Two games into the 2014 campaign, Salisbury has already improved in a department that bedeviled the team last season.
With Saturday’s 12-11 overtime decision against No. 11 Lynchburg, the No. 5 Sea Gulls are 1-0 in one-goal decisions. Last year, they went 1-3 in one-goal games, which contributed to a 17-6 record and one of the last remaining at-large bids to the NCAA tournament.
Coach Jim Berkman said the key to Saturday’s win was reminding the players to simply stick to their roles without overextending themselves.
“We talked at halftime about not trying to make anyone be the hero,” he said Monday afternoon. “Just stay the course and do what we do and chip away one goal at a time and not make any mistakes defensively like we did in the second quarter. In the second quarter, we slid upfield trying to make a big play three times and we gave them easy goals when there wasn’t really any advantage and we gave them an advantage trying to make a play. We didn’t do that stuff in the second half, and the only two goals we gave up in the second half were flukes. … We pretty much shut them down six-on-six for 30 minutes that allowed us to get back in the game. We did a good job of not beating ourselves.”
Salisbury dropped a 13-12 decision to the Hornets on Feb. 16, 2013, but that game was different from Saturday’s contest. Trailing 9-5 at halftime, the Sea Gulls scored six of the second half’s seven goals to extend the game into overtime where senior midfielder Greg Korvin sealed the deal with his goal with 57 seconds left in the extra session.
Berkman was pleased to see the team’s fighting spirit to overcome a wide halftime deficit.
“It was good that we dug ourselves a hole and found a way to get out of it,” Berkman said. “We stayed the course and hung in there and chipped away at the lead in the second half and gave ourselves a chance to win.”
Speaking of Korvin, the Arundel graduate and former UMBC transfer recorded three goals and one assist against Lynchburg after posting just one assist in the team’s season-opening 14-3 rout of Greensboro on Feb. 9. Berkman said he knew Korvin would bounce back.
“We knew Greg was going to get a couple goals per game,” he said. “He’s definitely been getting better and improving. He had some big goals in that game – an invert goal and then a left-hand alley dodge and a right-hand alley dodge. So it proves that he can go both ways, too. We knew he was going to score some goals. His shooting has gotten a lot better over the last two years.”