OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — It will be an epic final week of the regular season for the NYIT men's lacrosse team.
With a 13-9 win against Chestnut Hill on Senior Day on Saturday at President's Stadium, the eighth-ranked Bears matched Mercy at 7-0 for first place in the East Coast Conference.
NYIT and ninth-ranked Mercy will meet next Saturday at 1 p.m. in Dobbs Ferry for the regular-season league title. Both teams already have qualified for the ECC playoffs and will host opening-round games.
First, the Bears (11-2 overall) have a date at fifth-ranked Adelphi on Wednesday night.
NYIT currently sits fifth in the regional rankings, behind Le Moyne, Adelphi, Merrimack and Pace. Four teams will qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
"We knew this is for playoff seeding," coach Bill Dunn said. "It's really important at this time of the year we play the best lacrosse we can play, which we felt we did today."
Before Saturday's win against Chestnut Hill, NYIT athletics director Duane Bailey and Dunn honored seven student-athletes playing in their final regular-season home game: Tom Hughes, Brendon Hurley, Will Kistinger, Joe Morhardt, Danny Patterson, George Schultz and Alex Seltzer.
The Bears then pounced on the Griffins (7-4, 5-2), scoring the game's opening seven goals.
Matthew Chanenchuk and LeRoy Halftown had three goals apiece, while Hughes, Kistinger and Schultz each had two goals. Kistinger added three assists. Ian Prate and Morhardt had five ground balls apiece. Tom Brennan had five caused turnovers.
"I thought it was nice that we got a whole team effort," Morhardt said. "Danny Patterson coming in at the end, a senior, it's nice for him to get out there for one last home game. I think Alex played really well in the goal. It's just nice, having played with the same guys for four years, us all having a good part in today's game."