INDIANOPLIS, IN – The Whittier College Men's Lacrosse Team earned a bid into the NCAA Division III National Championship Sunday after being on the outside looking in.
A year ago they barely missed out on an appearance but here in 2016 marks the first time since 2004 and the fourth overall the Purple & Gold have earned a spot in the National Championships.
Appearing in the Division III National Championship might be a rare experience for Whittier but their first-round opponent is certainly not.
The Poets will face-off against West Region Rival Colorado College for the third time in less than four weeks, tomorrow, Wednesday, May 11, at either 4:00pm or 7:00pm MST.
WC also earned a Pool B bid and finished the regular season 8-5, while CC posted an 11-4 overall record earning a trip to the National Championships for the fourth consecutive year and fifth overall.
Colorado College defeated Whittier, 13-8, on May 23.
One week later, the Tigers extended their winning streak in the series to nine games when they defeated the Poets, 13-9, in the annual battle for the Locker-Stabler Cup.
Whittier is 3-2 in NCAA Tournament Play earning trips to the Division III National Championships in '02, '03, and '04. In 2003 the Poets made a deep run to the final four and in 2002 lost in the quarterfinals when Head Coach Brian Kelly was a defenseman. Then in 2004, the Poets lost to Washington College in the first round when Kelly was a Graduate Assistant.
Freshman Ian Leek (Valley Center, Calif.) will be a player to watch as he leads the Poets in points (44) and assists (22) and is No. 4 in goals scored with 22. Not to be overlooked is senior Maxwell Jones (Fircrest, WA) who has led the Poets three of the past four seasons in goals scored with 25 goals and 18 assists.
Alex Cramer (Rocky Hill, CT) leads the trio of goalies with 91 saves with a 50.8 save percentage allowing 10.10 goals per game.