Michigan State advances to CCLA D1 championship game with 14-6 win
#1 seed Michigan State (10-4, 7-0) advanced to the Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association Division 1 final for the sixth consecutive year with a 14-6 victory today over #4 seed Davenport University (7-8, 3-4). The Spartans have won five CCLA D1 titles in a row (2012-2016), equaling the streak set by the University of Michigan from 2007-2011 before the Wolverines moved to NCAA Division 1.
The Spartans will face #3 seed Pittsburgh (11-4, 5-2), who upset the #2 seed Minnesota (11-4, 5-2) 12-11.
The Spartan midfield scored four of the team's first five goals and were led by Stevie McKee with three goals and one assist. Ben Sims provided two goals in the first half and Keegan Wells added an assist.
Michigan State's attack group scored nine goals and were led by Brett Braun with six goals and one assist. Bennett Osterink dished out four assists to compliment his one goal and Charlie Pistner added two goals.
"I thought the men were very focused this afternoon and they responded well to Davenport's surge in the third quarter" said Michigan State head coach Cam Holding. The Panthers closed a Michigan State 6-3 halftime lead to within one goal, 6-5, with 10:26 remaining in the third quarter. The Spartans would go on to outscore the Panthers 8-1 the remainder of the game.
Holding added: "Our face-off unit played well tonight (winning 14 of 24 draws) as did our defense - really all areas performed well and I credit that to the respect we have for Davenport and their ability to strike quickly on offense. We knew we had to keep our energy high for the full four quarters and the team was able to do that".