Top-ranked Salisbury has a shot at capturing its 16th Capital Athletic Conference Tournament title in 17 attempts with a victory over No. 4 Stevenson this Saturday.
Also at stake for the nine-time reigning national champion Sea Gulls is the No. 1 overall seed and homefield advantage in the upcoming NCAA Tournament – a prize that hasn’t escaped the attention of Jim Berkman.
“If we win, there’s absolutely no doubt that we would be at home the rest of the way,” the Salisbury coach said Thursday morning. “We’d sure like to know at the end of this week that we’re CAC champions and would be the No. 1 seed in the tournament. And because we don’t have a game for a week-and-a-half or two weeks, we can start looking at potential opponents next weekend and watching those teams [at their respective conference tournaments].”
To do that, the Sea Gulls must take care of a Mustangs squad that owned a 9-3 lead in the third quarter before fading to an 11-10 Salisbury win April 14. Saturday’s final at Sea Gull Stadium will be the fifth consecutive title game pitting Salisbury (18-0) and Stevenson (14-3), but Berkman said it never gets told or tiresome.
“It’s the same opponent, but it’s different guys,” he said. “So it’s a big game, and it’s a game that people look forward to. We kind of knew this was going to happen. We knew there was a good chance we’d be playing them again.”