Season Preview: Sea Gulls Look to Get Defensive

SALISBURY, Md. Fresh off its second-consecutive national championship, Salisbury enters 2013 with a mix of returning players and new faces ready for the opening face-off. The 2012 season brought the Sea Gulls their 10th national and 17th CAC championships, and the Gulls, who are currently riding a 30-game winning streak, will look to add to those totals.

The team graduated 18 seniors, including all three starting attackmen, in 2012 but brings back a solid core of returning players, including both face-off specialists and the majority of last season's starting defense, while adding an abundance of new talent in each area of the field.

"Defensively, I think we played pretty strong in the fall," said Head Coach Jim Berkman, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA men's lacrosse history with 411 wins. "We are pretty solid there with a pretty veteran team. We got great goalie play, and we are really good at the "X". This team is a pretty good team. This team could do a lot of things."

Attack
Sea Gulls fans will see an abundance of new faces on attack for Salisbury in 2013, after the team graduated six seniors, including all three starters on attack from 2012.

The team expects to see junior Rhett DePol and seniors Stephen Norris and Evan Hammersly at the starting attack line this year.

"I definitely liked our attack and the development of it over the fall," Berkman said. "It got a lot better."

DePol appeared in 20 games for Salisbury last season, scoring nine goals with eight assists (17 points). He returns this year, looking for more minutes and expecting to make an impact on the Sea Gulls' offense.

After sitting out for a year, Hammersly rejoins Salisbury and should have an impact on attack. He played in 10 games for the Sea Gulls in 2011 with two points (one goal and one assist).

Norris transferred to SU this season, after playing for Towson University from 2009-11. The Leonardtown, Md., native netted seven goals and one assist in 2011 for the Tigers.

"Stephen Norris definitely knows how to finish the ball on the inside," Berkman said. "He has really good hands."

Sophomore Wade Korvin looks to get minutes throughout the season. Korvin joins the Sea Gulls as a transfer from Bryant University.

Midfield
With the departure of 2012 National Player and Midfielder of the Year Sam Bradman, Salisbury will turn to senior Ryan Clarke to lead the offensive midfield, this season. Clarke, a 2012 first-team All-American, was second on the team with 29 assists and fourth on the team with 35 goals and 64 points, and he is set to return to form for the Sea Gulls in 2013.

Fellow senior, Eric Kluge, is set to break out this season and will begin the year on the first line with Clarke. Kluge is a big, strong and fast player that Berkman described as dynamic and who had an outstanding fall.

A number of players are in the mix for the third starting spot in the midfield and the first two spots on the second line, including junior Brandon Kendrick and sophomore James Burton. Burton saw time in 10 games last season, while scoring two goals.

Kendrick will return after missing last season with a knee injury. He transferred from the Community College of Baltimore County - Essex, where he played two seasons, in which, he combined for 110 points, 48 goals and 62 assists.

Junior Greg Korvin and sophomores Kyle Goss and Mike Hanna all return to Salisbury and expect to see good playing time during the season. All three players saw action last season, as Korvin (12 games) scored one goal with three assists, Goss (11 games) scored three goals and Hanna (nine games) scored one goal with one assist.

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2013-02-09



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