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LRU's Jarrett Huff scored the winner against Tampa one year after scoring three goals in LRU's title-game win.

Adelphi, Lenoir-Rhyne to Meet in NCAA Division II Men's Title Game

May 19, 2024
Kenny DeJohn
Rich Barnes

It’ll be Adelphi and Lenoir-Rhyne next weekend for the NCAA Division II men’s lacrosse national title. They’ll meet Sunday at 4 p.m. Eastern in Philadelphia.

Without a five-goal run in the third quarter against Tampa, Lenoir-Rhyne — the defending NCAA champion — likely wouldn’t have extended its season to the final day.

Trailing the Spartans by four goals, Lenior-Rhyne got goals from five players — Ryan Duncan, Will Canata, Sloan Steward, Robert Walker and Caison Dillon — in a 5-0 run that drastically shifted the momentum in the third quarter.

Canyon Birch netted a man-up goal with 2:09 left in the third quarter to tie it at 12 for Tampa, but Lenoir-Rhyne responded with the first two goals of the fourth — one each from Walker and Evan Voss.

The seesaw battle continued. Charlie Bolesh scored with 6:29 left to cut it to 14-13. Less than three minutes later, Owen Miller found Birch during another man-up try, knotting the score at 14.

It was sophomore Jarrett Huff — who scored three goals in the NCAA title game a year ago — who delivered the knockout punch for Lenoir-Rhyne, finishing a Steward feed with 2:40 remaining. Rob Pensabene saved a Miller shot with 58 seconds left, and Miller’s second try with 41 seconds left went wide.

Lenoir-Rhyne hung on from there.

Adelphi, playing Saint Anselm for the third time since April 20, had its easiest time against the Hawks this season — relatively speaking. The Panthers had posted wins of 8-7 and 10-9 against their NE10 rival before advancing to the championship game with a 12-9 result on Sunday.

Adelphi did enough through three quarters to withstand a furious late push from Saint Anselm. Up 10-4 entering the final quarter, the Panthers surrendered five of six goals over 11-plus minutes, making it 11-9 with 3:06 to play.

But Braden Donnellan gave Adelphi a little more breathing room, making it 12-9 with 1:32 left.

The defense bended but didn’t break on one last furious Saint Anselm possession, allowing three shots that went high, wide and wide. Colin Mulvey turned it over with a minute left, then Adelphi successfully cleared to win it.

Adelphi has won seven national championships, with the last coming in 2001.