SALISBURY, Md. - Salisbury University coach Jim Berkman is now the all-time winningest coach in NCAA men's lacrosse history as his top-ranked Sea Gulls defeated Ohio Wesleyan University 13-5 on Saturday night at Sea Gull Stadium in a 2008 NCAA Division III second round tournament game before a crowd of 914.
Coach Berkman surpasses former Army coach Jack Emmer who held onto the all-time wins record for three years with 326 wins. Coach Emmer coached at Army for 22 seasons and had stints at SUNY Cortland and Washington & Lee University in his 36-year head coaching career. Coach Berkman is now 327-35 in 21 seasons, as he has coached Salisbury for the past 20 years (318-30 record at SU).
"I have never been a guy who has wanted the attention. It is always about the players," said Jim Berkman. "It [the record] is a reflection of all of the great players that I have been fortunate to coach here."
In the past six seasons, Berkman has compiled an unbelievable 121-2 record en route to four national championships.
"At the rate that we have won games in the past six years that is pretty unrealistic. We have been pretty fortunate," said Jim Berkman. "This program rivals any Division I team in the way that it is run. It is first class."
Salisbury, the defending national champions, advances to the NCAA quarterfinal round where the Sea Gulls will host No. 6 Cabrini College on Wednesday, May 14. The official game time will be announced on Monday. The Cavaliers defeated No. 9 Haverford College 13-10 in another Saturday second round game.
Salisbury's defense shined under the lights as the maroon and gold caused 22 of Ohio Wesleyan's 33 turnovers. A pivotal moment in the game came in the second quarter with 11:30 left before the half as the two teams were knotted at three apiece.
Senior defenseman Ryan Phillips forced a Battling Bishop turnover with a powerful check deep in Sea Gull territory. SU pushed the ball up the field to earn the clear and got the ball into the stick of senior Bruce Richardson(four goals). The midfielder capitalized on the opportunity as he rifled an unassisted goal past OWU goalie Jud Hall (13 saves).
Salisbury regained the lead for good as Richardson scored two of the next three goals to send the Sea Gulls into the half up 7-3. Senior Matt Hickman scored three of his four goals in the first half.
The Sea Gulls didn't let up in the third quarter as Richardson scored his fourth off an assist from junior Kylor Berkman (four assists).
"We were not looking to Wednesday we were focused on tonight," said Kylor Berkman. "Ohio Wesleyan is a good team. We knew we had to come out here ready to play."
The maroon and gold received a stellar night's work from goalie Zach Krissoff (11 saves) as he earned his seventh victory this season. In an unusual event Krissoff served a one-minute slashing penalty after senior long-stick midfielder Ryan Browning launched an errant pass from beyond midfield that gave Ohio Wesleyan an open look at the goal. The Bishops (10-7) drew the Gull keeper out of the cage, who committed the foul to prevent an open net goal.
On the ensuing man-up opportunity the Bishops capitalized as Nick Gallagher (two goals, one assist) scored his second goal of the game off an assist from Harrison Iuliano (one goal, one assist) at the 6:56 mark in the third quarter. That goal snapped Salisbury's 6-0 run and ended an OWU scoreless drought of over 29 minutes.
The Sea Gulls closed out the game with a 5-0 run which started and ended with Jake DeLillo unassisted goals. The sophomore attackman finished the night with three goals. OWU's Steve Fowler ripped home a long range goal as time expired in the game.
This is the eighth time in '08 that the SU defense has held an opponent to five or less goals. In the last meeting, Salisbury defeated Ohio Wesleyan 14-10 on March 9 at home.
Senior defenseman Ben Sandlin and sophomore long-stick midfielder Connor Burgasser led the Sea Gulls with four caused turnovers each while senior Kevin Kustron added three caused turnovers.
The Sea Gulls outshot the Bishops 39-28 as SU held a 15-6 advantage in the pivotal second quarter. Salisbury won 13-of-19 face-offs while the Sea Gulls were near perfect on clears (31-for-32) and scooped up 46 ground balls.
On a special night in men's lacrosse history Coach Berkman was allowed to enjoy the moment with his son Kylor on the field.
"It is always special when your son is out there. It is a special thing because you only have four years to enjoy it," said the elder Berkman.
Kylor echoed his dad's statement and was also amazed at the amount of career wins.
"It is unreal! Just to think back on how long it took him to accomplish this record is unbelievable. I wasn't even alive when it started," said Kylor Berkman.
Coach Berkman, 48, coached one season at Potsdam State in 1985 where he went 9-5. He took over the Salisbury program in 1989 when Kylor was just an infant.
The future of the NCAA men's lacrosse wins record is in good hands with Berkman as he the potential to raise the bar to a whole new level before the end of his legendary coaching career.
"Obviously, I am going to be coaching for a few more years as long as Salisbury University would have me on the sideline," said Jim Berkman on the future of the wins record. "We are probably going to win a couple more games."
NOTES: Several autographed game balls by Coach Berkman signed with "327" and the date along with an official game program and newspaper clippings will be sent to the Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame in Baltimore.
NCAA Men's Lacrosse All-Time Wins Record
|1.||Jim Berkman||327||21||Salisbury, Potsdam State||Yes|
|2.||Jack Emmer||326||36||Army, Cortland, Washington & Lee||No|
|3.||Hank Janczyk||313||26||Gettysburg, Colgate, Salisbury||Yes|
|Dave Urick||313||29||Georgetown, Hobart||Yes|
NCAA Men's Lacrosse All-Time Winning Percentage (minimum 200 games)
|1.||Jim Berkman||327-35||.903||21||Salisbury, Potsdam State||Yes|
|4.||Lelan Rogers||185-50||.787||14||Cortland, Ohio Wesleyan||No|
|5.||Hank Janczyk||313-93||.771||26||Gettysburg, Colgate, Salisbury||Yes|
Records as of 5/10/2008