Well, if Ray McCallum leaving for the NBA was not big enough news for the University of Detroit Mercy, the men’s lacrosse team decided to pull two upsets over the weekend to earn the MAAC tournament championship and will play in their first NCAA tournament game in program history.
The Titans, who were the No. 4 seed in the conference tourney, upset the No. 1 seed Marist 7-6 on Friday night to set up the match-up with Siena today. Today’s game was a rematch of the 2011 MAAC championship game in which Siena won 12-3. That was not the case today.
Siena pretty much controlled the first half of the game, having an 8-4 lead at the half, It looked like the Titans were going to fold near the end of the first half but they came out in the second half and battled back. Trailing 9-4 early on in the third quarter, Detroit stormed back and scored five goals in a row,to tie the game at 9. However, Siena would then score to take a 10-9 lead. However, junior Alex Maini would score with 3:45 left in the 4th quarter to tie the game at 10. Both teams had chances near the end of regulation but neither team was able to capitalize on the opportunities.
So the game went to sudden death overtime, and about one minute into it the sophomore Mike Birney, who ended the tourney with eight goals, fired a shot from the top of the box and gave the Titans the MAAC championship. It is their first MAAC championship and NCAA tourney appearance in the program’s five-year history.
It was a great victory for the team and the school. In years past, the team has had more talent on the field but this team came together and played as a team at the right time of the year. They played and accepted the role of the underdog. This is a very young team for the most part and could provide a top seed with a tough task in the first round of the NCAA tourney. You can watch the selection show tonight at 9 P.M. on ESPN U.