HENNIKER, N.H. (April 27, 2019) – An historic first NCAA season for the SUNY Delhi men's lacrosse team met its conclusion on Saturday in the form of a postseason defeat. The Broncos met New England College in the NAC/NECC Tournament Semifinals, where the host Pilgrims posted a 12-3 victory.
Head coach Sam Miller's team, who finished the season with an 11-6 overall record, entered the tournament as the NAC's number-two seed following a 5-1 record in conference competition. New England, now 8-8, received the top seed from the NECC after going 3-0 in league play. The Pilgrims advance to the crossover conference championship next Saturday, May 4, traveling to face the NAC's top seed in SUNY Canton, who beat NECC two seed Dean, 15-11, in its Saturday semifinals matchup.
Despite the Broncos holding a 16-14 first-half lead in shots, including firing 11 shots on goal, Pilgrims goalie William Platt kept Delhi off the board entering halftime. New England scored three in the first period and two more in the second for a 5-0 advantage at intermission. Beyond Platt recording eight saves, the Broncos were also bitten by the bars, with two shots hitting off the crossbar and another connecting with the post. Goalie Travis Anderson and the Broncos defense looked to keep NEC at bay, forcing the hosts into 12 turnovers and going a perfect 11-for-11 on clears.
Delhi finally broke through in the third quarter when Brandon McGrath connected for a score from John Rohan with 7:29 to play in the period. It only cut the Pilgrims' lead to 8-1, however, as NEC put up five goals in the third quarter to lead, 10-1, entering the fourth. New England carried on with two goals to begin the final period for its largest lead at 12-1 with 10:22 to go. The Broncos replied with two unanswered to close things out, starting with Rohan earning his NAC-leading 54th goal of the year with 5:39 to play, followed by Travis Biggs getting on the board with 1:06 remaining.
New England finished with a 38-34 lead in shots, though midfielder Nick Dower winning 13-of-18 faceoffs. Anderson recorded nine total saves, while the defense forced the Pilgrims into 21 turnovers, cleared 23-of-26 attempts, and held NEC scoreless on five extra-man opportunities.
Rohan ended his extraordinary 2019 campaign leading the NAC with 71 points on 54 goals and 17 assists, giving him 93 career points on 69 goals and 24 assists in a two-year period at Delhi. Senior midfielder Malik Talbert completed an exemplary three-year career at SUNY Delhi, tallying 143 career points on 104 goals and 39 assists. The Valley Stream, NY native finished second this season in the NAC with 50 goals and third with 68 points, while earning both his 100th career point and 100th career goal in 2019.
Anderson wrapped up his rookie season leading all NAC goalies with an 8.29 goals against average and 169 total saves. He ranked second with a 54.5 save percentage. McGrath also capped his first year leading the league with 31 assists and ninth with 45 points. Fellow freshman Dower topped the NAC winning 235 faceoffs on 371 attempts, as well as scooping up a league-high 162 total ground balls. Biggs ended his inaugural campaign ranked 12th in the NAC with 41 points and 14th with 25 goals.
The 2019 edition of the Broncos posted their best season under third-year head coach Sam Miller, earning the coach's first double-digit-win campaign, while quickly welcoming themselves as a formidable presence in their first year in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) and NCAA Division III. Despite being ranked sixth out of seven teams in the conference's preseason poll, the Broncos cruised to dominating wins in their first five NAC games – 12-5 vs. Maine Maritime on Mar. 16, 12-5 at Husson on Mar. 23, 23-0 vs. Thomas on Mar. 30, 22-3 at NVU Johnson on April 6, and 14-7 at NVU Lyndon on April 13. Delhi also overcame an 0-2 start to the year after defeats down in Virginia to Randolph and Bridgewater, starting with winning its next six games for its highest win streak of the season.
SUNY Delhi clinched a tournament spot with its NAC victory over NVU Lyndon. The Broncos wrapped up their NAC regular season on Saturday, April 20 against SUNY Canton in a battle for first place in the NAC and tournament home field advantage rights. In a hotly-contested game that lived up to its billing, the Roos edged out a 10-9 win.
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