NEWTON, Mass. – After falling behind early, the #2 seeded Mount Ida College men's lacrosse team found their groove and came all the way back to defeat Johnson & Wales University 16-13 in Thursday evening's Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) semifinals game at Alumni Field.
Mount Ida improves to 14-4 overall with their eighth straight win, and will return to the conference championship game for the second time in the last three years. They will travel across Newton to top-seeded Lasell College for a title showdown with the Lasers at 1:00 pm Saturday.
The Mustangs weathered an early Johnson & Wales storm, coming from a 5-1 deficit midway through the first period to tie the game at seven with 5:46 to play in the first half.
Chad Coehlo (Salem, Mass.) scored the first goal of the game, but then the Wildcats rattled off five straight tallies, including two straight by Max Stone (Burlington, Conn.), who, along with Eric Russo (West Grove, Pa.), each scored a hat trick for Johnson & Wales.
The teams went into the break tied at eight, but a 5-2 Mount Ida run in the third quarter proved to be the difference in the win. Donahue scored twice in the quarter and Wyatt Sullivan (Arlington, Mass.) completed his hat trick to put the Mustangs up 13-9 with ten seconds to play in the quarter.
Russo led the Wildcats with three goals and two assists, and JWU got as close as 15-12 with 2:28 left in the game.
Kyle Ton (Norwich, Conn.) added two goals and an assist and Jon Berry (Chichester, N.H.) had three assists and two caused turnovers. Sullivan had a five-point performance and Coehlo added two markers and two helpers in the win.
Ben Farrell (Downingtown, Pa.), Sam Sears (Baltimore, Md.), and Thomas Lyons (Burlington, Mass.) each had two goals and an assist for the visitors.
Hunter Guzzo (Wantage, N.J.) had the better of things at the face-off dot, winning 20 of 31 face-offs, while freshman Bradley Morris (Bayport, N.Y.) made nine saves in defeat.
Mount Ida will look for their first GNAC championship since 2012, when they won back to back titles, while Lasell is vying for their first ever GNAC crown.
Johnson & Wales ends their 2017 season with a 12-7 record, and the #3 seed in the postseason.