SCRANTON, Pa. – The No. 3 seeded Susquehanna men's lacrosse team pulled off a 7-4 semifinal road win at No. 2 Scranton to advance to the Landmark Conference championship game for the first time in program history.
SU (11-6) will now face No. 4 seed Merchant Marine, who upset No. 1 seed Goucher 6-5 on Wednesday night. The championship game will be played at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Sassafras Field.
Freshman Connor Moran (Delafield, Wisc./Kettle Moraine) led all players with three goals while also adding an assist and Carmen Raroha (Voorhees, N.J./Bishop Eustace) chipped in two goals. Goalie Will Torrence (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) had a busy day in goal, racking up 11 saves, six of which came in the second half.
Despite being out-shot 24-22 and winning just four of 15 face-offs, the Crusader defense shut down both of Scranton's extra-man opportunities and held the Royals (8-7) to just one second-half goal.
SU jumped out to an early, 3-0 lead with goals from three different players, the last of which came from John Kerrigan (Maple Glen, Pa./La Salle College HS) with 31 seconds left in the opening quarter. Twenty seconds later, Scranton's Taylor Nelson was able to net his team's first goal for a 3-1 game after 15 minutes of action.
The Royals then scored the first two goals of the second quarter to tie the game at three with 7:54 on the clock. Austen Lein (New Vernon, N.J./Chatham) scored the go-ahead – and ultimately game-winning –goal with 6:02 remaining and Moran netted the period's final goal to put his team ahead 5-3 at halftime.
Raroha accounted for the lone third-quarter goal which upped the Crusaders' lead to three (6-3) heading into the final 15 minutes of play. The teams traded goals to open the fourth quarter and SU maintained a three-goal advantage (7-4) with 3:05 remaining. The Royals could not find the back of the net over those remaining three minutes as Susquehanna advanced to the championship game.