SYRACUSE, N.Y. — No.3 Limestone led from start from to finish and defeated No.2 Le Moyne 10-8 in the NCAA Division II Men’s Lacrosse semifinals on Saturday. Limestone, 17-1 overall, advances to the 2012 NCAA Division II title game for the first time since 2005.
Limestone started strong taking advantage of the few opportunities available early. The Saints not only scored on their first three possessions and on as many shots, for an early 3-0 lead but also on six of the only seven shots they had the entire first half with another attempt hitting the side post in route to a 6-2 lead intermission.
Le Moyne came out in the second half and outscored Limestone 4-2 in the third period but could draw no closer than two goals despite owning a 24-7 shot advantage.
Seniors Steve Gartelman, Randy Waugh and Shayne Jackson led the way for Limestone which led by as many as four goals and never allowed Le Moyne closer than two.
Limestone was outshot 42-15 overall but saw Gartelman stop 12 shots which included a kick save with 2:10 left in regulation and another on a quick stick shot less than three feet out with 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter and also helped the Saints man-down defense kill off all five penalties without a goal. In addition two other saves by Gartelman led to Saints goals on the ensuing possessions. In all, Gartelman was credited with four saves in the fourth period as the Saints were outshot 13-2.
Waugh, a midfielder, scored three goals with one assist while Jackson dished out three assists from his attack position adding one goal. Junior attack Riley Loewen (Burnaby, British Columbia) filled in the rest scoring two goals.
Limestone, which now owns an 8-10 mark all-time in the NCAA Division II Tournament, cleared 16-of-17 attempts including the first 12 of the game while Le Moyne had only eight attempts, failing once.
The Saints precision shooting and solid defense allowed them to overcome a 6 of 22 showing at the center “x” and a minus-10 in ground balls (15-25).
Senior midfielder Desi Gonzalez was credited with three caused turnovers while fellow classmate Tommy Bryant had two as Limestone yielded only three assisted goals while the Saints offense had six assists on 10 goals.