May 24, 2009

 

 

  • C.W. Post captured its second Division II national championship and first since 1996. The Pioneers improved to 3-7 (.300) in NCAA Tournament play. C.W. Post made its sixth title game appearance and first since 2000. The Pioneers are tied for second with Limestone and NYIT for title game appearances, behind Adelphi's 11 and improved to 2-4 in championship games
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  • Le Moyne made its fourth straight championship appearance and fifth overall. The four straight title game berths are the most since Limestone made six championship game appearances in a row from 2000-05. The Dolphins are tied with Hobart for fifth in title game appearances. Le Moyne is now 8-5 (.615) in NCAA Tournament play and 3-2 in championship games.
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  • Sunday's attendance of 24,072 was the second-highest for a Division II championship game, trailing 2008's 24,317.
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  • C.W. Post closed the season on an eight-game winning streak and has won 17 of its last 18 games dating back to last season.
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  • Le Moyne saw its bid for the third unbeaten season in program history spoiled. The Dolphins went 16-0 in 2004 en route to their first national championship, then went 18-0 and won the championship in 2006. Le Moyne had two other unbeaten seasons end in the NCAA Tournament, as it went 14-0 in 2003 before falling to NYIT in the NCAA semifinals. The Dolphins also won the first 14 games of the 2005 season before falling to Limestone in the semis.
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  • C.W. Post's Greg Cerar scored all four Pioneer goals in the second half. He was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
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  • C.W. Post's Mike Cama, the USILA Specialty Player of the Year, won 12 of 19 faceoffs and had a game-high 10 ground balls. It was his 10th game this season reaching double figures in ground balls.
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  • Le Moyne trailed at halftime for the first time all season. Le Moyne trailed after one quarter for just the second time all season. It trailed Pace 2-1 after one quarter in an eventual 14-10 win on March 25.
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  • Le Moyne trailed after one quarter for the first time in its five championship game appearances.
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  • Le Moyne gave up its second-highest goal total of the season. It allowed 10 goals in a 14-10 win over Pace.
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  • The Division II championship game was decided by one goal for the fourth time in the last six years.
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  • Sunday's championship game was the third-lowest scoring in Division II championship game history. Le Moyne defeated Mercyhurst 6-5 in 2007, and NYIT defeated Limestone 9-4 in 2003.
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  • The seven combined goals at halftime marked the third-lowest total in championship game history. NYIT led Limestone 4-1 at halftime in 2003, while Le Moyne and Mercyhurst were tied 3-3 at intermission in 2007.
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  • The one goal scored in the second quarter matched a championship game low for any quarter. Adelphi scored the lone goal of the second quarter in an 11-8 win over C.W. Post in 1999.
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  • C.W. Post was held scoreless in a quarter for just the second time this season when it failed to score in the second quarter. Le Moyne also held the Pioneers scoreless in the first quarter of the two teams' regular season meeting. It marked the 26th time Le Moyne held an opponent scoreless in a quarter this season.
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  • Le Moyne held C.W. Post scoreless for a span of 20:33, from Dave Loftus' goal with 26 seconds left in the first quarter until Greg Cerar's goal 5:07 into the third quarter.
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  • Le Moyne's Jack Venditti scored 12 seconds into the game, the second-fastest goal to open a game of the season for the Dolphins. Jack Harmatuk scored seven seconds into an 11-3 win over Bentley on April 4.
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  • C.W. Post never led in the first meeting between the schools on March 21 at the Carrier Dome. The Pioneers took their first lead 3:33 into the game on a goal by Matt Dimler that made it 2-1 and never trailed again.
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  • The C.W. Post championship marks the second straight year an East Coast Conference team won the national championship, as NYIT defeated Le Moyne in 2008.
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  • C.W. Post sophomore midfielder Mike Messina's brother, Matt, was a member of the Division II champion NYIT team last season.

    C.W. Post Quotes

    Senior Attack Greg Cerar, Most Outstanding Player
    On the difference between facing LeMoyne in the regular season and NCAA Championship
    [In the first game] our offense wasn't ready for a defense like that. They have a great defense, one of the best in the nation. Ever since that first game, we were able to get all six guys working on the offense to work together.

    On his second half offense
    As a senior I knew that I had to step up. Both seniors said that we weren't settling for anything else but a National Championship. I didn't want to let any of my teammates down. Fortunately, the offense was able to create a lot more motion that the first [half]. The motion helped me get free and everyone was cutting. All six guys were working together and we were able to put the ball in the back of the net.

    On scoring a goal to make the score 8-6
    They were pushing out, they were extending, and had the goalie out of the net. Dave [Loftus} was able to get free from the goalie and they doubled-down on him. I was able to backdoor [Drew] Bezek. I have to give the credit to Dave, he made a great play there, I just finished the ball.

    On the C.W. Post defense
    Defense wins championships and as you saw out there, they played outstanding. It's just a matter of time before our defense clamps down and we were able to put in a few goals at the right time.

    Senior Goalie Dan Sciulla
    On the sequence in the closing seconds of the game
    I told myself that I would win a National Championship when I'm a senior and I finally did it. With 38 seconds to go, up by one, I told myself that I wasn't going to let anything go in and I'm just going to work until I get that ball. I finally got the ball, possessed it, and that was it. It was over from there and I knew we had it.

    On maintaining composure
    I told myself that I got to win this game and I got to do what I have to do. I've been training since I was five years old and this is the time that it's actually going to show and pay off and it finally did.

    On his save with six minutes remaining
    That fired me up; a one-on-one shot usually gets you fired up. But, I got to give 100 percent complete thanks to my defense along with the offense. That last stop on the doorstep got me amped and focused on the game. From there, I was on and ready to go.

    Head Coach John Jez
    Opening Statement:

    "It's been a great year for us at C.W. Post. We had one hiccup earlier in the year, and today, we overcame that hiccup. The seniors have worked so hard the whole year. Greg Cerar and Dan Sciulla led us the whole way. We're just really happy. Our university is really happy, and we're just proud of all our guys."

    On his relationship with LeMoyne head coach Dan Sheehan and how it feels to beat LeMoyne on the big stage:

    "This is one of the teams that we've had hiccups in the past with. We overcame a couple of those this year by getting Mercyhurst and New York Tech earlier in the year. Dan has a great program. Every year it's going to be a battle. For the past five or six times we've played, it's been a one or two goal game. I'm sure it's going to continue that way for a while."

    On the defense shutting out Brian Welch and Matt Chadderdon and how key it was to prevent LeMoyne's midfielders from scoring:

    "I like to take credit for that, but our defensive coach, Frank Vitolo, controls that end of the field. It was definitely a game plan to cover those two guys. They both were second-team All-Americans this year. To face those two guys is really tough. Coach Vitolo put in a great game plan against those guys. The whole defensive unit played as a unit, and they were able to control those guys most of the day."

    On what was going through his mind in the final minutes when LeMoyne's offense controlled possession:

    "I'm pretty confident in the defense. We have one of the best defensive coaches in Division II easily. He used to be a head coach and coached in the pro league. A lot of credit is given to the things he's done this year. We're probably the second-best scoring defense in the nation, and we played probably eight of the top 10 teams in the nation. Credit to him."

    Le Moyne Quotes

    Senior Midfield Brian Welch

    On what C.W. Post did differently from the game earlier this season:
    " I don't know if they were doing anything different but it just didn't feel like we were getting the number of looks that we were throughout the season. It seemed like all year we had our opportunities to get some good shots. I missed one early that I should have put in there, Matt (Chadderdon) had some looks at the cage and they just weren't dropping and it's not a good time for that to happen."

    Senior Goalie Doug McIver

    On changes made by C.W. Post attack Greg Cerar from the first half to the second half:
    "I don't think they changed anything, he just got better looks at the cage and we were just hesitant to show and to slide. Hats off to him, he played a real composed game. He didn't really lose his head and he made some plays there in the second half to really give them an edge. Hats off to C.W. Post, they played a great game today. I really felt like we had a chance to win it the entire time. I didn't doubt our team for one second but Greg had some good looks at the net and he capitalized on them. So it goes."

    Head Coach Dan Sheehan

    Opening Statement:
    Hats off to C.W. Post. They showed up ready to play. One of the things I talked about in the locker room at halftime was for a team that has been here for the fifth time, the first 30 minutes of play we looked like the new kids on the block. They capitalized, they scored twice in the last five seconds of the quarter, they had another one that went in after time ran out. We took 15 shots in the first half, we typically take 15 shots in the first half of the first minute. I thought our defense played very well down the stretch and our offense showed up. The only way to score in this game is if you get shots off. It's tough to end the season this way, in a similar position … I talked to the seniors a minute ago and this is completely different than last year. Last year we got beat… You're not going to win a lacrosse game if you play for 30 minutes.

    On what he told the team at half:
    It was the worse half they played all year and I told them that, at both ends of the field. We were going about 75 percent and sometimes when your feet aren't going that fast, your mind is going faster. In this game there is not a lot of thinking. We just asked our guys to come out and turn it up. We wanted to come out at halftime and dominate at both ends of the field and I think we were close to doing that. Again, you can't win many game playing for 30 minutes.

    On last possession:
    I told the defense at the start of the fourth quarter, the great thing about this is we've been here before. Not only have we been in this game, but we have been in this difficult spot… That goalie down the stretch, he just plucked a couple of goals out of the air. You win games with faceoffs and goaltending.