Men’s lacrosse defeats Grand Canyon, wins Southwestern Lacrosse Conference Championship

The undefeated Chapman men’s lacrosse team took home the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference Championship May 1, after the Panthers rallied from a 12-8 second-half deficit to a 13-12 victory against Grand Canyon University with a game-winning goal from sophomore attacker Dylan Garner with 16 seconds left in the game. The win, which took place at La Costa Canyon High School in San Diego, secured that the Panthers will enter the DI national lacrosse championships as the No.1 seed.

“We were in a very similar situation against this team last year in the national tournament,” said junior defender Jeff Shriver. “Compared to last year we have a completely different mentality. Not once did I consider us losing. We had a great game plan and I knew once we were able to capitalize on that plan we would win.”

The victory earns top-ranked Chapman (18-0, 7-0) an automatic bid to the 2016 Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association National Championships that begin next week. Chapman will go into the tournament the top seed as they are ranked No. 1 in the association.

“We celebrated after the game during the trophy ceremony, but you could tell no one was completely satisfied. We know we have a tough road going into nationals,” Shriver said.

Senior attacker Steve Koressel and junior midfielder Richard “Brent” Melbye did not play in the game as they were suspended by Head Coach Dallas Hartley after their arrests in the involvement of the theft of Orange High School’s Tim the turkey.

The Panthers got off to a strong start in Sunday’s contest, leading 4-2 in the first quarter. Grand Canyon (10-4, 5-1) responded well though, scoring five straight goals and leading 8-5 at halftime.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Grand Canyon led 12-8. However, Chapman did not sway away from its game plan and completed the comeback behind Garner’s game-tying and game-winning goals.

The national tournament starts May 9, with first-round games, followed by the quarterfinals May 10 at the University of California, Irvine, then the semifinals May 12 and the championship game May 14 at Chapman.

This is Chapman’s ninth consecutive appearance at the national championships, but for the first time, the Panthers will go into the tournament as the top seed. Chapman will face No. 16 Purdue in the first round.

“Throughout the season we have taken it a game at a time, and that’s how we got to 18-0, so I think we will keep going with what we got,” Shriver said.

1 Comment

  • Shame on you Chapman!

    I attended the MCLA tournament games on Monday and also yesterday (5/9 and 5/10). I am a lacrosse fan who went to the tournament games hoping to witness the spectacle and spirit of collegiate athletics in the sport I love. I am from Irvine and I thought going to UCI for the tournament would be a pleasant diversion.

    Yesterday I watched some of the Cal Poly/Colorado game as well as some of the St. Thomas/Lourdes game. After a while I walked over to the Chapman/Arizona State game and was shocked and appalled to see that Steve Koressel and Brent Melbye were playing. I couldn’t believe it. I spontaneously voiced my opinion calling Koressel “Turkey Boy.” I admit this was not my most mature moment. It was rude — but not illegal or immoral. My spontaneous eruption, however, was met with appallingly vulgar language and other verbal assaults from fans and parents (including Koressel’s mother – who I hasten to say was not vulgar in her verbal assault). One guy even attempted to physically remove me from the sideline.

    Dear Chapman School Administration and Lacrosse Coaches: Is winning a ball game or even a tournament worth the message that you sent these athletes when you allowed these punks to play?

    Sure, you say they were suspended for a game, maybe two. But that was in the conference tournament; a tournament which really meant nothing. Chapman could have lost every game in that tournament and still been invited to the national tournament.

    The message you have conveyed to your athletes at Chapman (of all sports) is that they can commit crimes such as abuse of animals (which I assert is the first step toward abusing human beings) and have to submit to only meaningless accountability if the stakes are high enough.

    You have taught situational ethics. I’m sure Chapman’s declared policies and established procedures decry such messages.

    Here’s an idea: Don’t just teach the standard you profess — live them; and make sure those that commit to such standards are accountable for their commitment! Shame on you Chapman!

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