We had an off day yesterday for NCAA action, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have any college lacrosse action at all! Enter the MCLAs!
They had their Final Four kick off yesterday, and the National Championship games will be held on Saturday on the campus of Chapman University.
In the first semifinal, the Yellow Jackets got ahead, 7-5, at halftime. But the Panthers scored the only three goals in the second half to put them back in the title game and will look to defend their crown. Midfielder Nevin Masri had a hat-trick for Chapman, while attackman Dylan Garner had two.
In the second semifinal, the Lopes jumped to a 7-1 lead at the end of the first quarter en route to a three-goal win. Attackman Joe Balestrierie posted a whooping six goals and one assist, Midfielder Austin Ekeroth had two goals and four assists. Cam Wengreniuk had a hat-trick to go with an assist, and Cooper Snowbarger scored a pair of goals and a pair of assists.
This will be a matchup between the last two MCLA Division I champions. They’re both in the Southwest Lacrosse Conference, but this will be their first meeting all season.
The first semifinal had the Tommies held on to a 10-7 third quarter advantage to move on to another appearance in the National Championship. St. Thomas was led by midfielder Mark Dowdle’s three goals and two assists, as well as getting help from the likes of Erik Thysse (three goals), Alex Vijums (three goals), and Ryan McNeil (three assists). Goalkeeper Austin Dover made nine saves in the win.
The other semifinal saw Concordia-Irvine defeat Carson Wentz’s favorite school, North Dakota State, to move on to their second appearance in the National Championship in three years (they played in 2015). The Eagles scored nine times in the first half in the win. It was a show for the attackmen, as Brandon Mayo had three goals and two assists, Jonah Rinaldi notched two goals and three assists, and Jonathan Saavedra scored three times.
The Eagles will look for their first ever National Championship, while the Tommies will look for title number five, and second in as many years.
The MCLA also did another Instagram recap of the games.