PHILADELPHIA - Championship Most Outstanding Player Mike McDonald (Latham, N.Y./Shaker) scored four goals and assisted on another to lead Le Moyne to a 12-5 win over Dowling in the NCAA Division II Men's Lacrosse Championship in front of a record 23,990 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The Dolphins (18-0) cap a perfect season with their second national championship in three seasons, while Dowling closes out its season at 12-2.
"This is the most determined group of 18-to-22 year olds I've ever been around," ninth year head coach Dan Sheehan said after the game. "We were fortunate this year to have a group that does it on both ends of the field. We were able to send our senior class off the field with two national championships and only two losses in their career."
Le Moyne's vaunted defense won the battle between the nation's top-ranked defense and the top offense. The Golden Lions came into the championship averaging 15.6 goals per game, but were limited to their lowest output of the season. Le Moyne's close defensemen Travis Tarr (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn), Matt Juriga (Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Forks) and Chris Doran (East Syracuse, N.Y./East Syracuse-Minoa), who were each named to an All-America team this season, played well in front of senior goalkeeper Jared Corcoran (Concord, N.H./Concord) who made seven of his 12 saves in the second half.
Dowling hopped out to a 2-1 lead in the game's first four minutes and 32 seconds, but Matt Cassalia (Camillus, N.Y./West Genesee) answered off the game's fourth faceoff to knot the score at two. McDonald scored the final goal of the first quarter and the first goal of the second to give Le Moyne its first two-goal lead, and the lead for good, at 4-2. After Chris Dupignac trimmed it to 4-3, Jason Longo (Cazenovia, N.Y./Cazenovia) flicked his first goal of the game past Dowling goalkeeper Nick Tracey to give Le Moyne a 5-3 lead at the half.
Sophomore Brian Cost (Camillus, N.Y./West Genesee) and Cassalia opened the second half scoring for Le Moyne as the Dolphins built a 7-3 edge. Dowling trimmed the lead to 7-4 with just under seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, but McDonald answered with his third goal of the game to put Le Moyne back up 8-4.
Sophomore Mike McLaughlin (Syracuse, N.Y./Westhill), McDonald, Nate Evans (Canandaigua, N.Y./Canandaigua) and Longo scored goals over the final 26 minutes to deliver the final 12-5 margin.
With the win, Le Moyne's senior class closes out its four seasons with a 62-2 record, four NCAA tournament trips and two national championships.
|Mike Mcdonald||(4, 1)|
|Brian Cost||(2, 1)|
|Jason Longo||(2, 1)|
|Matt Cassalia||(2, 0)|
|Brad Wolken||(0, 1)|
|Mike Mclaughlin||(1, 0)|
|Nate Evans||(1, 0)|
|Jared Corcoran||12 (0.706)|