For the third time in the last six seasons, the Susquehanna University Men's Lacrosse team will be playing for the Landmark Conference Championship after the River Hawks posted a 13-7 victory on the strength of six fourth-quarter goals to defeat Scranton University Wednesday afternoon on Amos Alonzo Stagg Field in Selinsgrove.
Susquehanna (12-6) advances to play Elizabethtown (8-9) for the Landmark title at 2 p.m. Saturday in the stadium in Selinsgrove. The Blue Jays advanced to the title game with a 9-5 win over Goucher.
The River Hawks tied the school record for wins in a season with their 12th victory of the year as Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year, Colton Dick scored five times, including four in the fourth quarter to lead Susquehanna to the win. The victory also avenged the lone conference loss for the River Hawks who dropped a 9-8 decision at Scranton in the regular season meeting.
Susquehanna won back-to-back championships in 2013 and 2014 and played in the semifinal round in 2015 and 2016.
The River Hawks were fired up early and the first four goals of the game to take a 4-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Goals by Tyler Lewis, Preston Ouellette, Connor Ward and Louis Pillari gave Susquehanna the early advantage.
Scranton (10-7) answered five consecutive goals in the last 7:39 of the second quarter to take a slim 5-4 lead into the halftime intermission. The Royals took the lead on a goal with just 1.5 seconds left in the half.
In the third quarter, Scranton stretched the lead to 6-4 with a goal two minutes into the period but Alec Tzaneteas started a run of eight straight goals for the River Hawks with his first of the game with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
Dick scored his first with a man-up situation and Ouellette added his second with 44 seconds left in the quarter to put the River Hawks up 7-6 entering the final period.
After a scoreless first half of the fourth quarter, Dick, Tzaneteas and Jack Donnelly scored in a span of 2:20 to push the lead to 10-6. Just 12 seconds later, Dick scored again and then he added his fourth of the day a minute later for a 12-6 lead.
Scranton stopped the run with its final goal with just less than four minutes left. Susquehanna won the ensuing faceoff as Dick eventually picked up the ground ball after a lengthy scramble. Scranton forced a turnover but Susquehanna's Dan Murphy forced another turnover seconds later as Susquehanna controlled the ball and Dick netted his fifth goal of the contest to seal the victory with two minutes to play.
Pierce Mead won 16 face offs on the day and grabbed 12 ground balls, Pillari and Dylan Abplanalp combined for six of the 14 Susquehanna caused turnovers on the afternoon. Abplanalp made seven saves and won for the school-record 12th time in a season.
Dick finished with six points on five goals and an assist, Ouellette added three points with his two goals and an assist while Tzaneteas and Jack Gerrity had two points each.