SALISBURY, Md. - The No. 8 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team's travels to No. 7 Stevenson University on Saturday, May 9 for an NCAA Division III tournament second-round game. The opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m.
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How we got here
The Sea Gulls defeated Roanoke College in a first-round contest on Wednesday 6-3 at Sea Gull Stadium. Sophomore Carson Kalama led the Gulls with two goals, while senior Sean Fitzgerald notched a goal and two assists for three points. The Salisbury defense shut down the Maroons' offense, including shutting them out in the second half. Senior Marty Wallace led the unit with three caused turnovers.
How they got here
Stevenson defeated Eastern University in another first-round contest 12-5 on Wednesday. Tony Rossi led the Mustangs with three goals and one assist in the game, as Stevenson took control with a 4-1 lead after the first quarter and pushed it to 9-2 by halftime.
Over the past nine years, Salisbury and Stevenson have met 18 previous times, with the Sea Gulls holding an 11-7 all-time series lead. The Mustangs have held the late edge in the matchup, winning three of the last four, but Salisbury has played well away from home, with a 6-2 record at Mustang Stadium. Last season, the Sea Gulls pulled out an 11-9 victory at Stevenson, behind six points from Luke Phipps and five points from Donovan Lange.
The last time we met
The Sea Gulls and Mustangs met up earlier this season on March 25 at Sea Gull Stadium in a 9-8 overtime win for Stevenson. Kalama scored four goals in the first half for the Gulls, as the teams were tied 5-5 at halftime. Stevenson held an 8-6 lead in the fourth quarter, but two goals in the final 70 seconds for Salisbury forced the extra time. Pat Candon scored the game winner with 1:22 left in the overtime period.
Man in the middle
Kalama has taken over the spot on the crease for the Salisbury attack line and has responded to lead the team with 52 goals and 64 points, earning him a spot on the all-conference first team. Kalama has started all 19 games for the Gulls after moving into the starting line up this season. After only scoring four goals in the first five games, he has found his groove for 46 goals in the last 14 contests, including 10 outings with three goals or more. Kalama is also leading the team with a .505 shooting percentage and a .758 shots on goal percentage.
It starts at the "X"
Sophomore Cameron Maples has moved into the starting faceoff spot this season in all but one of the Sea Gulls' 20 games. After starting the season with a .452 winning percentage in the first four games, Maples has won 162-of-251 chances for a .645 winning percentage at the "X" to stabalize the faceoff play for the team. In those games, he has helped lead the team to a 14-2 record. For the season, Maples leads the team with 77 ground balls, as well, while adding two goals.
Stevenson comes into Saturday with the No. 8 scoring offense and the No. 4 scoring margin. Leading the scoring attack, which boasts a 14.63 goals-per game average, is Stephen Banick with 63 points on 30 goals and 33 assists. The defense is led by Callum Robinson's 49 caused turnovers, while Connor Skeen holds a 3.26 goals-allowed average in the cage. The Mustang defense ranks fifth in the country by causing 12.63 turnovers per game.
The winner of Saturday's game will advance to the NCAA quarterfinals against the winner of another second-round game between No. 4 Lynchburg College and Aurora University. The quarterfinal round is set for Wednesday, May 13.