(Photo by Shannon Lukens)
BOULDER, Colo. – Metro State built a 7-2 halftime lead and held off Montana State in the last 30 minutes to register a 12-9 victory and win the 2017 RMLC Division II championship on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Roadrunners earn an automatic berth to the MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour, which runs from May 8-13 in Orange County, Calif. This is Metro State’s first-ever bid to nationals.
Metro State amassed a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, but Montana State was able to cut into the lead early in the second with a goal, trimming the margin to 3-1. An EMO marker pushed the lead back to three for the Roadrunners.
The lead expanded to five goals in the second half, 8-3, but the Bobcats made a late charge, trimming the lead to 9-8 with six minutes left in the contest.
Metro coach Daniel Hunter just let his players do their thing.
“I left it in their hands because I figured they knew what to do,” he said. “And they did.”
The lead was still one for Metro State, 10-9, before the Roadrunners tacked on a couple of late goals for the final.
Metro State rookie goalie Jake Miller was superb from start the finish, stifling several shots in the fourth quarter when Montana State was attempting to tie it.
“We just had to play as a team, let the seniors lead, and then do my job,” Miller said after the game. “We’re pumped and can’t wait to get to California.”
Metro State will find out its seed and opponent tomorrow evening around 10 p.m. EDT. The Division II brackets will be unveiled on MCLA.us.
TICKET PUNCHED: Metro State defeats Montana State, 12-9, for the RMLC-II championship! #mcla17 pic.twitter.com/P76GDLhpdu
— MCLA (@MCLA) April 29, 2017
2017 Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference Tournament
Division II – (Bracket)
Semifinals – April 28 – Boulder, Colo.
#2SE Fort Lewis vs. #1NW Montana State, 12-6
#1SE Metro State d. #2NW Colorado Mines, 19-3
Finals – April 29 – Boulder, Colo.
#1SE Metro State v. #1NW Montana State, 12-9