DII Lacrosse preview: East Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship
It all comes down to this: Mercy battling NYIT for a shot at the East Coast Conference Lacrosse title. The fun will kick off on Saturday afternoon, but until then NCAA.com gets you primed and ready for this weekend's action with a little bit on how each team got to the final.
Who: Mercy (12-4) vs. NYIT (13-3)
When: 3 p.m. ET Saturday
Where: At Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium on the campus of LIU Post in Brookville, N.Y.
Broadcast: WatchESPN, ESPN App. The broadcast is part of the Division II Showcase. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with WatchESPN and NCAA Division II to broadcast our 2017 East Coast Conference Men's and Women's Lacrosse Championships,” said ECC Commissioner Dr. Robert Dranoff. “We know that this is the first time that NCAA Division II is streaming regular season competitions in these sports and the ECC is proud to help showcase DII lacrosse.”
Road to the championship: Beat Chestnut 15-3 in the semifinals Wednesday afternoon to make its first appearance in the ECC championship in school history. Graduate student Kevin McNally and sophomore Ryan MacSpadyen combined for 12 points and sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Gibbons had 14 saves in the victory.
The Mavericks will get an opportunity to avenge one of their losses this season. NYIT dampened senior day at Mercy by winning 16-11 on April 29.
The win over Chestnut Hill is MLAX first-ever @ECCSports championship win and Mavericks will face NYIT on Saturday at LIU Post at 3 pm.— Mercy Mavericks (@MercyMavericks) May 3, 2017
Attacker to watch: Freshman Tommy McPartland. Twice this season McPartland has earned ECC rookie of the week honors. McPartland ranks second on the team in points with 49, scoring a team-high 32 goals while handing out 17 assists.
Midfielder to watch: Kevin McNally has made a huge impact with the Mavericks. He has 30 goals and 29 assists for a team-leading 59 points.
Defender to watch: Junior Christian Gebhardt leads the team in caused turnovers, averaging a little over one per game. He has 18 caused turnovers on the season.
Goalkeeper to watch: Ryan Gibbons has played in all 16 games and has a goal average of 8.02 per game. He has 156 saves for a .580 save percentage. He earned ECC defensive player of the week on April 3.
Coach: Jordan Levine (fifth season at Mercy)
Quote: “We have a lot of talent offensively and defensively to get far into the competition. That’s what is keeping me motivated,” said Kevin McNally on March 9 to The Impact, the school newspaper at Mercy College.
Road to the championship: NYIT rallied from a 5-4 deficit to beat LIU Post 9-7 Wednesday afternoon. “We talked at halftime about the desire that we need to pick up a ground ball,” NYIT coach Bill Dunn said on the school’s website. “And we made it pretty clear to them if we didn't pick up the ground balls, if we didn't get possession, we weren't going to score too many goals. The guys took it to heart. We came out and won more faceoffs. And you saw what happened.”
Senior midfielder Tom Hughes led NYIT with three goals. “I'm a fifth-year senior. I have a lot of experience out there,” Hughes said. “When I hear from coaches that it's good to go to the net, I've just got to keep pushing and find my shots. It was a little sloppy in the first half, and it's always good to finish out on top.”
Men's lacrosse ousts LIU Post, advances to ECC championship game. Recap: https://t.co/ZSgoc13qmj— NYIT Bears (@NYITBears) May 3, 2017
Attacker to watch: Junior Matthew Chanenchuk leads the team in points with 59, scoring 26 goals and handing out 33 assists. He was selected ECC offensive player of the week March 13.
Midfielder to watch: Senior Tom Hughes has played in 12 games and has scored 21 goals while having six assists for 27 players. He was a key player in the Bears’ semifinal win over LIU Post.
Defender to watch: Junior Ian Prate leads the Bears in caused turnovers with 29. He was selected ECC defender of the week April 24.
Goalie to watch: Senior Alex Seltzer has played in all 16 games. He has allowed an average of 8.66 goals per game. Seltzer has 149 saves for a .554 save percentage. He earned ECC defensive player of the week April 10.
Coach: Bill Dunn: Became head coach September, 2009.
Quote: On facing Mercy a week after beating the Mavericks 16-11 at Mercy. “I don't think too many things are going to change from last Saturday to this Saturday,” Dunn said. “So we're expecting a dogfight.”
Hughes, the senior midfielder, said: “It's going to be nothing different. It's a great club. It's going to be a lot of intensity, but it's going to be less of a bus ride. We're going to be closer to home. So we expect to come out with a lot of intensity in the first half and bring it right to them.”