Dolphins Advance to Fifth Straight NCAA Final
from press release
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Junior attackmen Jack
Harmatuk (Syracuse, N.Y./Syracuse U.) and Vinnie Alexander
(Syracuse, N.Y./Onondaga C.C.) scored three goals each to lead the
third-ranked Le Moyne College men's lacrosse team to an 11-7 win
over fifth-ranked Limestone in the NCAA Division II National
Semifinals on Saturday afternoon at the Thomas J. Niland Athletic
With the win, the Dolphins advance to their fifth consecutive National Championship. The Dolphins will face top-ranked C.W. Post on Sunday, May 30 at 3:00 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Information on tickets, tailgating and parking for next Sunday's game will be available on Monday at 5:00 p.m. at www.lemoynedolphins.com/ncaa.
The Saints, appearing in the national semifinals for the 11th straight year, opened the scoring in the game with a pair of goals over the first 3:13 of the game. Riley Loewen recorded the first goal on an extra-man opportunity off a feed from Mike Poerstel at the 12:45 mark. Less than one minute later, Jake Rogalia, who played his high school lacrosse at nearby Liverpool, picked up a ground ball off an errant shot and scored on the right side of the goal.
The Dolphins responded with consecutive goals to even the score at two apiece. Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year Matt Chadderdon (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) tallied his 34th goal of the year 1:14 after Rogalia scored to cut Le Moyne's deficit in half. Alexander dodged through the middle of the Limestone defense to score his first goal of the contest with just under eight minutes remaining in the quarter.
After neither team scored over the final 7:58 of the opening quarter, junior defensive midfielder Jikado Hanna (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton/Bridgton Academy) picked up the ball off the opening face-off of the second quarter and fired the ball into the back of the net to give the Dolphins the lead, which they would not relinquish the rest of the game. After Le Moyne got the ball off the ensuing face-off, Harmatuk extended his team's lead by scoring in his 31st consecutive game at the 13:33 mark. Loewen pulled the Saints back within a goal 37 seconds later with an unassisted tally.
Following five minutes and 25 seconds of scoreless action, Alexander picked up the ball after Limestone goalkeeper Steve Gartelman stopped a shot by senior midfielder Brian Orlando (Great Falls, Va./Flint Hill/Bridgton Academy) and put it into the back of the net. Poerstel finished off a pass from Teddy Prager with 2:41 left in the half to get the Saints within a goal for the final time. Following a save by sophomore goalkeeper Matt Krupka (Nedrow, N.Y./Onondaga) on a shot by Rogalia with 46 seconds left in the half, Hanna cleared the ball and rifled a shot from the top of the restraining box by Gartelman with 16 seconds remaining to give the Dolphins a 6-4 lead at the intermission.
Le Moyne extended its lead to 8-4 by scoring twice over the opening 5:44 of the second half. Chadderdon scored his team-leading 35th goal of the season at the 11:47 mark and Harmatuk finished off an extended possession by finding the back of the net with 9:16 left.
The Saints got one goal back with 3:53 remaining in the quarter as Jackson Decker recorded an unassisted tally. In the final minute of the quarter, senior defenseman Paul Sullivan (Buffalo, N.Y./St. Francis) knocked the ball out of Decker's stick and defensive player of the year candidate Drew Bezek (Lowville, N.Y./Lowville) picked up the loose ball and raced up field. Bezek's shot on goal was blocked by a Limestone defender, but Alexander picked up the ball and blasted the ball into the net.
After neither team scored over the opening five and one-half minutes of the fourth quarter, Harmatuk registered his 30th goal of the year to put the Dolphins in front 10-5. Less than four minutes later, junior attackman Jack Venditti (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C. W. Baker) came from behind the goal off a restart and scored just outside the crease on the right side of the goal.
Sam Buppert scored for Limestone less than one minute later to pull the Saints within 11-6. Decker finished off the scoring in the game with an unassisted tally with 1:26 left in the contest.
Krupka made a career-high 15 saves in the contest for the Dolphins, while Gartelman turned aside nine shots for the Saints. Limestone held a 38-36 advantage in shots in the game, just the third time this season the Dolphins have been out-shot (Merrimack, Bentley).
Le Moyne (15-1), which defeated Limestone in the NCAA Semifinals for the third time in the last five years (2006 – 22-3, 2007 – 8-5), will be appearing in its fifth consecutive National Championship game and its sixth in the last seven years. The Dolphins fell to C.W. Post, 8-7, in last year's title game.
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