Men’s Lacrosse Takes Down Transylvania to Capture CCIW Tournament Championship
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – With a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line, the Illinois Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team took down Transylvania University, 14-11, to win the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Tournament Championship Saturday, May 6. With the win, the Titans (14-3, 6-0) secured a trip to their fifth NCAA Tournament.
Seniors Carson Kiichle (Vancouver, Wash.-Skyview) and Connor Kiichle (Vancouver, Wash.-Skyview) paced the Titan offense with five points each. Carson Kiichle finished with four goals and an assist, while also breaking the program’s single season assist record, as he recorded his 52nd on the year. Connor Kiichle notched two goals and a trio of helpers. Freshman Noah Dretzka (Delafield, Wis.-Kettle Moraine) finished with a hat trick.
Defensively, senior Mason Barney (New Haven, Ind.-R. Nelson Snider) and junior Michael Campagna (Arlington Heights, Ill.-Saint Viator) caused three turnovers apiece. Sophomore Nick Schroeder (Waunakee, Wis.-Waunakee) led the match with 10 ground balls, while Carson Kiichle scooped up seven, and Campagna and senior Blake Muschewske (Excelsior, Minn.-Holy Family Catholic) picked up four each. At the X, Schroeder went 12-for-22, while Zo Lombardo (Elgin, Ill.-Saint Viator) added two wins on seven faceoffs.
Sophomore Colin Tervo (West Linn, Ore.-West Linn) picked up the win between the posts. In the first half of action, Tervo made five saves with a .500 save percentage, while scooping up two ground balls. The win bumps the sophomore’s record to 10-2 on the season. Junior Alex Oximana (Seattle, Wash.-Bishop Blanchet) played the second half, adding eight saves on a .571 clip, while causing one turnover and picking up three ground balls.
The Titans struck first, as Carson Kiichle picked up his record-breaking assist on a goal from junior Gage Black (Peoria, Ill.-Dunlap) at the 10:37 mark in the first period. Schroeder quickly extended the lead to two, as he won the preceding faceoff and fired off a shot six seconds after the first goal.
With 9:23 remaining in the first, Dretzka buried his first goal of the game to up the score to 3-0 in favor of the home team. Transy brought the score to 3-1 at the 7:49 mark, but Carson Kiichle notched his first goal of the match less than a minute later. The two teams traded goals, but the Titans struck last in the first period, as senior Jackson Fischer (Wheaton, Ill.-Wheaton Warrenville South) dished a pass to Connor Kiichle to put the Green and White up 6-2.
After a Transylvania goal to begin the second, Carson Kiichle pushed the lead back to four with 12:18 remaining in the first half. Each team scored twice after to close out the half, 9-5, in favor of IWU.
The Pioneers scored first in the second half, but Illinois Wesleyan quickly extended the lead five via goals from junior Trystan Seeley (Castle Rock, Colo.-Castle View) and Carson Kiichle. With 9:55 remaining, the Pioneers capitalized on a turnover to bring the score to 11-7. Junior Bob Boone (Los Angeles, Calif.-Notre Dame) would strike last in the third, as he recorded his lone goal of the game with 5:12 remaining.
The fourth period saw the first goal at the 6:28 mark, as Connor Kiichle capitalized on a Transy turnover to up the score to 11-7. After a goal from the Pioneers, Seeley sealed the deal with 2:19 remaining, as the Titans went on to take a 14-11 victory.
The Titans will find out their first round opponent at the NCAA Selection Show, Sunday, May 7, at 9 p.m. ET.