May 22, 2010

Courtesy of C.W. Post

BROOKVILLE, N.Y. -- The No. 1 C.W. Post men's lacrosse team is making a return trip to the national title game after pulling out a 9-8 win against No. 2 Dowling College in front of 3,418 fans in the semifinal round of the NCAA Championship tournament Saturday afternoon on Hickox Field.

C.W. Post improves to 15-1 overall and will face the winner of the semifinal between Le Moyne and Limestone. Dowling closes its season out with an overall record of 12-2. The Pioneers advance to the title game for the second consecutive season. They defeated Le Moyne 8-7 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. to win their second program title in 2009.

The Pioneers outshot the Golden Lions, 39-28, and held a 43-36 advantage in ground balls.

Sophomore attacker Eddie Plompen (West Islip, N.Y.) led the Pioneer offense with four goals, including the game-winner with 2:49 left in the fourth quarter.

Dowling scored the game's first goal with 9:16 on the clock in the first when senior attacker Kyle O'Brien (Whitby, Ontario) bounced a shot in on a pass from sophomore attacker Vito DeMola (Holtsville, N.Y.).

The Pioneers responded with three consecutive goals, including two from Plompen and one from junior midfielder James Johnston (Farmingville, N.Y.) to take a 3-1 lead with 4:28 to play in the first.

The Golden Lions cut the lead in half when senior attacker John McClure (Brampton, Ontario) scored with 14:11 to play in the second.

C.W. Post pushed its lead to 5-2 with a pair of goals from freshman attacker Justin Patterson (Corning, N.Y.) and senior midfielder Joe Meo (Sayville, N.Y.).

The Golden Lions rebounded and virtually controlled play by outscoring the Pioneers, 6-0, over the next two quarters to take an 8-5 lead with 6:34 to play to take an 8-5 lead.

C.W. Post got back into the game with a goal from Johnston with 59 seconds left in the third on a pass from junior attacker Nick Coric (Walnut Creek, Calif.) to cut the lead to 8-6. The Pioneers cut the deficit to one goal when junior midfielder Mike Messina (Sayville, N.Y.) scored unassisted at 8:30 in the fourth. Plompen scored the tying goal at 5:40 from sophomore attacker Keith Rodriguez (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.).

Johnston added two goals and Patterson, Meo and Messina each scored one goal toward the cause.

Junior Mike Giordano (Farmingdale, N.Y.) made nine saves in the game, including five in the third to preserve the win.

McClure led the Golden Lions with four goals and O'Brien scored two goals and added two assists.