Merrimack defeated Saint Leo for its first-ever DII men’s lacrosse national championship to conclude the 2018 season. The Warriors were the 34th national champion crowned and the latest in the tournament that has seen its share of history.
The first championship on record is the 1974 title game in which Towson State defeated Hobart 18-17. These early championship tournaments combined DII and DIII programs until the 1979 DII lacrosse championship when Adelphi defeated UMBC for its first of seven championships. The DII men’s lacrosse tournament was discontinued in 1982 until it returned in 1993, with Adelphi once again capturing a national championship.
In the roller coaster ride that has been the DII men’s lacrosse tournament, six programs have won multiple titles. Here’s a look at the schools with the most national championships.
7 — Adelphi (1979, 1981, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001)
The Panthers were coming to power right before the tournament was discontinued and picked up right where they left off, appearing in six of the first seven championship finals between 1993 and 1999. Just how good was Adelphi? The Panthers were so good that they were invited to the Division I tournament during DII’s hiatus and even pulled off a memorable upset over Army in 1987.
5 — Le Moyne (2004, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2016)
The Dolphins came to power in the mid-2000s and have remained a constant presence atop the DII men’s lacrosse rankings ever since. They appeared in five-straight championship matches between 2006-10, going back-to-back in 2006-07 before losing the next three. Mike McDonald became the only athlete to win back-to-back Most Outstanding Player honors for Le Moyne in those 2006-07 championships. Le Moyne has a winning record in the championship game, sitting at 5-4 all-time.
5 — Limestone (2000, 2002, 2014, 2015, 2017)
Since the calendar changed to 2000, no team has found itself in the championship match more than the Saints. Limestone has appeared in 11 of the 19 championships this century, appearing in six straight title matches from 2000-2005.
4 — NYIT (1997, 2003, 2005, 2008)
The Bears have spread the wealth in their championship runs and are the only team on the list without back-to-back titles. Head coach Jack Kaley made NYIT a force to reckon with in the late 90s and the Bears saw that success continue straight into the 2000s.
3 — LIU (C.W.) Post (1996, 2009-10)
C.W. Post was a DII men’s lacrosse power throughout the 1990s and although they only captured one championship, the Pioneers appeared in five title matches from 1991 to 2000. Head coach John Jez led them to consecutive championships in 2009-10, defeating Le Moyne on both occasions.
2 — Hobart (1976, 1977)
The Statesmen were the first repeat champions in DII men’s lacrosse history, taking the third and fourth national championships in tournament lore. Hobart was a finals regular appearing in the championship game in each of the first five seasons of the tournament.
Here is a complete list of the history of the championship game:
DII Men's Lacrosse Champions
|YEAR||CHAMPION||COACH||POINTS||RUNNER-UP||HOST OR SITE|
|2018||Merrimack||Mike Morgan||23-6||Saint Leo||Foxborough, Mass.|
|2017||Limestone (21-1)||J.B. Clarke||11-9||Merrimack||Foxborough, Mass.|
|2016||Le Moyne (20-0)||Dan Sheehan||8-4||Limestone||Philadelphia|
|2015||Limestone (20-1)||J.B. Clarke||9-6||Le Moyne||Philadelphia|
|2014||Limestone (19-1)||J.B. Clarke||12-6||LIU Post||Baltimore|
|2013||Le Moyne (18-2)||Dan Sheehan||11-10||Mercyhurst||Philadelphia|
|2012||Dowling (13-2)||Tim Boyle||11-10||Limestone||Foxborough, Mass.|
|2011||Mercyhurst (14-2)||Chris Ryan||9-8||Adelphi||Baltimore|
|2010||C.W. Post (16-1)||John Jez||14-9||Le Moyne||Baltimore|
|2009||C.W. Post (15-1)||John Jez||8-7||Le Moyne||Boston|
|2008||NYIT (13-1)||Jack Kaley||16-11||Le Moyne||Boston|
|2007||Le Moyne (15-2)||Dan Sheehan||6-5||Mercyhurst||Baltimore|
|2006||Le Moyne (18-0)||Dan Sheehan||12-5||Dowling||Philadelphia|
|2005||NYIT (10-2)||Jack Kaley||14-13 (ot)||Limestone||Philadelphia|
|2004||Le Moyne (16-0)||Dan Sheehan||11-10 (2ot)||Limestone||Baltimore|
|2003||NYIT (14-0)||Jack Kaley||9-4||Limestone||Baltimore|
|2002||Limestone (13-2)||T.W.Johnson||11-9||NYIT||Rutgers (Yurcak Field)|
|2001||Adelphi (12-2)||Sandy Kapatos||14-10||Limestone||Rutgers (Yurcak Field)|
|2000||Limestone (14-2)||Mike Cerino||10-9||C.W. Post||Maryland (Ludwig Field)|
|1999||Adelphi (10-3)||Sandy Kapatos||11-8||C.W. Post||Maryland (Ludwig Field)|
|1998||Adelphi (12-3)||Sandy Kapatos||18-6||C.W. Post||Rutgers (Yurcak Field)|
|1997||NYIT (12-2)||Jack Kaley||18-11||Adelphi||Adelphi|
|1996||C.W. Post (10-3)||Tom Postel||15-10||Adelphi||C.W. Post|
|1995||Adelphi (10-3)||Sandy Kapatos||12-10||Springfield||Springfield|
|1994||Springfield (12-2)||Keith Bugbee||15-12||NYIT||C.W. Post|
|1993||Adelphi (8-3)||Kevin Sheehan||11-7||C.W. Post||C.W. Post|
|1981||Adelphi (10-2)||Paul Doherty||17-14||Loyola Maryland||Adelphi|
|1980||UMBC (11-3)||Dick Watts||23-14||Adelphi||UMBC|
|1979||Adelphi (13-3)||Paul Doherty||17-12||UMBC||Adelphi|
|1978||Roanoke (12-2)||Paul Griffin||14-13||Hobart||Hobart|
|1977||Hobart (15-0)||Jerry Schmidt||23-13||Washington College||Hobart|
|1976||Hobart (14-3)||Jerry Schmidt||18-9||Adelphi||UMBC|
|1975||SUNY Cortland (10-4)||Chuck Winters||12-11||Hobart||C.W. Post|
|1974||Towson (14-1)||Carl Runk||18-17 (ot)||Hobart||SUNY Cortland|