UMD Bulldogs win 15th UMLC Championship Title
by UMD Lacrosse Media Relations
(May 2, 2012 – Duluth, MN) Make another notch in the wall for the men’s University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs lacrosse team as they claim the 2012 UMLC Championship title one more time. This marks the 15th UMLC championship the Bulldogs have claimed since 1995 and the 7th consecutive championship title since 2006.
On Sunday, April 29, the Bulldogs faced off with Mankato State University at the Concordia University’s Sea Foam Dome in St. Paul, Minnesota for the UMLC Division 1 semifinal round of the play-off tournaments. The game started at 10:45 am after the deciding game of MSU versus Iowa State University the evening before.
The Bulldogs started off incredibly strong in the first quarter against MSU, leading 4-0 by the time the clock read 5:37 with a goal made by UMD’s Alex McNamara (#10, Apple Valley, MN). Kevin Gaydos (#6, Lino Lakes, MN) added to UMD’s score around 2:38 on the clock. McNamara couldn’t hold himself to only one goal, so he attacked the net again at the end of the first quarter, leaving the score 6-0 in favor of the Bulldogs.
Head Coach Frank Clark commented, “We had been focusing on dictating the tempo and the guys came out today and did just that.”
Drake Peterson (#15, Terrence, OH) came out swinging at the beginning of the second quarter, for his first goal of the game. The Bulldogs continued to be on an unstoppable hot streak and really working as a team. Through this team work, UMD’s midfielder Matt Murphy (#21, Eden Prairie, MN), midfielder Stan Drutowski (#28, Rosemount, MN) and McNamara (#10) all put their efforts into the net, putting the score at 10-0 before the second half was even half over.
UMD hit a snag in their sweeping game, receiving a penalty and playing one man down. The defense held strong. Directly following the penalty attackman Tyler Lorinser (#16, Chaska, MN) made his shot count, putting the Bulldogs up 11-0.
McNamara (#10) and Lorinser (#16) continued to have a hot shooting streak with both making another goal, along with Drutowski (#28). By the end of the first half, the Bulldogs led unchallenged with a score of 15-0.
The third quarter continued to smile upon the Bulldogs. Gaydos (#6) got the ball rolling at the start of the third quarter, quickly followed by attack Neal Pester (#33, Savage, MN). Mankato suffered a penalty a little later in the third; giving the Bulldogs a man-up opportunity for 30 seconds and Pester (#33) decided to take advantage with another goal for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs would end up having thirteen different players in the point’s column. MSU would break through in the fourth quarter and score a couple of goals against the Dogs, but in the end, it was the Bulldogs who reigned supreme. The final score for MSU versus UMD was 26 – 2.
With the first win under their belts, UMD now headed into the championship game against none other than their infamous rivals of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Golden Gophers. The Gophers had advanced as the three seed defeating Saint Cloud State and Marquette University along the way. The championship game took place on Sunday, April 29 at the Sea Foam Dome at noon.
The Bulldogs really started to click together in the second quarter. Alex McNamara (#10) got the ball rolling as he made his first goal against the Gophers’ goalie. Midfielder Justin Vossen (#18, Apple Valley, MN) and Drake Peterson (#15) would soon follow suit with goals of their own. The Gophers started to make their mark with their first goal at the end of the second quarter by their attack man Jack Buckley (#44). The Bulldogs held the lead at the half 4-1.
The field really started to heat up in the third quarter as both the Bulldogs and Gophers had several scoring opportunities. Joey Slattery (#9, Wayzata, MN) would make several key saves but the Gophers’ Brady Haider (#38) started the exchange with a goal at 11:14 on the clock. McNamara (#10) would break through the defense around 6:20 in the quarter to put the score at 5-2 for the Bulldogs. Tim Rondorf (#33) for the Gophers reminded the Bulldogs they weren’t out of the woods yet, edging the Gophers closer to evening up with the Bulldogs. At the end of the third, the Gophers would outscore the Bulldogs 2-1, but the overall score still remained in favor of UMD.
Gaydos (#6) started the offensive run for the final quarter of the championship match. Blaeser (#3) jumped on the bandwagon with Gaydos (#6). Peterson (#15) would chime in with two goals of his own towards the end of the fourth. The Gophers weren’t quite ready to give in to the Bulldogs’ bite and would score with 3:12 on the clock, but it wasn’t enough to fill the gap. The end of the quarter saw the Bulldogs drain the clock with two possessions winning 9-4 and being awarded the title of 2012′s UMLC Division 1 Champions.
Clark commented, “This is a very good Gopher team. I am proud of the guys. They played aggressive yet smart today which put us in a great position to win this title.”
The Bulldogs ended their regular season with an UMLC record of 5 – 0 and an overall record of 7-7.
Next up for the Bulldogs will be the play-offs for the 2012 MCLA National Championship, and it is still TBA who they will play first. The National Championship will be played in Greenville, South Carolina and the tournament runs through May 14-19.
To stay on top of the 2012 MCLA Championship and how the Bulldogs play, be sure to check out umdlacrosse.com and to follow the team on Twitter @Duluthlacrosse.