April 10, 2009

32-Year Wait Over: St. Mary's Beats Salisbury

from press release

ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. - Sophomore attackman Chris Becraft scored an unassisted goal for St. Mary's (Md.) College with two seconds left in Friday's game against Capital Athletic Conference power Salisbury University to lift the Seahawks past the No. 5 Sea Gulls, 11-10, before 389 at Seahawk Stadium.

For the first time in program history Salisbury, the 14-time defending CAC champions, has lost back-to-back conference games. This is the first victory for the Seahawks against SU since April 5, 1977 when SMC won 13-12 in overtime at home. Salisbury had won the previous 37 games in a row including two overtime games. This is the fifth one-goal game in the series history that dates back to 1974. Salisbury leads the series 39-3. The other SMC victory came via a SU forfeit in 1976. The Sea Gulls won the '76 game but later had to forfeit.

The loss also ends a 37-game road winning streak that dates back to May 12, 2002 when SU lost 7-5 to No. 1 Gettysburg College in the NCAA tournament. That streak does not include neutral site venues.

Salisbury (11-3, 5-2 CAC) tied the game at 10-10 on sophomore Erik Krum's third goal of the game with 2:20 left in the fourth quarter. The Sea Gulls led by as much as two goals, 9-7 early in the fourth, when junior Mike Von Kamecke (two goals) scored a man-up goal off an assist from senior All-American midfielder Kylor Berkman (three assists). SMC (7-5, 5-2 CAC) scored three unanswered goals to take a 10-9 lead with five minutes left in the game. The Seahawks outscored the Sea Gulls 4-2 in the decisive fourth quarter.

The victory gives SMC the second seed in the upcoming CAC tournament while Salisbury falls to the third seed. The Seahawks are led by Coach Chris Hasbrouck who is a Salisbury alum (Class of 1995, M ‘97) and former Sea Gull assistant coach for 11 seasons.

The Seahawks scored the game's first two goals before Salisbury responded with two quick marks from freshman Matt Cannone (two goals) and senior Patrick Bonanno (one goal). SMC sophomore attackman Dennis Rosson scored the first of his game-high four goals at the 3:05 mark in the opening quarter. SU rallied back with two goals off the sticks of Krum and junior defensive midfielder Will Poletis (one goal, one assist) to take a 4-3 lead.

SMC dominated the second quarter as the Seahawks scored three straight and took a 7-6 lead into the half.

SU outscored St. Mary's 2-0 in the third quarter as Von Kamecke and sophomore Shawn Zordani (one goal) beat Seahawk goalie Pat Simpson (15 saves) with their shots.

Sophomore goalie Johnny Rodriguez (two saves) started the game for SU but got pulled late in the second quarter after he surrendered his seventh goal. Fellow sophomore Tim Swinburn (0-1) came in to finish out the game as he made three saves in the final 34 minutes of play.

Salisbury controlled a lot of the statistical categories as the maroon and gold outshot SMC 46-25, scooped up 40 ground balls, made 16-of-17 clear attempts and scored the only extra-man goal. St. Mary's won 13-of-24 face-offs but also led the game with 31 turnovers.

This is only the second time in 20 seasons that Salisbury has lost back-to-back games in a season. The last time Salisbury dropped two in a row happened on March 16, 2002 with an 11-5 loss to SUNY Cortland at home, a span of over 150 games. The week before SU dropped a 14-13 contest against Ohio Wesleyan University on March 10 at home.

Salisbury, the No. 3 seed, will host No. 6 seed University of Mary Washington on Monday, April 13, at 4 p.m. The Sea Gulls beat the Eagles 14-5 back on March 31. The winner of this conference quarterfinal game will advance to the semifinals, set to be held on Thursday, April 16, at No. 2 seed St. Mary's. The championship is slated for Sunday, April 19, at the highest remaining seed.

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