On the Eastern Shore of Maryland there is a full blown dynasty in men’s college lacrosse. My question is should the Salisbury Men’s lacrosse team move up to divison one or continue to dominate division three. Here are some current streaks the Sea Gulls have going to show their dominance. The Sea Gulls have won 44 straight games overall, 74 straight at home, and 68 straight regular season games. Salisbury is a member of the Capital Athletic Conference in multiple sports but it is in lacrosse where the streak is unbelieveable. Since 1995 when they started playing conference lacrosse the Sea Gulls are 78-0 in regular season conference games and 100-0 if you include conference tournament games.
Most of these games are not close after the first quarter. Coach Jim Berkman is 328-30 in his tenure at Salisbury including seven national titles. Lastly the Sea Gulls were leading Duke who is #1 in divsion one at halftime of their scrimmage and only ended up losing 14-13. In farness it was a scrimmage and Duke was playing without Matt Danowski.
Despite all of this evidence to the contrary I think divsion three is where Salisbury belongs. The first reason is the facilities. Sea Gull Stadium only seats 2,500 fans which is not enough to host divison one lacrosse games and expansion costs money. Salisbury is the only place I have heard of where your locker room is on the other side of campus from the stadium. The locker rooms are on the main campus in the gym. After you change if you are the visiting team you get back on the team bus to drive to East Campus where you will find the stadium. If you are a Sea Gull player after putting on the maroon and gold you start the walk through the tunnel under US Rt. 13 to reach the stadium.
Part of the history of Salisbury lacrosse is the tunnel. Once both teams reach the stadium they do have areas for meetings but they aren’t the locker rooms. The second reason is other sports. The NCAA has a rule that you can’t go play division one in just one sport and the rest of Salisbury’s teams sre competitive not dominat in divsion three. Another reason is Title Nine. Going division one would mean having at least partial lacrosse scholarships which would cause issues with their Title Nine complience.
Now here are the on the field reasons I feel divsion three is the right place for Salisbury. The way Coach Berkman recruits is he targets players who for whatever reason can’t play on the D1 level. Whether it is grades, skill level, or other off the field issues he sells that Salisbury is the place for them to come. Also the players come because they want to be part of the tradition at Salisbury. They want to continue all of the streaks and start new ones when those end. I have 4 words for the last reason “War on the Shore.” Salisbury and Washington College is the Duke/UNC or Ohio State/Michigan of division three lacrosse. The games are always hard hitting, competitve and very well attended. Whether they take place in Chestertown or Salisbury the stands are packed and the hatred between the two teams shows for those 60 minutes.
That is why divison three is the best place for the Salisbury Men’s Lacrosse Team.