Lenior Rhyne took care of Wingate in the SAC championship game, helping complete the conference’s self-cannibalism, Belmont Abbey came out on top in the CC, Tufts made a serious statement and more happened this week in men’s DII and DIII lacrosse.
You can get caught up on last week’s DII/DIII round up here.
Lenior Rhyne Completes SAC Cannibalism
Lenoir Rhyne 19 – Wingate 14
Did I say the SAC was going to cannibalize itself?
Lenior Rhyne finally returned the favor to the visiting Bulldogs in the SAC Tournament championship. During Tim Boyle’s tenure, it has always seemed that the Bulldogs have the Bears’ number in the conference championship. They’ve had some great battles over the last few years, and this one was no different. Myles Moffat and Eric Dickinson led the way for LR as it avenged a regular season loss and brought home the tournament title.
This conference is a two-bid league at minimum for the NCAA Tournament, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we get Bears versus Bulldogs, Part III in the next month. Congrats to both programs on great years to date. Both coaches run first-class programs, and if I was a betting man, I would say the first SAC team to win a natty will be one of these two programs.
Belmont Abbey 12 – Mount Olive 7
Belmont Abbey’s season has been up and down, to say the least. It’s always good and always in the thick of things when it comes to conference and NCAA glory. For the most part, though, 2021 looked as though it was Mount Olive’s year to take over as top dog in Conference Carolinas with Limestone’s departure for the SAC.
But BA would have none of that as the Crusaders avenged their early-season loss to the Trojans and claimed the CC championship in style. How resilient is this group? Back-to-back losses bookended the start and finish to their regular season, but that didn’t matter. The Crusaders turned it on when it mattered most and threw a wrench into the NCAA Tournament field. I’d love to see them in it, but they may get snubbed, much like Wingate did in 2018 after they beat LR in the SAC title game but didn’t make the NCAA Tournament.
JUMBOS ROLL IN THE DI/DIII MATCHUP NO ONE KNEW THEY WANTED!
Tufts 15 – Dartmouth 9
We’re not taking anything away from these teams. This was a very good game that saw Tufts dominate the second and third quarters. What I will say is that Dartmouth looked like it was its first game and was without many players, and that included key upperclassmen. I feel for the teams in both the NESCAC and the Ivies for what they’ve had to deal with, and it’s just great to see these teams play.
A lot of questions were answered in this one. Yes, Tufts is legit. Yes, Tufts can beat Division I teams. These were questions we knew before this game even happened, so let’s not make a huge deal about this one. Dartmouth looked very young at times, but the future is very bright there. Coach Callahan has done a great job in raising the level of the program, and there are some exciting times ahead for the Big Green once we get past this COVID situation.
Centre 11 – Rhodes 4
Congrats to the Colonels on winning both the regular season and conference tournament championships in the SAA. A strong defense stifled the Rhodes Lynx in this one as Centre punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
This has been a steady climb for Coach Zimmerman’s squad as it has improved dramatically over the last few years. He came into a good situation as Coach Sharbaugh left him with some pieces, but this group has bought into his vision, and now it is the class of the SAA. The Colonels blew this one open in the second quarter as they went on a 5-1 run and never looked back.