FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The No. 1 Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team capped off the program’s seventh undefeated season and 10th National Championship on Sunday by defeating the State University of New York at Cortland in the 2012 NCAA Division III National Championship game, 14-10, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
The team finished the season with a 23-0 record and ends the year riding a 30-game winning streak. Twenty-three wins matches the program record for most in a season and the national title is the 16th team title in Salisbury University history.
“We’ve had some pretty special teams at Salisbury,” Head Coach Jim Berkman said. “I can honestly say that this team is right there with some of those other teams. When we talk about the best teams, this is definitely right there in the same breath.”
Senior attackman Sam Bradman became the first Division III men’s lacrosse player to win the Most Outstanding Player award in a National Championship game in back-to-back years. Bradman led the Sea Gulls with seven points on six goals and one assist in the game.
“I’ve loved big competition, big games ever since high school,” Bradman said. “Getting into the big games, my intensity goes up, and I just like to give it my all.”
Bradman and senior attackmen Matt Cannone and Lantz Carter led Salisbury to victory, completing the championship repeat. Cannone led the team with three assists and netted two goals for five points. Carter chipped in with four points on three goals and one assist.
Bradman put Salisbury on the board first with an unassisted goal just 29 seconds into the game. Two Cortland goals gave the Red Dragons the lead before Carter netted his first score to tie the game, 2-2.
Bradman scored his second with 16 seconds left in the first and the Gulls went into the second quarter tied with Cortland, 3-3.
Goals by Bradman and Cannone to start the second quarter gave Salisbury a 5-3 lead. After Cortland scored two to tie the game, senior midfielder Jeff McGuire and Carter netted scores to regain the two-goal lead. Carter’s goal came with two seconds left, and Salisbury took the 7-5 lead into halftime.
The Sea Gull offense came to life in the second quarter to outshoot the Red Dragons 14-7. In the first half, Salisbury outshot Cortland 19-16, won 8-of-13 faceoffs and was successful on 6-of-7 clears.
Salisbury started the second half slowly, as the Red Dragons netted two quick scores in the first five minutes of the third quarter. However, two more goals from Bradman and a man-up score from senior attackman Erik Krum gave the Gulls a 10-9 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Salisbury held the lead despite being outscored 4-3 in the third period.
The Sea Gulls rebounded in the fourth quarter to outscore Cortland 4-1, and solidify the win. Bradman, Cannone, Carter and junior midfielder Ryan Clarke all scored in the quarter.
“We had a great senior class, 18 kids who contributed a great deal over a four-year period,” Berkman said. “I’m very fortunate to be able to coach those 18 seniors.”
Throughout its time at Salisbury University, the senior class has amassed a record of 81-7, made it to four NCAA tournaments, advanced to three National Championship games and won two National Championships.