Le Moyne and Limestone entered the DII men's lacrosse championship semifinals as two of the teams that have dominated the DII landscape for nearly the past decade. However, in a stunning turn of events, neither advanced, as Mercyhurst and Lenoir-Rhyne moved on to the title match. Lenoir-Rhyne is looking to make program history and claim its first title ever.
Let's take a look at the upcoming championship bout.
TOURNEY TIME: Relive the bracket here
How to watch the DII men's lacrosse championship game
Lenoir-Rhyne and Mercyhurst will square off for the 2023 DII men's lacrosse national championship on Sunday, May 28. The game will be played from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 1 p.m. ET. You can watch all the action right here on NCAA.com.
Lenoir-Rhyne vs. Mercyhurst, previewed
What a journey for the Bears, who now enter the DII men's lacrosse championship game as the first five seed ever to do so. The road dogs of the tournament thus far, the Bears had three huge upsets all away from home, taking down No. 4 Tampa, No. 1 Rollins and No. 2 Limestone in the semifinals. The Bears have been to the championship game before, falling to Le Moyne just two years ago, but this would be the program's first title. The Bears are scoring 14 goals per game in the tournament and have outscored their three opponents by 14 total goals in the three games. While the Bears scoring was led by Toron Eccleston and Myles Moffat this year, Evan Voss has been on fire for Lenoir-Rhyne, scoring at least two goals in every game of the tournament including a four-goal output in the historic semifinals victory.
Mercyhurst is playing for its second title in program history, last winning in 2011. The Lakers also have two runner-up finishes, last making it to the championship game 10 years ago. Mercyhurst, like Lenoir-Rhyne, had great balance on both offense and defense this season. However, the Lakers contests were much tighter than Lenoir-Rhyne's in the tournament thus far, defeating both St. Anselm and Le Moyne by one goal each. Myles Hamm and Ethan Landymore were each 50-goal scorers for the Lakers this year and have contributed seven of the Lakers' 21 goals this tournament. However, keep an eye on Jeremi Phoenix-Lefebvre. He has come alive in the tournament, scoring two goals in each game, including the game winner in both victories.
|Shots on goal %||.595||.602|
Prediction: Who wins the DII men's lacrosse national championship?
You want to talk even split? Look at those stats. The Lakers and Bears were both top-five scoring defenses and top-10 scoring offenses, and both were top three in scoring margin. Both of these teams simply win. The Lakers are quite a drive from Philadelphia, but I wonder what the "home-field" advantage will look like playing in their home state. Still, it feels like destiny is on Lenoir-Rhyne's side. Sometimes you throw out stats and logic and go with the Cinderella story.
Prediction: Lenoir-Rhyne 12, Mercyhurst 11