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Jarrett Huff
Jarrett Huff had a pair of goals and two assists for the Bears in the national championship game.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Lacrosse Downs Tampa, Heads Back to National Championship

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Lacrosse team is heading back to Philadelphia to defend their National Championship as the Bears took down #1 Tampa on their home field 15-14 to advance to their third title game in the last four years as the Bears will look for back-to-back titles next Sunday against Adelphi. Bears for the second straight game overcame a four goal second half deficit as Jarrett Huff had the game-winning goal with 2:40 left then Rob Pensabene made a huge save with less than a minute to play to help the Bears advance to the 2024 National Championship.

Big runs were the name of the game in the first quarter as Tampa scored the first four goals of the game. The Spartans then saw the Bears score the next four before each team traded goals to end the first quarter at a 5-5 tie.

LR had a brief 6-5 lead before Tampa raced out to outscore the Bears 5-1 the rest of the quarter to take a 10-7 lead into halftime.

For the second straight game, the Bears faced a four goal second half deficit as LR was down 11-7 as the Bears scored five of the next six goals to tie it at 12-12 at the end of the third quarter.

The Bears had their biggest lead of the day 14-12 before Tampa tied it at 14-14 with 3:48 to play.

Huff then gave the Bears the lead back with 2:40 left then Pensabene made a kick save with his right foot with less then 60 seconds left to play. Tampa had possession but the Bears defense hold them without a shot in the final ten seconds to send the Bears back to Philadelphia.

Pensabene made nine saves but his ninth save helped the Bears punched their ticket back to title game. Freshman Robert Walker had a career high four goals as Walker only had ten goals all season. However Walker has scored in ten straight games.

While Ryan Duncan tied a career high with three goals, the duo of Duncan and Walker had seven of the Bears 15 goals.

The Bears had seven caused turnovers by seven different players as LR forced eleven turnovers on the day.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns to defend the NCAA Division 2 championship when they face Adelphi from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Sunday.

{Information provided by Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics}