SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 7 ranked Salisbury University men's lacrosse team will travel to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for a showdown against No. 3 Gettysburg College on Sunday, May 20 at 4 p.m. for the right to advance to the National Championship at Gillette Stadium.
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How we got here
The Sea Gulls earned a hard fought 9-7 victory over No. 9 Dickinson College on Wednesday night at Sea Gull Stadium. The maroon and gold led start to finish behind a solid defensive performance led by senior defenseman Kyle Tucker. Tucker posted a career-high and season-best seven caused turnovers while also scooping up a team-best six groundballs to aid in the victory. As a unit the defense held Dickinson scoreless for just over 28 minutes in the first half as well as forcing 19 Red Devil turnovers while causing 12 of them. It is the 14th time in 22 games this season that the Sea Gulls have managed to cause double-digit turnovers.
Offensively the team was paced by Austin Short, who netted a team-high two goals. Short tallied both of his markers on unassisted efforts in the third quarter to help give Salisbury an 8-4 advantage heading into the final frame. Seven other members of the maroon and gold netted markers as Griffin Moroney tallied his 10th goal of the postseason and seventh in the NCAA tournament run alone.
How they got here
Gettysburg advanced to the national semifinal behind an 8-5 win over No. 11 Ohio Wesleyan University on Wednesday afternoon. After a tightly contest opening 30 minutes of action the Bullets used a five-goal second half including three markers in the third quarter to earn the victory.
Five Gettysburg players netted goals in the contest led by midfielder Andrew Garstka, who posted a team-best three. All three of Garstka's markers came in the second half including two in the fourth quarter. Defensively the Bullets locked down the Battling Bishops offense forcing them into 15 turnovers while causing nine.
Scouting the Bullets
Gettysburg enters the contest with a 19-2 overall record in the 2018 season while posting a perfect 8-0 mark in Centennial Conference play. The Bullets have six players who have netted over 20 goals this season led by Brian Kolen, who has netted a team-best 51 as well as posting another team-high 71 points. Jack Fletcher currently sits second on the team with 58 points netting 31 goals while dishing out a team-best 27 assists.
On the defensive end the team is anchored by goalie Tim Brady, who currently sits second in Gettysburg men's lacrosse history in wins with 58 wins. He has appeared in and started all 21 games this season for the Bullets posting a goals against average of 7.65, tallying 182 saves, and recording a save percentage of 54.3.
The last time we met
These two teams last met on February 24 and Salisbury entered the contest as the top ranked team in the nation while Gettysburg came in holding the No. 13 spot. The Bullets handed the Sea Gulls their first of the season, an 11-10 decision in double-overtime, knocking off the defending national champions.
After a back and forth opening half the teams headed into the locker room knotted at 4-4 as Garrett Reynolds netted two markers in the opening half. A four-goal third quarter by the maroon and gold carried them into the final 15 minutes with an 8-6 advantage. However, The Bullets netted four straight goals to open the fourth quarter and take a 10-8 lead with nine minutes left to play. Corey Gwin leveled the score line with just under four minutes left to play at 10-10 before Salisbury had one last look to win as time expired.
However, Moroney's attempt on the door step was denied by Brady and the teams headed to overtime. Gettysburg's Jack Harvey pumped in the game winner with 1:09 left to play in the second overtime period to hand the Gulls their first loss of the season.
Same face new place
It was just two years ago that Salisbury and Gettysburg met in the national semifinals with the Sea Gulls playing host to the visiting and No. 5 ranked Bullets. A trip to the national title was on the line and just like this game it was the last men's lacrosse to be played that Sunday. Salisbury raced out to a 7-3 halftime lead and never looked back as it cruised to a 14-6 victory and earned a berth in the national championship.
T.J. Logue was exceptional that night for the maroon and gold going 16-of-17 from the face-off x while Salisbury claimed 19-of-22 overall on the night. Logue also scooped up six groundballs while also chipping in on the offensive end netting a goal in the second quarter. Will Nowesnick also contributed to the Gulls' success that night causing two turnovers while scooping up a groundball.
Two of the best ever
From 1983 to 1985 Hank Janczyk roamed the sidelines for Salisbury taking the Sea Gulls to the NCAA tournament twice in his three years. In 1984 he led the maroon and gold to an overall record of 14-2 and a berth in the NCAA semifinals. During his time at Salisbury he hired a young new coach that has since vaulted his way to the top of the NCAA men's lacrosse history books named Jim Berkman.
Since his arrival in Salisbury, Maryland in 1989 Berkman has posted a mark of 521-55 and has claimed 12 national titles and 20 Capital Athletic Conference championships. He has helped guide the Sea Gulls to the NCAA tournament 30 times in his 30 year career.
Meanwhile Janczyk has guided Gettysburg to NCAA postseason play 25 times including three trips to the national title game but fell short finishing as national runner up. The Bullets have also claimed 16 Centennial Conference championships during Janczyk's tenure. Janczyk has posted an overall record at Gettysburg of 408-117.
For his career Berkman has won an NCAA record 530 games while his counterpart Janczyk has earned 453. Combined they have accounted for 983 wins during their coaching careers ranking them first and second respectively across all divisions of men's lacrosse.
The winner will advance to the 2018 Division III Men's Lacrosse National Championship at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Sunday, May 27. The winner will take on the winner of the Rochester Institute of Technology and Wesleyan (Conn.) University semifinal match up.