CHESTERTOWN—— The War on the Shore lasted about 15 minutes.
That's how long it took for No. 1 Salisbury to score four goals and take 13 shots. From then on, it was a rout as the Sea Gulls defeated rival Washington College, 17-3, Saturday before a crowd of 2,813 at Roy Kirby Jr. Field.
The only questions remaining after the first few minutes of the game were how many goals the Sea Gulls (17-1) were going to score and if the Shoremen (5-9) were going to score at all.
There was some doubt if Salisbury was going to be sharp since the Sea Gulls had not played since beating then-No. 1 Stevenson, 16-14, on April 23, but the Sea Gulls showed they were playoff-ready.
They now own a 25-19 advantage in the series and have won 11 straight.
"I was concerned a little bit," said Salisbury head coach Jim Berkman. "But we've had to do this the last couple of years because our conference tournament championship game is so early.
"But the time off gave us some time to heal some injuries and get people healthy. It also gave us a chance to work on some individual stuff with our attack, and I think we're peaking at the right time."
Salisbury dominated from the opening faceoff. Sea Gulls midfielder Sam Bradman scored on a long shot from the top of the box before two minutes had elapsed in the game, and teammate and attackman Erik Krum scored off a feed at the top of the crease for a 2-0 lead with 11 minutes and 12 seconds left in the first quarter.
Salisbury attackman Matt Cannone scored an extra-man goal with 6:07 left in the quarter, and midfielder Ryan Clark finished the scoring in the period with 1:05 remaining for a 4-0 lead.
Bradman, Krum and midfielder Tony Mendes each scored three goals to lead Salisbury, and Bradman also had three assists.
Salisbury simply had too much speed and superior stick work for the Shoremen, and at times either blew around or over Washington defensemen. But this victory just wasn't about Salisbury's offense.
Salisbury defensemen Danny Sher, Chad Surman, Nick Mooney and Collin Tokosch pressured Washington atackman Matt Lewis, Jim Cusick and Bennett Cord all over the field, and the Shoremen couldn't handle it.
Salisbury was relentless and unforgiving.
"We're using a four-man rotation at close defense and four or five long poles in the middle of the field," said Berkman. "You have to now because it is so hot. We don't have that big takeaway guy, but we have a group that is good enough where we don't have to slide a lot because we're getting beat.
"At this time, our offense has improved and is starting to catch up with our defense. If we keep working, I'm confident that we're going to go into each game scoring 10 to 12 goals a game."
The score would have been much worse except that Washington goalie Peter Stewart was outstanding with 15 saves even though he didn't get much support from his defense.