High Point won 9-8 to earn the Southern Conference championship against No. 20 Richmond in double overtime on Saturday in Richmond, Virginia.
|HIGH POINT 9, RICHMOND 8|
Southern Conference Championship
Sophomore Sean Harrison found the back of the net off a beautiful pass from redshirt junior Brad James to clinch the game with 1:13 left in the second overtime.
The Panthers trailed by three goals (8-5) with 7:30 left in the fourth frame, but closed regulation on a 3-0 run before winning the game in the second extra period.
"This is phenomenal," head coach Jon Torpey said. "All the credit goes to our guys because we stayed composed when we were down. Richmond has been the class of our conference and they made us better by making us look into our deficiencies."
Redshirt senior Austin Geisler, who was named SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Player, made 15 saves on the day -- including one in the second overtime. He also had two ground balls on the afternoon, but knows a title is a team accomplishment.
"The team really came together over the last few weeks of the season and played for each other and that's what gave us the victory today," Geisler said. "We wanted to play High Point lacrosse and do what we do best and let the rest take care of itself."
Offensively, junior Dan Lomas led the Purple & White. The SoCon Offensive Player of the Year lived up to that billing on Saturday with four goals and an assist. The four goals allowed Lomas to surpass his own HPU single-season record with 43 goals on the year.
Sophomore Cole Carns, who hadn't scored a goal since tallying 10 in February, posted two goals, one of which tied the score with 46 seconds left in regulation. Likewise, junior Matt Thistle scored two goals with both coming in the fourth quarter.
Senior Pat Farrell, an All-Tournament selection, registered a team-high four ground balls and caused two turnovers on the day. Meanwhile, redshirt junior Richard Byrd, Adam Seal and Harris Levine each picked up three ground balls apiece.
Sophomore Michael LeClair, the hero of the semifinal win against Mercer, dished out three assists while James had the team's other assist.
The Spiders earned a 40-32 advantage in ground balls and took six more shots (39-33), but couldn't get anything past Geisler and the HPU defense in the final 18 minutes.
Lomas, LeClair and Harrison joined Geisler and Farrell on the SoCon All-Tournament team for their performances during the weekend's action.