SUNY Canton prevailed in the first North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Men's Lacrosse semifinal game today, 15-11 over Dean College. The second semifinal finished shortly thereafter, with New England College beating SUNY Delhi, 12-3. The Roos and the Pilgrims will face off next Saturday, May 4, in Canton, NY for the 2019 NAC Championship.
This year marks the inaugural men's lacrosse championship alliance with the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC). The top-two regular season finishers from each conference faced off (#1 NAC vs. #2 NECC and #1 NECC vs. #2 NAC) in semifinal games for the right to compete for the NAC Championship title next Saturday, May 4. The winner will advance to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament as the representative from the NAC.
Semifinal 1: SUNY Canton 15 / Dean 11
Canton, NY – Senior Josh Yelvington set a number of single-season and career program records as the SUNY Canton (10-6) men's lacrosse team earned a 15-11 win versus Dean College (7-6) to earn a berth in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championship. The Roos, the No. 1 NAC seed will host New England College (NEC) next Saturday in the championship game. NEC, the New England Collegiate Conference's No. 1 seed defeated SUNY Delhi, the NAC No. 2 seed, 12-3.
Yelvington scored six goals and added an assist on Saturday as he now owns the Roos D-III era single-season records for both goals (48) and points (70). The senior also moved into first place in the record books with 116 career goals and 153 career points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Roos jumped out to a 4-2 lead after the opening quarter behind three goals and an assist from Yelvington. Canton held an 11-5 shots on goal advantage over the opening 15 minutes.
- SUNY Canton continued to control play in the second half as they took an 8-4 lead into intermission. The hosts held a 19-11 shots on goal advantage.
- Yelvington led all players with four goals and an assist, Jacob Facey had two goals and an assist and Hunter Olsen and Noah Robinson recorded a goal and assist each. Louis Piccolo paced the Bulldogs with a pair of goals.
- Canton held an 11-4 lead in the third quarter but Dean scored three of the next four goals to get within 12-7 after three quarters.
- The Bulldogs trimmed the lead to 12-8 and 13-9 in the fourth quarter but Canton would not allow the lead to get any closer than four.
- Yelvington led all players with seven points and six goals. Olsen also recorded a hat trick and added an assist. Andrew Garrett totaled two goals and two assists, while Facey and Robinson had two goals and an assist each.
- Nick Walberger won 16 faceoffs and picked up a game-high 10 ground balls. Eli Kocsis recorded eight ground balls in the midfield, while Blaze Benedict caused a game-best four caused turnovers to go with three ground balls.
- Kody Kocsis made 13 saves in the win, while Alex Govoni turned aside 17 shots in the loss.
- Anthony Trasacco totaled five goals and an assist for the Bulldogs, while Brody Fredericks dished out a game-best five assists. Louis Piccolo also recorded a hat trick and Juniel Jordan found the back of the net twice.
- The Roos held the upper hand in shots on goal (32-24), ground balls (55-34) and faceoff wins (18-11).
Semifinal 2: New England College 12 / SUNY Delhi 3
SUNY Delhi finished the season with an 11-6 overall record, after entering the tournament as the NAC's number-two seed following a 5-1 record in conference competition. New England, now 8-8, received the top seed from the NECC after going 3-0 in league play. The Pilgrims advance to the crossover conference championship next Saturday, May 4, traveling to face the NAC's top seed in SUNY Canton.
Despite the Broncos holding a 16-14 first-half lead in shots, including firing 11 shots on goal, Pilgrims goalie William Platt kept Delhi off the board entering halftime. New England scored three in the first period and two more in the second for a 5-0 advantage at intermission. Beyond Platt recording eight saves, the Broncos were also bitten by the bars, with two shots hitting off the crossbar and another connecting with the post. Delhi Goalie Travis Anderson and the Broncos defense forced the hosts into 12 turnovers held a perfect 11-for-11 on clears.
Delhi finally broke through in the third quarter when Brandon McGrath connected for a score from John Rohan with 7:29 to play in the period. It only cut the Pilgrims' lead to 8-1, however, as NEC put up five goals in the third quarter to lead, 10-1, entering the fourth. New England carried on with two goals to begin the final period for its largest lead at 12-1 with 10:22 to go. The Broncos replied with two unanswered to close things out, starting with Rohan earning his NAC-leading 54th goal of the year with 5:39 to play, followed by Travis Biggs getting on the board with 1:06 remaining.
New England finished with a 38-34 lead in shots, though Broncos midfielder Nick Dower won 13-of-18 faceoffs. Anderson recorded nine total saves, while the Delhi defense forced the Pilgrims into 21 turnovers, cleared 23-of-26 attempts, and held NEC scoreless on five extra-man opportunities.
Reilly Parker had a game-high four goals and also added an assist for New England College. Charles Hacking scored a hat trick, Connor Smith and Brendan Gruning each scored twice, and Patrick Storie added a goal for the Pilgrims.