Wingate Upsets Lenoir-Rhyne to Win SAC Title, Enters Nike/USL DII Men's Top 20

PHOTO COURTESY OF WINGATE ATHLETICS

Wingate ended its regular season on a seven-game win streak, culminating in the 12-9 win over Lenoir-Rhyne to take home its second straight SAC title.


As soon as the Division II season seemed to settle as it approached the NCAA tournament, we had one of the more turbulent weeks yet. Le Moyne and Merrimack held steady before another potential meeting in the Northeast 10 tournament, there were upsets with massive NCAA tournament implications.

Let’s start with the South Atlantic Conference, which saw Wingate’s shocking upset of then-No. 2 Lenoir-Rhyne in the championship game. As a result, a red-hot Bulldogs team wins its second straight SAC title and enters the rankings.

Then came another upset in the Sunshine State final. Tampa topped Florida Tech in the semifinals and then took down Saint Leo 8-6 to win the conference title, handing the Lions their first Sunshine State loss of the season. The Spartans were certainly on the bubble for an NCAA tournament, and this could have put them over the top.

And keep an eye out for Belmont Abbey, which powered through the Conference Carolinas tournament as the No. 3 seed. It beat defending NCAA champion Limestone in the final, all but ending the Saints' tournament hopes. The Crusaders are up to No. 10 this week and could be in play on Selection Sunday.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Division II Men’s Top 20

 
April 30, 2018

W/L

Prev

Next

1 Le Moyne 15-0 1 5/4 vs. TBD 
2 Merrimack 13-1 3 5/4 vs. TBD 
3 Lenoir-Rhyne 16-2 4
Regular season complete
4 Seton Hill 14-1 2 5/3 vs. Wheeling Jesuit 
5 Saint Leo 14-2 5
Regular season complete
6 Colorado Mesa 15-2 6 5/4 vs. CSU-Pueblo 
7 Tampa 15-4 11 Regular season complete
8 NYIT 11-4 7 5/2 vs. Molloy 
9 Adelphi 10-3 8 5/3 vs. TBD 
10 Belmont Abbey 13-4 13
Regular season complete
11 Lake Erie 11-2 9 5/3 vs. No. 15 Mercyhurst 
12 Florida Tech 9-6 10
Regular season complete
13 Mount Olive 11-5 12
Regular season complete
14 LIU Post 9-4 14 5/2 vs. No. 20 Mercy 
15 Mercyhurst 10-4 18 5/3 vs. No. 11 Lake Erie
16 Rockhurst 14-2 19
5/4 vs. Westminster 
17 Limestone 11-7 16 5/5 vs. Indianapolis
18 Wingate 11-5 N/A Regular season complete
19 Saint Anselm 9-4 15 5/1 vs. Saint Rose 
20 Mercy 10-4 17
5/2 vs. No. 14 LIU Post
ALSO CONSIDERED: Assumption, Bentley, Florida Southern, Indianapolis, Lindenwood, Lynn, Pace, Queens (N.C.), Rollins, Saint Rose





z

HOT

Tampa (+4)

The Spartans fell to Saint Leo 10-9 on April 18, but got their revenge over the weekend. After knocking off Florida Tech in the SSC semifinals, Tampa handed Saint Leo its first conference loss in the championship game. The Spartans scored four of the final five goals and held Saint Leo scoreless for the last 9:40 to pick up the SSC title and move into the NCAA tournament discussion.

Belmont Abbey (+3)

The Crusaders lost to Mount Olive on April 7, but rattled off six wins since, including a 7-6 Conference Carolinas semifinals victory over the same team. Then they knocked off Limestone for the second time this season to take home their first conference championship since 2008. Adam Wiedemann scored five goals in the 15-11 win over the defending champs.

NOT

Lenoir-Rhyne (-1)

The body of work for the Bears is still strong, but the regular season ended on a sour note. Lenoir-Rhyne scored a season-low nine goals in the SAC title game loss to a surging Wingate team, but should still make it to the NCAA tournament.

Mercy (-3)

Mercy was rolling just a couple of weeks ago, but it ended its regular season on a three-game losing streak. The Mavericks dropped games to NYIT, Lake Erie and LIU Post, and will have to face the Pioneers again in the ECC championship. After scoring 18 against UDC, Mercy tallied just 23 goals in the last three games.

IN

Wingate

The South Atlantic Conference did wonders for a Wingate team that came out of nowhere. The Bulldogs were 4-5 in late March, but have won seven straight games — all in conference — to move into the top 20. The peak came in the SAC championship game, where Wingate held then-No. 2 Lenoir-Rhyne to nine goals en route to the shocking upset. The Bulldogs have held opponents under 10 goals in five out of six games.

OUT

Pace

This is a case of Wingate playing itself into the rankings more than Pace playing itself out. The Setters took down Assumption over the weekend, but have been less-than-impressive in 2018. Pace will enter the NE-10 Tournament as the No. 6 seed.

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