Mercyhurst pulls off unexpected win
Coholan, Heseltine score four goals apiece in Lakers rout
BROOKVILLE, N.Y. - After three years of falling short of the national tournament, Mercyhurst punched its ticket to the NCAA Division II Men's Lacrosse National Championship Game in its first appearance back since 2007 with a 14-4 victory against top-ranked and two-time defending national champion C.W. Post.
Mercyhurst’s Kevin Coholan and Brady Heseltine led the Lakers to their first win against C.W. Post since 2008 with four goals apiece. Senior Andy Winslow scored once and assisted on three others, while freshman Jake McAndrew tacked on two goals and an assist. Brian Scheetz also had three points with a goal and two assists, and James Chayka and freshman Brandon Thomson each scored once.
Zach Nash earned the win in goal with 11 saves, including five in the fourth quarter.
Unlike their previous matchup, a 4-3 decision in favor of the Pioneers back in early April, both teams combined for seven goals alone in the first quarter.
Mercyhurst took to the early advantage by scoring the game's first three goals. Winslow broke the ice when he took a pass from Wild and sent it over the goalkeeper's head as he cut down the middle with 54 seconds elapsed. Coholan then made it a 2-0 game at the 11:49 mark. Heseltine accounted for the next two strikes, scoring his first at 9:43 before adding his second following a goal by Eddie Plompen that made it a 3-1 score at the time. C.W. Post caught fire to end the frame as Nick Coric and Keith Rodriguez found the back of the net consecutively less than a minute apart to take a one-goal deficit into the second.
After the two-minute break, Mercyhurst started to take over by tacking on three more goals while holding the Pioneers scoreless. Chayka gave the Lakers some breathing room on a turning shot from the right side of the cage at 13:35 before Thomson and Coholan on a man-up situation expanded the cushion to four heading into halftime.
Trailing 7-3, C.W. Post stifled the momentum briefly as Plompen added his second of the game less than two minutes in. However, after a three-minute lapse in offense, the Lakers reeled off four straight over the remaining 11 minutes, beginning with McAndrew's first of the game at the 10:21 mark. Three goals within a one-minute and 41 second span by Coholan, Scheetz and Heseltine then ballooned it to 11-4.
The Lakers capped off their seven-goal run with three more in the fourth.
Mercyhurst finished the game with an advantage in every statistical category including shots (35-27), ground balls (36-33) and face-offs (13-22). The Lakers also converted 2-for-4 in man-up opportunities and went 16-of-19 in clearing attempts.