CHESTERTOWN, Md. - Salisbury University senior midfielder Kylor Berkman scored the game-winner against Eastern Shore rival Washington (Md.) College with 4:34 left in the game as the fifth-ranked Sea Gulls pulled out a 12-11 thrilling road victory before an overflow record crowd of 2,511 at Roy Kirby, Jr. Stadium.
Berkman had a hand in the game-tying goal at the 10-minute mark as SU (15-3) faced its second deficit of the day after the Sea Gull trailed early 1-0 in the first quarter. Washington (9-6) scored seven of the first nine goals in the second half to take an 11-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. Salisbury knotted the game at 11 when sophomore attackman Erik Krum scored off an assist from Berkman (four goals, one assist) at the 10:20 mark. Six minutes later Berkman, the reigning Division III National Player of the Year and two-time Midfielder of the Year, scored the game-winner as he beat Shoremen goalie Gordon Cohen (11 saves).
The victory gives SU nine straight over Washington and the 11th win this decade as the Sea Gulls hold a 23-19 series lead. Salisbury earns its sixth straight Charles B. Clark Cup, awarded annually to the winner of the regular-season matchup between the two Division III schools. Coach Clark coached both programs during his career and is a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. SU has won every Cup since its inception in 2004.
This was the sixth one-goal game in the heated series also known as the "War on the Shore." The last one-goal game was April 30, 2005 when SU won, 11-10, in Chestertown, Md. In fact, the last four one-goal games in this series have happened in Chestertown with SU leaving with the win.
SU trailed 1-0 just two minutes into the game before the Sea Gulls ripped off three straight goals in a five-minute span to take a 3-1 lead midway through the first quarter. The maroon and gold had six different players involved in the 3-0 run which included goals from junior attackman Mike Winter (three goals), Berkman and junior midfielder Mike Von Kamecke (one goal, two assists). The three goals were assisted by freshman midfielder Sam Bradman (one goal, two assists), sophomore midfielder Shawn Zordani (one assist) and senior attackman Stephen Krasco (one assist).
The Gulls took a 4-3 lead into the second quarter and scored the first three goals to take a 7-3 lead with four minutes left before halftime. Junior attackman Jake DeLillo recorded two goals and one assist in the quarter as SU took an 8-4 advantage into the break.
Washington had four different goal scorers in the game as a trio scored three goals apiece in the loss. Seniors Matt Moreton (three goals, one assist) and Jimmy Kielek (two goals, two assists) led the way with four-point games. Sophomores Josh Perlow and Doug Herdegen scored three goals each.
The Shoremen made their move in the third quarter as they blitzed SU with four straight goals minutes into the second half. WC received one goal apiece from its four different goal scorers to tie the game at 8-8. Berkman ended the WC run at the 9:20 mark with a goal off an assist from Bradman. Perlow tied the game with 2:33 left in the quarter. Berkman followed with an extra-man goal with 28 seconds left. Washington won the ensuing face-off and Moreton scored his third goal of the quarter off an assist from Casey O'Connor (two assists) with just two seconds left as the teams went into the fourth quarter tied at 10.
The statistics were fairly even as Washington outshot Salisbury 36-35, 13-6 in the third quarter, and the Shoremen scooped up six more ground balls then the Sea Gulls, 38-32. Salisbury converted 23-of-27 clear attempts while Washington went 20-for-25 on clears. The teams split the face-offs down the middle as they both won 13 out of 26 attempts. Washington won 7-of-8 face-offs in the six-goal third quarter. Salisbury converted 3-of-5 extra-man opportunities and only allowed two Shoremen extra-man goals.
Salisbury sophomore goalie Johnny Rodriguez (15-2) earned the win as he made 12 saves, four in the fourth quarter, to preserve the win.
Today's attendance mark is a new record at Roy Kirby, Jr. Stadium as the stands seat 1,600. Since 1995, the past three years have produced three of the four largest crowds for the series. The SU-WC series crowd record is 2,975 which occurred last season in Salisbury, Md., at Sea Gull Stadium.