Mercyhurst vs. Adelphi
May 29, 2011
The Game Story:
BALTIMORE - The third-ranked Mercyhurst College men's lacrosse team captured its first NCAA National Championship in program history by defeating No. 5 Adelphi, 9-8, Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.

Junior Ian Wild scored four goals, including the game-winner, to earn the game's most outstanding player award. Sophomore Brian Scheetz scored once and dished out three assists, and junior Kyle Kallay tacked on a pair of goals.

Playing in their second national championship game in program history, the Lakers (14-2) went toe-to-toe with the Panthers at the home stadium of the National Football League's Baltimore Ravens.

Both teams traded three goals aside in the first quarter, with Adelphi beginning the scoring just 22 seconds in. Danny Blau broke the ice when he drove from the right wing and let a shot loose from about five yards out at 13:38. Mercyhurst would answer back shortly after as Wild ran along the top of the box and found the back of the net from dead center to even the slate at the 13:00 mark.

After nearly a five-minute scoring draught, Joe Vitale got the offense going again when he took a pass at the point, drove down the slot and beat senior Zach Nash with a knuckleball that trickled over the line, giving the visitors a 2-1 advantage with 7:17 to play. The lead would be short-lived though as Wild tied the game at two on a play that saw him beat his man from behind the cage before sending a shot over the netminder's head at 4:21.

Adelphi and Mercyhurst then traded goals over a one-minute and 21-second span to end the frame. Following a Panther strike at 3:30, Kallay connected off a pass from Scheetz set up behind the cage at 2:09 to take the two teams into the second with a 3-3 game.

Playing from behind for most of the first, Mercyhurst gained the lead in the second by scoring the final two goals after Vitale put the Panthers in front, 4-3, at the 13:35 mark. Senior Trevor Rice knotted the game at four off a feed from senior Andy Winslow, and senior Kevin Coholan put the Lakers in front for good with a low shot from the restraining line with :02 showing on the clock.

The two teams would continue to exchange goals in the third, with the Lakers ending the 15-minute session up 9-7. Wild and Kallay connected back-to-back, with Wild beating his man on goal line extended at 13:27 and Kallay firing a shot through traffic on a man-up situation at 10:08.

Adelphi started to build some momentum after that, outscoring the Lakers 3-2 to close out the quarter. Scheetz wiped out a goal by Kieran Riegel and made it 8-5 at the time, and Wild added his fourth of the day on an unassisted play following with 2:15 to play. Tommy Susko kept the Panthers in it with a goal at the 1:22 mark.

Despite combining for 16 goals through the first three quarters, neither team would find the back of the net until the 6:25 mark of the fourth, when Blau cut the lead to one after beating a Mercyhurst defenseman while coming around the crease.

It would be the last goal scored as Mercyhurst took possession and started to kill the clock until a caused turnover by Adelphi with under 20 seconds to play almost put the Lakers' championship hopes in jeopardy. Adelphi's Riegel scooped up the loose ball and proceeded on a breakaway into Laker territory, where he would let one final shot fly. Nash made the save with his shoulder and directed the ball to senior Matt Scherer, who gained possession to seal the win.

With his last save, Nash finished the day with eight and moved his record to 14-2, setting a new program record for most wins by a goalie in a single season. For Adelphi, Eric Janssen made 13 saves as the Lakers held a 42-36 advantage in shots.

By limiting the Panthers to eight goals, the 2011 Lakers become the only team in the history of the program to hold every one of its opponents to single-digit goal totals. They also become the only team to win 14 games, surpassing the 2010 squad that won 13 contests.