Sea Gulls take on Maroons to begin NCAA tournament

Sea Gulls take on Maroons to begin NCAA tournament

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 8 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team earned a spot in its 27th-straight NCAA Division III tournament and will play host to Roanoke College on Wednesday, May 6 in first-round action at Sea Gull Stadium; the game is set for 7 p.m.

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How we got here

Salisbury earned the Capital Athletic Conference's automatic bid into the national tournament by defeating Frostburg State University 14-5 in the CAC championship game on Saturday. Sophomore Carson Kalama led the way with four goals, including three in a seven-score third quarter that separated the Gulls from the Bobcats in the game. Junior Thomas Cirillo also tallied four points on two goals and two assists, while senior Connor Anderson set a career high with 16 saves in the cage.

How they got here

Roanoke received an at-large bid to the tournament, after going 12-6 during the 2015 season. The Maroons advanced to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship game, before falling to No. 4 Lynchburg College 17-12. They have won six of their last seven games coming into the tournament.

Series history

In 27 meetings, Salisbury holds a 19-8 record in the all-time series with Roanoke, including a 9-3 record at Sea Gull Stadium. The teams have met five previous times in the NCAA tournament, with Salisbury coming out on top in all five games. The last meeting between the teams came in a 17-5 Sea Gull victory on March 17, 2013, while the last meeting in the NCAA tournament came in a 16-7 Salisbury win on May 22, 2011. Erik Krum led Salisbury with four goals in that game, a semifinal matchup, before Salisbury went on to win the national championship in that season.

The last time we met

The meeting between the teams in 2013 took place at Roanoke in Salem, Virginia in the 17-5 Sea Gull win. Rhett DePol and Stephen Norris led the Gulls with four goals apiece, while Greg Korvin dished out three assists. Salisbury took control early with five first-quarter goals, before taking a 10-1 lead into halftime.

Keep the streak

Since Head Coach Jim Berkman took over the Salisbury men's lacrosse program for the 1989 season, Salisbury has not missed the NCAA tournament, making it 27-consecutive years. In that time, Salisbury has posted a 455-49 record, while only losing more than five games in a season once. The Sea Gulls have totaled 19 CAC championships and 10 national championships under Berkman's tutelage.

Getting defensive

The Salisbury defense has been a strength of the team all season, ranking second in the country with a 5.68 goals-against average. The unit has only allowed 10 or more goals in a game twice this season, with the last time coming in the first month of the season on February 28. Led by seniors Knute Kraus and Marty Wallace with 24 caused turnovers, each, the Gulls have only allowed 16 man-up scores in 59 chances.

Scouting Roanoke

The Maroons are led by a quartet of 50-point scorers, as Tyler McWilliams paces the team with 55 points with 37 goals and 18 assists. Will Pilat leads the team with 39 goals, while notching 54 points, and Kevin Jackson has a team-high 25 assists, to go with 53 points. Colin Mackenzie rounds the group out with 51 points.

Roanoke's defense is led by Conn Curry's 26 caused turnovers, while the goal is minded by Dylan Torrey with an 8.75 goals-allowed average.

What's next

The winner of Wednesday's first-round game will move on to play the winner of another first-round contest between No. 7 Stevenson University and No. 19 Eastern College in Owings Mills, Maryland on Wednesday. The second-round games are set for Saturday, May 9

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