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Salisbury men's lacrosse to open NCAA Division III tournament on Wednesday at home

Salisbury men's lacrosse to open NCAA Division III tournament on Wednesday at home

The 10-time national champion Salisbury Sea Gulls (18-1) will open the first round of the NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse tournament against Landmark Conference tournament champion Catholic (11-6) at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury on Wednesday at a time to be determined.

Although the DIII tournament does not list seeds, the general understanding is that Salisbury is the top seed in the South Region, despite a stunning 10-9 upset loss to York in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament final on April 30.

Salisbury has defeated five teams in the NCAA tournament, and its 18 in-region wins were the most in either the North or South regions.

"We like that we're playing at home, and we're excited to move forward here," coach Jim Berkman said Monday morning. "We played a great season and had a high strength of schedule that allowed us to secure the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage. So we're excited about that."

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The Sea Gulls have not played since that setback to the Spartans, and Berkman said the layoff has been simultaneously positive and negative.

"I can tell you that we're anxious to see some new blood right now," he said. "Very anxious to play somebody else. It's good to get back, especially at this time of the year. Early in the season, it's nice to have a week between games so that you can get some time to get some early-season work in. But at this point in the season, you're just trying to stay fresh and stay on the cutting edge. So it's good to be back. You get one good practice in, a pre-game practice and then you're playing an opponent. So we're excited about doing that again. We're just anxious to see some new blood."

Salisbury has won all 10 meetings with the Cardinals and has outscored the team by no fewer than 12 goals in a single contest. But Berkman pointed out that the sides have not played against each other since 2007 when Catholic was a member of the Capital Athletic Conference.

"I don't know if we're going to use that history," he said. "We haven't played them in a long time. … Since that time, Catholic has made more of a commitment to lacrosse. Back when we were playing them, [Brooks] Singer, the coach, was a full-time lawyer, and he came over there and coached lacrosse a little bit afterward. They've since hired him full-time, and they've made more of commitment, and they've done a lot better."

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