Centre men top Berry 10-7, advance to SAA championship game
The Centre men's lacrosse team broke a late tie by scoring the final three goals of the game to claim a 10-7 victory over Berry in a Southern Athletic Association Tournament semifinal game Friday in Sewanee, Tenn.
The Colonels will face host school Sewanee, a 15-5 winner over Birmingham-Southern in Friday's other semifinal contest.
Though Berry defeated Centre in an SAA semifinal a year ago, the Colonels got revenge Friday by beating the Vikings for the second time this season. The teams found themselves tied at 7-7 after a Berry goal at the 8:40 mark in the third quarter, but Centre was in control the rest of the way, getting goals from Mitchell Kraus (Louisville, Ky.) and Connor Stubbs (Decatur, Ga.) to take a 9-7 lead to the final quarter.
A Wesley Hardman (Narragansett, R.I.) goal with 3:13 remaining put Centre up 10-7 and helped seal the victory. Though Berry took 16 shots to Centre's five during the final quarter, the Vikings were held scoreless over the final 23:40 of the game by Clayton Brown (Louisville, Ky.), who made a total of eight saves.
Kraus scored a career-high four goals while Hardman contributed three in the game. Stubbs scored two goals with an assist, while Phillip Malloy (Louisville, Ky.) scored the Colonels' other goal.
It was a game of changing momentum throughout, as the Colonels found themselves playing from behind when Berry scored four goals in the first seven minutes of the game. However, Centre kept Berry off the scoreboard for the rest of the first half while scoring six goals of its own to take a 6-4 lead to halftime.
Statistics were mostly even between the two squads, with Centre holding a 33-28 edge on ground balls and a 11-10 advantage on face offs while turning the ball over 14 times to Berry's 18. Berry took 40 shots to Centre's 34.
Berry wraps up the year at 11-4 while Centre moves on to face Sewanee for the conference championship on Sunday.