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Centre men defeat Rhodes 19-7, clinch share of SAA title

The Centre men's lacrosse team clinched a share of the regular season Southern Athletic Association championship with a 19-7 victory over Rhodes on Sunday in Memphis, Tenn.

With the win, which is the Colonels' eighth in a row, Centre finishes the regular season with a 10-2 overall record and a 6-1 mark in SAA competition. Rhodes falls to 5-9 overall and 1-6 in the conference.

The Colonels tie for first place in the conference with Sewanee and Berry. Based on the league's tiebreaker, Centre receives the No. 2 seed for the SAA Tournament and will host Rhodes in a quarterfinal game on Saturday. 

Centre controlled Sunday's game from the start, scoring the first five goals and holding a comfortable lead throughout the contest. In all, 13 players scored in the Colonels' balanced attack, led by Connor Stubbs (Decatur, Ga.), who finished with four goals and two assists. Peter Murphy (Louisville, Ky.), Zack Connors (Louisville, Ky.) and Sam Rush (Cornelius, N.C.) scored two goals each with Murphy and Connors also tallying two assists.

After Centre's opening surge, Rhodes got on the scoreboard late in the first quarter to make the score 5-1. Centre answered with more offense, however, outscoring Rhodes 7-2 in the second quarter to take a 12-3 lead to halftime. 

The Colonels went on to score the first three goals of the second half to build their lead to as many as 12 points at 15-3 before the teams traded scores the rest of the way.

Scoring single goals for Centre were Robert Anthony (Louisville, Ky.), Patrick Evans (Louisville, Ky.), Joey Lencewicz (Gates Mills, Ohio), Matt Hughes (Vero Beach, Fla.), Wesley Hardman (Narragansett, R.I.), Corey Krill (Louisville, Ky.), Seth Gray (Louisville, Ky.) Alex Heffner (Terrace Park, Ohio) and James Bennett (Alpharetta, Ga.).

The Colonels outshot Rhodes 66-26 in the game. Centre goalie Bryce McCoy (Hudson, Ohio) made nine saves on 16 shots faced while Michael Stierer of Rhodes had 22 stops.

Additional details on this weekend's quarterfinal game with Rhodes will be posted as they become available.