SALISBURY -- In what seems to be becoming a tradition, Washington College defeated Salisbury State, 12-10, in an NCAA Division III men's lacrosse semifinal yesterday in front of 1,313 fans at Sea Gull Stadium.
Washington advances to the national championship next Sunday against Nazareth, a 10-9 winner over Ohio Wesleyan in the other semifinal.
"We'll have to play a near-perfect game to be successful," Washington coach John Haus said. "I have to say they [Sea Gulls] are probably the best team we've played all year."
Washington has lost to Nazareth in the national championship in each of the past two years, both in overtime.
"We're not concerned with the past," Haus said. "We have 60 minutes to play a week from now. When we go into the postseason, our approach is one game at a time."
Washington senior attackman Andy Lopatin led all scorers with a game-high five goals and an assist. Chris Bieberbach and John Fuller added two each. Mike Faith, David Livingston and Peter Troup each had two goals for the Sea Gulls.
The Shoremen have beaten Salisbury six times in seven postseason contests, including three in the 1990s. In 1996, the Shoremen came to Sea Gull Stadium and handed the two-time defending national champion Sea Gulls an 11-10 setback.
Salisbury stormed out to a 3-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. Salisbury built an 8-4 lead after Troup's goal with 2: 09 left in the first half. Washington answered when Lopatin scored an unassisted goal with nine seconds left to pull within three at the half.
The second half belonged to the Shoremen. Washington held a Salisbury team that had averaged 17.7 goals to two goals in the second half, none in the third quarter. The Shoremen scored seven times in the second half.
Lopatin broke a 10-10 tie with 3: 51 left in the game with an unassisted goal that proved to be the game-winner. He got his final goal with 19 seconds left, putting the game out of reach and the Shoremen back in the national championship game.
"It's a tough way to lose," Salisbury senior Scott Walstrum said. "They stepped up and played a heck of a game."
Wash. Col. 2 3 3 4 -- 12
Salisbury .4 4 0 2 -- 10
Goals: WC--Lopatin 5, Bieberbach 2, Fuller 2, Pollack, Rentch, Wilson; SSU--Faith 2, Livingston 2, Troup 2, Smith, Tidwell, Turner, Walstrum. Assists: WC--Pollack 2, Lopatin, Wilson, Stoehr; SSU--Faith 2, Turner 2, Smith, Gerberth, Harvey. Saves: WC--Taibl 11; SSU--Tarnow 16.
Nazareth 10, Ohio Wesleyan 9: The Golden Flyers (13-2) rallied from three goals down in the fourth quarter in Rochester, N.Y., to advance to their fourth straight national final. They've beaten the Battling Bishops (14-2) in the semifinals each time.
Nazareth trailed, 9-6, entering the fourth period, but a goal by Eric Goodberlet two minutes in started the Golden Flyers' decisive four-goal run.
O. Wesleyan 3 4 2 0 -- 9
Nazareth ...2 4 0 4 -- 10
Goals: OW--McGurn 3, Maguire 2, Dunne 2, Fogelson, Ludwig; N--Goodberlet 3, Civalier 2, Serino, Foley, DeVoe, McDermott, Nevin. Assists: OW--Dunne 2, Stroka 2, Maguire, Rubinstein; N--Serino 2, Foley 2, Terilli. Saves: OW--McGurn 11; N--Coon 26.
Pub Date: 5/17/98