HICKORY, N.C. – The Saint Leo men’s lacrosse team is going to Boston for the NCAA Division II Men’s Lacrosse Championship as the South Region representative. The No. 2 seed Saint Leo Lions upset the No. 1 seed, Lenoir-Rhyne, 12-11 in Hickory, N.C. on Sunday.
Thomas Tatarian built a wall around the Saint Leo cage earning 16 saves on Bears’ 59 shots. His work, supported by the Lions’ defense, set up the offense to clinch the South Regional title.
Final Score: No. 2 Seed Saint Leo Lions 12, No. 1 Seed Lenoir-Rhyne Bears 11
Location: Hickory, N.C. | Helen and Lenard Moretz Stadium
Records: SLU (16-2) | LRU (17-3)
How It Happened…
1Q | Saint Leo found the back of the Lenoir-Rhyne goal early and often as the Green and Gold went out to a 4-0 lead. Conner Knaresboro, Julian Taylor, Daniel Sparks and Jake Gilmour all found the back of the net before the Bears got started. Lenoir-Rhyne returned fire with two goals to make it a two goal game after the first quarter. | Saint Leo 4-2 |
2Q | Ethan Ticehurst got the Lions back on the board, 5-3. Lenoir-Rhyne wasn’t fazed, as the back and forth quarter was berthed. Lenoir-Rhyne leveled the game 5-5 with 9:38 left in the quarter. Benjamin Hynek and Kyle Pauwels netted two more for the Green and Gold heading into the half. | Saint Leo 7-5 |
3Q | Another low scoring quarter kept the game tight. Philip Buque gave the Lions a three goal lead three minutes into the third stanza. The Bears answered 42 seconds later. With the ball lose around the cage numerous times, Zach Lysyk put an end to the play placing the ball in the back of the net. Lenoir-Rhyne posted another pair to bring the game to 9-8. Matt Shand’s buzzer beater shot from 20-yards out game Saint Leo the edge heading into the last 15 minutes. | Saint Leo 10-8 |
4Q | Lenoir-Rhyne outscored Saint Leo 3-2 in the final quarter but the Lions outlasted the hosts’ offensive burst. Kyle Pauwels and Matt Shand struck again while Thomas Tatarian wrapped things up on defense. | Saint Leo 12-11 |
Points to Note
- Thomas Tatarian earned 16 saves after facing 59 shots by the Bears.
- Saint Leo took 30 shots led by Kyle Pauwels and Matt Shand’s pair of goals.
- The Lions picked up 30 ground balls while earning 22-of-24 clear attempts.
- Saint Leo won 9-of-26 faceoffs.
- The Bears offense was led by Ben Corrigan and Quinn Kuhn with three goals each; Corrigan compiled seven points. Lenoir-Rhyne took 59 shots.
- Lenoir-Rhyne picked up 40 grounds balls and cleared 20-of-22 attempts.
- Lenoir-Rhyne won 17-of-26 faceoffs.
Saint Leo advances to the NCAA Division II Men’s Lacrosse Championships on Sunday, May 27 at 4:00 p.m. (ET) in Gillette Stadium located in Foxborough, Mass.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men’s lacrosse, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.