Washington sinks Salisbury, 14-10

Kuehn leads early surge to bolster NCAA hopes

May 05, 2002|By Sam Atkinson | Sam Atkinson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SALISBURY - In a must-win game, the Washington College men's lacrosse team, ranked fifth in Division III, responded yesterday with a 14-10 victory over Eastern Shore rival and sixth-ranked Salisbury University in the 33rd meeting of the "War on the Shore."

A young Salisbury team watched a determined Shoremen team jump out to a four-goal lead even before the crowd of 1,515 could get settled.

Washington junior attackman Eric Kuehn (C. Milton Wright) scored three of his team-high five goals in the first 10 minutes.

"It's the `War on the Shore.' We had to win this game to make the playoffs," said Kuehn. "This rivalry is a blast."

Kuehn's third score came when he fired a shot past Sea Gulls goalie Dan Korpon (five saves), leaving the freshman keeper yelling in disgust to his motionless defense.

"We were just trying to figure everything out. We needed to get the game under control," Korpon said of his defense. "I thought we played real well minus the first 10 minutes."

The Sea Gulls finally scored a minute later when sophomore Joe Tamberrino (Calvert Hall) capitalized on an extra-man opportunity to cut the lead to 4-1.

Washington (12-3) continued to pull away from Salisbury in a lackluster second quarter when Kuehn netted his fourth of the game, on an extra-man opportunity. The Shoremen led at halftime 7-3.

Sea Gulls sophomore midfielder Scott Simmons had a career game as he singlehandedly kept Salisbury (12-4) in the game with his six-goal performance. Simmons scored five of his goals in the second half.

"I don't think I had to place the team on my back. I just had to play my game. I got some chances and my stick was on today," Simmons said.

Washington jumped out in the third quarter to raise the lead to five again before Simmons scored back-to-back goals in a span of 37 seconds.

After Simmons' fourth goal at the 5:20 mark, the Shoremen were called for two simultaneous slashing one-minute penalties. The Sea Gulls squandered the golden opportunity as two errant passes led to two costly turnovers.

"We made some young mistakes. Everybody that started the game was either a sophomore or a freshman," said Salisbury coach Jim Berkman. "They got caught up in the emotion of this game."

The Shoremen's defense did a tremendous job limiting the Sea Gulls' attack unit to two goals, both from Tamberrino. Washington freshman goalie Alex Pirani made 15 saves.

"We have had some games like this ... when our attack hasn't done anything," said Berkman. "They had some chances to finish, which they didn't take advantage of today and that's the difference in winning the big games."

The closest Salisbury would get was 11-9 with 13:39 remaining in the fourth quarter as Simmons rolled off his defender and beat Pirani up high.

With the win, the Shoremen improved their chances of earning a Pool B bid, one of two teams from an automatic qualifying conference, to NCAA tournament. The field will be announced tonight.

Salisbury is already in the tournament after winning its conference two weeks ago.

"I am hopeful that we are in. I am not convinced of it," Washington College coach J.B. Clarke said. "We still have three losses and there are two teams out there with two."

Washington 5 2 4 3 - 14

Salisbury 2 1 4 3 - 10

Goals: WC-Kuehn 5, Dyal 2, Rentch 2, Berger, Fellows, Renner, Hopkins, Edwards; S-Simmons 6, Tanberrino 2, O'Neil, Murray. Assists: WC-Kuehn, Fellows, Renner, Hopkins, Vane; S-Arnold, Phillips, Murray, Roberts. Saves: WC-Pirani 15; S-Korpon 5.

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