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Montana State club lacrosse beats St. Thomas (Minn.) to win MCLA national title

Montana State Lacrosse
Posted at 5:47 PM, May 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-11 21:30:37-04

(Editor's note: Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association release.)

ROUND ROCK, Texas — In its first visit to the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association Division II national championship game, No. 4 Montana State knocked off No. 2 St. Thomas (Minn.) 12-7 on Saturday afternoon.

A championship was not looking great for Montana State (20-2) after the first quarter, as St. Thomas (18-3) raced out to a 3-1 lead, capped off by a rip from Sammy Ness.

As they did against top-seeded Air Force in an upset victory on Thursday, the Bobcats owned the second quarter. Matt Bess started the second with a marker and was followed less than a minute later by a deep shot from Vernon Loucks to tie the game 3-3.

Mekhi Davis connected to give Montana State its first lead of the game with 7:56 left to go in the half before Ethan Buskey used a spin dodge to tie it back up for the Tommies at 4-4.

Jonathan Serrell returned the lead the Bobcats after converting a dish from Dexter Tedesco. With just 19 seconds left in the half, Loucks provided Montana State its biggest lead of the game, 6-4.

Loucks was at it again three minutes into the third period to notch a hat trick and balloon the advantage to 7-4. St. Thomas slowed the Bobcat momentum 58 seconds later on a Henry Claridge tally to cut the margin to 7-5, but that was as close as the Tommies would get the rest of the way.

Montana State outscored St. Thomas 5-2 over the final 19:12 of the contest to pull away and post the 12-7 triumph.

Serrell joined Loucks with hat tricks for the Bobcats while Davis had two goals and an assist. Ethan Zwickey was credited with 12 saves in the win. Gunner Arens had nine saves for the Tommies. Buskey led the way in scoring with two goals while Claridge added a goal and an assist.