to two, but another two-goal spurt for Salisbury increased the lead to 5-1.
Kane found Cirillo on the crease, after a restart from behind the cage, for the junior's third, before Kalama picked up a ground ball on the crease with 7:20 left in the half for a behind-the-back finish on the right side of the goal.
However, the Bobcats ended the half on a 3-0 run to cut Salisbury's lead to only one at 5-4 at the break. At the half, the Sea Gulls led in shots 22-12 and ground balls 21-7, while winning 9-of-11 faceoffs.
The second half opened with eight and a half minutes of scoreless action, until Frostburg tied the game 5-5 at the 6:32 mark of the third quarter; the Sea Gulls were only able to take two shots in the span.
The Bobcats took their first lead with 2:32 to go in the third, but senior Kyle Goss drove left and planted a shot into the lower-right corner of the net to tie the score 6-6 for the Gulls with 59 seconds left in the period, opening the way for the late-game comeback.
Cirillo paced the team with five points, three goals, and two assists, and Blondino finished second on the team with his two goals.
Anderson took his ninth victory in goal, playing the entire game and making eight saves.
Salisbury returns to Sea Gull Stadium for its final regular-season home game on Wednesday, April 15 for a Capital Athletic Conference showdown with York College of Pennsylvania; the opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m.