On the men’s side, the first national championship game of the weekend took place today between the Le Moyne Dolphins and the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears for the DII lacrosse crown.
LE MOYNE DOLPHINS Secure DII Men’s Lacrosse National Title
A Tale of Two Halves
The Lenoir-Rhyne Bears, playing in their first-ever national championship, came out looking like a team that belonged. Much of the conversation leading up to the game was whether or not the moment would be to big for the Bears; if they could handle playing a team of this caliber on this grand of a stage. Through one half, one thing was for sure: they not only deserved to be there, but they could hang.
Led by All-American Eric Dickinson, LR jumped out to a 3-2 lead after one, taking full advantage at the face-off dot (Zach Bodeau was 5-of-6 in quarter one). The game itself was quite sloppy as both teams struggled with footing, seemingly random turnovers, and subpar passing.
The Le Moyne Dolphins flipped the faceoff advantage with Sam Kury going 4-of-6 in the second quarter. These added possessions led to increased scoring opportunities and helped Matt Hutchings score his second and third of the game for Le Moyne. Both goalies played well as LR’s Noah Johnson had 10 saves and Le Moyne’s Frank Delia had nine.
Score at half-time, 5-5.
The second half is where Le Moyne’s experience and depth really began to show. Hutchings continued to dominate, adding two more goals in the third and helping the Dolphins to go on a five-goal unanswered run. Meanwhile, Le Moyne’s defense made it its business to limit Eric Dickinson’s looks. Without Dickinson scoring, the Bears struggled to find another threat, ultimately settling for subpar or outside shots. LR could only manage two shots on cage in the third.
Heading into the fourth with a 10-5 lead, it seemed the Dolphins had the Bears completely figured out. LR was able to get more shots on cage (7) but Delia saved all but one. The Dolphins seemed comfortable down the stretch, using all of the shot clock, playing stout defense, and aiming to secure the championship.
When the final whistle blew, Le Moyne stood alone atop DII men’s lacrosse, 12-6, the sixth time the program has reached the mountaintop.
Le Moyne Dolphins vs Lenoir-Rhyne Bears Outstanding Performances
LR: Zach Bodeau, FOS, 12 Groundballs,
Le Moyne: Frank Delia, Goalie, 15 saves, 6 GA
Le Moyne: Zach Pierce, M, 2 goals, 5 assists
Le Moyne: Matt Hutchings, A, 6 goals on 8 shots
LR: Eric Dickinson, A, 4 goals