|Collin Purdy||Connor Kirkwood|
|Kasey Carroll||Christopher Coico|
Third-seeded Susquehanna built a 7-1 lead over the first 18:09 of Wednesday night's Landmark Conference men's lacrosse semifinal game at The University of Scranton and held on for a 12-9 victory over the second-seeded Royals at Weiss Field.
The River Hawks (11-7) advanced to Saturday's championship game where they will take on top-seeded Elizabethtown, who defeated fourth-seeded Catholic in Wednesday's other semifinal matchup, 15-6.
Scranton ends its season with a 10-8 record despite dominating Wednesday's game in every aspect except for the one that counted most. The Royals outshot Susquehanna 53-22, held a 56-18 advantage in groundballs, and won 22 of the game's 25 face-offs.
Sophomore Collin Purdy (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) had a huge game in the loss for the Royals, going 22-for-25 on face-offs, picking up a game-high 15 groundballs, and scoring two goals.
Junior Connor Kirkwood (Millburn, N.J./St Peter's Prep) scored three goals and added an assist to pace Scranton's attack while senior Kasey Carroll (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) and freshman Christopher Coico (South Hempstead, N.Y./South Side) had three caused turnovers apiece to lead the Royals' defensively.
Susquehanna jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of Wednesday's semifinal matchup and held a 6-1 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
The River Hawks pushed their lead to six goals early in the second period before three straight Scranton goals brought the hosts to within three at 7-4 with 40 seconds left in the period. Susquehanna would get a key marker just seven seconds before halftime to hold an 8-4 cushion at the intermission.
Both teams scored three goals apiece in the third quarter as the River Hawks took an 11-7 lead into the final 15 minutes of regulation. Susquehanna made it a five-goal game with just under eight minutes remaining before the Royals scored twice in the final 4:04 of the contest to bring an end to the scoring.
Susquehanna goalkeeper Dylan Ablanalp made 18 saves in a strong effort in the visitor's cage to post the win while Colton Dick recorded a game-high five points on four goals and one assists to lead the River Hawks' attack.
Freshman Cole Lukasiewicz (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) had a goal and an assist while sophomore Daniel Mallay (South Hempstead, N.Y./South Side), senior Tim Dolan (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City), and junior Michael Elefonte (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon) also netted a goal apiece for Scranton in the loss.
Sophomore goalkeeper Shayne Fallon (West Deptford, N.J./West Deptford) made five saves in net for the Royals.
Susquehanna converted on both of its extra-man opportunities on the night and went 23-for-27 on clears while holding Scranton scoreless on three man-up chances.
The Royals, who went 15-for-17 on clears, committed 19 turnovers in the contest, one more than the River Hawks.