Salisbury trying to stay positive after loss to Stevenson

No. 6 Sea Gulls got into a five-goal deficit and committed 13 penalties, but coach Jim Berkman said there's room for some optimism

April 04, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Getting into a five-goal hole, failing to capitalize on extra-man opportunities, and committing too many penalties are just some of issues that flared up in No. 6 Salisbury’s 10-8 loss to No. 3 Stevenson Wednesday night. Those troubles were noted by coach Jim Berkman, but he also tried to glean positives from the setback.

“We’ve got to stay out of the penalty box, that’s for sure,” he said Thursday morning, referring to the 13 penalties the team accumulated. “But I was proud of how our kids came back. We had a nice run in the second half and took control of the game when we tied the score at 8-8 [with 5:56 left in the fourth quarter]. We made them foul us a couple times and put us in position to win the game. The first man up, we had a lefty [freshman midfielder Brady Dashiell] in a left-hand spot with a four-yard shot, and the goalie [freshman Dimitri Pecunes] didn’t know where the ball went and then he looked at his feet, and he saved it. And then we got the ball back, and we ran another play and [junior midfielder Tyler Smith] got a seven-yard shot with a good look at the cage and no one coming at us, and we skimmed the ball one inch wide right. We had two shots that would have been the ninth goal and maybe the 10th goal to put us in a position to win and that we didn’t make. So we did what we needed to do to have a chance to win, but we just didn’t get it done.”

Asked if the inability to take advantage of those opportunities was frustrating, Berkman said, “It was disappointing, but by the same token, we were down 8-3 [with 10:30 left in the third quarter], and a lot of teams would have folded. We fought back and played great defense and held them scoreless for an extremely long time. We ran some set pieces and got some good shots. We got a couple ground balls that led to goals. So all of those were real positive things that came out of the game and that we’ve got to build on.”

The most startling number from Wednesday night’s loss was the 12 minutes of penalty time on 13 infractions. The Mustangs scored on just two of those man-up chances, but Berkman sounded bewildered at some of the fouls assessed to his team.

“To start with, we had a couple attackmen lose their minds,” he said. “We had six minutes of penalties on our attack. Obviously, that can’t happen. Looking at the film, three of the four penalties that the D-middies got weren’t penalties. They were just checking the guy. He was shooting the ball and the kid gets knocked down. I don’t know why that’s a penalty. So I can’t fault our D-middies for those. … With the way the game has evolved, it’s almost like you can’t hit anybody anymore when they shoot. So we’ve got to learn from that, too. … Obviously, our attack can’t have that many penalties.”

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