In one of the most dominant performances in NCAA Championship history, the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears captured…
Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Lacrosse Falls in SAC Tournament Championship Match
For the first time since 2019, the South Atlantic Conference Tournament was won by someone other than Lenoir-Rhyne as the Limestone Saints came away with their first SAC Tournament title. The Bears had won two straight league tournaments and saw their five-game SAC Tournament winning streak snapped as Limestone outscored LR 10-2 in the last 28 minutes of the game winning, 14-8.
Bryce Reece got the scoring started with a goal just 1:43 into the game as the Bears scored first for the 13th time this season. However, the Saints had an emphatic answer. Limestone rattled off three straight from three different scorers to go up 3-1 with 5:56 left in the first quarter.
Kyle Hatcher took a feed from Riley Seay to make it 3-2 after one quarter. Trailing 4-2, LR began to flex their muscle with a 3-0 run to close out the half. LR held Limestone scoreless for the final 13:42 of the first half and Toron Eccleston and Myles Moffat (2) scored the final three goals of the half.
LR made it 6-4 on Eccleston’s second goal of the game at the 13:44 mark of the third quarter but it was all Limestone from that point on. The Saints would score four straight to go up 8-6 and held LR scoreless for over 18 minutes of game action.
The Bears finally broke through on a goal from Tommy Aguilar to pull LR within one at 8-7 but the Bears would go cold again. Limestone scored six unanswered before LR broke the drought with a goal by John Paulus with just 1:14 to play. Zachary Terry had three goals for the Saints and Jason Thomfohrde had three goals and two assists.
Rob Pensabene suffered his first loss in goal but did make 15 saves. Limestone held a 44-37 edge in shots and 29-17 lead in shots on goal. The Saints also dominated in ground balls, scooping 32 compared to just a season-low 22 from LR.
This was a rematch of last year’s SAC Championship game where LR won 14-11. LR is now 12-6 all-time in SAC Tournaments.
The eight goals are the second-least in a SAC Tournament game for LR. The Saints became the first team to win the tournament as the number five seed.
Limestone won its first SAC title in program history after winning 11 tournament championships in Conference Carolinas.
Lenoir-Rhyne is 14-3 on the season. The Bears will find out their NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday night at the NCAA Selection Show which will be streamed on NCAA.com.