FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (May 24, 2009) – The C.W. Post Pioneers refused to let rain and lightning ruin things as they edged out previously undefeated LeMoyne College, 8-7, to capture the NCAA Division II men’s lacrosse championship title in front of more than 24,000 fans Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
The Pioneers in their 50th season, conclude the 2009 campaign with a 15-1 overall record – a program best. LeMoyne ends its season at 16-1 overall.
“It’s been a great year for us at C.W. Post,” said C.W. Post head coach John Jez. “We had one hiccup earlier in the year, and today, we overcame that hiccup. The seniors have worked so hard the whole year. Greg Cerar and Dan Sciulla led us the whole way. We’re just really happy. Our university is really happy, and we’re just proud of all our guys.”
The title is the second for C.W. Post as the first came in 1996 with a 15-10 win over cross-town rival Adelphi University.
Senior attacker Greg Cerar (Massapequa Park, N.Y.) led the offense with four goals, including three in the third quarter, and was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player.
Additionally, senior goaltender Dan Sciulla (Merrick, N.Y.) made 13 stops, including seven saves in the fourth quarter to protect the Pioneers’ lead.
LeMoyne held its only lead of the game on the game’s first goal when sophomore attacker Jack Venditti (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) knocked in a quick shot in out front of the net 12 seconds into the quarter to give the Dolphins a 1-0 lead.
The Pioneers got on the board minutes later when junior midfielder Joe Meo (West Sayville, N.Y.) fired in a shot from 20 yards out at 12:45. C.W. Post took its first lead just over a minute later when senior attacker Matt Dimler (Long Valley, N.J.) hit the high corner of the net from out front.
Senior attacker Dave Loftus (Merrick, N.Y.) boosted the Pioneers’ lead to 3-1 when he fired in a sling shot that bounced into the net at 6:46.
LeMoyne scored its second goal with 1:18 left in the quarter when sophomore attacker Jack Harmatuk (Syracuse, N.Y.) scored on a shot from 20 yards out.
The Pioneer offense continued when Loftus retrieved a ground ball and put it into the goal with 26 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Both teams’ defensive units locked down the offense as the only goal scored came from LeMoyne sophomore midfielder Jikado Hanna (Hopkinton, Mass.) with 4:08 remaining before halftime.
At the half, the Pioneers had outshot the Dolphins 21-15 and headed to the locker room with a 4-3 lead.
In the third quarter, LeMoyne took advantage of a man-up opportunity when senior midfielder Brooks Robinson (Preble, N.Y.) rebounded a shot into the goal to tie the game at 4-all.
C.W. Post responded when Cerar scored his first goal on a backhanded shot from 10 yards out to put the Pioneers back on top, 5-4.
The Dolphins knotted the score up again when sophomore midfielder Tyler Sennett (Syracuse, N.Y.) scored from out front with 7:38 on the clock.
The Pioneers’ solidified their lead in the game when Cerar pumped in two more goals in the final minutes of the third quarter to give the Pioneers a 7-5 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Dolphins turned up the pressure on the Pioneers in the fourth as they outshot the visitors, 18-2.
Harmatuk fired in two goals in the quarter, including the final goal of the game with 1:06 left to spare, but it was Cerar’s fourth goal with 1:28 left in regulation that made the difference and preserved the win for C.W. Post.
Junior midfielder Mike Cama (Levittown, N.Y.) was 12 for 19 on face-offs and led the Pioneers with 10 ground balls.
Harmatuk led the Dolphins offensively, registering a hat trick in the game. Senior goaltender Doug McIver (Altamount, N.Y.) made 11 saves in the net, including five in the first quarter for LeMoyne.
Cerar, who was named the USILA and ECC Outstanding Player of the Year this season, concludes his four-year career at C.W. Post with 128 goals and 80 assists for 200 points.
LeMoyne outshot C.W. Post 41-33 while the Pioneers held a 40-27 advantage in ground balls. The Pioneers were 19 for 25 on clear attempts compared to the Dolphins who were 16 for 18.
|Jack Harmatuk||(3, 0)|
|Matt Chadderdon||(0, 1)|
|Jack Venditti||(1, 0)|
|Tyler Sennett||(1, 0)|
|Brooks Robinson||(1, 0)|
|Jikado Hanna||(1, 0)|
|Brian Welch||(0, 1)|
|Doug Mciver||11 (0.579)|