SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 1 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team hosted Hampden-Sydney College at Sea Gull Stadium on Saturday afternoon and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals with a 25-12 victory.
Hampden-Sydney struck first but it would be all Salisbury in the opening quarter. Nick Garbarino got the Gulls' first goal of the game at 13:03 as Salisbury went for seven-straight tallies to bring the score to 7-1 before the Tigers responded with a pair to end the quarter.
Garbarino opened up the second quarter scoring on the man up when Adam Huber rifled a pass to the sure-handed attackman who buried it for one of his five first-half goals. Nathan Blondino had a big half as well with the senior accounting for three goals and two assists. The highlight came as Carson Kalama pushed the ball to Blondino on the wing who went low to high and punished the top shelf to put Salisbury up 9-3.
The SU attack went off again with Blondino getting 11 points from seven goals and four assists, Garbarino posting nine points from six goals and three assists, while Kalama posted two goals and two assists. The three seniors down low took a combined 20 shots to score their 15 goals (.750 percent).
Blondino now sits at 122 points for the season, while Kalama and Garbarino are tied with 77.
Salisbury extended its lead to 14-4 by halftime with the game-winning goal coming from the stick of Brendan Bromwell five minutes before half.
Salisbury outshot the Tigers 28-16 by the break and held a 30-14 edge in groundballs.
Many of the Sea Gulls' goals in the first half were the product of great ball movement with the bulk of the goals being scored right off the crease. Salisbury did not let the lead slip in the second half and displayed the same great ball movement to get the half's first goal.
Corey Gwin shook his defender and had an open shot from 12 yards but pushed it behind the cage and the Gulls pushed the back side where Blondino found a wide open Garbarino who took his time just outside the crease to put it home.
The Gulls outscored the Tigers 8-1 in the third to push the lead out of reach of the visitors. Bromwell had three points in the quarter off two goals and an assist with the first goal coming on the man up as he was on the left wing and buried the shot to the top shelf from 12 yards with his underhand shot.
Bromwell finished his day with five goals and one assist for six points, scoring his five goals on just six shots.
The Tigers made a push in the last quarter but it was too little too late and the Gulls punched their ticket to the quarterfinals.
Duncan Campbell, Andrew Ternahan, Kyle Tucker, Colin Reymann, and T.J. Logue all had at least four groundballs in the win with SU winning the groundball battle in the game 53-30. The Tigers coughed the ball up 17 times in the game with 12 of them being caused. Cory Berry and Aaron Leeds both had three caused turnovers to lead the team.
Coming into the contest the faceoff tandem of Campbell and Logue had a tough task as the Tigers have won over .600 percent of their faceoffs on the year but Campbell (16-for-26) and Logue (8-for-13) helped the Gulls control the game.
Salisbury will now play in the NCAA quarterfinals against Cabrini University on Wednesday, May 17. The location and time of that game are too be determined.