Saints look forward to weekend’s Liberty League title match
CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - The men’s Liberty League lacrosse championship is on the line on Saturday in Rochester as the second-seed Saints of St. Lawrence meet top-seed RIT for the title in a battle of two top-20 teams in Division 3 lacrosse.
The Saints punched their ticket to the title game on Wednesday with a 15-8 win over third-seed Ithaca at North Country field.
Ben Murtagh led the way with 4 goals and Jack Hennessey added 3 goals in the victory.
With the win, the Saints improved to 8-2 on the season and will now meet an undefeated RIT squad that’s ranked second in the nation in the latest U.S. Lacrosse magazine Division 3 rankings.
“Just to be at this point is a fantastic opportunity for our guys,” Saints coach Mike Mahoney said. “Just to be able to get on the field and kind of navigate our way through the season and now to have an opportunity to win a championship, we know it’s going to be a huge challenge against an RIT team that’s really dominated our conference and we’ve got to be at our best, but I know we’ve got a group of guys that are really excited about that opportunity. So we’re looking forward to that trip down to Rochester.”
These two teams have met one other time this season, with RIT beating the Saints by a final score of 15-5 on April 17 in Rochester, handing the Saints one of their two losses this season.
What will it take for the Saints to have a different outcome on Saturday?
“I think that keeping their transition down is going to be huge and then just sharing the ball and playing with confidence,” Murtagh said. “I think that the last three or four games have been our best of the season and just keep that going will be super important and then just continuing to value the ball.”
“I think we’re going to try to maintain some of the confidence we had today,” Saints junior goalie William Helm said. “Obviously we’re going to draw some things up these next few days here and have some really great practice leading up to the game, but I think the biggest thing here is not coming out flat footed and just coming out ready to attack.”
In the year of a pandemic when the Saints didn’t know if they would be playing lacrosse at all, much less have a Liberty League season, getting a chance to play and play for a championship is something that’s not lost on the players.
“I mean it’s really special,” Helm said. “Obviously, I think the coaches have touched on it a couple of times over the week. It’s not something that happens a lot and considering this year we’re really fortunate not only for all the behind-the-scenes work that’s happened to allow us to play here but now we’re in this position to go forward and play in a championship which is really special, so I’m really excited and the rest of the boys are fired up as well.”
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