Foxboro, MA- Vito DeMola's four goals with two assists led the Golden Lions to their first ever Men's Lacrosse Division II National Championship and name him Most Outstanding Player. The No. 4 seeded Dowling (13-2) finished with an 11-10 win over the No. 3 seeded Limestone College Saints (17-2).
The Golden Lions built a 4-0 lead in the first half shuttng the Saints out of the first quarter for the just the second time this season. DeMola opened the scoring with an unnassisted goal in the third minute of play. Brendan Hayes found Michael Brennan who buried it in the net with just over four minutes left in the quarter.
Back to back scores from Tom Cleary and John Amato, both assisted by Hayes, gave DC a 4-0 lead with 6:30 left in the half. Cleary found the corner of the net with an underhand shot off a quick pass from Hayes. After a LC shot goes wide, Hayes caused a turnover and found Amato in transition who found the net just before being knocked to the turf. The Saints rallied back for three unaswered goals to close out the half behind the Golden Lions by just one (4-3).
The Saints caught up to the Golden Lions at the 11:02 mark in the third quarter with a goal from Anthony Starnino. Senior Matthew Muzio put Dowling back on top with his eleventh goal of the season that landed just inside the far post. Limestone got two goals in just over a minute for a 6-5 advantage. With 3:29 remaining in the third quarter, a extra man opportunity saw DeMola feeding Kevin McElhone inside to tie up at 6. The Saints anwered back at the 2:03 mark to take a 7-6 lead into the fourth and final quarter.
Dowling didn't trail long, three minutes into the fouth quarter DeMola netted his second goal of the day and Billy Richardson came around from the back of the cage to fake a pass to the wing shooter and found the back of the net to give the Golden Lions a lead that they would hold onto for the remainder of the game. Three consecutive DC scores extended the lead to three (11-8). Danny Abbene took a pass from DeMola and found the to corner inbetween DeMolas third and fourth goals of the afternoon. The Saints turned in back to back scores to reach within one with under two minutes remaining.
In the final 30 seconds the Saints fired off three shots on goal with two just wide and Dougherty came up big with his final of six saves as Matthew Lauria scooped up the ball as the final seconds ticked down capturing Dowling's first NCAA Men's Lacrosse National Championship.
Seven Golden Lions contributed goals with Hayes dishing out three assists.
Dowling's defense turned in a outstanding performance holding the Saints scoreless through the first 21:30 to start the game, their longest drought of the season, was anchored by Lauria with three caused turnovers and six ground balls.
At the line, Louis Riley won 14 of 25 face offs.
For the Saints, Starnino and Corey Rich had two goals apiece
Limestone vs. Dowling