Men’s Lacrosse Lose 9-8 In Championship Game OT


 The Mavs made school history as they won their first-ever ECC playoff game in the semifinals at home against Chestnut Hill Griffins on May 3 by a score of 15-3. The Mavericks then lost to NYIT, 9-8, in overtime in a thrilling championship match. 

Mercy’s men’s lacrosse entered the 2017 season with high expectation, and after a long season, they did exactly what they set out to do.

They ended the season with an 11-4 record overall and finished 7-1 in ECC play, tying the school record for the most ECC wins in a season, which was previously set in 2013 and 2011.

The Mavericks landed themselves as the No. 2 seed, qualifying for the East Coast Conference Lacrosse Championships for the third consecutive year. They entered the semifinals strong as they hit the board a minute into the game, giving Mercy a 1-0 lead.

Senior Daniel Speicher and graduate student Kevin McNally followed with goals to make it 3-0 with 8:53 remaining in the opening quarter. It remained 3-0 after the first quarter as sophomore Ryan Gibbons made three saves to keep Chestnut Hill off the board.

Mercy continued to dominate in the second quarter as they scored four unanswered to begin the frame, taking a 7-0 lead with 4:35 left in the half.

Junior Chris Martinez and sophomore Ryan MacSpadyen put their names in the scoring column with goals before sophomore Bobby Chillianis netted his second and freshman Joe Cortese added another. The Griffins finally broke through at the 2:51 mark to bring the score to 7-1, but MacSpadyen and Speicher closed out the half with goals to give Mercy a comfortable 9-1 lead at halftime. Gibbons stepped up big for the Mavericks in the quarter making six saves to limit Chestnut Hill to just one first-half goal.

The Griffins opened the second half with a goal just 16 seconds in and looked to make a rally. However, Speicher and McNally ended any hope of a comeback with back-to-back goals that made it 11-2 with 10:21 left in the period. After the Griffins scored at the 6:07 mark, the Mavericks closed the game out with four straight goals to secure the win. MacSpadyen started the rally and was followed by goals from Cortese, senior Nick Wilcox and freshman Tommy McPartland.

Wilcox, one of the men’s lacrosse captains, said, “Making the playoffs for a third time is a great accomplishment for our program. And it’s a great feeling to qualify for it my senior year, just as much.”

“The last two ECC playoffs were close games that we ended up coming out on the losing side of, and we were hoping to get over the hump and win this year.”

And that’s exactly what they did as they took home the victory of 15-3.

“It’s awesome to win a playoff game for the first time in school history,” Wilcox said. “I’m proud that I was a part of the first team to make the playoffs but now to win one as well.”

“Everyone was really excited but it’s a quick turn around to the championship game, so we have to stay focused.”

Not only did the Mavericks look forward to the ECC Championships, but the team looked to qualify for their first ever appearance in the NCAA tournament, where the team was ranked no. 6.

“Qualifying for the NCAA would be amazing, but we need to focus on the ECC if we want a chance at that,” Wilcox stated after the semifinals.

Kevin McNally scored three goals and one assist on May 6 against top ranked NYIT at LIU Post in the ECC Championship Game. Mercy led 3-1 after the first period, and after the teams swapped two goals in the second period, NYIT rallied to tie the game in the final period. The winning goal was scored twenty seconds left in overtime. Chris Martinez added two goals for the Mavs. Tom Hughes scored five goals for NYIT.