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Myles Moffat
Myles Moffat scored a pair of goals in the contest.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Lacrosse Advance to SAC Championship

The No. 6 Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Lacrosse Team opened its SAC Tournament title defense with a commanding 17-8 win over Newberry in the SAC Semifinals at the Sportsplex at Matthews on Saturday evening. The Bears have now won five straight SAC Tournament games and Myles Moffat tied the program record for most goals in a SAC Tournament game with five as LR looks to make it three straight SAC Tournament Championships with a rematch with Limestone on Monday at 5 p.m.

Moffat netted a hat trick in the first half to lead the Bears to an 8-2 edge at the break. Moffat scored at the 10:38 mark of the first quarter and capped his first half hat trick with a goal with 16 seconds left in the half. Will Canata notched two goals, with the second coming on the man advantage, as LR jumped all over Newberry early.

Moffat made it 9-2 in the start of the second half before Newberry went on a 3-1 spurt to cut it to 10-5. Toron Eccleston scored twice and assisted on another Moffat goal in a 5-0 run that made a five-goal lead into a 10-goal advantage as LR cruised to victory.

Canata finished with four goals and Eccleston had two goals and two assists. Nine different players scored at least one goal in the game. LR out shot Newberry 46-33 with a 30-21 edge in shots on goal.

LR turned the ball over just 11 times, compared to 18 from the Wolves. LR held Newberry, who entered as the number 1 team in DII on the man-advantage, to 0-for-7 with the extra man. Rob Pensabene made 13 saves to earn the victory.

This was the second meeting in the SAC Tournament between LR and Newberry with the Bears moving to 2-0. LR is now 12-5 all-time in SAC Tournaments.

The Bears dispatched of Newberry in the regular season as well, an 18-6 win on March 15 at Setzler Field. LR entered the weekend ranked No. 5 in the NCAA Regional rankings and are looking to enhance their seed with a strong showing at the league tournament.

The Bears came into tonight with a +9.47 average scoring margin which ranks as the largest scoring margin in the nation. Newberry was 13th in the nation in goals scored per game at 15.5 but were held to just 14 in two games against LR.

The Bears will be in their third straight SAC Championship game and take on Limestone in the title game. The Saints upset top-seeded Wingate 22-15 in the semifinals. This will be a rematch of last year’s championship that saw LR top Limestone 14-11.