Montana State lacrosse club beats St. Thomas (Minn.) to win MCLA national title

(Editor's note: Publication of the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association.)

ROUND ROCK, Texas – In its first trip to the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association Division II national championship game, No. 4 Montana State beat No. 2 St. Thomas (Minn.) 12-7 on Saturday afternoon.

A championship wasn't looking too good for Montana State (20-2) after the first quarter, as St. Thomas (18-3) took a 3-1 lead, capped by a rush from Sammy Ness.

As they did against top-seeded Air Force in a surprise win on Thursday, the Bobcats were in control in the second quarter. Matt Bess started the second period with a pass and less than a minute later a deep shot from Vernon Loucks followed to tie the game 3-3.

Mekhi Davis gave Montana State its first lead of the game with 7:56 left in the half before Ethan Buskey's spin dodge tied the Tommies at 4-4.

Jonathan Serrell gave the Bobcats the lead again after converting a shot from Dexter Tedesco. With just 19 seconds left in the half, Loucks gave Montana State its largest lead of the game, 6-4.

Three minutes into the third period, Loucks was at it again, scoring a hat trick and extending the lead to 7-4. St. Thomas slowed the Bobcat momentum with a goal from Henry Claridge 58 seconds later, cutting the lead to 7-5, but that was all the Tommies could accomplish until the end.

Montana State defeated St. Thomas 5-2 in the final 19:12 period of the contest and pulled away to secure the 12-7 victory.

Serrell joined Loucks in scoring hat tricks for the Bobcats, while Davis had two goals and an assist. Ethan Zwickey made 12 saves in the win. Gunner Arens had nine saves for the Tommies. Buskey led the way with two goals, while Claridge contributed a goal and an assist.

Anna Harden

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