BearLaxTrax 05.22.17 by John Nichols

BLTF 052217

Salisbury (Brian Menendez)

Salisbury advanced to the D-III quarterfinals this week after downing Misericordia and Hampden-Sydney last week. Their quarterfinal opponent, Cabrini, was the one team that had beaten the Seagulls this year in a relatively low scoring (11-10 final) overtime game.  In the rematch, only Cabrini was low-scoring as the Seagulls demolished the Cavaliers 17-5.  Salisbury outscored Cabrini 5-1 in each of the game’s first three periods before splitting the last quarter 2-2.  In the category of “things I’ve never seen before,” the Cabrini goalie was called for a crease violation after he ran a clear and had his momentum overtake him as he went to goal for a shot.  To his credit, he was able to retreat in time to make a save when Salisbury successfully cleared the ball after his turnover.

The win put Salisbury into the semi-finals, to face Denison, champion of the North Coast Conference and key foe of Ohio Wesleyan (Tyler McTague). Denison and Salisbury played last year in the D-III quarter finals, with the Seagulls prevailing 11-10 in overtime. In this year’s semi-final game, Salisbury’s goal was to avoid having Denison get their revenge.


On Sunday, Salisbury scored first and was able to build a five goal lead late into the third period.  Both of these teams have high scoring offenses, so their defense tends to get overlooked.  But defense is not an afterthought at either school.  This game was played close throughout with each possession valuable.  With scoring at a premium, Salisbury seemed to be in control up 10-5 with less than five minutes left in the third.  However, this year, like last year, saw Denison make a strong come back in the final period.  Down four goals to start the in final period, the Big Red started to force turnovers and get ground balls and they managed to cut the lead down to one twice.  Denison had one final possession in the closing seconds of the game and this year, unlike last year, they could not force overtime.  The Seagull defense picked off a past headed to a Denison player on the crease to ensure the win.


The D-III championship game is played on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, squeezed in between the D-I semi-finals on Saturday and the D-I title game on Monday.  For Salisbury, this is almost like being home.  In the last 10 seasons, including 2017, Salisbury has been in the final four 8 times, the championship game 7 times and won the D-III title 4 times (with 2017 yet to be decided) and they have won 90% of their games over that ten-year period (202-22).

Published in: on May 23, 2017 at 6:35 am  Leave a Comment  

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