D3 are the Iron Men of college lacrosse. The pod system forces teams to play on very little rest and is taxing for the coaches and the players. It forces teams to dig in and find an extra gear and tests coaches on preparing for games on short notice. This year it gave us some of the most exciting games of the season and ultimately gave us an all Liberty League National Championship game. RIT makes a return to Hartford, while Union is making its first trip. Two of the most consistent and best teams in D3 lacrosse will meet on the final day.
On the Division 2 side, Tampa and JB Clarke are heading to the title game in his first season with the Spartans, while in the North, the Mercy Mavericks are going to the title game for the first time after beating Le Moyne in double OT. There will be a first time champion in Division 2 lacrosse this season.
Christopher Newport Pod
York (10) – Christopher Newport (9) OT
One of the big surprises to many D3 lacrosse fans this weekend, the York Spartans took down CNU in OT on Saturday. CNU erased a 5-2 halftime deficit to draw even going into the fourth quarter. From there, it was back and forth until overtime. CNU brought the pressure to start overtime despite a save and a caused turnover in the first minute of play. The Spartans failed to clear twice over the next two minutes, but Michael came up with another clutch save to set up the game-winning possession for the offense on the other end. York caught CNU on their heels and scored quickly in transition to win a date with Union on Sunday.
Union (14) – Gettysburg (13)
This one came down to the final possession and ended in dramatic fashion which was the story of the weekend in the CNU Pod. Union scored two goals in the final 90 seconds to win the game in wild fashion. Senior Keaton McCann scored the game-winning goal with less than 10 seconds remaining as the Union Dutchmen advanced to the semifinals for the first time in program history with a thrilling 14-13 comeback victory over the Bullets.
Union (11) – York (8)
The Dutchmen scored the first six goals of the game and jumped out to an 8-2 halftime lead and cruised to an 11-8 win over the York Spartans on Sunday setting up a rematch with RIT for the National Championship. Union is making its first appearance in the D3 title game and has the opportunity to get some revenge on RIT after they dropped the regular season contest 14-13. Dan Donohue was a stud in goal for the Dutch coming up with 18 saves on the day.
RIT (20) – Bowdoin (14)
The Tigers out ran the Polar Bears in this one. A close first quarter was blown open in the second as RIT jumped out to a 13-6 halftime lead. RIT opened the second quarter with six-straight goals, including two goals by sophomore midfielder John Mozrall, to take a 12-5 lead. Bowdoin stopped the run with a goal, but RIT found the net with 2:50 remaining in the half. The Tigers went on a four-goal run to start the third quarter which stretched the lead to 17-6 and put the game out of reach.
Tufts (17) – Salisbury (10)
An up and down affair went the way of the Jumbos in this one. The key here was the pace of the Jumbos offense as they outshot the Seagulls 56-37. A 7-2 second quarter gave the Jumbos a 10-6 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish as they kept Salisbury at bay for the rest of the game and cruised to a 17-10 victory to set up a date with RIT in the D3 lacrosse semifinals.
RIT (26) – Tufts (15)
A game of runs that was an absolute shootout that saw the game go the way of the Tigers. RIT was on another level in this one as they opened up with a 10-1 run in the first quarter that gave them the juice to keep the Jumbos at bay for the rest of the game. The Jumbos made it interesting with a five-goal run to make it 10-6, but RIT was able to bookend the Tufts runs with runs of their own as they cruised to a 26-15 win and sets up an all Liberty League battle in the D3 Lacrosse National Championship.
Mercy (12) – Le Moyne (11) 2OT
Quite possibly the game of the weekend across all NCAA Divisions, seriously. Neither team led by more than one goal at any point which needed two overtimes to decide a winner. A tremendous win for Coach Levine, Coach Corace, and the Mavericks. PJ Argiros was a stud at the faceoff X for the Mavericks and won the opening faceoff in the second overtime that set up the game winning goal. The Mavericks advance to the National Championship game for the first time in program history and men’s lacrosse becomes the first program in Mercy College history to advance to a National Championship game.
Tampa (19) – Limestone (8)
This was simply a dominant win for the Spartans. The Spartans jumped out to a 17-2 lead through the first three quarters as they cruised to a 19-8 win. The Spartans led wire-to-wire and held the nation’s second-ranked scoring offense to just a single goal over the first 30 minutes of play. Tampa pushed the lead to double digits by halftime and would not look back from there as it eventually built up an insurmountable 15-goal cushion through the end of the third. Mercy stands between them and their first National Championship.