February 17, 2016
No. 4 Salisbury outscored No. 2 Lynchburg 6-0 in the fourth quarter to rally for a 14-11 victory over the school that ended its 2015 season. (Kevin P. Tucker)
No. 4 Salisbury outscored No. 2 Lynchburg 6-0 in the fourth quarter to rally for a 14-11 victory over the school that ended its 2015 season. (Kevin P. Tucker)

Salisbury Flexes Muscle, Rallies Past Lynchburg

from staff reports | Twitter

Perennial Division III bully Salisbury flexed its muscle, rallying for a 14-11 statement victory over last year’s national runner-up, Lynchburg, on Wednesday afternoon in Salisbury.

Salisbury junior attackman Carson Kalama scored three straight goals to open the fourth quarter, two coming in the opening minute, as the Gulls outscored Lynchburg 6-0 in the final frame to earn the victory.

The Gulls have dominated the Division III ranks for most of this century — in the 10-year period from 2003 to 2012, Salisbury won seven national championships while losing a combined total of just nine games — but have returned to more human levels the last three seasons. Salisbury reached the title game in 2014, but has lost a combined 13 games in the last three years. It’s last national championship came in 2012, and Lynchburg beat Salisbury twice last season, ending the Gulls season in the NCAA quarterfinals.

Lynchburg, No. 2 in the preseason in the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine rankings, opened strong, scoring the game’s first three goals – the first two coming from senior All-American Austin Stewart, who set a NCAA record with 109 goals last season.

Fourth-ranked Salisbury (2-0) answered with three straight goals to tie it, before Stewart scored his 200th career goal with 2:22 left in the first quarter to ignite a four-goal Lynchburg run, putting the Hornets up 7-3. Salisbury stemmed the tide on a Chase Berquist goal with 1:22 to play in the second quarter and just 11 seconds later, Kevin McDermott scored, but the Hornets still took a 7-5 lead into the halftime break. 

Thomas Cirillo paced Salisbury's offense with four goals and an assist in a come-from-behind 14-11 victory over Lynchburg.

© Kevin P. Tucker

Salisbury scored the first two goals of the third quarter to tie it up, but after the teams traded goals from there, Lynchburg scored the final three goals of the quarter to move in front 11-8 entering the final quarter.

Fueled by Kalama’s shooting and Duncan Campbell’s dominance on faceoffs, Salisbury controlled the fourth quarter, holding Lynchburg scoreless for the final 17 minutes of the game. After Kalama’s three goals tied the game, Nathan Blondino gave Salisbury a 12-11 lead with 10:51 to play, and 36 seconds later Garrett Reynolds added another tally. Thomas Cirillo closed at the scoring for Salisbury on a goal with 7:13 remaining. 

Cirillo led Salisbury’s offense with four goals and an assist while Kalama had three goals and Nathan Blondino added a goal and three assists. Campbell won 18-of-26 faceoffs, including 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter, and Joshua Dean came off the bench to make three saves while allowing just four goals in the final 41 minutes of action.

Stewart led Lynchburg (0-1) with five goals, while Dane Angell added three. Aaron Murphy had a goal and two assists, but those were the only assists the Hornets registered on their total of 11 goals. Chris Hawley made 11 saves in a losing effort. 

The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 12., but was pushed back due to inclement weather in the area that day.

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