For the second straight year, the Lenoir-Rhyne men’s lacrosse team captured a South Atlantic Conference Tournament title thanks to a 14-11 win over Limestone on Sunday afternoon. The Bears avenged an earlier loss to Limestone with the victory and move their winning streak to 10 in a row.
With the game tied at three after the first quarter, Lenoir-Rhyne began to pull away. The Bears scored six straight with Joe Venazio scoring twice and Will Canata scoring a goal and adding a pair of assists in the run. Limestone scored one to end the half down 9-4 and scored the first goal of the second half to get within four.
A quick 3-0 run for the Bears led by Myles Moffat and capped by a man-up goal from Toron Eccleston pushed the advantage to 12-5 with 9:06 to go. The Bears would get a goal from Canata to make it 14-7 with 1:42 left in the third quarter.
The Bears would slow the offense in the fourth quarter and were content to take time off the clock. Limestone scored three goals in the fourth but were never closer than three goals. Venazio had a hat trick and Evan Voss had two goals and three assists for a team-high five points. In total, nine different players scored for LR.
Mike McGarry paced the Limestone offense wth five goals and one assist, accounting for six of his teams 11 goals on the day. Victor Powell caused three turnovers and James Brugger added a pair of CT’s while John Paulus went 14-for-26 at the face off and grabbed six ground balls.
Liam Farrell added five ground balls for LR. Noah Johnson made 14 saves on his way to being named SAC Tournament MVP.
The Bears moved to 11-5 all-time in the SAC Tournament with the win and overall, Lenoir-Rhyne moves to 101-6 all-time when leading at halftime.
This is the third SAC Tournament title in program history.
Limestone handed LR a 13-3 loss in early March, the last loss on the schedule for LR during the 10-game winning streak. This is the fourth win by LR over Limestone who still owns the head-to-head series 8-4.
This was the 120th all-time win for the Bears.
Johnson was all-tournament along with Colten McCracken, Joey Masson, Joe Venazio and Evan Voss.
LR will find out its NCAA Tournament draw next Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.