SALISBURY, Md. - Salisbury University will square off against Capital Athletic Conference opponent Christopher Newport University in the NCAA Division III men's lacrosse third round contest on Saturday, May 12 at 7 p.m. at Sea Gull Stadium. This will be the third meeting between these two programs this season, with the Sea Gulls taking the first two contests.
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How we got here
The Sea Gulls advanced to the NCAA third round after defeating Morrisville State College, 19-5, in the second round on Tuesday night. Twelve different members of the maroon and gold tallied markers in the contest, led by senior midfielder Garrett Reynolds, who finished the game with a team-high four goals. Teammates Josh Melton and Griffin Moroney also tallied hat tricks in the contest, as each netted three goals. Melton finished the game with a team best six points, adding three assists to his stat line. It is the second time in three games Melton has tallied six points in a contest, with the last coming against the Captains in the CAC Semifinals.
How they got here
Christopher Newport earned a trip to the third round after a second round win over Roanoke College, 17-11, on Wednesday afternoon. The Captains used an eight goal second quarter to help take control of the game and earn the win. Junior attackman Lucas Barry led the Christopher Newport attack by netting five goals, while fellow attackman Matthew Crist tallied three.
Scouting the Captains
Christopher Newport has five players who have tallied 20-plus goals, led by Dylan Rice, who has netted a team-high 51 markers this season. Rice has totaled 91 shots on goal for a percentage of 70.5 while recording 68 total points. Crist has been stellar on the offensive end as well, posting a team-best 80 points, netting 45 goals and dishing out 35 assists.
Scott McAneney has been solid in cage for the Captains, posting a 10-3 record since taking over, recording a save percentage of 51.2 while stopping a total of 110 shots and tallying a goals against average of 8.47.
The last time we met
The last time these two teams met was the CAC Semifinals and the right to advance to the championship game was on the line. Salisbury raced out to a 7-1 halftime lead en route to a 14-3 victory over the Captains. Melton led the way, netting a team-high four goals while also tallying a team-best six points. Zach Pompea posted his eighth multi-goal game of the season, netting three goals to aid in the victory.
The defense was equally as impressive as the offense, holding Christopher Newport to single-digits for the second time this season while forcing the Captains into 14 turnovers, causing eight of them. Kyle Tucker led the way with a team-high two caused turnovers and another team-best five groundballs. Brandon Warren was equally as impressive earning his 12th win of the season, recording 10 saves to help push Salisbury on to its 20th straight CAC championship.
"Don't Give Up the Ship"
Christopher Newport left Salisbury, Maryland on May 1 after suffering a 14-3 setback in the CAC Semifinals looking for an at-large bid into the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament. The Captains received a bid to the dance and were seeded against the Maroons of Roanoke College in the first round.
After being held to its lowest goal output of the season, Christopher Newport responded with a convincing, 17-11, victory over Roanoke as nine different players tallied goals en route to the six-goal victory. It is the Captains sixth time this season scoring 15-plus goals and is their fourth largest goal output of the season. The win also was redemption for the Captains as the Maroons handed them their first loss of the season back on March 28 by the final score of 9-8.
Since the calendar has flipped to April, Moroney has been on another level offensively, netting at least one goal in every game. Moroney began his strong second half performance tallying a team-best two goals against Christopher Newport back on April 4 before popping in a season-high six goals, as well as a season and career-best seven points, against Frostburg State University on April 21.
Since the start of April, Moroney has accounted for 24 goals and has totaled 28 points. In nine games, Moroney has posted seven multi-goal games, including four hat tricks.
The winner of tonight's game will advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals which will be played on Wednesday, May 16 and will take on the winner of Centennial Conference Champion Dickinson College and Washington & Lee University.