The NYIT Bears overcame a 5-2 first quarter deficit to stop the Lemoyne Dolphins in their quest for a three-peat in the DII Championship game. NYIT was led by a five-goal performance by the game's Most Outstanding Player, attackman Keith Henderson. Matt Messina also added five points in the win while Austin Carino and Ryan Amengual contributed hat tricks. The Dolphins had a balanced scoring effort with four different players registering three points in the losing effort. NYIT scored the last four goals in the last nine minutes, pushing the score to 16-11, which undermined what a competitive, exciting game this was.
From Press Release...
LE MOYNE’S QUEST FOR A THIRD STRAIGHT CROWN COMES UP SHORT WITH 16-11 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SETBACK TO NYIT
FOXBORO, Mass. – The Le Moyne College men’s lacrosse team came up just short in its quest for a third straight Division II National Championship and fell to NYIT, 16-11, in front of 24,317 at Gillette Stadium. The Dolphins finished the 2008 campaign at 15-2 and were led by Nick Gatto’s three-goal performance. The Bears captured the program’s fourth Division II crown and wrapped u p the season at 13-1. Keith Henderson, the game’s Most Outstanding Player, netted five goals for NYIT.
The Dolphins raced out to a 5-2 lead after one quarter of play and held a 14-6 advantage in the shots category in the game’s first fifteen minutes. Five different Dolphins connected on first-quarter scores. Brian Welch sent in the game’s first goal at the 9:08 mark and Gatto, Jack Venditti and Alex Bily followed with a trio of goals to push Le Moyne’s lead to 4-1. After Henderson scored his first goal of the game, Brian Cost tallied with 31 seconds remaining to give the Dolphins their largest lead of the game.
NYIT scored a man-up goal, their first of three on the afternoon, and cut Le Moyne’s lead to two when Austin Carino scored 13 seconds in to the second quarter. Henderson followed with his second goal of the game but Gatto contributed a man-up goal of his own to push Le Moyne’s lead back to two. After the Bears countered with a Matt Sullivan score, Le Moyne’s Mike McDonald netted his first of two goals to put the Dolphins back ahead by two. But NYIT countered with a four-goal attack in nine minutes, including two scores in the half’s final 15 seconds.
Henderson tallied his fourth goal of the game just over 30 seconds in to the second half but Le Moyne responded with a pair of scores from Tom Donahue and Bily to trim the Bears’ lead to one at 10-9. The seesaw affair continued throughout the third quarter. After an NYIT goal, McDonald scored his second goal of the game to trim NYIT’s lead to 11-10 at the 3:46 mark of the third quarter. But with 49 seconds left in the third quarter, Henderson answered with his fifth goal of the afternoon and his 62nd of the 2008 campaign.
Gatto scored Le Moyne’s final goal of the game at the 14:04 mark of the fourth quarter to bring the Dolphins within one at 12-11. But the Bears ended the game with four straight tallies, including a pair from the stick of Ryan Amengual.
Le Moyne’s seniors carried a majority of the scoring load in the final game of the group’s career. Gatto finished with three goals and McDonald and Bily each finished with two. Cost finished with three points, on a goal and two assists, and Donahue contributed two points of his own, with one goal and one assist.
A Dolphin defense, which had allowed a nation-best 3.27 goals per game coming into the game, allowed 16 goals for the first time since it allowed 20 scores against RIT in 1999. The team’s man-down unit entered the game with a .889 success rate but surrendered three goals to the Bears’ potent man-up attack. Goalkeeper Doug McIver finished with seven saves against NYIT’s high-powered offense.
Le Moyne’s senior class ends its time on the Heights with a 62-5 record that includes two National Championships and three Northeast-10 Conference Championships.
Michael Bersani – Sports Information Assistant
NYIT 16 Le Moyne 11
SCORE BY PERIOD 1 2 3 4 Tot
NYIT.................... 2 7 3 4 - 16
Le Moyne............ 5 2 3 1 - 11
GOALS: Henderson, Keith 5; Amengual, Ryan 3; Carino, Austin 3; Messina, Matt 2; Flowers, Paul 2; Sullivan, Matt 1.
ASSISTS: Messina, Matt 3; Garcia, Jared 1; Sullivan, Matt 1.
Le Moyne SCORING:
GOALS: Nick Gatto 3; Mike McDonald 2; Alex Bily 2; Brian Cost 1; Jack Venditti 1; Tom Donahue 1; Brian Welch 1.
ASSISTS: Brian Cost 2; Alex Bily 1; Tom Donahue 1; Mike McDonald 1; Mike Rabbitt 1; Jack Venditti 1.
|Alex Bily||(2, 1)|
|Mike Mcdonald||(2, 1)|
|Nick Gatto||(3, 0)|
|Brian Cost||(1, 2)|
|Jack Venditti||(1, 1)|
|Tom Donahue||(1, 1)|
|Mike Rabbitt||(0, 1)|
|Brian Welch||(1, 0)|
|Doug Mciver||7 (0.318)|
|Bay Stoker||0 (0.000)|