Mercyhurst Wins Its First National Championship In Men’s NCAA D2 Lacrosse

National Champs!!!

Congratulations go out to the entire Mercyhurst Lakers coaching staff, team and all of their fans, for taking home their first ever NCAA Division 2 Men’s Lacrosse Championship!  The Lakers defeated Adelphi 9-8 in the National Championship yesterday, and while the game ended up coming down to the wire, Mercyhurst looked like the better team for much of the day.

Ian Wild emerged for the Lakers as their Championship game star, and he pumped in 4 goals, including the eventual game winner.  Not bad for a kid that scored 14 goals in 15 games before the NC game and only had 1 assist against CW Post in the Semi-final, which ‘Hurts won 14-4.  412 wasn’t surprised by Ian’s performance whatsoever though, because Wild is from Pittsburgh.  Baller.  Wild looked like he had been Mercyhurst’s top player all year.  He was that good on the day.

Ian Wild 2011_Mercyhurst_Adelphi_NCAA_19
Ian Wild was AWESOME for 'Hurst!

All Photos courtesy

The Laker defense also showed up yesterday and performed admirably, holding Adelphi to only 8 goals.  This was only the 4th time all year that Adelphi was held to less than 9 goals, and in 3 of those 4 games, Adelphi lost.  Mercyhurst knew what they had to do, and made sure they did it.

The game was physical from start to finish, and really showed what D2 lax is all about: hard-nosed play, some unreal goals, lots of active sticks on D and dominant performances at the X.  Both teams brought it in the physical play dept, and Adelphi in particular had a couple of “top ten goals of the weekend” type scores.  One of them was the silkiest face dodge ever by #9 on Adelphi… but even that wasn’t enough to keep the Lakers down.

National Champs!!!

I’m very excited for next year’s D2 Playoffs as more teams will be included and I can’t wait to see the first D2 West Coast team make an appearance. Denver proved to be a pretty good addition to D1, and with all the D2 teams popping up out West, it’s only a matter of time.  D2 gets very little love from the media, as there are only about 40 teams, but the quality of the lacrosse being played is of the highest level.  As the tournament expands, and more people get into D2 lax, this tourney will only get bigger and better.

Heartbreaking loss for Adelphi.

I was able to watch the game online, which was nice, but I was really disappointed that it wasn’t on TV.  CBS College Sports purchased the rights to the D2 (and D3) games, and I was hoping that like last year, they would show the games on TV.  They didn’t.  HUGE drop of the ball by CBS College Sports on that one.  If you’re going to purchase the rights, show them on TV.  The rest of your sports line-up this past weekend was a joke.  D2 and D3 lax WILL draw better than playoff baseball.  Get with the future, CBS!

That being said, the webcast was very well done, professional, watch-able and 100% clear.  When compared to MOST webcasts. this one was fantastic.  But it’s just not the same when watching it on a computer screen.

I also won’t let ESPN or ESPNU off the hook here.  If they truly love college lacrosse as much as they claim to, they NEED to show the championships for ALL THREE Divisions.  There is a huge gap in talent between D1 and D3 football and basketball, but lacrosse is simply not the same.  There is high quality ball being played in the MCLA, and THAT is on TV… so the NCAA D2 and D3 games should be shown as well.  It’s not that one is better than the other… it’s just that they are both GREAT, and Memorial Day Weekend is lax time.  Make it happen ESPN!  Be the true leader in sports broadcasting.