By Chris Mackowiak
The last week has come and gone with the regular seasons ending for multiple Salisbury University teams. While the regular season continues for both football, field hockey and volleyball await their CAC tournaments to begin. Men’s soccer did not make it into their CAC playoffs. Women’s soccer began their CAC Tournament on Saturday.
Below I breakdown each team’s current playoff situation and who they will potentially play through the conference tournament. As each team falls whether in a conference tournament or the NCAA Tournament, watch out for the new ‘Team Report Card’ series in which The Flyer sports staff highlights each team with individual awards and an overall takeaway for the season.
Make sure to stay with thesuflyer.com for the latest recaps and previews headed into conference and NCAA playoff action.
No. 2 Field Hockey (14-1, 6-0; first in CAC)
After Sunday action in the CAC, Salisbury now knows their opponent in the conference semifinals on Wednesday.
Fifth-seeded St. Mary’s fell on the road to fourth-seeded York (Pa.) 3-0. York now looks ahead when they make the long journey down to Salisbury later this week. When the teams met earlier this season during Salisbury’s Homecoming Weekend, the Sea Gulls took down the Spartans handedly 6-2 after initially leading the match 4-0.
After a successful and undefeated CAC regular season campaign, the Sea Gulls won the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament along with home-field advantage through the championship. Therefore, if the Sea Gulls defeat York, then they would host the CAC Championship on Saturday.
On the opposite side of the bracket, No. 2 Christopher Newport hosts No. 3 Mary Washington for a berth into the CAC Championship Game. In a tight match, CNU defeated UMW 1-0 last Wednesday. On Oct. 19, Salisbury won a nail-biter against CNU 2-1 in OT. The Sea Gulls had a much easier time facing Mary Washington on Homecoming resulting in a 6-1 win.
Salisbury still looks to contend for the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament after moving up to the No. 2 spot in the nation last week. The team at the No. 1 spot currently in the nation is Messiah College, the only team to defeat Salisbury this season.
No. 17/19 Football (7-1, 6-1; tied first in NJAC)
The New Jersey Athletic Conference came into Saturday with three teams tied for first place with a 5-1 record. Frostburg State and Wesley were both in action on Saturday, while the Sea Gulls traveled to face Christopher Newport in Newport News, Va.
Despite being down early in the contest, Wesley overcame the deceit to win 37-14 over Montclair State to move to 6-2 (6-1 NJAC) and remain tied for the conference lead. Frostburg State took down Rowan University (Salisbury’s only loss of the season) 24-14 to keep pace with Wesley. Wesley beat Frostburg State 43-7 in the second week of the season, which gives the Wolverines the tiebreaker over the Bobcats if they finished tied at the end of the season.
Salisbury faced a tall challenge on the road against CNU. The two teams fought back-and-forth throughout the contest with a tie at 17 at the break. In the second half, Salisbury led the way offensively with 28 points tallied compared to CNU’s seven to finish the game 45-24 in the win column.
While the three teams exit the weekend tied at the top of the NJAC at 6-1, the picture will become very clear by Saturday night. Salisbury welcomes Wesley into Sea Gull Stadium for their annual rivalry game Saturday afternoon. The contest was of national discussion last season when the Sea Gulls went on the road to topple the top-five ranked Wolverines 38-35.
Meanwhile, Frostburg State hits the road this weekend to face Montclair State. The Bobcats will welcome Salisbury onto their home turf for the annual Regents Cup next week.
With Wesley holding the tiebreaker over Frostburg State, the NJAC title could be decided this weekend if the Wolverines are able to upset Salisbury. If the Sea Gulls win, the Regents Cup will determine the NJAC champion next week.
Women’s Soccer (5-8-4, 4-5-1; sixth place in CAC)
The Salisbury women’s soccer team’s run in the CAC tournament came to an end on Saturday. The Sea Gulls travelled to No. 3 St. Mary’s in a highly contested match. The game went down to the wire with St. Mary’s tallying the winning goal with only 10 minutes remaining in the match. The Seahawks move on in the tournament with the 2-1 victory.
Salisbury’s season ends after becoming one of the last teams to make it into the CAC tournament. The season had its highs and lows, but the regular season finished with the Sea Gulls’ best offensive output all season, a 5-1 victory over Wesley
Stay tuned at thesuflyer.com for season recap as part of our team ‘report card’ series coming up later this week.
Women’s Volleyball (20-7, 8-1; tied for first in CAC)
Salisbury finished their CAC regular season with a straight sets win over Frostburg State Saturday. The win continued the tie at the top of the CAC standings between two teams: Salisbury and Mary Washington (25-3, 7-1).
Marymount (Va.) lost on the final day of action which bumped them down from contention for the top- spot. To determine the No. 1 team in the conference, it came down to a tiebreaker between the two schools. Because of their win over Salisbury earlier this season, Mary Washington took the prize.
Salisbury moved down to the No. 2 seed overall, which does have its benefits. Despite no home-field advantage for now in the potential CAC Championship, the Sea Gulls do receive a first round bye in the tournament along with hosting the semifinal on Thursday night.
The Sea Gulls will face either No. 6 York or No. 3 Christopher Newport. The two teams will play for the right to face Salisbury Tuesday night in Newport News, Va.
Earlier this season, Salisbury took down York and CNU in CAC action, 3-0 and 3-1 respectively.
If Mary Washington falls in their CAC semifinal match-up on the opposite side of the bracket, Salisbury would host the CAC Championship on Saturday. Otherwise, the Sea Gulls would travel to Mary Washington.