(Utica, NY)… The Hawkeyes used a stifling defensive effort and a first-half goal-scoring barrage to defeat the Red Hawks Tuesday afternoon in the NCBS Semifinals. With the victory, the Rochester team will face the two-time defending champion Royals at 10 a.m. Wednesday at The Utica University Nexus Center.
“I am proud of the group. That was by far our most complete game,” said Hawkeyes head coach Dan Coates. “We are playing our best lacrosse at the right time, but we know the job’s not done.”
The Hawkeyes got a 25-save effort from goalie John Jacobs as they limited the Colorado team to just three goals in the first half and two in the second. Following the Red Hawks’ goal early in the second to make it 6-3, the Hawkeyes held them scoreless for 16:23 through the middle two quarters. Rochester controlled the game between the restraining lines by applying relentless pressure.
“That’s who we are as a team,” said Coates. “We know there is an eight-second shot clock, and we work on those things. I think it helps that our team has been together all year.”
The Hawkeyes’ offense was clicking, as they scored 11 times in the first half. Rochester bounced back after yielding the game’s first goal by scoring the next five in a 3:33 span. Ian Kane opened the scoring with a breakaway tally, followed by markers from Will Hardy, Zachary Terry, Rocco Santillo and Nick Cartmill.
However, the Hawkeyes’ most impressive quarter was the second, as they outscored the Red Hawks 6-1. That 12 minutes of play was dominated by Terry, who scored five times. Terry ended the game with his third eight-goal game of the tournament. He currently leads the NCBS Nationals with 28 goals in four games.
Nate Senez also had a big game, posting one goal and five assists. Cartmill finished the contest with four points (1+3), and Santillo (2+1) and Grant Breyo chipped in two goals apiece.
The Hawkeyes will now take on the Royals of the California Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (CACBLL) in the title game tomorrow morning. The contest will be broadcast live on the NLL YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/NLL/videos).