Salisbury coach Jim Berkman is as candid as any coach in lacrosse. That honesty came through as he discussed the No. 2 Sea Gulls’ surprising 8-7 overtime loss to Capital Athletic Conference foe Christopher Newport on Wednesday.
“We didn’t get it done on Wednesday,” Berkman said Friday morning. “We just weren’t sharp. We weren’t passing and catching well. We talked about a trap game all week, and we didn’t play well. We threw numerous balls out of bounds playing catch with guys next to us on Wednesday that we hadn’t done all season. We deserved to get beat on Wednesday. We didn’t play well and we didn’t attack the zone, and they were the better team on Wednesday.”
The setback was Salisbury’s first of the season in 11 games, and the team is still tied with No. 19 York for first place in the conference with 3-1 league records. But Berkman was unhappy that the Captains (8-2 overall, 2-1 CAC) employed a zone defense that kept the Sea Gulls to a season low in goals, zero tallies in the fourth quarter and 0-of-5 on extra-man opportunities.
“We’ve got good shooters, and we’ve got pretty good sticks, but we weren’t real sharp on Wednesday,” he said. “It wasn’t one of our better efforts. They packed it in and stayed with it the whole game.”
Salisbury doesn’t have much time to lick its wounds as St. Mary’s (5-6, 1-1) visits Sea Gull Stadium on Saturday. The Seahawks upended the Sea Gulls, 13-11, in last year’s CAC final at Sea Gull Stadium, and Berkman said the team hasn’t forgotten that outcome.
“Obviously, we would like to pay them back for beating us on our home field last year,” he said. “But they’re a good team. They’ve got a lot of different players. They’ve got a lot of depth. It’s hard to tell who their players are because they play so many guys. They’ve battled a lot of teams. They’ve played as tough a schedule as anybody in the country. Their record is a little deceptive in that manner. So we’ve got to play well for 60 minutes.”