MISENHEIMER —The Pfeiffer men’s lacrosse team made history Saturday afternoon when it won its first USA South Athletic Conference championship to earn its first trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Falcons (12-1, 8-0) have now won 11 straight games after their 17-13 home win over the Piedmont Lions (6-5, 5-0 USA South).
On Sunday, the NCAA announced that Pfeiffer’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament will result in a trip to Lynchburg College to play the Hornets (16-2, 8-1 Old Dominion Athletic Conference) in the first round of action; that matchup is set for Saturday at 1 p.m.
“I think the biggest thing for our success has been our guys’ focus,” Pfeiffer coach Tucker Nelson told SCJ. “They are focused every day in practice and in their individual development. That is a reason why we’ve been able to stretch our win streak. Our defensive play has also stepped up this year.”
For the year, the Falcons have outscored their opponents by a margin of 261–123 while averaging just over 20 goals per game.
“Our offense is tough to cover. Tucker Hill has been winning a lot of faceoffs for us, while Jared Nelson, Quinn Becraft and John Allen have been on the attack for us,” Nelson said. “That gives us a lot of opportunities to make runs on teams.”
Unlike the majority of Pfeiffer’s wins this season, Saturday’s game with Piedmont was a competitive battle. At the 10:16 mark in the second quarter, the Lions took a 6-5 lead over the Falcons, but it didn’t take long for Pfeiffer to climb back to a 9-6 edge.
The second half of the contest was a low-scoring affair; both offenses were held to only a pair of goals each during the third quarter, but the Falcons tacked on four more goals in the fourth while holding the Lions to three.
Pfeiffer’s Corey Choberka was awarded USA South Tournament MVP honors thanks in part to his four-goal performance. Three Falcons — Allen, Becraft and Trevin King — scored three goals each, and goalkeeper Matt Stocks recorded the win with nine saves.
The Falcons’ next opponent, fourth-ranked Lynchburg, is currently riding a 10-game winning streak and is no stranger to the postseason — Saturday will mark the Hornets’ 14th NCAA Tournament appearance. Lynchburg advanced to the third round two years ago and came within one game of winning the entire tournament six years ago.