Philadelphia, Pa. – Championship Most Outstanding Player Jeff White (Buffalo, N.Y./Canisius HS) made 13 saves to lead the third-ranked Le Moyne College men’s lacrosse team to the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship with an 11-10 victory over top-ranked Mercyhurst University on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. The Dolphins won their last 10 games of the season to claim the program’s fourth national championship and their second in two appearances at Lincoln Financial Field (2006).
Le Moyne finishes the season with a record of 18-2, which ties the 2006 squad for the most victories by a Division II national champion. In each of Le Moyne’s three NCAA tournament victories, junior midfielder Andrew Chadderdon (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn)scored the game-winning goal.
Le Moyne, which previously won national championships in 2004 (11-10 over Limestone), 2006 (12-5 over Dowling) and 2007 (6-5 over Mercyhurst), got on the scoreboard off the opening face-off. Junior face-off specialist Cameron Fedish(Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Valley) picked up the ground ball and sent a pass to graduate student short-stick defensive midfielder Aaron Cahill (Schenectady, N.Y./Guilderland/Onondaga C.C.), who raced in to score his seventh goal of the season just 12 seconds into the game.
After Mercyhurst (18-1) caused a turnover, the Lakers evened the score at one apiece with 10:52 remaining as Deven Alves, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime last Saturday against Limestone College to push the Lakers into the title game, found the back of the net off a feed from James Chayka. Just 36 seconds later, Chayka tallied his 27th goal of the season to give Mercyhurst a 2-1 lead.
The Dolphins responded with three goals in a span of three minutes and 11 seconds to regain the lead. In a two-man advantage situation, senior attackman Nate Frechette(Manlius, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) scored his team-best 30th goal of the season from the left edge of the crease after taking a pass from freshman midfielder/attackman Mike Jenkins (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) with 6:55 remaining. Just 72 seconds later, Frechette scored from the left crease again after taking a pass from the left wing from senior attackman Tyler Prevost (Watertown, N.Y./Immaculate Heart/Onondaga C.C.). Sophomore midfielder Joe Corapi (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool) ended the scoring in the opening quarter with 3:44 left by rifling a shot into the back of the net from 12 yards out.
Following eight and three-quarter minutes of scoreless action to start the second quarter, the Dolphins extended their lead to 5-2 in an extra-man situation. Following a Mercyhurst unnecessary roughness penalty, Prevost slipped a shot from 10 yards out into the lower right corner of the goal at the 6:13 mark after receiving a pass from Frechette.
Mercyhurst, which won the 2011 national championship over Adelphi University, responded with three goals in 1:33 to even the score at five apiece. After Brady Heseltine caused a turnover at midfield on a Le Moyne clear attempt, he sent a pass to Jake McAndrew, who ran in to score his 39th goal of the season with 4:45 remaining. Off the ensuing face-off, Mitch McAvoy picked up the ball and charged up field to fire in his 10th goal of the year five seconds later. Chayka tallied his second goal of the contest with 3:12 left in the quarter to tie the score at five.
The Dolphins regained the lead just over two minutes into the third quarter. After Corapi dodged down the right alley, he sent a pass to the front of the crease to Frechette, who netted his 32nd goal of the season with 12:56 remaining. Junior attackman Kevin Kelly (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) gave Le Moyne a 7-5 lead with 10:40 left by finishing off a feed from Prevost on the left edge of the crease for his 25th goal of the campaign. Just 47 seconds later, Chadderdon tallied his 30th goal after picking up the loose ball after Kelly had a shot hit the post. Just over one minute after White made back-to-back saves on shots from the crease, sophomore midfielder Alec Westerhoff (Lagrange Park, Ill./Lyons Township/Bridgton Academy) put the Dolphins up 9-5 with 6:14 remaining in the third quarter by recording his 15th goal of the year from the left edge of the crease after taking a pass from senior midfielder Doug Bailey (Syracuse, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy). After junior defenseman Max Wagner (Delmar, N.Y./Bethlehem) caused a turnover near midfield, senior short-stick defensive midfielder Conor Regin(Syracuse, N.Y./West Genesee/Onondaga C.C.) raced up field to net his third goal of the season with 1:49 left in the quarter.
After White made a save at the 12:37 mark, Chadderdon tallied the eventual game-winning goal with an underhand shot from the crease with 12:15 to play to give the Dolphins an 11-5 lead.
Mercyhurst responded with five straight goals over a span of eight and one-half minutes to trim its deficit to one. Following a Le Moyne turnover, Heseltine started the run by finishing off a pass from McAndrew with 11:21 remaining. Just 64 seconds later, second team all-American Brian Scheetz, the 12th-leading scorer in the nation at 3.94 points per game, registered his only point of the contest as he recorded an unassisted goal. The Lakers trimmed their deficit to 11-8 with 7:52 remaining as Heseltine tallied his 42nd goal of the season after taking a pass from Chayka. After the Lakers won the ensuing face-off, Ian Brooks cut Le Moyne’s lead to two 1:17 later by rifling in a shot from the right wing off a pass from Trevor Vargo. Following two turnovers by each team over the next 3:15, McAndrew tallied an unassisted goal, his 40th of the season, to pull Mercyhurst within 11-10 with 2:49 remaining.
The Lakers won the ensuing face-off and then called timeout with 2:13 left. Chayka then put a shot wide with 1:56 left and then Scheetz hit the goal post five seconds later. After the Dolphins turned the ball over on a clear attempt with 1:20 left, McAndrew fired a shot off the post with 44 seconds to go. Zac Reid then sent a shot wide with 11 seconds remaining, while McAndrew picked up the loose ball, but had his last-second shot go wide with White backing up the shot to earn possession for the Dolphins with just 0.6 seconds to play, which the Dolphins easily ran out on the restart.
White, who made 10 of his saves in the second half, including six in the third quarter, earns his 18th win of the season between the pipes, tying Jared Corcoran ’07 in 2006 for the most wins in a single season in the program’s history. Mercyhurst’s Michael Grace registered just three saves in the loss, just his second in 33 career decisions.
With his two assists today, Prevost finishes the season with 42 helpers, which ties Jim Nee in 1997 for fourth on the program’s single-season charts, while his three points today gave him 61 for the year, which ties Mike McDonald ’08 in 2006 for 11th on the single-season chart. The 42 assists are the most since Ryan Spillett ’03 had 43 in 2003, while 61 points are the most since McDonald’s 2006 total. In his two-year stint on the Heights, Prevost recorded 115 points on 74 assists and 41 goals. The point total is 17th-most in the program’s history, while the assist total is the fifth-most. Frechette completes the year with 59 points, tied for the 15t-most in the program’s history. Frechette’s 109 career points are the 20th-best total in program history.
Photo courtesy Le Moyne Athletics