The Columbia men's club lacrosse team took home the National College Lacrosse League Division II national championship on Sunday, defeating SUNY Cortland 10-6 in the finals. The Lions led the game start to finish in the championship match, jumping out to a 3-0 lead over the Red Dragons after the first quarter and never looking back.
It was Saturday's semi-final contest against Lynchburg College, though, that was the more dramatic contest of the two. After taking an early 2-0 lead, Columbia allowed Lynchburg to tie the game at three goals apiece, and then let the Hornets grab a 4-3 lead going into halftime. Coming out after the break, the Lions surrendered a quick goal in the opening minutes, but rattled off five straight goals to take an 8-5 lead into the fourth quarter. Lynchburg would make a late comeback, however, scoring four consecutive goals to pull ahead 9-8 with only five minutes remaining. But the final momentum shift went in Columbia's favor as attacker Wesley Couture scored two goals in less than 45 seconds to put the Lions ahead 10-9 and goalie Dan Schmoor stopped two point-blank shots in the closing seconds to give Columbia the victory.
"We're the type of team that when we see a challenge, we're going to attack it and put all we have into overcoming it," senior captain Anthony Blandino said. "After looking at our talent in the beginning of the year, we thought we could do big things and it's good to know that we did."
Columbia finished the year with an 18-1 record and currently sits at number 36 in the national club rankings.