NCAA Championship Preview: No. 7 Men's Lacrosse to Face Off Against No. 6 Cabrini In National Title Game

NCAA Championship Preview: No. 7 Men's Lacrosse to Face Off Against No. 6 Cabrini In National Title Game

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AMHERST, Mass. – Looking to secure a program-record 19 wins in a single season, the seventh-ranked Amherst College men's lacrosse team is set to take the field against sixth-ranked Cabrini University on Sunday, May 26 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. with an opportunity to raise the 2019 NCAA Division III National Championship trophy. Opening face off of the National Title game is slated for 4:00PM EST.

Owning a 13-6 all-time NCAA post-season ledger, Sunday's contest will mark the first-ever matchup between the two institutions since the formation of Cabrini's men's lacrosse program in 1994, and the first-ever appearance in the National Championship game for both programs.

Landing six USILA All-Americans this spring, Tewaaraton Watch List selection Evan Wolf '19 captured two of the Division III's major awards, being named the Lt. Col. JI Turnbull Outstanding Attackman of the Year and the Iroquois National Outstanding Player of the Year, while junior Jimmy McAfee was named the Short Stick Midfielder of the Year. 

The only common opponent between the two teams in 2019 was Springfield College, with the Mammoths steamrolling the Pride, 22-8 on March 26 at home and the Cavaliers downing Springfield, 15-8 on May 11 at home in the Third Round of the NCAA postseason. 

LIVE COVERAGE 
4:00 p.m. – Amherst vs. Cabrini – Webcast / Live Stats


ROAD TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP

  • Securing an at-large bid and First Round bye to the national postseason after falling in the NESCAC Semifinals, Amherst powered past Elizabethtown, 21-9, and No. 10 Wesleyan, 16-13, in the Second and Third Rounds to earn a spot in the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2016. Taking on No. 3 Tufts on May 15, Amherst edged the Jumbos, 13-11 to advance to the program's first ever Final Four before downing Williams, 12-8 to avenge all three of their 2019 losses in a four-day span and land a spot in the National Title game.
  • Topping Gwynedd Mercy, 21-6 to win the first-ever Atlantic East Conference championship and its 19th consecutive conference title overall, Cabrini clinched an at-large bid and First Round bye before posting wins over DeSales (15-4, Second Round), Springfield (15-8, Third Round), York (11-10 OT, Quarterfinals), and Salisbury (16-13, Semifinals) to earn a trip to the programs' first National Championship contest. 

SCOUTING THE NO. 7 AMHERST COLLEGE MAMMOTHS
(18-3 Overall) – Schedule / Roster / Stats
Returning to the NCAA Championships for the sixth straight year, and seventh time overall, the Mammoths enter Title game play in search of the program's first national crown with a 13-6 all-time record in the NCAA postseason.

  • Amherst boast top-15 national rankings in 10 statistical categories including: assists (3rd / 235), assists per game (3rd / 11.19), ground balls (5th / 878), man-up offense (4th / .508), points per game (5th / 29.00), saves (11th / 284), scoring margin (12th / 7.62), scoring offense (5th / 17.81), shot percentage (13th / .347) and winning percentage (10th / .857).
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  • 11th in the nation in points per game (5.48) and 23rd in the country in goals per game (3.48), the 2019 NESCAC Player of the Year, NEILA Player of the Year, and USILA Lt. Col. JI Turnbull Outstanding Attackman of the Year and the Iroquois National Outstanding Player of the Year Evan Wolf '19 headlines a potent Amherst attack that features four players wtith 60-plus points on the year and three players with 45-or-more goals on the spring. Leading the Mammoths in goals and points Wolf has posted a stat line of 73-42-115 in 21 starts.
  • A clutch playmaker, junior Colin Minicus ranks 21st in DIII in assists per game (2.53), dishing out a team-high 48 helpers to go along with 39 markers to rank second on the team in points with 87 as a Third Team All-American. A 46 goal, 24 assist effort by Matt Solberg '20 ranks him third on the team in points (70) and earned him First-Team All-American laurels, while Jon Coffey '20 (53G, 9A, 62P) is Amherst's fourth and final 60-point getter.
  • Dylan Finazzo '20 and Juan Gonzalez '22 have excelled at the face off dot, with Finazzo going 111-185 (60.0%) and picking up 53 ground balls, and Gonzalez owning a 173-316 (54.7%) mark and corralling a team-high 88 ground balls. 
  • Honorable Mention All-American Rod Castro '20 (37 CTs, 44 GBs), James Crovatto '21 (31 CTs, 30 GBs) and Second Team All-American Tamer Sullivan '21 (21 CTs, 39 GBs) make up the core of the Mammoths' defensive unit that has allowed just 10.19 goals per game and has forced 261 turnovers.
  • The Mammoths boast three solid keepers on their roster. Taking over the reins as of late, Gib Versfeld '21 (5-2) has logged 120 saves in seven starts (534:48) to own a 10.21 GAA and 56.9 save percentage. Cam Mitchell '21 (2-0) has seen 134:47 minutes, owning a 10.24 goals against average, while Chad Simons '20 (11-1) owns a 10.19 GAA and a 58.8 save percentage in 582:58 minutes (12 starts).

SCOUTING THE NO. 6 CABRINI UNIVERSITY CAVALIERS
(21-2 Overall) – ScheduleRoster / Stats
The Cavaliers avenged both of its regular season losses en route to Sunday's title game, as Cabrini topped York and Salisbury. The Blue & White's 11-10 overtime victory at York snapped a string of four consecutive quarterfinal round losses. In the Final Four, Cabrini upset No. 2 Salisbury, 16-13, to secure its first appearance in the Championship. The win marked the first over the Sea Gulls in the program's six postseason meetings.

  • Cabrini boast top-15 national rankings in 11 statistical categories including: assists (4th / 225), assists per game (15th / 9.78), clear percentage (11th / 86.6), ground balls (3rd / 915), man-down defense (3rd / .839), man-up offense (9th / .463), points per game (12th / 26.70), scoring defense (5th / 6.61), scoring margin (2nd / 10.30), scoring offense (11th / 16.91), turnovers per game (2nd / 15.26) and winning percentage (2nd / .913).
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  • The Blue & White rides the strength of a balanced offensive attack that features four players with at least 40 goals and six with at least 40 points. Jordan Krug, the program's all-time points leader, leads the unit with 108 points on the season. His 73 goals are tied with Damian Sobieski for the program's single season mark, while his 231 career markers are two shy of short Reimer's career record.  
  • Kyle Tucker and Bill Morgan have marked the scoring column 47 and 40 times, respectively, while junior Jakob Klein tops the table with 46 assists, while his 80 points are second on the team.
  • Goaltender Riley White (21-2) mans the Cabrini pipes with 6.62 goals against average - fourth in Division III - in 23 starts (1160:09 minutes). Posting 171 saves on the season, White sports a 57.2 save percentage.
  • Atlantic East Defensive Player of the Year Tommy DeLuca anchors a defensive unit that caused 12.52 turnovers per game, with the junior's 2.61 caused turnovers per game ranking 23rd in Division III. Sean Wagner and Nick Vass join Kyle Myers with at least 20 caused turnovers on the season.
  • Faceoff specialist Luke McCallion sparks the Cabrini attack, with the team owning a 57.8 win percentage at the X. McCallion has gone 216-377 (57.3%) at the dot on the spring with a team-leading 93 ground balls, while Jake Huey owns a 92-138 (66.7%) mark on draws. 

BY THE NUMBERS

   No. 7 Amherst     No. 6 Cabrini
 Games / Record  21 / 18-3   23 / 21-2 
 Goals 374    389 
 Goals/Game  17.81   16.91 
 Assists 235    225 
 Shots Per Game 51.29     51.9
 Shots on Goal % 63.7    60.5 
 Shooting % 34.7    32.6 
 Ground Balls  878   915 
 Faceoff %  53.6 (352-657)   57.8 (356-616)
 Caused Turnovers  261    288 
 Turnovers 377    351 
 Clear %   79.6 (363-456)    86.6 (421-486)
 Man-Up % 50.8 (30-59)    46.3 (50-108) 
 Goals Against Avg.  10.19    6.60 

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