Despite a sophomore campaign in which he won 59.1 percent of his faceoffs and led Salisbury in ground balls with 84, Cameron Maples could not be deterred from his plan of becoming an engineer and informed coach Jim Berkman of his intention to transfer to Virginia Tech.
Enter Duncan Campbell, an Ellicott City resident and Marriotts Ridge graduate who was leaving Monmouth after winning 20 of 55 draws (36.4 percent) in 2015. Supply met demand, and now Campbell is working with sophomore Brooks Eibner and freshman T.J. Logue as the primary faceoff specialists for the No. 5 Sea Gulls.
"That thing is figuring itself out a little bit right now," Berkman said Tuesday. "There's also the freshman Logue that's not bad either. Both played well in the first game. Brooks had the most clear wins, but Duncan had a really nice fourth quarter when he started getting the ball out of there. Duncan's a really good athlete. He's not the normal FOGO we see now. He scoops it up, and he's one of the faster guys on the field. I like the 1-2 punch. We have two guys we feel confident about."
In the team's season-opening 12-7 victory over Hampden-Sydney, Campbell won 11 of 16 draws and collected five ground balls. Eibner, a Baltimore resident and Archbishop Curley graduate, won two of five faceoffs, and Logue lost the only faceoff he took.
"I'm hoping one guy is going to emerge as the guy," Berkman said. "Not that he would take all of them, but he would dominate and get into a flow. But the other day, Duncan got tied up with the first three he had and didn't have any clean wins. Then Brooks went in and won two cleanly. And then Duncan came back in the fourth quarter and won three or four cleanly. They worked pretty good together last week."
The trio's faceoff numbers might improve courtesy of the return of Andrew Ternahan. The junior long-stick midfielder, who sat out the win because of an undisclosed ailment, scooped 80 ground balls last season as a defender and a wing player, posted five goals and four assists, and should give Salisbury a lift in time for Wednesday's showdown with No. 2 Lynchburg (0-0) at Sea Gull Stadium.
"Andrew's one of the best wing players in the country," Berkman said. "He gets the ball off the ground, and when he does get it off the ground, he has tremendous speed and can put a lot of pressure on a defense because he can get the ball down to the other end quickly and can make things happen."