#10 Storm Fall to Mercyhurst in ECAC Finals, Await NCAA Tournament Bid

Photo courtesy David Dorn
Photo courtesy David Dorn

ERIE, PA. – Host Mercyhurst University claimed the inaugural Eastern College Athletic Conference Division II Lacrosse League championship with a 13-7 victory over the 10th-ranked Lake Erie College men's lacrosse team in the ECAC Tournament final Sunday afternoon (May 5) at Tullio Field in Erie.

The unbeaten and number-one-ranked Lakers (16-0) led 6-1 after the first quarter and 8-2 at halftime. The Storm (12-4) got as close as 11-6 after a goal by junior Trevor Tarte (Amherstburg, Ont./Kiski Prep) early in the fourth quarter, but two quick strikes by Mercyhurst pushed the lead back up to seven goals and essentially sealed the victory.

Tournament Most Valuable Player  Jake McAndrew and James Chayka lead Mercyhurst with three goals apiece while Deven Alves and Mitch McAvoy each scored twice. Chayka and Alves added two assists, giving them five and four points, respectively. Brian Scheetz assisted on three Laker goals.

Senior Josh Becker (Salamanca, N.Y./Salamanca) and freshman Ryan Jurek (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) led the Storm with two goals each. Becker also had two assists for a four-point game.

Michael Grace turned away 10 Storm shots in goal for Mercyhurst. Freshman Tom Lipomi (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg), who played so well against the Lakers in the Storm's near upset last month, allowed eight goals and made just two saves. Senior Alexander Wisner (Sylvania, Ohio/Sylvania Northview) made five saves for LEC.

Senior Keegan Bal (Coquitlam, B.C./Centennial Secondary) and sophomores Reagan Harding (Saskatoon, Sask./Bishop Jones Mahoney) and Justin Goodwin (New Westminster, B.C./New Westminster Secondary) were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Lake Erie will now await word from the NCAA selection committee if the Storm will be one of eight teams to earn a berth in the Division II Championship tournament.  They entered the weekend fifth in the region – the top four teams qualify for the national tournament – but picked up an 12-10 win over Seton Hill University, who was ranked eighth nationally and third in the region, on Friday in the ECAC semifinals.

The Division II Championship field will be announced Sunday night, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.