Limestone @ LeMoyne
Two powerhouse teams going head to head in this battle. LeMoyne enters this semi with a perfect record and Limestone has only slipped up once this year. As always, LeMoyne is getting it done by committee. Their score sheets often have many different names on them. The Dolphins are being led by players such as Tyler Prevost, Nick Blumer and Ander Chadderdon. Jeff White has proven himself between the pipes and if he gets hot can be a force in the touranment. White has a solid defense infront of him that has been one of the best over the past two years.
Limstone has been rolling teams this year except for one single loss to Merrimack midway through the season. Limestone has been relying on their high powered offense to carry them throughout the season. That high powered offense led by the dynamic duo of Riley Loewen and Shayne Jackson. Jackson and Loewen lead the team in scoring and both players have over 60 points so far this season.
I am waiting to see if LeMoyne’s defense is going to be able to contain Jackson and Loewen. Stopping those two players is no easy task, they usually end up getting their points and winning the game. What concerns me is all the close games that Limestone has been in. Against ranked opponents they are 2-1. Recently they easily beat a solid Dowling team, but they lost to Merrimack and won a 1 goal game against Pfeiffer this season. LeMoyne is no push over and I question if the Saints can gut out a win in a dog fight.
Dowling @ Mercyhurst
Coach Chris Ryan and Tim Boyle are very good friends, but don’t be mistaken as these men would do almost anything to win this game. Earlier this year Mercyhurst got the best of Dowling in a come from behind 7-6 win. The only other loss Dowling has been handed has come from Limestone. This Dowling squad is an excellent team and will be a force in the playoffs.
Coach Boyle has a handful of post season experience and no doubt has prepared his team well. The Golden Lions are led by a trio of attackmen including Vito Dimola. Dimola was named to the All ECC team and currently leads his team in points. He hasn’t put up the same amount of numbers as last year but Dimola is a stud who is very dangers. Mercyhurst will likely put sophomore Andrew Wagner to guard Dimola – this is the match up everyone should watch. Regular season means nothing now.
I always say which ever team is playing the best lacrosse is the last one standing in the NCAA tournament, and that goes for all levels. Dowling has a very good team that is capable of playing with the best of them, but they have to make a long 8 hour trek across the great state of Pennsylvania up to sweet lady Tulio against a hostile ‘Hurst crowd – that is NOT easy.
Mercyhurst is led by junior attack man Brian Scheetz. If your going by straight statistics, Mercyhurst is never as high as the other teams – that doesn’t mean their players aren’t as good. Scheetz is the quarterback of the offense and can make a team pay. He recently broke the all time points record as a JUNIOR. Scheetz is accompanied by Brady Heseltine and Kyle Kallay at attack. Everyone knows how I love my Canadians, well Scheetz has two of them to choose from. Kyle and Brady are 2nd and 3rd on the team in points respectively – That is a pretty solid attack lineup.
However, the real story is the Mercyhurst defense who has only allowed 67 goals all season long. The smothering defense only surrenders 22.5 shots a game. These numbers are staggering and should scare the living daylights out of Dowling. Goaltender Michael Grace has a 4.88 GAA average. I haven’t checked the stats but that has to be up there for top of DII NCAA. Long stick midfielder Greg Bensman was recently named player of the year for the ECC. Mercyhurst has the weapons and the experience but they need to put it all together in order to take this one home.
Fearless Forecast: I’m going with LeMoyne over Limestone 13-10. LeMoyne has solid systems that will be tough to beat. Although if the weather is warm and humid look for an advantage for Limestone.
I have to go with Mercyhurst over Dowling 9-8. Flawless record so far this year, and I can see this team stopping at nothing to win this game. Lakers don’t lose often at home so keep that in mind and Chris Ryan is hungry for another shot at Memorial Day weekend.
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