Salisbury shows Springfield who's Division III boss, 19-13 Victory is 55th straight for Gulls in regular season

March 21, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Is there any lacrosse team out there that can rattle Salisbury State?

Springfield College tried yesterday, and it had some imposing credentials. The Pride had played for the last two NCAA Division II championships, winning in 1994, and its record over those seasons was 25-3. It was ranked No. 8 in its first season in Division III.

On the surface, this was a threat.

On the field, it was another Sea Gulls romp.

Jason Coffman, Jake Bergey and Mike Austin each scored three times and Anthony Tufano made seven saves in his first start to lead No. 1 Salisbury State past Springfield, 19-13, at Loyola College's Curley Field.

Paul Smith added two goals and four assists, and Darin Gallagher had two goals and one assist. Springfield (1-2), which outscored Salisbury State, 5-1, in the fourth quarter after Tufano was removed, was on the receiving end of five goals from attackman Chris Claflin.

The game originally was scheduled for Essex Community College, but the wet weather caused the switch to Loyola's artificial surface.

It wouldn't have mattered where this one was played.

The Sea Gulls (4-0), two-time defending Division III champions, were intent on extending their regular-season winning streak to 55 games, and their overall streak to 37.

They erupted for eight goals in the second quarter to build a 12-5 lead, then ran off six straight in the third period to extend the margin to 18-8.

The Pride made the score more respectable toward the end, collecting three goals in the last 4: 41, including one when the Sea Gulls were down by two men and another with five seconds remaining in the game.

Salisbury's overall effort didn't please coach Jim Berkman, who is looking for consistency to accompany the victories.

"We're just trying to find out what team we really are," said Berkman (97-13), whose team hasn't lost a regular-season game since March 8, 1992.

"We've been a Jekyll and Hyde team so far. We haven't played for 60 minutes.

"We haven't played real intelligent. We definitely did some good things today, but we didn't do the right things at the right time the whole game.

"We've got to get a whole lot better than that if we're going to beat some of the teams down the road."

Salisbury has outscored its opponents, 90-38, heading into Saturday's home game against No. 5 Franklin and Marshall.

NOTE: The game was delayed about 30 minutes in the fourth quarter because of an injury to Salisbury State senior midfielder Dennis Leonard, who was hit from behind and struck his head on the turf.

Although he was conscious and able to move his arms and legs, he was taken by ambulance to Sinai Hospital as a precautionary measure.

Pub Date: 3/21/96

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