Story by Limestone College Ahtletics
MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – Junior attack Larson Sundown (Basom, N.Y.) and senior attack Matt Bennett (Nedrow, N.Y.) registered five points apiece, leading the nationally top-ranked Limestone College men's lacrosse team to a 16-11 Conference Carolinas semifinal win over North Greenville University on Friday.
Score: No. 1 Limestone 16, North Greenville 11
Records: No. 1 Limestone (16-0), North Greenville (8-9)
Location: Ray McDonald, Sr. Sports Complex
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- Sundown posted three goals on five shots to go with a pair of assists
- Bennett dished out four assists while finding the back of the net once
- Junior midfielder Tyler Papa (Manlius, N.Y.) finished with a hat trick
- Junior midfielder Clark Walter (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) also tallied three goals
- Freshman attack Nelson Logan (Basom, N.Y.) chipped in two goals and an assist
- Senior attack Jeremy Burns (Fort Mitchell, Ky.) added a goal and two assists
- Graduate attack Brian Huyghue (Halifax, Nova Scotia) posted a goal and an assist
- Junior specialist Christopher Parrott (Rising Sun, Md.) won seven faceoffs and scored a goal
- Junior Dakota Kirsch-Downs (Odenton, Md.) went 6-of-11 from the "X" with four groundballs
- Senior keeper Danny Forren (Trumbull, Conn.) finished with 10 saves on the day
HOW IT HAPPENED
Limestone marched out to a quick 2-0 lead off goals from Sundown and Walter, but a man-up goal on the other end by the Crusaders capped two straight scores to even things up with 7:26 left in the first. The momentum was short-lived, however, as Parrott beat the defense off the ensuing faceoff, making it 3-2.
After successfully killing a penalty, the Limestone defense generated offense as senior Andrew Martin (Olney, Md.) intercepted a pass and took the ball the length of the field. He passed off to Bennett on the right wing who found a streaking Huyghue as the Saints doubled up NGU, 4-2, at the end of one.
The Blue and Gold extended the margin to 5-2 early in the second as senior Coltin Moseman(Malta, N.Y.) finished off a one-timer from Bennett. Sundown continued the run with his second goal – also assisted by Bennett – before Papa scored a man-up goal from long range to give Limestone a 7-2 edge.
North Greenville snapped the 5-0 run at the 7:42-mark of the second, but Walter whipped his 44thgoal of the season past the keeper to make it 8-3 a few moments later. Papa would then bury another man-up score with less than a minute remaining in the half as the Saints carried a 9-3 advantage into the break.
The Crusaders closed the margin to 9-4 a few ticks into the second half, but Bennett finished off a feed from Sundown before Walter completed his hat trick off an assist from Burns. North Greenville would answer with a score, but Limestone started to pull away behind goals from Papa, Sundown, and Burns.
Following a goal by NGU with 4:10 remaining in the third, Logan split the frame with a man-up score – his first of two scores on the day – to stake the Saints to a 15-6 advantage with three quarters in the books. Limestone finished with a 41-26 edge in shots attempted over the first 45 minutes of play.
Logan tallied his second man-up goal just over 30 seconds into the fourth, finishing off an assist from Moseman, as Limestone grabbed a double-digit lead. North Greenville closed the game with five straight scores, but it was not quite enough as the Saints ran out the clock to claim the 16-11 semifinal decision.
With the game tied at 2-all midway through the first quarter, Limestone used a 7-1 run over the rest of the opening half to create separation at the break. The Crusaders stayed within striking distance early in the third, but the Saints would pull away for the semifinal win behind a 5-1 spurt that stretched into the fourth.
- Limestone advances to its 13th straight Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship
- The Saints have faced North Greenville in the semifinals for a third consecutive year
- The Blue and Gold recorded 16 wins in the season for a the sixth time in program history
- Limestone improves to 8-0 all-time against the Crusaders
Limestone will take on the winner of the semifinal matchup between No. 12 Mount Olive and No. 4 Belmont Abbey in the Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship Game on Sunday, April 28 at 1 p.m. The title game will be played on the campus of Mount Olive.