SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 15 Salisbury University men's lacrosse team defeated No. 10 Cabrini College on Wednesday afternoon in a 13-7 battle of top-20 teams.
After taking the opening faceoff, Cabrini held the ball for the first three minutes of the contest, but the Salisbury defense held strong and sophomore Andrew Ternahan forced a turnover to give the Sea Gull offense its first possession.
It did not take the Gulls long to get going, as junior midfielder Thomas Cirillo found classmate James Burton on the crease for a 1-0 lead at the 10:58 mark of the first quarter. After winning the following faceoff, Burton returned the favor 57 seconds later, finding Cirillo on the left wing for a rip into the top of the cage.
Another pair of back-to-back scores from the Gulls, with Cirillo adding his second, before assisting sophomore Carson Kalama on his first, put Salisbury in front 4-0 with 5:14 left in the first; Cirillo led the team with four points in the first frame.
Senior Mike Kane found the cage less than two minutes into the second quarter for a 5-0 advantage, before the Cavaliers would find the goal for their first.
Salisbury answered to regain the five-goal lead at the 8:45 mark of the second just one minute after Cabrini scored, with senior Sean Fitzgerald dodging his defender, driving down the right side, and finishing high.
The Cavaliers' Mike Leyden cut the lead back to four just 20 seconds later, but Kalama scored his next two goals to finish the half 8-2 in Salisbury's favor and complete a hat trick.
Senior Kyle Goss found Kalama on the left side of the crease for a 7-2 lead, before Kalama ran from the back left and around the left side of the crease for a high shot with only five seconds left before halftime.
At the break, Salisbury led in shots 17-13 and ground balls 16-8, while winning 7-of-12 faceoffs. Cirillo and Kalama both netted four points to pace the team.
Fitzgerald began the second half with his second goal, running from the right wing to the middle and finishing in the right side of the cage from 10 yards with 12:55 left in the third quarter.
The teams traded two goals, each, in the third, as Kane added his second on the crease, as the Sea Gulls caught the Cavaliers in transition to take a 10-3 lead.
Cabrini went on a 4-0 run with the final goal of the third quarter and the first three of the fourth, but Cirillo netted his third to halt the spurt.
Kalama and Goss each scored to end a 3-0 run and secure the victory; Kalama's was his team-leading fourth in the game, as he led the Sea Gulls with six points.
Cirillo chipped in with five points to finish second on the team.
Senior Connor Anderson played all 60 minutes in the cage, making 10 saves and picking up four ground balls; he tied his career high in saves in the effort.
The Sea Gulls return to Sea Gull Stadium for their next game, hosting University of Mary Washington on Saturday, March 21 for the team's first Capital Athletic Conference home game; the contest is set for 1 p.m.