SU men’s lacrosse beginning national championship run

The second-ranked Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team defeated visiting No. 19 University of Lynchburg, 18-10, in third round action of the 2019 Division III Men’s Lacrosse Tournament on Saturday evening.

Zach Pompea finished the game as the Sea Gulls’ (21-1) points leader, as the senior midfielder totaled five points behind a two-goal and team-high three assist performance. Pompea played a role in the first three goals of the game for the maroon and gold, dishing out two assists while netting one of his three markers before aiding in a 4-0 run in the second quarter, to close out the first half.  

The game started out as a back-and-forth battle with the Hornets (14-7) jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the opening 2:10 of the contest. However, Salisbury rallied back behind a 10-3 run to close out the opening half that saw the maroon and gold outscore Lynchburg 5-1 in the second frame.

Five different players netted markers in the second quarter to help Salisbury take a commanding 10-5 lead into the locker room.

Joe Saulino started the dominant second quarter when he managed to turn defense into offense finishing off an assist from Parker Stevens in transition to push the advantage to 6-4. However, Hornets junior midfielder Colin Dean cut the deficit to one just over a minute later when he tallied one of his three markers for the contest. The one-goal difference marked the final time in the contest that Lynchburg would be within one possession of leveling the score.

With just over three minutes to play in the second, Salisbury fired home four goals including three in the final 48 seconds of the opening half. Emory Wongus finished off a pass from Austin Short, who finished the night with a goal and an assist, to push the lead to 8-5. On the ensuing faceoff though both Lynchburg and Salisbury were given penalties with Lynchburg’s player having to serve a full-time unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Salisbury took full advantage of the opportunity as both Pompea and Corey Gwin netted markers in the final 20 seconds of the half. Pompea finished off a great individual effort as he danced through three Lynchburg defensemen before Gwin netted his second of the half, converting from 10 yards out with six seconds left on the clock.

The offense continued to ride the wave of momentum into the second half as Salisbury outscored Lynchburg 8-5 in the final 30 minutes of action, including a six-goal third quarter to help seal the win.

The defense was equally as impressive led by junior goalie Brandon Warren, who finished the game with 10 saves. Kevin Murphy led the defensive unit with three caused turnovers while Jackson Woodwardand Brad Greik combined for seven groundballs.

Salisbury returns to action on Wednesday, May 15, when it will take on Denison University in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Tournament.     

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