ST. LEO- It has been a special time recently for Saint Leo University Athletics, as the Lions had three sports clubs vying for national championships, including two first-timers, softball and men’s lacrosse. Men’s golf also competed for a national championship as well.
The Saint Leo men’s lacrosse team traveled to Boston for the NCAA Division II Men’s Lacrosse Championship as the South Region representative and faced Merrimack College. To get there, the Lions pulled off an upset of the No. 1 seeded Lenoir-Rhyne, 12-11, in Hickory, N.C. on back on May 20.
Merrimack proved to be too much for Saint Leo in the Division II national championship game, running away with a 23-6 win over the Lions. The Lions finish the 2018 season as the national runner-ups in Division II lacrosse.
In softball, the impressive season continued in the Lions’ favor as Saint Leo was able to defeat the University of Alabama-Huntsville, 6-3, for the South Regional title back on May 19, at University Softball Stadium.
Saint Leo (39-18) continued its winning ways in the postseason after advancing out of the South 2 Regional Tournament with a record of 3-0 before clinching another win with the first game of the South Super Regional early Friday morning. The UAH Chargers nabbed the second game of the series to force a deciding game three.
Saint Leo eventually won the series 2-1 to advance to the Division II World Series in Salem, VA and faced Southern Indiana. There however, the Lions as the No. 6 seed would fall in a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to Southern Indiana. Auria Mounts was able to pitch just a little over five innings and took the loss to fall to 16-8. The Lions ended up yielding nine hits and an error in the loss.
Lastly in Saint Leo athletics, the Lions men’s golf team competed at the National Championships in Muscle Shoals, AL, on the par-72, 7,407-yard Fighting Joe course on Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at the Shoals.
Saint Leo sent Riley Goss, Bas Vermeulen, Simon Knutsson, Oliver Lillidahl, and Alberto Castagnara to the course to compete for the National Championships. The No. 15 Lions ended up facing No. 3 Barry in the Division II quarterfinals and fell 3-2 last week on Thursday. Goss ended up having the best day out of anyone from Saint Leo, shooting a 73 on the day.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.