|Michael Elefonte||Collin Purdy||Shayne Fallon|
The University of Scranton men's lacrosse team has its sights set on the program's first Landmark Conference title since 2011 as the Royals begin their postseason quest on Wednesday night with a home semifinal matchup against Susquehanna. Opening face-off between the Royals and River Hawks is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Weiss Field in Scranton.
Scranton claimed the #2 seed in the Landmark Conference playoffs this spring after posting a 10-7 overall record while going 5-1 in conference play. Susquehanna enters the postseason as the #3 seed, also going 10-7 overall while finishing 4-2 against Landmark Conference opponents.
Last spring, Susquehanna defeated Scranton 13-7 in Selinsgrove in the conference semifinals before falling to Elizabethtown in the championship game, 10-9.
Admission to Wednesday's playoff game is $7 for adults and $4 for non-Landmark students and seniors (62+). Students with a Landmark Conference ID, Landmark faculty and staff, and youths (10 and under) will be admitted for free.
The Royals are making their ninth straight appearance in the Landmark Conference playoffs and are seeking their second title since joining the league for the 2008 season. Scranton is also looking for its first postseason win since 2015 when the Royals advanced to the Landmark Conference championship game before falling to Catholic. Scranton has reached the title round three times (2009, 2011, 2015).
Junior Michael Elefonte (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon), who was named the Landmark Conference Offensive Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Conference selection, leads Scranton's attack this spring, totaling 55 points on 37 goals and 18 assists during the regular season.
Senior Tim Dolan (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City), a Second Team honoree, has 51 points, junior Quinn Killeen (Berkeley Heights, N.J./New Providence) has 47 points, and junior Connor Kirkwood (Millburn, N.J./St. Peter's Prep), a Second Team selection, has 45 points on the year.
Sophomore Collin Purdy (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) has been outstanding on face-offs for the Royals this season, winning 63.6 percent of his draws and picking up a team-high 131 groundballs on his way to earning First Team All-Landmark Conference accolades.
Junior Gordon Paul (Ocean, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy), a Second Team selection, leads Scranton's defense with 21 caused turnovers to go along with 45 groundballs.
Sophomore Shayne Fallon (West Deptford, N.J./West Deptford) has made 152 saves this season and sports an 8-5 record with a .539 save percentage and a 10.33 goals against average.
Susquehanna's attack is paced by a pair of All-Conference selections in sophomore Colton Dick and Jack Donnelly. Dick, a First Team selection, led the conference during the regular season with 74 points on 39 goals and 35 assists while Donnelly, a Second Team honoree, netted 41 goals and dished out nine helpers for 50 points.
The River Haws boast three other All-Conferences honorees in First Team senior defender Travis Yaga, Second Team midfielder Jake Smolokoff, and Second Team senior goalkeeper Dylan Abplanalp, who brings a .612 save percentage and a 9.26 goals against average to Scranton after starting all 17 games for Susquehanna this spring.
Scranton won the regular season meeting between the two teams, 15-7, at Susquehanna on March 23. The River Hawks led 5-3 at halftime before the Royals erupted for 11 straight goals to hold a 14-5 advantage with 6:12 remaining.
Elefonte led Scranton with three goals and three assists, Dolan had three goals and an assists, while sophomore Daniel Mallay (South Hempstead, N.Y./South Side) also netted a hat trick in the win.
Purdy won 11 face-offs and had eight groundballs while Fallon made nine saves to post the win in Scranton's cage.
Dick scored four goals to pace Susquehanna's attack while Abplanalp made a game-high 18 saves in nearly 54 minutes of action in net for the River Hawks.
Top-seeded Elizabethtown hosts fourth-seeded Catholic in Wednesday's other semifinal starting at 4 p.m. The semifinal final winners will meet on Saturday for the Landmark Conference championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament at the site of the top remaining seed.