The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 12, 2012

Bill Bowman's college sports column: Crusaders continue to make history


Life is different in the NCAA tournament, however. It's a tight rope a mile in the air with no net to be found. One misstep in games where one goal is usually enough, and you are turning in the gear.

That is when you see what teams are really made of. It's when good seasons become great and when great seasons become legendary.

Against Cabrini in the NCAA opener late Saturday night, the tight rope frayed. The Crusaders, who have shattered the program record for shutouts in season, were two minutes away from the second round when the unthinkable happened: They kicked the ball into their own goal.

Really. That happened.

And that, sports fans, can tear your heart out. It changes momentum in ways you can't even imagine.

Susquehanna never wavered though, even when the game went into penalty kicks, if not the most nerve-wracking way to end a game in any sport, it is in the team picture.

The Crusaders never blinked, even after missing two of their first three kicks. Goalie Matt Salsman, an All-Landmark keeper from Selinsgrove, stepped up when he had to, saving two of Cabrini's final three shots to force the game into sudden death PKs.

The premise behind sudden death kicks: One makes, one misses, game over.

On the eighth round of kicks, SU's David Trank finished. Then Salsman got his shot to send the Crusaders to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. The shot drilled the crossbar and SU moved on, living to play another day when style points go out the window.

Survive and advance. Make history, 90 minutes at a time.

n Sports editor Bill Bowman covers college sports for The Daily Item. Email comments to Follow him at

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