The LeMoyne College 'Dolphins' are a Division II Men's lacrosse team in Syracuse, NY. The Dolphins are a member of the Northeast Ten Conference. LeMoyne College has won 3 of the last 4 NCAA Division II National Championships including the 2004 NCAA Division II National Championship at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland in which they defeated Limestone College 11-10 in 2OT. In the 2006 NCAA Division II National Championship, they defeated Dowling College 12-5 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. In 2007, the Dolphins repeated as national champions back where it all began in 2004 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland where they defeated Mercyhurst College 6-5. The 2008 Division II National Championship will be held at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts (home of the New England Patriots) and with 7 of 10 returning starters, the Dolphins look primed and ready to pursue they're 4th national title next year.
|March 3||#6 Adelphi (Carrier Dome)||1:00 PM||W, 17-5||1-0|
|March 10||@ #3 Mercyhurst||1:00 PM||W, 8-7 (OT)||2-0|
|March 17||#5 C.W. Post (Carrier Dome)||6:00 PM||W, 10-5||3-0|
|March 24||@ #9 Bryant*||6:00 PM||L, 9-10 (OT)||3-1|
|March 25||@ Franklin Pierce*||6:00 PM||W, 19-1||4-1|
|March 31||@ Merrimack*||1:00 PM||L, 6-7||4-2|
|April 4||#1 Dowling||4:00 PM||W, 17-4||5-2|
|April 7||Saint Anselm* (Solvay H.S.)||1:30 PM||W, 8-0||6-2|
|April 11||@ Assumption*||4:00 PM||W, 20-3||7-2|
|April 14||Saint Michaels*||1:00 PM||W, 15-3||8-2|
|April 17||@ #9 Pace*||1:00 PM||W, 16-6||9-2|
|April 21||@ Southern New Hampshire*||1:00 PM||W, 12-5||10-2|
|April 28||Bentley*||1:00 PM||W,12-3||11-2|
|May 1||NE-10 Quarterfinals||BYE|
|May 4||NE-10 Semifinals vs. St. Michaels||4:00 PM||W, 15-5||12-2|
|May 6||NE-10 Championships @ Bryant||1:00 PM||W, 5-4||13-2|
|May 19||NCAA Semifinals vs. Limestone||1:00 PM||W, 8-5||14-2|
|May 27||at NCAA Championships (M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore)vs. Mercyhurst||4:00 PM||W, 6-5||15-2|
1984-91: Humble Beginnings
Long before hoisting a national championship trophy, the Le Moyne College athletic department fielded its first varsity men’s lacrosse program. A well-developed club program evolved into a varsity team that set out for its first season of competition in 1984.
The first group of Dophin laxers won the inaugural game 12-10 over Onondaga Community College. Despite the early success, a 15-4 loss to an established Hobart men’s lacrosse program in the school’s second varsity game started a tailspin that saw Le Moyne lose 11 of its next 12 games.
There were a few lasting bright spots. Randy Burnett set the school record with nine goals in a game against Geneseo and rattled the cage 48 times, another record that still stands in 1988.
Le Moyne went 3-15 in its first two seasons as a varsity program and did not post a .500 season until its ninth season.
The struggles on the field may have seemed a far cry from the program that would eventually help make Syracuse the City of Champions. However, through the hard work of these student-athletes, both on the field and after graduation as dedicated alumni the program began to build a foundation.
1992-93: Empire Lacrosse League Champions
1992 marked the ninth season in Le Moyne varsity lacrosse history. The Dolphins laxmen opened the season with four consecutive losses, but a midseason turnaround sparked Le Moyne’s first-ever men’s lacrosse championship. Facing an 0-4 overall mark, Le Moyne entered its first Empire Lacrosse League game against Oswego and nipped the Lakers 12-10. That victory ignited a 6-0 conference run which completed with Le Moyne hoisting the 1992 Empire Lacrosse League Championship. The Dolphins finished at 7-7 that season. Bob Tift scored 46 goals and totaled 72 points to lead Le Moyne in 1992.
The 1993 team defended its Empire Lacrosse League Championship. Dolphins head coach (and former standout) Rob Didio was named USILA Division II Coach of the Year as his club posted a winning record (8-6) for the first time in the history of the program. Le Moyne knocked off perennial power New York Tech 19-18 in the ECAC Division II Tournament Semifinals before bowing out to Springfield in the title game.
1994-96: Establishing the Tradition
After posting its first winning season in school-history, the Dolphins set their sights on some lacrosse heavyweights in 1994. Despite playing eight contests away from the home turf, Le Moyne finished 1994 with a 7-7 mark and another berth in the ECAC Division II Men’s Lacrosse Championship game.
The 1995 team went 4-8 and the Dolphins finished at 5-7 in 1996, but a foundation was laid for an assault on Division II.
1997: Northeast-10 Championship
The first year in the Northeast-10 Conference meant a shot at another championship for the Dolphins in 1997. Under the guidance of head coach Shane Lynch and the firepower of Conference Player of the Year Jim Nee (school-record 79 points), Le Moyne brought home the Northeast-10 Conference Championship with an 18-5 victory over Bentley.
Since winning its first Northeast-10 Championship in 1997, the Dolphins have added a league-record four more to the trophy case.
1998: Mourning Coach Lynch
Le Moyne head coach Shane Lynch passed away on January 31, 1998 after a courageous two-month battle with cancer. At the age of 28, Shane touched the lives of many people in the Le Moyne community with his integrity, charisma and his ethics. Anyone who had the opportunity to make his acquaintance was deeply blessed.
Today, the bleachers that hold some of the biggest lacrosse crowds in Division II at Le Moyne’s home games are named in honor of Lynch.
Needless to say, the Dolphins had a lot on their minds in 1998. Le Moyne finished at 6-9 under interim head coach Dan Sheehan.
1999-Present: The Sheehan Era
Dan Sheehan shed the interim head coach label prior to the 1999 season and has since left quite a mark on the Le Moyne College lacrosse program. Following the trail blazed by Lynch, the fiery Syracuse native guided the Dolphins to a 6-8 finish in his first full season, but pushed the club to a 13-3 mark in 2000.
Paced by Loyola-transfer Justin Kohlbrenner and freshman assist artist Ryan Spillett, Le Moyne struck for 136 goals, the nation’s fourth-best offense. To go along with the offensive firepower, All-American defenseman Kevin Michaud and the defense limited the opposition to the second-fewest goals (110) at the Division II level. Le Moyne’s winningest season was denied a triumphant conclusion, however, when Merrimack stunned the fifth-ranked Dolphins 12-7 in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship. Sheehan was named the USILA Division II Coach of the Year following the season.
Returning many of the same components in 2001, Le Moyne set out to win its conference and topple some of college lacrosse’s most-storied programs. The Dolphins ended up five goals short of an unbeaten mark, but finished the season ranked the highest in school history, fourth in Division II. A 10-8 loss to Division III national power Nazareth, a heartbreaking 9-8 overtime loss to C.W. Post at the Carrier Dome that featured a three-goal rally in the final 91 seconds of regulation and a disallowed goal in the extra session and a 13-11 loss at Adelphi in which Le Moyne led for three quarters kept Le Moyne from national glory.
However, Le Moyne made sure its season ended in championship fashion. After blazing through the Northeast-10 Conference with a 10-0 mark, the Dolphins disposed of upstart Bryant 19-8 in the conference semifinals and stomped Merrimack 11-4 in the title game. Kohlbrenner capped off his senior season with eight goals in his final two games and was named Most Valuable Player.
In 2002, the Dolphins reached the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. A third conference championship and the extension of its conference winning streak to 30 consecutive games meant Le Moyne achieved its preseason goals.
On the way to its successes, Le Moyne earned the first No. 1 ranking in program history. While the Dolphins were knocked from that lofty perch by longtime heavyweights Nazareth and C.W. Post, Le Moyne rebounded with program record 10 game winning streak.
In 2003, Le Moyne put together the finest season in program history. The Dolphins The Dolphins (14-1, 10-0 Northeast-10) won their first 14 games of the season and were ranked atop the USILA Division II poll in every regular season poll.
In the national semifinal, NYCAC champion New York Tech scored the final three goals of the game to stun the Dolphins 12-11. The Bears scored two goals in the final 2:32, including the game-winner with 27 seconds remaining to earn a trip to the national championship game in Baltimore.
On the way to the NCAA Tournament, Le Moyne captured its fourth consecutive Northeast-10 Conference regular season title and its third straight NE-10 tournament title. The Dolphins went 10-0 in league play to extend their regular season conference winning streak to 40 games.
Established as one of the nation’s Division II lacrosse powers, Le Moyne headed into the 2004 season with just one stone unturned, a shot at the college’s first-ever national title.
Le Moyne reached the pinnacle of college lacrosse in 2004. A perfect regular season and wins over nationally ranked Pace (21-9), Bryant (7-6) and N.Y. Tech (7-5) paved the way for the school’s first appearance in a national championship game for any sport. The Dolphins did not squander their chance, scoring an 11-10 double overtime triumph over Limestone (S.C.) in front of 19,202.
In 2005, the Dolphins extended their Northeast-10 Conference regular season winning streak to 60 consecutive games, their overall regular season streak to 46 straight, ran their conference regular season championship streak to six straight and won their fifth consecutive conference tournament championship.
After holding the top spot in the national poll throughout the entire season, the Dolphins were upset in front of 1,870 in the national semifinals at the Thomas J. Niland Athletic Complex. Second-ranked Limestone nipped the Dolphins 9-8 to end Le Moyne’s season at 14-1.
A program-record seven Dolphins received All-America accolades. Junior defenseman Travis Tarr was named the nation’s top defender and the national player of the year. Le Moyne also set a national standard with three shutouts and an NCAA-record 3.27 goals against average.
2006 brought a revitalized Dolphins squad fueled by the disappointment of 2005's final four loss. The dolphins cruised to a perfect regular season record as well as another Northeast Ten Conference Championship. The Dolphins earned their right to play at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the Division II National Championship. The Dolphins would roll over Dowling College 12-5 to take their second title in three seasons.