Salisbury’s 13-12 loss to No. 9 Lynchburg Saturday will surely result in the 10-time reigning national champion falling from its No. 1 ranking in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) preseason poll when it is eventually updated. The setback also ended a 31-game winning streak for the Sea Gulls, who had previously lost, 16-12, to Stevenson on April 16, 2011.
As far as coach Jim Berkman is concerned though, the loss isn’t exactly stunning considering how graduation sapped the team of six starters from last season’s squad that went 23-0.
“This is a work in progress,” he said Monday afternoon. “We graduated seven of our top eight scorers, and everybody playing on offense is brand-new. This team has a lot of potential, but I was excited that we were able to score 12 goals against a good Lynchburg team on the road, which should have been more than enough to win the game.”
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Salisbury (1-1) has 15 more games on the schedule, including against No. 3 Stevenson, No. 11 Roanoke, No. 15 Washington College and No. 16 Gettysburg. While the loss stings, it might not make too much of a difference if the team can cobble together another winning streak. But the future is far from Berkman’s radar.
“I guess we’re not worried about the whole season right now,” he said. “Being perfectly honest with you, we’ve got a huge game on Wednesday, and we’ve got to worry about taking care of Wednesday.”
Washington & Lee, which fell just outside the Top 20 of the USILA poll, will visit Sea Gull Stadium Wednesday. That contest could help Salisbury rid itself of the aftertaste from the loss to Lynchburg, but Berkman said he had mixed feelings about preparing for a game so quickly.
“It’s good to take your mind off it,” he said. “You know you have to jump back into the fire on Wednesday, and that’s good. But this early in the season, sometimes it’s good to have the whole week because we’ve only had three weeks of practice so far. It wouldn’t be bad to have a whole week to do some things, too. But it is what it is, and we’re going to be back against a much improved W&L team on Wednesday, and we’ve got to do some things a little bit better on offense.”