Men’s Lacrosse Wins Fourth-Straight ECC Crown; Beats NYIT, 12-11
Ian Schraier, Athletic Media Relations Director
BROOKVILLE, N.Y. (May 7, 2016) - The No. 6/7 and top-seeded LIU Post men's lacrosse team hoisted its fourth-straight East Coast Conference Championship Saturday, after knocking off No. 7/8 and second-seeded New York Institute of Technology, 12-11, at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium.
It was the second time in as many years that the Pioneers (12-3) defeated the Bears (13-4) for the league title. Last year, LIU Post won by a 14-9 final against NYIT.
Tied 5-5 late in the second quarter, the Pioneers got back-to-back unassisted goals from senior attackmen Ryan Slane (North Babylon, N.Y.) and Matt Bellando (Miami, Fla.) to bring a 7-5 edge into halftime.
In the third quarter, sophomore midfielder Dylan Harned (Selden, N.Y.) scored 1:37 into the period, giving the green and gold their largest advantage of the contest at 8-5.
NYIT subsequently rallied to cut the deficit to 10-9, but Bellando, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECC Tournament, re-gained that three-goal lead (12-9) for LIU Post with two tallies in the early stages of the fourth quarter.
The Bears came roaring back again though in the final minutes of regulation. Graduate midfielders Nick Sidaras (Mastic Beach, N.Y.) and Sean Cleary (Setauket, N.Y.) both found the back of the cage to close the gap to 12-11 at the 1:05 mark.
Sidaras then came away with the ensuing faceoff for NYIT to set up a potential game-tying opportunity. However, senior goalie Adam Winne (Ridgefield, Conn.) came up big, stopping a shot from Shawn Murphy (Holbrook, N.Y.) as the final horn sounded.
Winne made a game- and season-high 15 saves for the Pioneers, in only his second start of the 2016 season (last start was Mar. 2 versus St. Thomas Aquinas). His counterpart, Alex Seltzer (Plainview, N.Y.), turned aside 14 shots for the Bears.
Bellando recorded five goals on six shots on net in the win. Graduate midfielder Jeremy Morgan (Ridge, N.Y.) had three goals and one assist for four points. Slane and senior midfielder Anthony Berardis (Mahopac, N.Y.) collected three points apiece.
Junior defenseman Ryan Stern (Shoreham, N.Y.) scooped up four ground balls and caused two turnovers. Freshman defenseman P.J. Usak (Bay Shore, N.Y.) prevented a goal in the third quarter, as he blocked a Cleary shot from reaching an unguarded cage.
Head Coach John Jez and his LIU Post squad now await word on a potential at-large bid to the NCAA Division II Championship. The selection show will be aired live on Sunday (May 8) at 7:30 p.m. on NCAA.com. You can view it by clicking here.
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