May 11, 2013

Loewen's Eight Points Sinks Seton Hill, Lifts Saints

from press release

GAFFNEY, S.C. – Playing in their 14th consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament, No. 2 Limestone (16-1, 6-0 CC) punched their ticket to the Final Four with a 16-13 victory over No. 8 Seton Hill (12-4, 6-1 ECAC) in an NCAA Division II Men's Lacrosse Tournament game on Saturday, May 11 at Saints Field.

Senior attack Riley Loewen (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada) took it upon himself to make sure that his career would not end on his home field as he delivered five goals and three assists for eight points and picked up five groundballs to lead Limestone. He was joined by senior attack Corey Rich (Sacramento, Calif.) who scored four goals and had an assist with five groundballs of his own while senior midfielder Tor Reinholdt (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada) finished with a pair of goals and three assists.

Senior midfielder Zach Cummings (Crownsville, Md.) added two goals of his own while senior face-off specialist Jake Ternosky (LaFayette, N.Y.) took 12-of-19 faceoffs to give the Limestone offense the ball. Manning the defense was senior goalkeeper Christian Dzwilewski (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) as he played all 60 minutes, allowing 13 goals while making 10 saves.

The Saints showed early the poise that comes with having gone to 14 straight NCAA Division II Tournaments. After being held scoreless over the first 10 minutes of the game, Limestone erupted for five straight scores to take a 5-0 lead with 2:13 on the clock. Loewen drove home three of those goals and assisted on a fourth to fuel the offensive outburst.

After shaking off the newness of being in their first NCAA Tournament, Seton Hill responded with back-to-back goals towards the end of the first quarter as James Delaney and Taylor Mansfield connected to cut it to 5-2 with 11 seconds left. Junior long stick midfielder Mike Ponzio (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) then made it 6-2 off a pass from Tor Reinholdt before Matt Delmonico dished out a pair of assists for SHU to close to within two at 6-4 by the 12:04 mark.

Loewen would end that string with his fourth goal of the game, this one coming off a pass from Reid Reinholdt at 5:12. Delmonico then got the Griffons back within a two-goal margin at 7-5 as he found Delaney in front of the net with 2:38 on the clock. Zach Cummings then found the back of the net at 1:33 to send the Saints into the break with an 8-5 lead.

While the first half had some offensive punch for both teams, the third quarter alone would nearly equal that scoring. Delaney got on the board again for SHU just over two minutes in before Cummings and Tor Reinholdt took it themselves with unassisted scores to make it 10-6 at 11:59.

The offensive explosion continued as Dylan Lefebvre converted off a pass from Mansfield for Seton Hill, Loewen found Tor Reinholdt for the Saints and Marc Piche scored for the Griffons. After that series, Limestone came away with an 11-8 lead with 7:35 remaining in the third. The Saints then registered the next three goals in less than three minutes to push the lead to 14-8.

From there, the game would tighten up considerably as Delmonico drilled home back-to-back scores to make it 14-10 with 13:40 left in the game before freshman midfielder Vinny Ricci (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada) found the back of the net to put it at a five goal difference at the 8:51 mark.

Following that goal, SHU continued an offensive push as Piche, Delmonico and Lefebvre scored three straight to close to within 15-13 with just 2:23 left in the game. It would be as close as they would get as junior midfielder Jamar Peete (Baltimore, Md.) found Corey Rich for the clinching goal with 34 seconds left in the game, reaching the final margin of 16-13.

The Griffons were led by Matt Delmonico with three goals and five assists while Lefebvre finished with three goals and an assist. Delaney added three goals of his own with three groundballs and Piche had a pair of scores. Taylor Mansfield chipped in with a goal and two assists. Chris Ilse played all 60 minutes in goal and allowed all 16 goals while making 10 saves.

Limestone now advances to the NCAA Division II Final Four as they travel to No. 1 Mercyhurst on Saturday, May 18. Game time is yet to be determined with the winner of that game advancing to the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship Game on Sunday, May 26 at Lincoln Financial Field.

With the expansion of the tournament to eight teams, this is Limestone's first quarterfinal victory in program history ... the Saints are 3-4 all-time against semifinal opponent No. 1 Mercyhurst, dating to the first meeting in 2003 ... after winning three straight from May 17, 2003 through May 22, 2004, Limestone has lost the last three dating from 2005 ... two of the Saints victories came in the NCAA Division II Semifinal round in 2003 and 2004.

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