The Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team will compete in the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championship game this Sunday, May 27 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The Cardinals (18-3)—ranked No. 9 in the USILA Coaches Poll—will face two-time defending champs and No. 3 Salisbury University (20-3) beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday's game will be the first-ever meeting between these two programs.
- Gillette Stadium is the home of the Division I, II and III championships this weekend from May 26-28. Each division has New England representation as Yale will play in the Division 1 semifinals on Saturday and Merrimack will compete for the Division II title following the Wesleyan/Salisbury game. The Cardinals will participate in an autograph session on Saturday from 10:10—10:40 a.m. in Lot 22 of the Lacrosse Fan Fest.
- The Cardinals had arguably the most difficult path to the NCAA Championship game as they defeated Cortland (16-12), No. 8 Cabrini (12-7), at No. 2 Tufts (12-11) and at No. 1 RIT (19-18).
- Sunday's game will be the first neutral site game for Wesleyan this season. The Cardinals are 10-1 at home and 8-2 on the road in 2018.
- Senior Harry Stanton is the program's all-time leader in goals (222) and ranks second in program history in points (284). Junior Carter Hawthorne is the program's all-time leader in assists (131) and is tied for fourth all-time in points (217). Stanton and Hawthorne both own the single-season records in goals (86; 2017) and assists (65; current), respectively. Hawthorne also ranks eighth in Division III in assists per game, averaging 3.05.
- Senior Taylor Ghesquiere ranks No. 10 all-time in points (162) and junior Christian Barker ranks No. 12 (149).
- Freshman Ronan Jacoby was named the 2018 NESCAC Rookie of the Year. He leads the team in goals (66) and ranks second in points (80). Hawthorne leads the team in points (89) and assists (65).
- Face off specialist Zach Zavalick has won 218-of-364 draws and leads the team in ground balls with 134.
- Defensively, Wesleyan is led by seniors Andres Rodriguez, Jake Cresta and Eric Meyreles, as well as sophomore goalie Otto Bohan. The unit allows just 9.25 goals per game while Rodriguez leads the team in caused turnovers with 45. Bohan is 16-2 in 18 starts this season with 1064:08 minutes logged between the posts. He owns an 8.74 goals-against average (GAA) and 53.7 save percentage.
- Head coach John Raba is in his 22nd season at the helm of the program. He was named the 2017 USILA Division III Coach of the Year and became the all-time winningest coach in NESCAC history this season. He owns a 264-113 (.700) career mark.
WESLEYAN BY THE NUMBERS
- 13-5…… Record in NCAA Tournament
- 6...……… NCAA Tournament appearances
- 10-1…… Record in last 11 games
- 6-2…….. Record against top-25 opponents
- 5-2…….. Record against top-10 opponents
- 7…….….. All-NESCAC honors (program record)
- 7.......... NEILA All-New England Team selections
- 6………… Players with 40-or-more points
- 4………… Career 100-point scorers
- 1………… All-NESCAC yearly award winner
- The Sea Gulls trail only Hobart for most NCAA Division III titles with 12 compared to Hobart's 13, while Middlebury, Nazareth and Tufts are a distance third with three titles each.
- Salisbury is coming off back-to-back NCAA Championships, defeating RIT (15-7) last year and Tufts (14-13) in 2016.
- The Sea Gulls defeated then-No. 2 York, 11-8, to win their 21st Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) title. In the NCAA Tournament, they have rattled off wins against Morrisville State (19-5), No. 15 Christopher Newport (12-11), No. 10 Dickinson (9-7) and No. 4 Gettysburg (8-7).
- Offensively, they are led by junior midfielder Corey Gwin's team-best 66 points and sophomore attack Pierre Armstrong's 60. Gwin leads the team in goals (47) while Armstrong leads the team in assists (36). Three of Salisbury's top scorers are sophomores.
- Two junior midfielders take the face off for the Sea Gulls as T.J. Logue has won 173-of-302 draws and Brett Malamphy is 133-of-207.
- Defensively, seniors Kyle Tucker, Will Nowesnick, Cory Berry and Troy Miller lead the way. Tucker leads the team in caused turnovers (47) and ground balls (95), and was named the CAC and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year. Miller was drafted by the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse and was named All-CAC First Team and All-ECAC Second Team.
- In net, sophomore goalie Brandon Warren has seen the majority of action with 18 starts and 915:13 minutes between the posts. He owns a 6.42 GAA, a 53.8 save percentage and a 17-1 record. Warren ranks fourth in Division III in GAA.
- Head coach Jim Berkman has been at the helm of the program for 30 seasons and has guided Salisbury to the NCAA Tournament every year. He entered the season as the winningest coach all-time, in all divisions, with an. 897 winning percentage and currently boasts a mark of .896 (509-59).
SALISBURY BY THE NUMBERS
- 35……… NCAA Tournament appearances
- 79-23…Record in NCAA Tournament
- 12……… NCAA Titles
- 5………… NCAA runner-up finishes
- 18……… Games they held opponents to single digits
- 10-2…… Record against top-25 teams
- 4-1…….. Record against top-10 teams
- 8………… All-CAC honors
- 6………… Players with 40-or-more points
- 1………… All-CAC Yearly Award winner
HOW THEY COMPARE:
|Record against top-25||6-2||10-2|