SALISBURY, Md. – The seventh ranked Salisbury University men's lacrosse program opened its national title defense on Wednesday evening taking on Morrisville State College in the NCAA tournament second round. The Sea Gulls cruised to a 19-5 victory over the Mustangs to advance to the NCAA third round contest on Saturday, May 12.
Twelve different player netted goals for Salisbury (17-3) as Garrett Reynolds led the way with a team-best four while Josh Melton and Griffin Moroney each tallied three. The Sea Gulls jumped out to an early 8-0 lead after the first quarter behind goals from six different members of the maroon and gold including two from both Reynolds and Moroney.
Troy Miller opened the scoring for the maroon and gold giving the home team the 1-0 lead at the 11:43 mark of the first quarter. Gwin pushed the lead to 2-0 less than two minutes later netting one of the Sea Gulls' three man-up goals of the night and his only marker for the evening finishing off an assist from Melton.
Reynolds then netted back-to-back markers less than two minutes apart before Moroney followed suit scoring twice in a span of 44 seconds to help push the advantage to 8-0 heading into the second frame.
Morrisville (12-8) managed to get on the scoreboard at the 6:41 mark of the second quarter after being held scoreless for nearly 23 minutes of game action. The Sea Gulls proceeded to tally four straight markers before the Mustangs capped the second quarter scoring to help build an 11-2 lead heading into the locker room.
After each team netted a goal in the opening four minutes of the second half the game remained relatively quiet until the latter half of the third. Salisbury netted three straight goals to close out the quarter, part of a 7-2 overall run to end the game.
Melton netted a goal in both the third and fourth quarter while Reynolds and Moroney each tallied their final goals of the night in the fourth quarter. Moroney opened the final frame scoring, finishing off a great unassisted effort tracking down a loose ball in front of the net and proceeding to take what was effectively a hockey style slap shot attempt at the ball, firing it right under the crossbar for the 15-3 lead. Reynolds netted the team's third man-up goal of the contest 43 seconds later to cap his night finishing off a nice pass from Melton, who finished the night with three assists to aid in his team-high six-points.
The defense kept Morrisville in check all night forcing them into 19 turnovers while causing eight led by Will Nowesnick's two and team-best four groundballs. The Sea Gulls held the Mustangs to a 15-of-22 mark in clears while completing 24-of-25 themselves.
Salisbury will take on Capital Athletic Conference opponent No. 16 Christopher Newport University on Saturday, May 12 in the third round of the NCAA tournament. This will be the third meeting between the two programs this season with Salisbury winning the previous two matchups with the most recent one coming just over a week in the CAC semifinals. A game time and site have yet to be announced.