Symmes Township, Oh. - The inaugural season of the Men’s Elite Box Lacrosse League wrapped up the week of August 13 at the Loveland Outdoor Box Lacrosse Arena at Royal Field in Symmes Township. Four teams made up of local and regional elite college and post-college players qualified for the playoffs. The semi-finals matched top seeded Loveland against the veteran Cincy Men’s team, and second seed Moeller against the University of Cincinnati.
First round action saw a team of mostly Moeller alumni easily handle the UC team, coming away with a 16-7 win despite best efforts of 2012 NCLL Final Four MVP Joe Werner (Loveland/University of Cincinnati). Former NCAA Division I standout Sean Finegan (Moeller/University of Delaware) lead all scorers with 4 goals and 1 assist, followed by Matt Bertrams (Mason/University of Albany) with 3 points (2g, 1a).
Other semi-final action was much closer, with the undefeated Loveland team alumni notching 3 goals in the last 4 minutes to force Cincy Men’s into overtime. Loveland goalie Sean Murphy (KY Stickhorses/Ireland National Team) fended off two shots from Alex Cole (Sycamore/Vermont) in the closing seconds, paving the way for Andrew Newbold (Loveland/ Sacred Heart) to dive from behind the cage and score to squeak out the 14-13 OT win.
Things were no less dramatic for the Loveland Men’s team in the final against Moeller. Despite leading 7-4 at halftime, Loveland’s offense stalled with no goals scored by either team in the first 10 minutes of the second half. A strategic timeout at the 10:35 mark gave the Moeller squad a chance to regroup. Finegan scored 3 quick goals (6g, 2a) and a wide-open Derek Kihembo (Sycamore/Johns Hopkins) put Moeller up 8-7 with 9 minutes remaining. Newbold (4 g, 1a) was able to tie the score at 8 with less than 3 minutes remaining, and solid goalie play by Murphy (22 saves) and ball control by Loveland allowed them to use their final timeout with less than 2 minutes to go. Tyler Oblong (Loveland/Essex CC) threw a double pump fake past Moeller goalie Dustun Gregory (16 saves) with :18 seconds left in regulation to secure the 9-8 win and the 2013 title.