Courtesy of Aurora University
AURORA, Illinois -- For the fifth time in as many years the Aurora University men's lacrosse team saw themselves in the NCAA Division III Championship second round. The second round was once again unkind to AU as the Spartans fell to Illinois Wesleyan University 19-15.
GAME INFORMATION - 2017 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship Second Round
FINAL SCORE: Illinois Wesleyan University 19, Aurora University 15
RECORDS: Aurora University 18-3; Illinois Wesleyan University 18-1
LOCATION: Aurora, Illinois – Vago Field
LENGTH OF GAME: 2:13
SPARTAN STARTING LINE UP:
Attack: Jason Koziol
Attack: Bailey Smith
Attack: Trevor McNamara
Midfield: Sam Hiss
Midfield: Corey Segall
Midfield: Will Bradshaw
Defense: Chad Ronk
Defense: Bryce Wallgard
Defense: Sean Arfsten
Goalie: Tyler Lombardi
HOW IT HAPPENED
- AU jumped out to a 1-0 lead 3:22 into the game when Jason Koziol scored on a Trevor McNamara assist.
- IWU then scored three straight goals including two with a man-up.
- In the final minutes of the first quarter AU scored twice with Joe Ebel and Bailey Smith finding the back of the net.
- 13 goals were scored in the second quarter with IWU scoring three of the first four goals as Ben Arends was the lone AU tally.
- Koziol cut the deficit to 6-5 at 11:46 of the second before IWU pushed the lead back to 7-5.
- Five straight AU goals then gave AU what looked to be a commanding 10-7 lead. Goals came from Ebel, Arends, Smith, Matt Sammarco and Trevor McNamara.
- IWU scored with just over a minute left to give AU a 10-8 advantage.
- Just before the halftime horn sounded, AU had a goal wiped off due to a player in the crease which looked like a push from behind. IWU then fired the ball down the length of the field with the ball ending up in the back of the AU net. The goal was allowed as the officials said the ball beat the clock.
- IWU took the momentum from the crazy end of the first-half and scored twice to open the third.
- AU's Koziol scored with 5:04 to play in the third to tie the game 11-11.
- IWU then scored two goals in 38 seconds to take a 13-11 lead.
- Spartan Ben Arends scored his third of the day late in the third to make the game 13-12 heading to the fourth.
- IWU controlled the action for the better part of the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter, building an 18-12 lead on the Spartans.
- AU did not go down without a fight, scoring three times in the closing minutes with JK Torres scoring twice and Sammarco adding his second.
- The Spartans only were able to score one time on a two-minute non-releasable Titan penalty in the final 2:19 of the game.
BEYOND THE BOX
- The Spartans played in their fifth consecutive NCAA Division III Championship Second Round.
- AU set a new single season record for wins with their 18th (18-3).
FOR THE SPARTANS
Ben Arends had three goals and one assist.
Jason Koziol had three goals.
Bailey Smith had two goals.
JK Torres had two goals.
Matt Sammarco had two goals.
Joe Ebel had two goals.
Trevor McNamara had one goal and one assist.
Tyler Lombardi had 12 saves.
SPARTAN TEAM LEADERS
Points: Ben Arends (4) and Jason Koziol (3)
Goals: Jason Koziol and Ben Arends (3)
Assists: Trevor McNamara, Nick Glaser and Ben Arends (1)
Ground balls: Corey Segall (9) and Joey Lucchesi (5)
Caused Turnovers: Chad Ronk (3)
Face offs: Corey Segall (19-36)
Saves: Tyler Lombardi (12)
The AU men's lacrosse team concludes the 2017 season with an 18-3 overall record, the fifth straight Midwest Lacrosse Conference championship.