JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – As it has seemingly done all season, Georgia Tech responded to a pedestrian first half output with a dynamic second-half performance as the Yellow Jackets rolled past Liberty, 13-8, to win the 2017 SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference Division I championship.
With the win Georgia Tech (15-1) earns an automatic qualifying bid to the 2017 MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour, which will be held in Orange County, Calif., from May 8-13.
Liberty (8-7) will await a potential at-large bid to 16-team field at nationals, which will be announced on the evening of Sunday, April 30 and posted on MCLA.us.
The Yellow Jackets were holding a 2-1 lead midway through the first quarter when the skies opened up and the game was delayed for over 45 minutes by lightning. Liberty used the hiatus to its advantage, dropping the next two goals out of the break before Georgia Tech tied it up at halftime, 3-3.
The Ramblin' Wreck quickly erased any notion that they would not repeat as SELC champs by outscoring the Flames 6-0 in the third quarter to take an insurmountable, 9-3 lead into the final frame. Tim Peterson and Brian Connelly each buried a pair of goals in the decisive run.
The lead ballooned to 10-3 before Liberty ended the game on a 5-3 run to narrow the final margin to five.
Quarterfinals – Johns Creek, Ga. – April 21
Virginia Tech d. Florida, 12-6
Auburn d. Clemson, 6-4
Liberty d. Florida State, 10-9 (ot)
Georgia Tech d. NC State, 12-8
Semifinals – Johns Creek, Ga. – April 22
Georgia Tech d. Virginia Tech, 8-6
Liberty d. Auburn, 18-5
Finals – Johns Creek, Ga. – April 23
Georgia Tech d. Liberty, 13-8