Salisbury University will get a chance to win its 13th NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse title this weekend with a rematch against Tufts University.
Salisbury, led by Watertown native and 35-year coach Jim Berkman, defeated Christopher Newport University 12-8 in a semifinal Sunday to advance to the 20th NCAA championship game in program history.
The No. 2 Sea Gulls (21-1) are slated to play No. 1 Tufts (22-0) at 4 p.m. next Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Salisbury and Tufts met in the NCAA quarterfinals last season with Tufts winning 17-10. A victory would not only give Salisbury the championship but also claim Berkman’s 600th career victory.
During Salisbury’s victory over Christopher Newport, Canton’s Isaac Thrasher scored a second-quarter goal that put the Sea Gulls ahead 5-3. Salisbury led 8-4 entering the fourth quarter.
Salisbury is seeking its first championship since it won back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017. Berkman, college men’s lacrosse’s all-time winningest coach, also led the Sea Gulls to NCAA crowns in 1994, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012.
Mercyhurst University upended No. 1-ranked Le Moyne on the Dolphins’ home turf, 11-10, to advance to the NCAA Division II title game, its first men’s lacrosse championship appearance since 2013.
Former Ogdensburg Free Academy athlete Stephen Morley scored a goal for No. 2 Mercyhurst in the third period to push the Lakers ahead 7-6 in the back-and-forth game at Ted Grant Field in Syracuse. Jeremi Phoenix-Lefebvre delivered his second goal of the game with 1 minute, 55 seconds remaining to seal the victory for Mercyhurst (16-2).
Mercyhurst will play Lenoir-Rhyne University (17-3) in the Division II final at 1 p.m. Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
ROCHESTER FALLS IN REGIONALS
The University of Rochester lost a pair of games to host Lebanon Valley College on Saturday to end their season in the NCAA Division III tournament in Annville, Pa.
Rochester, which is coached by former Sandy Creek High School standout Margaret Yerdon-Grange, lost the first game 2-0 and the second game 5-3 to finish the season 38-9.
STOKER MAKES TOURNEY TEAM
Former Sandy Creek player Carley Stoker was named to the NCAA Division III regional tournament team to close out her collegiate career.
Stoker, a senior pitcher for Eastern Connecticut State University, was selected to the 10-person squad after last weekend’s regionals in Annville, Pa.
Stoker threw complete games in the Warriors’ first and third games in the tournament, pitching in all three games. She tossed a one-hitter against Lebanon Valley in the tournament opener for her 16th win of the season. She batted .286 over two games, including hitting a double in her final game.
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