GNAC Championship – Emmanuel 13, Mount Ida 6

BOSTON, Mass. – Mount Ida College fell into an early hole on Saturday afternoon at Clemente Field and ultimately had to settle for Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) runners-up as top-seeded Emmanuel College defended their championship with a 13-6 victory in this year’s title game.

Mount Ida sees their impressive ten-game winning streak snapped and ends their season with an outstanding 11-5 record. The Saints improve to 13-4 on the season and earn the conference’s automatic bid to next month’s NCAA Division 3 men’s lacrosse tournament.

Three members of the Mustangs were named to the All-Tournament Team – junior Steven Koziski (Peabody, Mass.), senior Kyle Fernitz (Northbrook, Ill.) and sophomore Alex Veloukas (Salem, Mass.). Fernitz and Koziski each caused two turnovers in the championship game, with Koziski co-leading the team with four ground balls.

Senior midfielder Jake Pickett (Stratham, N.H.) was named tournament Most Valuable Player after a game in which he won 14-17 face-offs, scored a goal, and grabbed a game-high six ground balls.

Emmanuel put the pressure on Mount Ida from the start, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after one quarter on opening the game on an 8-0 run until Mustang sophomore Wyatt Sullivan (Arlington, Mass.) broke the drought with 6:30 remaining in the second quarter.

Emmanuel sophomore Tony Cibelli (Westboro, Mass.) and junior Chris Curtis (Ashland, Mass.) each accounted for a pair of goals during the opening game spurt.

Just 28 seconds after Sullivan’s marker, sophomore defenseman Chris Baglivi (Mattituck, N.Y.) fired in his first collegiate goal, bringing the spread to 9-1.

Mount Ida got another goal from Peter Hardy (Tyngsboro, Mass.), but the Saints got their tenth goal of the half from Jake Jaskolski (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) and Emmanuel took a 10-2 lead into the break.

The Saints held the Mustangs scoreless throughout the third quarter, while tacking on three additional goals.  Baglivi and Curtis each scored unassisted and Michael Donavan (Assonet, Mass.) netted his second of the night, off a feed from Jaskolski to set the score at 13-2 with one quarter remaining to play.

The Mustangs were able to net four goals over the final quarter, including a pair of goals scored on man-up opportunities.  Rookie attack Marcus Donahue (Braintree, Mass.) scored twice to lead the visiting Mustangs, while sophomore Jon Berry (Chichester, N.H.) had two assists.

Mike Markevich (Westminster, Mass.) added a goal and an assist for Mount Ida, while Lucas Stralka (E. Greenwich, Mass.) closed out his account as the team’s leading scorer with his 28th goal.

Donovan and Jaskolski finished with three points apiece on the day to lead the Saints.
Freshman Cam Hayward (Derry, N.H.) took the loss for Mount Ida, despite making 10 saves in three quarters of action, and dropped to 11-5 on the year, while sophomore Tyler McElreath (Upton, Mass.) stopped two shots and shut out the Saints over the final fifteen minutes.

Senior Austin Lauzier (Bedford, N.H.) earned the win in goal for the Saints, making 14 stops in his 55:52 in net.  Lauzier improved to 13-4 on the season.  Classmate Justin Byers (Indianapolis, Ind.) played the final 4:08 in goal for the Saints in the win.