When people talk college lacrosse it’s usually the big universities in division one, Denver, Maryland Notre Dame, etc. But when Memorial Day weekend hits, there is plenty of action in divisions two and three. Such was the case today in Philadelphia.
The LeMoyne Dolphins (20-0) defeated Limestone Saints (21-1) 8-4 to win their fifth National Championship. LeMoyne is about 10 minutes from downtown Syracuse, while Limestone is in Gaffney, SC. LeMoyne had the nations top defense while Limestone was the nation’s top offensive team.
LeMoyne started the scoring at 2:31 as Bailey Wilkinson (soph-m) scored his ninth of the season. Matt Taylor would score his first of two on the day at 5:15 of the first to give the Dolphins an early 2-0 lead. Then the nations top offense would get their engines started. Jordan Saunderson would score twice just forty seven seconds apart to tie the game at two.
Both defenses would then take center stage as Patrick Sherridan (Limestone) and Alex Krawec (LeMoyne) kept the offenses at bay for almost eleven minutes. Then at 6:36 of quarter two, Limestone would take the lead as Ben Higgins would notch his twenty-third of the season. Matt Taylor would get his second of the day just three minutes later to tie the game, but Mike Messenger would score goal number sixty of his season with 3:55 to go in the first half, as Limestone would take a 4-3 lead into the half.
When the teams came out for the second half, one thing was missing. The Limestone offense was invisible. They had chances, but LeMoyne defensemen Brendan Entenmann who was named the Most Outstanding Player was as strong as can be. His main job was to defend first team all-American Kyle Rhatigan. Rhatigan had 100 points on the season (58 goals/42 assists). But on this day, not only was he held scoreless by Entenmann, but Rhatigan couldn’t even register a shot. Whenever Limstone had the ball, their were “Fins to the left….Fins to the right”
The LeMoyne offense did show up, as Mike Jenkins would score his first of two for the only goal in the third quarter to tie the game at 4. In the final fifteen minutes, Logan Thomas and Mike Jenkins would score fifty-five seconds apart to give the Dolphins a 6-4 lead, Logan Thomas would score his second with just 4:06 remaining to increase the lead to 7-4. Dan Entenmann would get the party started by scoring the final goal with 1:58 remaining as the celebration started for the Lemoyne Dolphins.
The game marked the first time in Division II history that two undefeated teams met for the National Championship.
LeMoyne held Limestone scoreless for the final 33:55 of playing time.
Attendance : 23,015 (for both Div II & III games) 3,456 more then last years.
12 combined goals was second lowest in a Division II Final.
This was the 3rd meeting of the two teams for the Championship, 8th time they faced in a NCAA Tournament, and 15th overall meeting (LeMoyne 2-1, 5-3, all-time 11-4).
Not So Fun Facts: Limestone
Offense was held to a season low four goals, 9 fewer then their precious low of 13.
Their Division II record 33 game winning streak snapped.
10th NCAA Championship appearance since 2000.
Won eight consecutive NCAA Tournamentgames til today.
Fun Facts: LeMoyne.
5th National Championship.
9th Appearance in NCAA Championship in last 13 years.
5-4 all time in title games.
Allowed four or less goals for the eight time this season.