ST. LOUIS – Missouri Valley freshman Austin Shindoll found a loose ball and deposited it in the net with 3.3 seconds left in regulation, giving the Vikings a dramatic, 10-9 victory over Lindenwood-Belleville in the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference (GRLC) Division II championship game on Sunday.
With the victory, Missouri Valley (11-2) automatically qualifies for the 2016 MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour, which will run from May 9-14 in Orange County, Calif. This will be the Vikings third straight trip to nationals.
At the outset, the game felt like it might be a shootout with Missouri Valley holding a 4-3 lead after 15 minutes of action. Alas, the teams would settle down. Lindenwood-Belleville (7-6) tied the game early in the second quarter, but freshman attackman Jiles Munafo and sophomore middie Carson Brezinski struck back-to-back to give the Vikings a 6-4 advantage.
A pair of goals in 11 seconds just before the half brought the Lynx back to even, setting up a hotly contested second half.
Missouri Valley would take a 9-7 lead midway through the fourth, but Belleville stormed back again to tie it at nines. Just when it appeared the contest was heading to overtime, Shindoll punched the Vikings' ticket to nationals with his second goal of the game.
2016 GRLC Division II Tournament Results
#1SW Missouri Baptist d. #2SE Washington (St. Louis), 12-3
#1SE Lindenwood-Belleville d. #2SW St. Louis, 12-5
#1NW Missouri Valley d. #2NE St. Ambrose, 22-2
#1NE Robert Morris d. #2NW Missouri State, 19-7
#1SE Lindenwood-Belleville d. #1SW Missouri Baptist, 10-9
#1NW Missouri Valley d. #1NE Robert Morris, 14-6
#1NW Missouri Valley d. #1SE Lindenwood-Belleville, 10-9