Blogs and Commentary

posted 04.18.2011 at 10.03 a.m. by Jac Coyne

Monday Notebook: NCAA Division II

- Grand Canyon, which announced earlier that this will be its last season as a varsity program, played in its final game on Saturday when it hosted Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association foe Dominican (Calif.). Behind 22 saves from Andrew Hunter, the 'Lopes defeated the Penguins, 12-11, before they walked off into the sunset. Congrats to the GCU players who stuck it out in this lame duck season and played to their last minute.

- The Indians needed overtime to win their first two tournament games and then had to rally in the fourth quarter of the title game, but Catawba is your 2011 Deep South Conference champions. Braden Artem scored an overtime game-winner against Wingate in the first round and then scored the clincher in double overtime against ninth-ranked Mars Hill in the semis. In Sunday's championship game, John Scheich scored two goals and assisted on another in the final frame, allowing the Indians to beat Florida Southern, 10-8.

Catawba is an interesting team right now. They are 12-3 and have only one game left on the schedule -- non-league game with No. 1 Limestone in two weeks. If the Indians win that game, Limestone will still likely get the nod out of the South, but Catawba might find its way into the Wild Card discussion.

- Jackson Decker was named the tournament MVP after scoring three goals and setting up six others in two games for Limestone, helping the Saints win the Conference Carolinas championship on Sunday afternoon against Pfeiffer, 10-5. The Falcons once again took the air out of the ball and managed to shut off Riley Loewen (1 goal), but the rest of the Saints picked up the slack. Junior Shayne Jackson dished out his 44th assist in the title game, breaking the school record for dimes.

- Merrimack had to make its last stand on Saturday against Le Moyne, and the Warriors put in a strong effort. Mike Morgan's troops stifled the Le Moyne offense over the first 30 minutes, taking a 4-3 lead into halftime. Unfortunately for Merrimack, the Dolphins returned the favor in the second half, blanking the Warriors on the way to a 6-4 Le Moyne win. That officially ends any Hail Mary thoughts that the 'Mack could navigate its way to the tournament. If the Warriors want a silver lining, they only graduate five seniors this spring, and should be a contender in '12.

- Speaking of the Northeast-10, the last team standing between Le Moyne and the North bid is Adelphi on Monday. The Panthers are 10-1, with the only loss being a 13-10 setback to Dowling in the season opener. However, Adelphi almost got caught peeking ahead to Wednesday's match-up with the Dolphins.

The Panthers needed double overtime to beat a 5-5 St. Michael's team, and they were lucky to do it. The Purple Knights had four shots in the first overtime and caused three Adelphi turnovers, but could not cash in. Kieren Riegel cashed in with 36 seconds left in the second extra session to keep the Panthers on track. They better be on their game Wedneday.

- I posted a story on Limestone's dynamic Canadian duo of Riley Loewen and Shayne Jackson on Friday...Notre Dame de Namur has wrapped up the inaugural WILA championship. The Argos are 7-0 in the conference with only one game left -- a clash with archrival Dominican (Calif.) in Kezar Stadium on April 30...big game for NYIT grad student Chris Lubin, who scored a pair of goals and assists on five others in the Bears comfortable, 17-11 win over Chesnut Hill.