Lions are back to back national champions
Sunday May 15th the #5 Lions saw themselves where there were one year ago, back in the NJCAA Men's Lacrosse National Championship final. This time the team that stood between the Lions and back to back National Championships was the #3 Howard Community College Dragons. Entering this game both teams had defeated their higher rank matchups with #3 Howard having defeated #2 CCBC Essex 16-8 while the Lions had defeated the #1 ranked Harford by a score of 12-9. The game opened up quick with Howard striking first within the first minute of the game but the Lions as they have all season had a better start as they responded at the 9:32 mark with a goal from Kyle Valinchus assisted by Sean Gillespie to even the game at one a piece. Then at the 8:16 mark team captain Ryan Murphy gives the Lions the lead scoring an unassisted goal. Less than two minutes later at 6:33 Brian Pohoreckyj adds another with the assist coming from Luke Vando. The Lions were not done however as at the 5:50 mark Sean Rice scored with an assist from Jordan McCoy to make it four unanswered goals, the Lions had a 4-1 lead at the end of the first. In the second quarter the Lions maintained momentum from the first quarter as at the 9:59 mark Shane Coleman scored for the Lions with an assist coming from Kamryn Gill and almost two minutes later Ryan Murphy would score his second goal of the game with Kamryn Gill assisting again. At 5:56 Howard would score to make it 6-2 however the Lions would get it back at 4:32 with a goal coming from Sean Rice with Kamryn Gill getting his third assist of the quarter to bring the score to 7-2 at halftime. Entering the third quarter Howard managed to score the first goal of the second half at 11:39. The score would remain 7-3 until 5:32 when Sean Rice would score his third goal of the game with the assist coming from Kamryn Gill. Sean Rice wasn't done however when at 2:44 he scored another goal with the assist coming from Kamryn Gill. Howard would score a goal of their own less than a minute later, but in the last minute and a half of the quarter the Lions added two more with a goal coming from Jordan McCoy assisted by Brian Pohoreckyj and a goal from Ryan Murphy assisted by Frank Falco to give the Lions the 11-4 lead entering the final quarter. Frank Falco would strike first for the Lions in the fourth quarter at the 14:11 mark with the assist coming from Jordan McCoy. Howard would then score a goal of their to which Jordan McCoy would score two goals with assists coming from Frank Falco and Brian Pohoreckyj. Howard would then score at the 10:10 mark to bring the score to 14-6. This score wouldn't last long however as a few minutes later Sean Rice would score yet another goal this time unassisted then a less than 15 seconds later Kamryn Gill would score one for the Lions with an assist coming from Logan Liantonio. Howard would score another goal at the 6:53 mark to bring the score to 16-7, however a Howard penalty would then open the door for Sean Rice to score his sixth goal of the game to give the Lions a 10 goal lead in the final six minutes of the game. Howard would go on to score two goals in but the Lions lead would be too much to overcome and the Lions would go on to win by a final score of 17-9. Notable Lions performances came from Sean Rice who had scored 6 goals, Kamryn Gill who recorded 1 goal and 6 assists, Jordan McCoy who recorded 3 goals and 2 assists, and Ryan Murphy who recorded 3 goals. Coach John Savage was awarded Coach of the Tournament with his players Sean Rice winning the Steve Carvana Offensive Player of the Tournament and Brian Lake winning the Defensive Player of the Tournament. Kamryn Gill, John Mavlios, and Andrew Tittman were also selected to the All Tournament Team.
The Lions had done it, Back to Back National Championships for the first time since 2001-2002 and winning their 23rd overall title in program history. The Lions had successfully defended their title as well as completed their revenge tour as each team they had defeated in their playoff run were all teams that had beaten them in the regular season ( Onondaga, Harford, Howard). Congratulations to the Men's Lacrosse team for a successful season.