Salisbury defeats Washington, 12-7; retains Clark Cup for 10th year in a row

SALISBURY— The Charles B. Clark Cup is not going anywhere for at least another year as top-ranked and unbeaten Salisbury defeated Washington, 12-7, Saturday in men’s lacrosse.

This was the 56th edition of the annual rivalry known as the War on the Shore; Salisbury has won the last 10 meetings and leads the series, 36-20.

The Clark Cup, named after a 1934 graduate of Washington College who coached both programs to national prominence, was added to the rivalry in 2004.

Salisbury (14-0) opened the game with a four-goal run, beginning when Luke Nestor found graduate student Jack Dowd 4 minutes, 18 seconds in to take a lead that was never threatened.

Nestor scored an unassisted strike of his own less than two minutes later and Riley Strub followed 32 seconds after that.

Nestor collected his third point of the opening stanza with 7:45 remaining in the first quarter, setting up Brice Bromwell to establish the 4-0 lead. 

Logan Trombley dented the scoreboard for Washington, unassisted, with just under five minutes remaining in the first frame.

Josh Sanchez, Dowd and Strub scored in succession for the Sea Gulls in a flurry that bridged the first and second quarters, extending the spread to 7-1 with 12 minutes and change remaining in the half.

The scoring quieted for nearly eight minutes before Connor Garrison and Cory Morgan (man up) solved Nicholas Ransom to get it back to a four-goal game, 7-3, with 62 seconds to play before intermission.

But Dowd completed his first-half hat trick 56 seconds later as the Gulls took an 8-3 lead into the locker room.

Defense took over in the third quarter as the teams combined to force 10 turnovers and allow just two goals, both in the final minute — Morgan and then Strub to keep the margin at five, 9-4, heading into the last stanza.

Washington (3-10) scored three of the first four goals of the fourth quarter, closing to 10-7 on Luke Brennan’s unassisted tally with just under six minutes to play.

Salisbury averted the upset with back-to-back insurance goals from Ty Keaton and Dowd in the span of 54 seconds, restoring the five-goal spread with 4:09 to play.

Ransom denied Ben Dickinson with 2:21 remaining for his only save of the fourth quarter. He finished with nine across the full 60 minutes to improve to 34-0 as a collegian.

Dowd (30-16-46) led all players with four goals.

Morgan (11-5-16) had a hat trick for the Shoremen, and Brennan (17-6-23) contributed two goals.

Also for Washington, Gabe Velasquez won 10 of 21 face-offs.

Tyler Bishop and Tom Merritt each scooped up four ground balls and collectively forced three turnovers.

Junior Will Charvala, making just his fifth career start, came up with a career high of 16 saves.

NEXT UP: Washington is on the road Wednesday night, April 17 at Centennial Conference foe Franklin & Marshall. The opening face-off is at 7 p.m.

WC is 1-4 in the conference, while F&M (6-8 overall) is 0-5.

Todd Cavallaro is in his 17th season as the Diplomats’ head coach.

He spent four seasons on the sidelines as the head assistant coach and offensive coordinator in Chestertown, helping Washington win the 1998 NCAA Division III title and runner-up finishes in 1996 and 1997.

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