ST. PAUL, Minn. – Ryan McNeil and Erik Thysse both collected five points, helping St. Thomas out-score St. John’s, 16-12, to win the Upper Midwest Lacrosse Conference Division II championship on Sunday afternoon.
The win gives the defending national champion Tommies an automatic berth in the 2017 MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour, which will occur from May 8-13 in Orange Calif. This will be St. Thomas’ 12th trip to nationals, which includes five titles.
After battling to a four-all draw after the first 15 minutes, St. Thomas exploded in the second frame, outscoring the Johnnies, 6-1, to take a 10-5 bulge into halftime. McNeil (3g, 2a) and Thysse (4g, 1a) played big roles in the offensive output.
St. John’s, helped by two goals and two helpers from Brooks Armitage, outscored the Tommies in the second half, 7-6, but couldn’t catch up.
St. Thomas was awarded the top seed at nationals, and will face Missouri State in the first round. St. John’s earned an at-large bid as a No. 7 seed and will play Cal State Fullerton.
April 29 – Semifinals – Mahtomedi, Minn.
#4 St. John’s d. #1 Minn.-Duluth, 9-7
#2 St. Thomas d. #3 North Dakota State, 8-6
April 30 – Finals – Mahtomedi, Minn.
#2 St. Thomas d. #4 St. John’s, 16-12