ALBION, Mich. – Trevor McManus made the last of his 20 saves with a minute left and Albion College was able to run out the clock as it hung on for an 11-10 victory over Alma College in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Men's Lacrosse Tournament semifinal game at Alumni Field.
Albion, 8-8 overall, advances to the tournament's title game at Hope College on Saturday. The Britons, winners of the last four MIAA Tournaments, are the only team to appear in every MIAA title game since the tournament's inception in 2013. Albion boasts a 4-2 record in MIAA tournament championship games.
Albion led by as many as three, 11-8, on Swift's third goal of the day with eight minutes left in regulation.
Alma pulled within 11-9 when Timothy Gearig scored with 6:39 left, and the Scots had an extra man opportunity when Noah Dailey-Chwalibog drew a two minute penalty for unnecessary roughness with 4:32 to play.
Albion got the clear after a McManus save, but Alma eventually hounded Albion into a turnover. Chase Hunyadi scored the Scots' final goal with three minutes left.
- Alec Palmer was Albion's scoring leader with four goals and an assist. He also collected three groundballs.
- Collin Bowers scored a pair of first half goals.
- Jerry Haadsma was excellent on the face-off, winning 21-of-23. His dominance helped Albion to a 38-20 advantage on groundballs.
- McManus has collected at least 20 saves in two of Albion's last three games.
- Jace Conley scored a goal, giving him 46 for the season. That moves him into fifth on Albion's single-season scoring list
From Head Coach Jake DeCola
"That was a great game for us, and this week we talked a ton about senior attackman Drew Harm and his challenges with the (brain tumor) surgery. I know the fellas wanted to win this game for him! Assistant Coach Andy Herriott made some great coaching adjustments this week going into this game and those all worked out for us. However, this win was earned by our players, and they really played a really solid game. We made plenty of mistakes for sure, but we dominated the effort plays and our best kids played really well, which is exactly what you need in May. I look at Jacob Swift hammering shots and bringing in 4 points and Alec Palmer finishing a ton and bringing in 5 points and captain Jerry Haadsma going 21-of-23 on the draw and I see a great night for those kids. But then I look at the defense and Caleb Kropp, Joey Tatar, Brian Griffiths and Bear Nelson were all really strong, too. Our short sticks played well also, and I really saw some great work on the defensive end, especially from Trevor McManus. I think Trevor showed again tonight just how good he is between the pipes. I know we could have been a bit smoother, at certain points, but I am proud of our guys for battling a ton of adversity tonight and doing what it took to return to the championship game for our seventh year straight."
Joe and Julie Serra have given a $5 million leadership gift to launch a fundraising initiative to make two dreams a reality at Albion College. The first is a newly expanded fitness and student activity facility at the site of the current Dow Recreation and Wellness Center. The second is a new or renovated competition facility for the volleyball, men's basketball and women's basketball that currently call Kresge Gymnasium home.
The College is continuing to raise funds in support of both projects. To learn more, call 517/629-0446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.