Dowling wins first national title
Golden Lions hold off late charge by Limestone to win title
FOXBORO, Mass. -- Vito DeMola's four goals with two assists led the Golden Lions to their first Division II national championship. The No. 4-seeded Dowling (13-2) finished with an 11-10 win against the No. 3-seeded Limestone Saints (17-2).
The Golden Lions built a 4-0 lead in the first half shutting the Saints out of the first quarter for the just the second time this season. DeMola opened the scoring with an unassisted goal in the third minute of play. Brendan Hayes found Michael Brennan who buried it in the net with just over four minutes left in the quarter.
|DII LAX CHAMPIONSHIP|
• Dowling 11, Limestone 10
Recap Stats Highlights Photos
|DeMola talks about second half adjustments|
|Boyle says senior leadership gave his team the edgee|
|Dougherty reflects on Dowling's win|
Back to back scores from Tom Cleary and John Amato, both assisted by Hayes, gave DC a 4-0 lead with 6:30 left in the half. The Saints rallied back for three unanswered goals to close out the half behind the Golden Lions by just one (4-3).
The Saints caught up to the Golden Lions at the 11:02 mark in the third quarter with a goal from Anthony Starnino. Senior Matthew Muzio put Dowling back on top with his eleventh goal of the season. Limestone got two goals in just over a minute for a 6-5 advantage. With 3:29 remaining in the third quarter DeMola found Kevin McElhone to tie up at 6. The Saints anwered back at the 2:03 mark to take a 7-6 lead into the fourth and final quarter.
Dowling didn't trail long, three minutes into the fouth quarter DeMola netted his second goal of the day and Billy Richardson came around from the back of the cage and faked a pass tothe wing shooter and found the back of the net to give the Golden Lions a lead that they would hold onto for the remainder of the game. Three consecutive DC scores extended the lead to three (11-8). The Saints turned in back to back goals to reach within one with under two minutes remaining.
In the final 30 seconds the Saints fired off three shots on goal with two just wide and Dougherty came up big with his final of six saves and Matthew Lauria scooped up the ball as the final seconds ticked down capturing Dowling's first NCAA Men's Lacrosse National Championship.
Seven Golden Lions contributed goals with Hayes dishing out three assists.
Dowling's defense turned in a outstanding performance anchored by Lauria with three caused turnovers and six ground balls.
At the line, Louis Riley won 14 of 25 faceoffs.