Mercyhurst men's LAX falls short of national title
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.- The #1 Mercyhurst men's lacrosse team fell, 11-10, to #3 Le Moyne in an exciting NCAA Championship Sunday afternoon. The Lakers rallied from an 11-5 fourth-quarter deficit and hit the post twice in the final minutes in search of the tying goal.
Le Moyne jumped out to a 5-2 lead before Mercyhurst scored three times to even the score at halftime. The Dolphins dominated the third period, going ahead, 10-5. The Lakers responded in the fourth, scoring five times to claw back into the match. After pulling within one with 2:49 remaining, Mercyhurst shot five times, ringing the iron on two tries as it desperately attempted to even the score.
Scheetz drilled the top bar with to go and after a Le Moyne turnover, McAndrew hit the post with 44 seconds showing on the clock. Shots by Zac Reid and McAndrew went wide as time ran out and the Dolphins celebrated their first NCAA title since 2007. Andrew Chadderdon scored with left in the fourth, giving Le Moyne an 11-5 advantage.
The Lakers then tried to get back in the contest. McAndrew found Heseltine for a goal with to play. Scheetz followed with a blast from in close to cut the deficit again. Heseltine finished a James Chayka pass with left, making it 11-8. Just over a minute later, Trevor Vargo found Ian Brooks, who found the back of the net to inch the Lakers closer. McAndrew pulled Mercyhurst within one at the mark, setting up the frantic finish.
The Dolphins scored 12 seconds into the game, but Deven Alves got the Lakers on the board with to go in the first. Chayka put Mercyhurst up, 2-1, 36 seconds later. Nate Frechette followed with two straight goals in span, putting the Dolphins back on top. Another Le Moyne goal late in the frame made it 4-2.
The offenses slowed in the second period, with neither team scoring in the first eight minutes of action. At the mark, Tyler Prevost stretched the Le Moyne lead to 5-2. After another fruitless possession, Heseltine came up with a big steal near midfield, setting up McAndrew for a breakaway goal with remaining in the half. Mitch McAvoy won the ensuing faceoff and ran in for a goal just five seconds later. After another McAvoy faceoff win, Chayka tied the match at the mark. Mercyhurst would not score for the next of play.
The game was tied at the half, marking the third straight NCAA Tournament game that featured an even halftime score for the Lakers.
Chayka led with two goals and two assists. Heseltine and McAndrew each had two goals and a helper. The Lakers outshot the Dolphins, 44-32, and had a 34-28 edge in ground balls. McAvoy went 14-22 on faceoffs and Mercyhurst forced 15 Dolphin turnovers.
Frechette paced the Le Moyne attack with three goals and an assist. Jeff White had a stellar game in goal, making 13 saves on his way to being named Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
Mercyhurst dropped to 18-1 this season. It played seven one-goal games, going 6-1. The Lakers have appeared in three NCAA Championship games, with each having a one-goal decision. They fell, 6-5, to Le Moyne in 2007 before beating Adelphi, 9-8, in the 2011 title match.
The Dolphins moved to 18-2 and won their fourth NCAA Championship.