If Salisbury intends to make a run toward an 11th NCAA Division III championship, the team will have to do so without starting attackman Brady Dashiell.
Dashiell, who ranks fourth on the No. 3 Sea Gulls (18-1) in both goals (29) and assists (18), tore his Achilles tendon in the first quarter of the team's 10-9 upset loss to York in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament final on April 30. The left-handed junior had found a nice fit with juniors Nathan Blondino and Carson Kalama as starters on attack.
Coach Jim Berkman said Dashiell underwent surgery on May 5, and the hope is that he will be able to participate in workouts this fall.
"He ruptured his Achilles on the endline with nobody near him early in the York game," Berkman said Monday. "He just took a step, and all of a sudden, it looked like somebody shot him in the leg. Nobody was near him and he just collapsed.
"We really felt bad for Brady because Brady's really come a long way," Berkman continued. "He was playing with an injured foot all year, and that thing just kept getting a little bit stronger. He got a little bit more confidence, and he was starting to play really well. … And the three attackmen had rounded into a really good unit. But it's just unfortunate. Now Nick's the next man up, and he's got to get it done."
"Nick" is junior Nick Garbarino, who scored three goals in Dashiell's place against York. For the year, Garbarino has registered 18 goals and two assists, but the 5-foot-11, 230-pound attackman is expected to get his first career start when Salisbury (18-1) opens play in the NCAA tournament against Landmark Conference champion Catholic (11-6) at Sea Gull Stadium on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
"Nick's a great finisher on that backside," Berkman said. "He definitely finishes the ball. … He's a big guy who can bull his way to the goal if you want to put a short-stick on him, which was what happening a lot of times with Brady. But Nick, when that has happened, has gotten a goal against about everybody. He's a handful for a short-stick. That's who we're going to battle with."
Sophomore Chase Berquist (Broadneck) is one of the few true left-handed attackmen still on the roster, but Berkman said the offense is content to go with Blondino, Kalama and Garbarino.
"We're a little different look," Berkman conceded. "We're not a team with a right-handed attackman and a left-handed attackman and a crease guy. We're right now a team that's got to adjust a little bit because we have a right-handed attackman and feeder with two crease guys. … It's just different."