Holland, Mich. - Sophomore Jake Ellens (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac) scored with 11.3 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Alma College men's lacrosse team to a 11-10 victory over Hope College on Thursday (May 4) night in the semifinals of the MIAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament.
The Scots (12-5 overall) advance to their second straight MIAA Championship game and will face defending champion Albion College at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, at the Davis Athletic Complex on the campus of Albion College.
Ellens scored four times in the second half as the Scots and Flying Dutchmen (10-6) battled back and forth, tying the game on five different occasions.
Sophomore Jared Nycz (Elma, N.Y./Iriquois) tallied five points on a goal and four assists to tie the single-season record for points (82), which he set a year ago. Junior Daniel Buchy (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) added two goals and an assist and netted his 99th career goal, tying the school record, while freshman Chase Hunyadi (Pepper Pike, Ohio/University School) added a goal and an assist to set the school record for goals in a season with his 45th marker. Junior Austen Irrer (Midland, Mich./Midland) also had a multi-point outing, scoring twice.
Sophomore goalie Cam Stelljes (Okemos, Mich./Okemos) made 12 saves to backstop the Scots as Alma outshot Hope by a 43-39 margin.
"The effort these guys put forth tonight was absolutely incredible," Head Coach Michael Kinney said. "We were down by we were never out and the guys rallies when it mattered to come back and win.
"This team has put in so much hard work, has shown so much commitment to one another and this is a truly special team. We really appreciate the support tonight from everyone who came out to watch."
Hope opened the game with a 5-1 advantage, scoring five straight times after Buchy started the game with a goal to give Alma a 1-0 lead. Down by four goals with 9:42 left in the half, the Scots rallied, scoring six straight times to gain a 6-5 advantage with 6:28 to play in the third quarter. Irrer and Nycz both scored before the half, then after Irrer scored to open the third quarter, Ellens pumped in a pair of goals to close out the run.
Hope tied the game at 6-6 with 6:02 to play in the third before Alma took a two-goal lead on goals by Hunyadi and Buchy, putting Alma ahead, 8-6, with 3:36 to play in the frame.
Rocco Mularoni and Gunnar Elder scored back-to-back goals for the Dutchmen to knot the game at 8-8 to end the third quarter before Ellens scored early in the final frame to put the Scots back up by a 9-8 margin. Hope responded with a pair of goals to go ahead, 10-9, with 8:55 to play, but sophomore Jonathon Durga (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac) knotted the game at 10-10 with his goal with 5:49 on the clock, setting up Ellens' late-game heroics.