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Postscript from Ohio Wesleyan vs. Salisbury men's lacrosse

As much as No. 2 Salisbury coach Jim Berkman may have been dismayed about the performance he was getting from his goalkeepers, sophomore Joshua Dean was equally disappointed with his showing that included making just one save and surrendered eight goals in Sunday's 13-12 overtime win against No. 9 Ohio Wesleyan at The Landon School in Bethesda.

"I was frustrated, but I was frustrated way before that because I just couldn't make a save, and I wasn't seeing the ball," said Dean, the Glen Burnie resident and Pallotti graduate who was pulled at halftime for sophomore Anthony Stavrakis, but re-inserted in the fourth quarter. "Coach came up to me and said, 'Just gather your thoughts. Let it go. If your number gets called, be ready.' And I just thought about it. It bothered me, but I let it pass me and then I went back in, and we won the game. That's all that matters."

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The struggles of Dean and Stavrakis – who combined for three saves – leave some doubt over which one will start when the Sea Gulls (5-0) visit No. 12 Stevenson (1-2) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Mustang Stadium in Owings Mills.

Berkman said the decision may come to a game-time decision – literally.

"It's almost like in warmups, who's seeing the ball?" Berkman said. "And you can really tell because [assistant coach and two-time National Midfielder of the Year Sam] Bradman's shooting on them and he's ripping shots from 15 yards, and if the kid's seeing the ball, that's who we're going with. Some kids see it better than others on certain days."

Circling back to "Three Things to Watch"

1) Shadow Ohio Wesleyan's Marcus Dietz. After registering two goals and one assist in the fourth quarter of last year's 9-8 overtime win against Salisbury, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior posted one goal and one assist in the first half and appeared to be on pace for another significant outing. But Dietz was shut out by sophomore defenseman Kyle Tucker, who used his 6-0, 190-pound frame to cut off Dietz's dodges and keep him on the perimeter.

"When he's pushing GLE [goal-line extended], you have to be physical with him because otherwise, he's going to get that corner and score a goal," said Tucker, who finished with three caused turnovers and two ground balls. "He's a really good player. It's hard to shut him down. I only did it because team defense was a big help."

2) Value the ball. Salisbury's nine turnovers were two fewer than the team's season average. But turnovers weren't the only category the Sea Gulls owned. They took 42 attempts to Ohio Wesleyan's 26, collected 44 ground balls to the Battling Bishops' 25, and won 16-of-28 faceoffs. Berkman cited all those numbers as factors in Sunday's victory.

"We only had nine turnovers," he said. "We got 42 shots to their 20-some shots, we had 19 more ground balls, and we did a nice job on faceoffs. So we gave ourselves a lot of opportunities."

3) Get the edge on faceoffs. In a battle between two of the top faceoff specialists in Division III, Salisbury junior Duncan Campbell got the upper hand on Ohio Wesleyan senior Zach Friedman. Campbell won 16-of-27 draws, scooped up a game-high seven ground balls, and got considerable help from junior long-stick midfielder Andrew Ternahan (four ground balls) and senior short-stick defensive midfielder Davis Anderson (three) on the wings. He powered the Sea Gulls to winning 8-of-11 faceoffs in the last two quarters and overtime including the opening draw of the extra session that led to senior midfielder Thomas Cirillo's game-winning goal with 1:50 left.

"Obviously, if we win that faceoff in overtime, we have possession and are able to get some looks on cage and we could do what they did," Battling Bishops coach Mike Plantholt said. "So it was a little disappointing that we weren't able to possess the ball at all in overtime. They won the faceoffs when it mattered."

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