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Wayne Cavadi | | May 16, 2023

The DII men's lacrosse championship semifinals, previewed

DII men's lacrosse: 2023 selection show

The DII men’s lacrosse semifinals are set. One thing is for certain: We will have a new national champion in 2023 as defending champ Tampa was sent home in the first round by current semifinalist Lenoir-Rhyne. Two of the teams remaining — Limestone and Le Moyne — make up six of the nine previous national champions, so the field is still plenty packed. In fact, the two programs are two of the winningest in DII men's lacrosse history. 

FOLLOW IT ALL: Scores and bracket updates from the NCAA lacrosse championships

Here’s what to watch beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 21 right here on 

No. 2 Mercyhurst vs. No. 1 Le Moyne, 1 p.m. ET (WATCH)

Le Moyne is no stranger to deep runs in the DII men’s lacrosse championship. The Dolphins have won six national titles in the 2000s with four national runner-up campaigns to add to their resume. It’s been a while since Mercyhurst advanced through the semifinals, but the Lakers do have a national championship in 2011. They also have a pair of national runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2007, both of which came to Le Moyne.

Statistically speaking, these are two of the best defenses in DII men’s lacrosse. Both are the top five in goals-against per game. The advantage on paper, seems to rest with Mercyhurst, which scores 16.62 goals per game, compared to Le Moyne’s 12.81, giving the Lakers the second-highest margin of victory in DII. However, defending goal for Le Moyne is one of the best in the division. Matt Vavonese leads DII men’s lacrosse in goals-against average and is fourth in save percentage at .599. He’ll have to turn away Myles Hamm and Ethan Landymore who each have more than 60 points this season and are both top 25 in goals scored.

Stats Le Moyne Mercyhurst
Record 17-0 15-2
Goals 216 276
Assists 134 149
Ground balls 471 691
Shot % .314. .311
Shots on goal % .609 .599
Scoring defense 7.12 8.06
Scoring margin 5.69 8.56

BRACKETOLOGY: Check out the interactive bracket and how we got here

No. 5 Lenoir-Rhyne vs. No. 2 Limestone, 1 p.m. ET (WATCH)

Lenoir-Rhyne has had quite the road traveled to the semifinals. First the Bears took down the defending national champs and then defeated the South Region’s No. 1 seed Rollins by quite a bit. Now they face a Limestone team that has won three national titles in the past decade. It would be quite the story if they should advance to just the second championship game in program history.

On paper, Lenoir-Rhyne seems to have a bit of an advantage as one of the most balanced teams remaining. The Bears are both top five in scoring defense and scoring margin, while the Saints have the worst scoring defense remaining among the final four teams. But who needs defense when you have Zachary Terry? Terry leads DII men’s lacrosse, scoring 4.26 goals per game, nearly a half goal better than the next closest person. His 84 total goals are tops by a wide margin and he’s had at least a hat trick in each of his last four games, including a trio against Lenoir-Rhyne in the SAC championship game on May 1.

Stats Lenoir-Rhyne Limestone
Record  16-3 16-4
Goals 306 347
Assists 191 202
Ground balls 588 911
Shot % .320 .326
Shots on goal % .594 .602
Scoring defense 8.11 10.89
Scoring margin 8.11 6.79

Northwestern's Izzy Scane and Duke's Brennan O'Neill win the 2023 Tewaaraton Award

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DII men's lacrosse championship: How to watch, preview and prediction

Mercyhurst and Lenoir-Rhyne will face off in the DII men's lacrosse championship game on May 28. Wayne Cavadi breaks down the matchup and takes a guess on who will win.

Jim Brown, Syracuse football and lacrosse star turned NFL legend, passes away

Syracuse and National Football League legend Jim Brown passed away today May 19, 2023.