SALISBURY - Defending national champion Salisbury State got revenge on Eastern Shore rival Washington College yesterday in the NCAA Division III lacrosse quarterfinals, as the Sea Gulls ousted the Shoremen, 21-9, before 1,228 in another heated renewal of the "War on the Shore."
Tempers flared as emotions ran high in the 31st meeting between these two schools. Washington defeated the Sea Gulls, 15-10, two weeks ago to end Salisbury's 24-game winning streak and hand the Sea Gulls their only loss of the season.
"It was two teams battling for their lives. Two teams that won four of the last six national championships and they both wanted to win," Salisbury State head coach Jim Berkman said. "It was a 'War' out there, and things are not always going to be a perfect, clean-played game."
With the victory, the top-ranked Sea Gulls (16-1) advance to the semifinals for the sixth time in seven years, and will play host to fourth-ranked Washington & Lee (16-1) Sunday at Sea Gull Stadium. The Generals knocked off third-ranked Gettysburg, 12-10, yesterday on the road.
Sixth-ranked Washington College (12-4) helped beat itself; the Shoremen committed 13 penalties, and five times Salisbury converted on the extra-man opportunities.
"Penalties killed us," Washington coach J.B. Clarke said. "If there is one difference in the game, it was that they played great and we didn't. The second would be the penalties."
The Sea Gulls also outhustled the Shoremen on ground balls, 44-34, a facet Washington controlled in their regular-season win over the Gulls. "We were really emotional today, and I think that was the key. We played a lot harder on the ground balls as we got more possessions than they did," Berkman said.
Washington opened with a goal by senior midfielder Owen Mulhern 2:14 into the first quarter.
Salisbury scored a minute later when attackman Joe High (Dulaney) saved the ball from going out of bounds, went right at the goal and ripped a shot past Shoremen goalie Ray Pagano (19 saves).
The teams traded goals for the rest of the first quarter, and Washington took a 5-4 lead into the second quarter. The Sea Gulls took over the momentum, as midfielder Phil Matkovic scooped up the loose ball off the faceoff and went strong to the goal and beat Pagano high 12 seconds into the quarter.
Salisbury outscored Washington 5-1 in the second quarter, including High's fourth goal, on a man-up opportunity, to go into halftime up 9-6.
"I think when you have two teams coming out that intense, all kinds of crazy things are going to happen," High said. "You have to keep your head in the game and not get any stupid penalties."
The second half was owned by the Gulls, whose defense denied any quality shots. When Washington did get a shot on goal, sophomore goalie Pat Tewes (Severna Park) was making tremendous saves.
"This is huge. We are the ones that let WC into this game, and we knew that we had to take them out," Tewes said.