The CAC Tournament kicked off on Saturday, with the No. 3 ranked Sea Gulls (16-1) hosting Southern Virginia University (6-17) for the second consecutive week.
Just last weekend, Salisbury defeated the Knights 29-6 in their most dominant performance of the season.
Similar to their last matchup, Southern Virginia offered little resistance this go-around.
The Knights opened the scoring with an early goal from senior midfielder Brady Cook.
But Salisbury got rolling on offense shortly after Cook’s goal. The team did its job by distributing the ball and spreading it around, with goals from six different scorers in the first quarter.
Following a first quarter that belonged to the Sea Gulls, the second quarter was a tightly contested one.
The Knights scored back-to-back goals to start the second quarter. Salisbury responded with a four-goal run of its own. This run included the second goal of the game from an unlikely source, junior defensive midfielder Brad Greik. Saturday’s goals were only Greik’s second and third goals of the season.
At the half, Salisbury held an 11-5 lead.
After T.J. Ellis played the first half in goal, Coach Berkman turned to his original starter Brandon Warren in the third quarter. Chandler Dabbs and Brady Emmi also entered the game in goal in the fourth quarter.
It’s no secret that Coach Berkman is confident in all four of his goalkeepers, it’s something he has been vocal about all season. At least for now, it appears that the Sea Gulls are going forward with a “goalie by association” mentality.
Salisbury’s goalie situation will be an interesting storyline to follow throughout the CAC and NCAA tournaments.
In the third quarter, the Knights and Sea Gulls took turns exchanging goals. Each team scored four goals in the period.
After three quarters of play, the 15-9 lead was a little too small for Salisbury’s liking.
The Sea Gulls went on a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull away from Southern Virginia.
Instrumental during Salisbury’s run was sophomore Cross Ferrara, who continued his impressive play with a team-high five goals in the contest.
Senior Brett Malamphy once again dominated the X, winning a career-high 26 faceoffs.
With this win, Salisbury advances to the second round of the CAC Tournament, where it will host Christopher Newport University for the second straight season. The game will take place Wednesday, May 1 at Sea Gull Stadium.
By TOMMY WEST
Featured photo: Cross Ferrara sees some traffic in front of the net as he tries to score April 27 (KB Mensah image).