Salisbury Tops Washington College 12-7 at 'War'
|Greg Corvin had two goals and two assists as Salisbury ran away early from rival Washington College. (Kevin P. Tucker)|
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SALISBURY, MD – After leaving last year's 'War on the Shore' matchup with a bad taste in his mouth a year ago, Salisbury's Alex Taylor was a part of the remedy on Wednesday afternoon, helping lead the No. 4 Sea Gulls to an eighth straight win to start the season, topping rival Washington College 12-7.
"I've been waiting for this game for a long time," Taylor said. "It is another game but there's something different about War on the Shore – a lot of tradition. Last year we had a little bit of a melt down but we've got a great team this year, it was fun to go to battle with these guys."
Salisbury controlled the possession in the first quarter, keeping the Washington offense in check early by using it's size and speed to hold the Shoremen outside of shooting range.
"We had a good game plan going in but to credit them, they've got a lot of good players, a lot of big guys," Washington College senior middie Hunter Nowicki (1 goal, 1 assist) said. "They're physical so they beat up on us pretty quick really and that took us out of the game a little bit."
Greg Korvin (2g, 2a) would score two unassisted goals for Salisbury in the first, taking advantage of strong off ball movement and an overwhelmed WAC defense. Play calling was crucial for the Gulls without their typical fast break offense working, including Korvin's second goal of the period which was set up by a timeout with only 13 seconds left.
"Just sticking to what coach tells us, he's been doing it I don't know how many years," senior attack Korvin said. "If we just move the rock the right things happen for us."
Despite being down, junior fogo Michael Trapp (13 ground balls) would dominate at the face for the Shoremen with Sea Gulls specialist Chris Biank sidelined by injury. Trapp would go 17-23 on the afternoon but Washington was rarely able to capitalize off of his dominate play.
"Trapper's our guy, he does a great job and has the last couple of years so it's something we've come to rely on," Washington head coach Jeff Shirk said. "We just have to take our advantage of some other opportunities because Trapper did his part to put us in a position to be more successful and we just didn't follow through in other areas of the game."
By halftime Salisbury had more than doubled up on it's rivals by shutting down the potent transition game fielded by the Shoremen. Accustomed to playing in big-time games, the Gull defense stepped it's game up in areas where WAC excels.
"We knew exactly what they were going to give us on transition, we did a heck of a job today with no transition goals," senior defender Josh Martin (2 GBs, 2 caused turnovers, 2 PIM) said. "We look forward to when we know we're going to get a little more of a workout than last game. We thrive in the situation, we accept it and we know we're going to come out on top."
Goals would continue to add up for Salisbury while Washington was left asking what was wrong with their offense that had averaged 13 goals per game. Unable to move the ball, the Shoremen were all but put away at 11-4 after the third period.
"I think our issue was we weren't moving the ball quick enough, it's one of those things where the ball was dying in our stick a little bit," Shirk said. "We weren't taking advantage of some things we were talking about because when we did take advantage we got some pretty good shots in the first three quarters."
Fully up on their shore brethren, Salisbury would continue it's physicality in the fourth, committing five penalties but only allowing Washington to capitalize on one extra-man opportunity. The Shoremen would save face before the end of the affair, scoring three more before regulation was called.
"We always do that, start out slow and finish off stronger – if we were able to put together a full game we could be really great," Nowiki said. "We'll go back to the drawing board, we'll get in there tomorrow and focus on McDaniel and I think we'll be good to go for the rest of the season."
After 'struggling' through the first third of the season, Alex Taylor felt he finally hit his stride Wednesday, making 15 saves in addition to turning on the jets to assist in helping Salisbury to 24 successful clears.
"Finally starting to see the ball well after a rough start this year," Taylor said. "Had a couple of mechanic (issues) and things going wrong at the beginning of the season, got those all fixed up."
Salisbury faces another ranked opponent on Saturday, heading to No. 9 York College for what could be an early season Capital Athletic Conference playoff teaser. Washington College will also be making a trip across the Bay Bridge on Saturday for a Centennial Conference match at McDaniel College.
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