Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/9/17
Senior defenseman Matt Minner (Appoquinimink-DE) was named MVP and West Chester University used a 6-0 spurt to open the second half to claim a 14-9 victory Sunday over Kutztown in the National Club Lacrosse League (NCLL) Division 2 National Championship game at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
The Golden Rams (20-1, named NCLL Team of the Year) fell behind, 4-0 in first quarter but tied it, 6-6, at halftime, before going on their run to seize control.
It was West Chester’s third time in the National Championship game in the last five years. WCU also won in 2013.
Minner became the first defenseman to ever receive the MVP award. Also leading the defense were Zach Wilson, Mike Grello and Kevin Campfields. Brenton Jacono was a force at the face-of X and midfielders Aaron Bryant and Jack Veasey had big games.
“It feels surreal, I don’t thinks it’s fully sunk in yet that were national champs,” said team president and senior R.J. Kline, a Marple Newtown alum. “Having lost in the championship game my freshman year, going out on top is just icing on the cake.
“I really couldn’t think of a more deserving group of guys to do this. We’ve been saying ‘Natty or Bust’ since September and the whole team really bought into it. They boys came to work every single day and went through the entire season with a target on our backs. I couldn’t be more proud of this group of young men.”
On Saturday West Chester beat Stevens, 13-9, in the quarterfinals and then went on to beat defending National Champion Catholic, 8-5, for the third time this year (also in Fallball at the Kelsey Classic, and at the Beltway Bash at UMD).
West Chester, which lost only to Temple, finished the season with 17 consecutive wins.
Scoring, goalie saves in title game:
RJ Zoba: 2g 2a
Matt Borchert: 2g 2a
Devin Velekei: 2g 1a
AJ Dipasquale: 2g
Owen Griffin: 2g
Ty Thornton 1g 2a
Conner Brown: 1g 1a
Matt Minner: 1g
Todd Cooper: 1g
Nick Chamberlin 11 saves