SALISBURY -- Since 1995, the Salisbury men's lacrosse team has dominated the Capital Athletic Conference, capturing the league championship every year.
So the difference in experience between the Sea Gulls and upstart Villa Julie, appearing in its first CAC tournament final since joining the league last season, was apparent as Salisbury turned a three-goal cushion at halftime into a 20-10 rout before an announced 928 at Sea Gulls Stadium yesterday.
Ranked No. 1 by Inside Lacrosse, the Sea Gulls (17-0) extended streaks of 99 consecutive wins against conference opponents, 70 straight victories at home and 40 consecutive overall wins.
Yesterday's result was a drastic reversal of the teams' first meeting 16 days ago when the Mustangs owned a 12-10 lead in the fourth quarter before the Sea Gulls rallied to win, 13-12.
"Our kids knew who we had to guard this time around," said Salisbury coach Jim Berkman, who got his 325th career victory.
In the first meeting, junior midfielders Greg Furshman (Towson) and Nicola Bevacqua and sophomore attackman Steve Kazimer combined for nine goal and six assists for the No. 10 Mustangs. Yesterday, the trio compiled just two goals and two assists.
"We wanted to play tight position defense," said senior Ryan Phillips, who was part of a Sea Gulls defense that kept Villa Julie scoreless for 23 minutes, 8 seconds. "Don't do any of those home run checks. Push, slap, help out on slides. We really played as a unit."
Salisbury also produced on offense. Leading 8-5 at halftime, the Sea Gulls scored all nine of the game's third-quarter goals -- the first three in a 45-second stretch and the next three in a 1:21 span.
"Possession was definitely key," sophomore attackman Jake DeLillo (two goals, two assists) said, referring to the team's ability to win seven of the quarter's first eight faceoffs."
In addition to DeLillo, four other Salisbury players registered four points, including the team's first midfield of senior Bruce Richardson (two, two), junior Kylor Berkman (one, three) and sophomore Mike Von Kamecke (four goals).
Sophomore attackman Richard Ford paced the Mustangs (12-4) with five goals and an assist.
Villa Julie 3 2 0 5 -- 10
Salisbury 3 5 9 3 -- 20
Goals: VJ--Ford 5, Donnelly 2, Bevacqua, Brady, Furshman; S--Von Kamecke 4, Titus 3, DeLillo 2, Hickman 2, Richardson 2, Berkman, Berry, Brown, Burto, Krum, Poletis, Winter. Assists: VJ--Baldwin 2, Kazimer 2, Donnelly, Ford, Maguire; S--Berkman 4, DeLillo 2, Richardson 2, Bonanno, Hickman, Hoffman, Krum, Titus. Saves: VJ--Fleegle 9, Hebert 6; S--Krissoff 4, Clark, Fiorentino.