Lindenwood University defeats Michigan State University, earns 12th Division 3 championship!April 14th, 2016 at 3:48PM April 14th, 2016 8:50PM
In 13 years, Lindenwood University has become the winningest program in both Division 1 and Division 3. While Division 1 has featured other programs defeating Lindenwood and claiming the title, Division 3 has been all Lindenwood, for the past 13 years.
One hiccup in their Division 3 program, in 2010, was when Pennsylvania State University defeated University of Central Florida 6-2 for the Division 3 championship. Penn State knocked out Lindenwood in the semifinals, by a score of 8-3.
In this 2016 event, Lindenwood did not exactly waltz through the competition as they have in some years past. Lindenwood’s first round robin game was against Neumann, who they defeated in the 2015 final, and Lindenwood emerged with a 5-4 overtime win. The rest of the round robin went as planned, with wins against Arizona State (6-0) and Michigan State (10-1). ChrisVisico and Spenser Marquissled the team in round robin scoring with 7 points each, followed closely by Jake Escarcega (6 points) and Jonathan Gauthier (5 points).
In their first championship game, in the Elite Eight, Lindenwood quickly dispatched the University of Missouri squad, in a 10-1 win. In the semifinals, Lindenwood defeated Bethel by a score of 7-1, and the rematch was set, lining up against Michigan State University, who they had defeated by 9 goals in round robin.
This game would prove to be nothing like the round robin matchup. Chris Visico opened up the scoring 7:10 into the game, followed by a power play goal just 1:07 later by Michigan State’s Andrew Saunders, with LU’s Spenser Marquiss in the box for tripping. Michigan State was able to outshoot Lindenwood 14-4 in the first. Lindenwood added a power play goal of their own at the 4:13 mark of the second period, by Spenser Marquiss from Thompson Teague. The teams traded goals late in the second, with another from Marquiss.
As the score was 3-2 going into the third period, the game started to shift and the shots evening out. Lindenwood scored to make it a 2-goal advantage just 2:47 into the third period, on a goal from Chad Wolterman. For the next 10 minutes Michigan State would push and look for gaps in the Lindenwood defense, but could not find a way to penetrate. However, with just 1:27 remaining, Michigan State’s Andrew Saunders scored his second goal of the game, bringing the game within 1. Michigan State poured on the pressure for the last minute and controlled play in the Lindenwood goal, with a couple passes shooting through the goal mouth but not connecting. The buzzer sounded and Lindenwood took home the title with a 4-3 win.
It was an emotional award ceremony for both teams, as the Michigan State players and coaches were so close to pushing the game into overtime, and Lindenwood players having to work harder than ever for this championship, making it even more special.
Congratulations to the Lindenwood University Lions for their 12th Division 3 National Championship!