With more emotion than I've seen and heard for that matter all weekend long, the Limestone players and fans alike hung on to their lead in the fourth and came out with yet another Division II championship.
Just walking over from the "big" field to the "little" field the emotions and chants were rising and cheers from both sides could be heard from the parking lot during pre-game warm ups. The smaller the stadium the bigger the fans and the hearts of both teams were not far behind, making this battle feel like a national championship from the first whistle.
Randolph had his first of three and, Limestone's 11, 3:00 minutes into the first with a laser hip high to put the saints up 1-0. Answering right back was Tech goalie Matt Hunter, scooping a ground ball and speeding coast to coast finally assisting his fellow attackman, tying the game 1-1. Although Tech would end up with a loss, Matt Hunter played like a champion and was one of if not the best athlete/lax player on the field today.
After a series of failed possessions by both, Tech's Peter Muller started with the ball up top and scored on a worm burner between Malloy's legs with 4:12 left in the first.
But tying the game for the Saints was #23 Heavenor, assisted by Nick Carlson with :25 to go in the first. After a series of crisp, clean passes the Saints finally shook away their jitters and decided to look like champs.
Both teams began having trouble subbing through the box in the second quarter, as tempers built on top of excitement spilled onto the field, and the game became more physical than the respective teams seemed comfortable with.
3-2 after an easy clear and push to X, Devan Spiker stood flat footed for nearly ten seconds behind the cage, Tech was subbing on the fly and Spiker walked to the crease and dumped it in unassisted. The next three for Limestone came from Randolph, Navaro and Carlson pushing the lead to a healthy 3 goal margin.
The Tech chants were finally silenced after Chris Magnum caught a sweet feed from Randloph, who was camped out high crease for a burner one Hunter, 6-2.
A four goal game at the half had Tech between a rock and a goal pipe needing five unanswered goals to regain the lead (and the pipe had been making the majority of the saves for both squads).
The sun decided to come out as both teams took the field for the start of the second half. Limestone once again - 8-3 - Randolph found the back of the net with a Springer-esque shot, maybe a yard inside the restraining line. Answering back ten seconds later was NYIT with a bounce shot that just caught the upper right corner giving Tech 4 to Limestone's 8.
The final quarter saw NYIT still showing heart but the Saints dominated time of possession, which had been a major factor since the first face off.
#5 Jeremy Nickel with a hard drive from X goes right handed, plants his feet and bursts a shot past the ear of Molloy, 8-5 with 13:00 minutes to go.
A goal a piece from Spiker and Zummo made it 10-6 with Tech desperately staging a comeback.
Again confusion through the box when Spruyt had an open lane to the cage with no defense for miles making it 10-7.
1:11 to go in the game and NYIT scoring 2 more, the board read 11-9 with high hopes from the Tech side of the field.
The last minute of possession could have changed 15 times and it would be close, with failed attempts from NY and the pipe with 3 or so more saves the Bears just could not finish.
The two goal difference on the scoreboard seems crazy if you watched this game. The excitement packed, emotion filled game just goes to show that Division II Lax deserves a little more respect than it gets, maybe next year we can watch the game on the big field. Limestone 11, Tech 9.
Limestone vs. New York Tech
|New York Tech||14-1|