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Tucker (DEastBoysLax), Cresta (H-Horsham) lead many Philly grads as Salisbury, Wesleyan meet for Division III title

Saturday, 26th May 2018

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 5/26/18
From Press Releases and Staff Report

Many Philly grads will be keys Sunday when two-time defending champion and No. 3 Salisbury meets No. 9 Wesleyan at 1 p.m. in the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championship game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Salisbury (20-3) and Wesleyan (18-3) have never played before.

Salisbury’s Kyle Tucker (left), Pierre Armstrong (center) and T.J. Logue

Philly Connection:
Salisbury – The Gulls feature senior defenseman Kyle Tucker (Downingtown East), who Friday was named the 2018 William C. Stiles Memorial Outstanding Defensive Player award for the second straight season. Tucker, a first team All-American for the second straight year, has posted team highs in both groundballs and caused turnovers, recording 95 and 47, respectively. His 47 caused turnovers and average of 2.04 per game rank him in the top 70 in the nation. This is Tucker’s third major accolade as he was named the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year as well as the Eastern College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named to the first team for each organization. He is the eighth player in program history to earn the William C. Stiles award and first player to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year since Eric Martin, who accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2004.
Also for Salisbury junior FO specialist T.J. Logue (Salesinaum School) has won 173-of-302 draws.
Sophomore attackman Pierre Armstrong (Hatboro-Horsham) has emerged as a standout with 24 goals and 36 assists this year.
Sophomore middie Jared Walls (La Salle) has played in 17 games and has 7 groundballs.
Freshman attackman Cross Ferrara (Appoquinimink-DE) has 10 goals in 12 games.
Freshman attackman Kevin Lacon (La Salle) has four goals in 9 games.
Freshman attackman Ryan Brown (Central Bucks East) has 2 goals in 10 games.

Jake Cresta

Senior defenseman Jake Cresta (Hatboro-Horsham) – who played Armstrong in 2003 – was named a USILA Division III Honorable Mention All-American. He has 42 groundballs and 28 caused turnovers.
Senior attackman Tasso Karras (Chestnut Hill Academy) played in 5 games.

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).

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 Cresta, Andres Rodriguez,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.


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 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 Logue is joined by 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).

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