SALISBURY, Md. – The top-ranked Salisbury University men's lacrosse team welcomed No. 13 Ohio Wesleyan University to Sea Gull Stadium on Sunday afternoon and defeated the Battling Bishops, 10-9.
The visitors were able to notch the first marker of the game at 6:43 with a Cole Jamieson goal, but Salisbury went right into one of its two four-goal runs in the game to quell any upset opportunity. Salisbury's opening tally came at 5:40 in the first when there was a play-on situation following a flag on the Battling Bishops and Nathan Blondino found Nick Garbarino on the wing who put it low left for his first of the season.
Blondino ended as the game's leading scorer with two goals and three assists, while Garbarino had the most goals in the game with four.
With time winding down in the first, Blondino got one past keeper Joey Sichenzia after Kyle Tucker found him in transition. He got a free lane to the net off the Tucker dish and buried it low from 13 yards out with 26 seconds left on the clock.
The initial 4-0 run for Salisbury also saw a goal from Adam Huber during a man up in the second quarter, before Garbarino added his second of the day at 11:02 to go up, 4-1.
Ohio Wesleyan notched two goals before the half to bring the score to 4-3. The first half had the teams sit neck and neck in most statistical categories with SU getting the better of OWU in groundballs and shots, while the Battling Bishops held the edge in faceoffs and clearing percentage.
The third quarter would stand as the defining quarter of the game as Salisbury outscored Ohio Wesleyan, 4-0 in the frame. The third quarter saw Huber, Kevin McDermott, Bromwell, and Garbarino score, in order. The highlight on the run was when Josh Melton posted up a short pole on the wing and drew the eyes of the defense then dished it to a wide open Bromwell. Bromwell stepped in from 15 yards out and scorched the top-right corner.
With Salisbury up 8-3 at the start of the fourth, the game had five goals in the quarter and they all came in a span of 2:51 minutes.
Conor Caffrey started the scoring barrage at 11:08 but Blondino and Garbarino both scored just 24 seconds apart at 9:48 and 9:24 to go up 10-4. On Blondino's goal he drove from behind the cage to his right and without looking at the net, shot the ball on the run just over his defender's shoulder and tucked it inside the right pipe.
Ohio Wesleyan ended the game's scoring with two in a row, with the latter coming at 8:17 but Salisbury was able to slow the pace of play down until the final whistle to secure the win.
Salisbury lost the faceoff battle at game's end but still was able to win the groundball battle, 34-22. Andrew Ternahan led the game with seven groundballs, his second-straight game doing so.
Ohio Wesleyan also outshot the Gulls (34-31) but Colin Reymann was up to the task, stopping nine of the 15 shots OWU put on target. The defense played strong throughout as it was the first time the Sea Gulls have kept a ranked opponent to six or less goals since the NCAA semifinals last season when they beat No. 5 Gettysburg College, 14-6. The man-down unit was a big part of the strong defensive day, holding the Battling Bishops to a 0-for-5 mark on their man-up chances.
Salisbury returns to play with the annual Charles B. Clark Cup contest against Washington (Md.) College. That game is slated for a 1 p.m., faceoff at Washington College on Saturday, March 11.