Billy Dineen scored five goals and Tyler French and Seth Frazier each added two to lead the University of Saint Mary to a 10-6 victory over St. Ambrose on Thursday in the first round of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship at Charles J. Berkel Memorial Stadium.
The Spires (10-5) pulled away in the fourth period, outscoring St. Ambrose 4-1 in the quarter to record the victory and advance to the championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday against Missouri Valley, which defeated Benedictine 13-6 in the other first-round game.
USM head coach Matt Kimsey said the Spires will have a tough challenge Saturday against Missouri Valley, which beat USM 10-8 two weeks ago.
“They are a really good team,” he said. “It’s going to come down to who is executing.”
The KCAC tournament winner will advance to the National Invitational Tournament May 9-12 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Kimsey gave high marks to goalie Zander Smith, who made 22 saves, including 12 in the second half.
“He played out of his mind,” Kimsey said.
Kimsey also said the key to Thursday’s victory was that Luke Fogo and Elliott Conklin won 13 of the 20 face-offs.