Strong first quarter leads men's lacrosse to victory in season opener

Strong first quarter leads men's lacrosse to victory in season opener

RICHMOND, Va. – The Salisbury University men's lacrosse team went on the road to the St. Christopher's School in Richmond, Virginia to take on Hampden-Sydney College in its season opener and came away with a 12-7 victory.

Senior James Burton would tally the first Sea Gull goal of the season just over five minutes into the contest. After a minor defensive breakdown, Burton was able to come from behind the cage to the face of the net, throw a fake low that got keeper, Mitch Renfrow, to bite, and dunk it in for the score.

Salisbury would score four-straight goals to bring the lead to 5-0 at the end of the first quarter. Highlighting the streak was Brady Dashiell who was able to get a quick-stick finish on the crease from Burton, and Jake Rotman who turned the corner on his defender from up top and ripped an underhand shot from about 13 yards out that found its way inside the left pipe with a little over a minute left in the quarter.

Hampden-Sydney started off the second quarter quickly, trying to cut into the lead the Gulls had established. Thirty-seven seconds into the quarter, Jake Koferi put the first ball into Salisbury's net and less than four minutes later Chandler Shaheen would score for the Tigers as well.

Carson Kalama would put an end to the Tigers' run when he connected on a feed from Dashiell for his first of the season. Sophomore Garrett Reynolds would follow up with his first goal of the season under 30 seconds after Kalama's goal.

The Tigers scored one more before the half, and Salisbury went go into the locker room up 7-3. At the half, Salisbury had a 23-11 advantage in shots, while it had just one turnover to Hampden-Sydney's eight. All seven of Salisbury's goals in the first half came from different goal scorers, while Burton led the team with two assists in the half.

Hampden-Sydney opened up the third-quarter scoring with a marker 11 minutes into the second half, but Salisbury would respond with back-to-back goals from Nathan Blondino and Reynolds. From behind-the-net, Blondino got a step on his defenseman driving to his left. He kept the stick in his right hand and tucked a backhanded shot past the keeper for his second score of the game.

Early in the fourth quarter, Thomas Cirillo scored his first of the season and teammates Burton and Brendan Bromwell scored their second goals of the game. Salisbury would outscore the Tigers 3-2 in the fourth to close out the game and pick up the 12-7 victory.

Anthony Stavrakis picked up the win in net, stopping eight shots, while Renfrow stopped 16 shots for the Tigers in the loss. Salisbury held the advantage at the faceoff X as it won 13-of-22 draws as junior transfer Duncan Campbell went 11-for-16 himself and scooped up five groundballs along the way.

Leading the team in groundballs was Kyle Tucker who picked up six and caused four turnovers in the win. Also having strong games defensively were Davis Anderson, with three groundballs, Pax Howard, who picked up two groundballs and added two caused turnovers, and Preston Dabbs, who played lock-down defense all game despite the Tigers efforts to put him in several invert scenarios.

The Gulls return to action on Saturday, February 13 when they host Lynchburg College in their home opener; faceoff is set for 1 p.m.

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