Big third quarter leads Sea Gulls to 19th CAC title

Big third quarter leads Sea Gulls to 19th CAC title

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 8 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team captured its 19th Capital Athletic Conference championship on Saturday with a 14-5 victory over No. 19 Frostburg State University at Sea Gull Stadium.

Salisbury opened with a goal on its first possession to begin a 4-0 run that spanned into the second quarter.

Off a clean faceoff win by sophomore Cameron Maples, it only took 33 seconds for junior James Burton to find sophomore Carson Kalama on the crease for a 1-0 lead.

Junior Thomas Cirillo drove down the right side at the 11:21 mark for a low shot to double the lead, but the score would remain 2-0 for the rest of the opening quarter.

During that span, senior goalkeeper Connor Anderson turned away four Bobcat shots to keep Frostburg scoreless through the opening quarter on the way to a career-high 16 saves on the day.

Burton scored on the crease off a pass from Cirillo less than two minutes into the second quarter, before senior Mike Kane scored by posting up his defender on the right side of the crease, turning to the right, and shooting high to give Salisbury the four-goal cushion.

Greg Bourne and Tate Rolland answered with a goal each for Frostburg to cut the score to 4-2, but senior Sean Fitzgerald scored from five yards on a catch-and-shoot play on a pass from Cirillo to begin a nine-goal run for the Gulls.

Burton tallied his second to close the half with 1:12 remaining in the second quarter and give the Sea Gulls a 6-2 halftime advantage. At the break, Frostburg held a slight 26-24 lead in shots and a 19-14 edge in ground balls.

With a Frostburg penalty just before halftime, Salisbury opened the third quarter with possession in a man-up opportunity. A hidden-ball trick between sophomore Nathan Blondino and Fitzgerald was executed to perfection, as Blondino came around the crease and found Kalama wide open on the crease to capitalize just 32 seconds into the third quarter, beginning a seven-goal quarter that quickly gave the Sea Gulls control of the game.

Maples won the ensuing faceoff, driving straight down the middle of the field for his second score of the season just eight seconds later.

Junior Davis Anderson found himself in the same situation off a Bobcat turnover, going right down the middle of the field for the team's third goal in the first three minutes of the half at the 12:17 mark to push the lead to 9-2.

Salisbury reached double digits on a shot from junior Christian Ottenritter into the left side of the cage, after driving down the left side.

Kalama tallied his final two goals of a four-score effort to lead to team, and Fitzgerald netted his second to close out the quarter with a 13-2 lead for Salisbury.

Blondino found Cirillo near the crease at the 8:12 mark of the final frame for his team-leading third assist to cap the scoring for the Gulls.

Cirillo scored twice and added two assists to tie for the team lead with four points, while Fitzgerald and Burton each added two goals and one assist.

Anderson played 57:09 in the cage to earn his 13th win of the season.

As the CAC champion, Salisbury earned the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament and now looks to the NCAA Division III selection show on Sunday, May 3 for it first-round opponent of the 2015 national tournament; the show is set to start at 9 p.m. Log on to www.suseagulls.com for more information, as it becomes available.

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