SNC’s Men’s Lacrosse defend their championship title
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
In Novato, California, the sun shone brightly on the Sierra Nevada College Eagles who once again continued to prove their position as the top ranked powerhouse. Their decisive back to back wins over the April 30 – May 1 weekend helped cement and ultimately defend their champion status at the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL) Division II Championships.
The weekends collective victories ensure that SNC, now 14-1, will be heading to the 2016 Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) National Championships as an automatic qualifier.
The Eagles went up against the San Jose Spartans the week before and dominated offensively in a 17-3 finish, which placed the Eagle’s as the number 1 ranked seed in the WCLL. This positioned them against the number 4 ranked UC Santa Cruz as their first opponent.
Having already given the Slugs a loss this season, Saturday’s match went in favor of the Eagles in a 14-2 victory. This win advanced them into the second round.
Eight different Eagles scored during the contest. Leading the way were midfielders and sophomores Brett Ungari and Jake McIntyire. Each of the men secured a hat trick, with McIntyire also providing 3 assists and Ungari with 2 assists.
UCSC put up an aggressive attack on the Eagles defense, but it was not enough to phase them. The defense had a strong showing and kept the Slugs to only one goal each half. Goalie and junior, Austin Farina had a strong day in cage, stopping 11 of 13 shots on goal.
The next day had the Eagles facing off against UC Davis in the final round. While the regular season match was fairly close (8-4), the Eagles not only doubled that score, but they also decreased the Aggies score by one, leading to a strong finish of 18-3 and solidified their title as tournament champs.
The offense was led by midfielder and sophomore Dylon Fangmeier’s five goals while long-stick midfielder and junior Jack Witt had three assists and 11 ground balls. The Eagles went up 7-0 after one quarter and led 10-2 at the half in a game that was over early.
McIntyire attributes the ability to face adversity and manage change as a part of the Eagle’s success.
“Every year, you have to expect a change in team dynamics with new players coming and seniors going, especially with the addition of a new coaching staff,” McIntyire said. “We worked with the cards we were dealt, bought into systems the coaches had for us, and everything fell into place.”
The victorious weekend gives the Eagles another shot at the MCLA Division II national title.
“We really started meshing as a unit during the WCLL playoffs, and we are working hard to keep this momentum going into Nationals.” McIntyire said.
Being an automatic qualifier, SNC will receive the number 13 position. They will also be getting a shot at redemption, facing off against the number 4 ranked North Dakota State (13-2). The two teams met in last year’s opening round where the Eagle’s would taste defeat to the Bison 13-8.
“When I heard we were playing NDSU in the opening round, I couldn’t have been more excited.” McIntyire said. “All I have to say is, they better expect a completely different outcome then what happened last year. We are the underdogs, and we are hungry.”
The MCLA National Championships will start on Monday, May 9, with first round games, followed by quarterfinals on Tuesday, semifinals on Thursday and the championship game on Saturday, May 14. The first two rounds will take place at UC Irvine before moving to Chapman University for the semifinals and finals in Orange, Calif. All tournament games will be streamed live via MCLA.us.