SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 10 Salisbury University men's soccer team takes the pitch on Wednesday for the semifinal match of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament as the top seed, welcoming fifth-seeded Frostburg State University to SU Soccer Complex. The game is scheduled to being at 2 p.m.
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How we got here
Salisbury earned a first-round bye in the tournament as the top seed in the conference after finishing the 18-game schedule with a 16-2 record and an undefeated 8-0 in league play to be crowned regular season champions.
How they got here
The Bobcats upset the fourth-seeded University of Mary Washington in the first round of the tournament, as Frostburg's Pablo Torrano found the back of the net early in the second half to score the only goal of the match.
This will be the 26th all-time meeting between the two schools, with the Sea Gulls holding a 14-10-1 advantage in the series. Salisbury is 8-4 against the Bobcats when playing at the SU Soccer Complex, as the Gulls hold a 20-9 goal differential.
The last time we met
The Sea Gulls claimed a 1-0 victory during the regular season, on September 28 in Salisbury. Junior Tanner East recorded the game winner off a pass by freshman Billy Fowler at the top of the 18-yard box. Sophomore goalkeeper Drew Staedeli pulled in four saves through 90 minutes of play. The win was the third consecutive match that SU recorded 1-0 final scores, defeating Catholic University of America and Johns Hopkins University in the prior games.
Carrying the momentum
Salisbury enters the contest riding an 11-game winning streak, going undefeated in conference play and claiming three non-conference victories. The Gulls haven't lost a match since September 18, when they traveled to Woodbridge, Va., for a neutral-site clash with Lynchburg College, falling 2-1 in double overtime. Through the 11 games, SU has only given up two goals.
Defending the home turf
Through the regular season schedule, the Gulls remain undefeated at the SU Soccer Complex, sporting an 8-0 record with seven shutouts. Only one goal has found the back of the net in Salisbury for the opposing team, with then-No. 4 York (Pa.) College scoring in a 3-1 defeat of the conference rival on October 19.
Final line of defense
The back line, led by junior captain Kyle Westbrook, has displayed why they are one of the toughest defenses in the country, only allowing seven goals on the season. Salisbury ranks No. 2 in the nation in shutout percentage (.72) with 13 blank sheets, while ranking No. 5 in team goals-against average (0.38). Staedeli ranks No. 7 in the country for goals-against average (0.42) through his 1509:17 minutes of play.
Scouting Frostburg State
The Bobcats enter today's match after concluding their season 4-4 in the conference. To end the regular season, Mary Washington and York both tallied victories over Frostburg to send the Bobcats into the postseason as the fifth seed. Coming off a 2-0 defeat to Mary Washington, the Bobcats claimed a first-round 1-0 upset over the fourth-seeded Eagles in Fredericksburg, Va. Frostburg is led by Chris Jones with eight goals and three assists for the season.
The winner of the game will advance to the CAC championship game against the winner of Wednesday morning's Christopher Newport University-York match. If the Sea Gulls advance to the conference championship, Salisbury will host the match set for Saturday, November 9.