Pat Bernard – Lacrosse Correspondent, Deveraux Sports/Edge of Philly Sports
The Lenoir-Rhyne Bears faced the Mercyhurst Lakers in the finals of the NCAA Division II lacrosse championship at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. It was the Bears’ second trip to the title game, having lost in the finals two years ago. However, this time around would be different. The Bears knocked out D-II powerhouses Tampa and Limestone in their run to the finals. They then routed Mercyhurst 20-5 for the first title in the history of the program.
Bears shine on both sides of the ball
The matchup was one-sided from the start, as the Bears jumped out to 6-0 lead after one quarter, and 14-1 at halftime. Fifteen of the Bears’ 20 goals were unassisted, as they created their own opportunities to score. Defensively, the Bears employed both zone and man-to-man defensive coverages. They read what Mercyhurst wanted to do offensively and made all the right adjustments. When Mercyhurst tried to shoot on net from the perimeter, Lenoir-Rhyne would strip balls and force turnovers. Any time Mercyhurst tried to get near the Lenoir-Rhyne net, the Bears would shut down the middle.
The only true defensive lapse for the Bears came early in the second half. Mercyhurst scored four of the first five goals in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 15-5. But Greg Paradine and his coaching staff would again make adjustments, limiting Mercyhurst from spreading the ball around and finding open guys for further scoring opportunities.
Evan Voss earned Most Outstanding Player honors, leading the Bears with 4 goals and 1 assist. He did a great job of making his own shots, finding open teammates, and also causing problems for Mercyhurst defensively. His energy on the field reverberated to teammates Riley Seay (4 goals), Jarrett Huff (3 goals), and Toron Eccleston (3 goals). Eccleston, along with attackman Myles Moffat, will be bringing new found championship experience with him back to British Columbia. Following the championship, both players will join the WLA’s Burnaby Lakers for the 2023 Sr. A summer season.
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Pat Bernard has four years of podcasting. His first year with the Pattison Ave Phantics and four years running Devereaux Sports. Now currently, both Devereaux Sports and Edge of Sports. Pat is a for 6 Philly sports fan. Flyers, Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, Wings, and Union. The Gobbler is a former pro wrestler and ACPW Hall of Famer! He is originally out of Ambler from Northeast Philly (by the Tacony Bridge). Pat is a credentialed Philadelphia Wings Beat Reported under Edge of Philly Sports.