Otterbein Tames John Carroll for OAC Crown
from press release
WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The Otterbein University men's lacrosse team cemented itself into the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) record books Saturday afternoon, winning the league's inaugural tournament with a 13-8 victory over John Carroll.
The Cardinals, holding the tournament's top seed, improve themselves to 12-4 this spring and will now await word as to whether it receives an at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The Division III selection show will take place Sunday evening as Otterbein hopes for a second-consecutive bid.
Otterbein opened strong against the third-seeded Blue Streaks (13-4), holding a 3-1 lead after one quarter before building a 6-2 advantage later in the second quarter. John Carroll responded with a run, netting three goals in a 62-second span prior to halftime in closing the deficit to 6-5.
The Cardinals widened the margin to 9-6 by the end of the third period, but JCU fought back with two quick goals in the fourth as Otterbein led just 9-8 with 12:37 to play.
Otterbein regained control just 21 seconds later on a goal from senior Mike Dattolo, and followed with three more down the stretch after a slew of John Carroll penalties.
Dattolo, classmate Mikey O'Neal and junior Mike Sullivan all tallied three-goal performances to lead the Cardinal offense, with O'Neal also chipping in two assists for a game-best five points. Senior Pat Teynor scored twice while sophomore Marcus Willis dished out a pair of helpers.
Stephen Leous registered four goals to pace John Carroll, which saw Otterbein claim a 43-23 shot advantage (26-18 on goal).
Otterbein faceoff specialist Carlos Salazar was successful on 17 of 24 opportunities at the X, finishing with a game-high seven ground balls in the process.
The Cardinals, now winners of nine-straight games, will be looking to receive an NCAA big through a Poll-B selection. Otterbein suffered an first-round loss at Adrian College (Mich.) in last years postseason.
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