Stevenson reign brief

Mustangs' D-III No. 1 ranking lasts week as Gulls continue to pull upsets

April 04, 2010|By Mike Preston

Stevenson's reign as the No. 1 team in Division III college lacrosse will last only one week.

The Mustangs' brief time at the top was cut short by an explosive second-half offense and smothering defense from No. 2 Salisbury, and an obvious advantage in team speed and in the goal.

For the second straight week, Salisbury upset the No. 1-ranked team in the country as the Sea Gulls had a decisive 16-10 win against rival Stevenson in a key Capital Athletic Conference game played before an announced 1,534 in Owings Mills.

"With this game, it's a big battle and a big rivalry," said Salisbury senior attackman Mike Winter, who finished with four goals and an assist. "The fact that they got No. 1 over us this week definitely got to us, and it was nice to play them right away."

Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman was concerned. Salisbury (12-0, 3-0 CAC) had survived an overtime victory against Gettysburg on March 27 and then had to travel to Fredericksburg, Va., on Wednesday to face Mary Washington, which has been a tough place for Salisbury to win.

"I was a little concerned about where our legs were going to be," Berkman said. "Counting today, this was our third three-hour game one way on the road in a week. But I thought our kids rested well during the week, and they responded in this game."

The game was tied 8-8 at the half, but Salisbury opened the scoring nine seconds into the third quarter when Winter converted off the faceoff on an assist from Jake DeLillo.

Nearly four minutes later, Sea Gulls attackman Matt Cannone scored from the top of the crease on a feed from behind the goal from midfielder Mike Von Kamecke. Until that point, it had been a game of two goal runs by both teams, but Salisbury went ahead 11-8 on a high shot by midfielder Shawn Zordani with 6:48 left in the third period.

From then on, it was all Salisbury, as the Sea Gulls scored almost every way possible from settled offense to fast breaks to scooping up and tossing in ground balls in front of the goal. Von Kamecke and Cannone each finished with three goals, and DeLillo and midfielder Sam Bradman each had two.

The problem facing most teams playing Salisbury is trying to come back once the Sea Gulls have a comfortable lead. They can run a spread offense, and their speed and quickness allow them to win most one-on-one matchups in space.

"We definitely score in spurts," Winter said. "And once we get going, it's hard to slow us down. It's good that we can take those two- and three-goal runs, and turn them into four- and five-goal runs."

Stevenson (10-1, 2-1) couldn't counter Salisbury's scoring because the Sea Gulls' close defense did a nice job of limiting the Mustangs' prolific attack of Steve Kazimer, Richie Ford and Jimmy Dailey. Dailey had three goals, but Kazimer and Ford had only one each.

The trio started strong, but then Salisbury doubled them near the crease. Ford struggled the most as he constantly tried to beat double teams but failed.

"We were impatient at times, especially when they got two or three on us. We started forcing some things which is uncharacteristic of us," Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene said. "But you have to give them [Salisbury] credit. I thought they did a good job of staying tight and limiting our shots. [Salisbury goalie Johnny] Rodriguez played his best game of the year, and he was a difference-maker."

Rodriguezfinished with 15 saves, several of those from point-blank range. The Mustangs started Andrew Harrington (nine saves) in goal, filling in for the injured Geoff Hebert, out with a hand fracture. The Mustangs also lost top defenseman Evan Douglass with 7:26 left in the first quarter after he got hit in the stomach with a shot and started bleeding from the mouth.

The game was stopped for nearly 20 minutes as both Douglass and Salisbury midfielder Tim Lum (fractured leg) were transported to area hospitals by ambulance. Salisbury 3 5 4 4 - 16Stevenson 4 4 1 1 - 10Goals: Sa-Winter 4, Cannone 3, Von Kamecke 3, Bradman 2, DeLillo 2, Poletis, Zordani; St-Dailey 3, Witte 2, Calabrese, Ford, Kazimer, Stocksdale, Whittaker. Assists: Sa-Bradman, Burgasser, Cannone, DeLillo, Lum, Von Kamecke, Winter, Zordani; St-Dailey 2, Kazimer, Moffitt, Whittaker. Saves: Sa-Rodgriguez 15, Swinburn 0; St-Harrington 9.

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