After suffering an 8-7 overtime loss to Capital Athletic Conference newcomer Christopher Newport on Wednesday, Salisbury bounced back with an 11-6 victory over St. Mary’s on Saturday.
The Sea Gulls (11-1 overall and 4-1 in the league) also welcomed back senior faceoff specialist Chris Biank, who sat out five consecutive games because of a separated shoulder. After playing sparingly and winning just 37.5 percent (3 of 8) of his faceoffs in that loss to the Captains (9-2, 3-1), Biank won 70 percent (14 of 20) and collected a team-high five ground balls against the Seahawks (5-7, 1-2).
“He was a little sore after the game, but he took 20 faceoffs,” Salisbury coach Jim Berkman said Monday morning. “That’s a lot of faceoffs. He did a good job, handled the ball well under pressure, got it off the ground, won in a variety of ways. He won it going forward, and he won it going back. That’s what’s nice about Chris Biank. He’s able to counter and do different things. It was exciting to get him back, hopefully, for this stretch run.”
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Biank also scored a goal off a faceoff win in the second quarter, and the Sea Gulls -- who could fall from their No. 2 ranking when the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll is released later today -- converted another win by Biank into a goal a couple minutes later.
Biank’s return also meant that sophomore Preston Dabbs, who filled in during Biank’s absence, could shift back to short-stick defensive midfield, where he was a second-team All-American last season.
Berkman agreed slightly, saying: “Yeah, but we still need to get Preston a couple faceoffs per game. You’ve got to keep another guy in the mix. We’ll keep working with Preston because he definitely has a great deal of potential. He’ll probably be our No. 1 guy next year. But it’s good that we don’t have to put that whole onus on him like we had to for a couple weeks.”