SEWANEE, Tenn. – Michael Morris scored 13 seconds into the second overtime as the University of the South defeated Berry College, 12-11, in the inaugural Southern Athletic Association championship game.
Sewanee won the draw to begin the final overtime period. Cotter Brown earned the assist on the game-winner.
The Tigers avenged an earlier 11-10 last-second defeat at Berry two weeks ago. The rematch was also an instant classic.
Berry overcame a three goal deficit twice in the game. The Vikings trailed 3-0 but later held a 7-6 lead after three quarters. Sewanee then went on 5-1 run and held an 11-8 advantage with 6:41 remaining in regulation.
Byers then tallied a man-up goal from Gwizdalski with 5:00 on the clock. Byers scored unassisted with 4:10 left. Lombardi tied the game off an assist from Cal Supik at the 3:07 mark. The Tigers committed a penalty on the play, but BC did not capitalize on the subsequent power play.
"It's always tough to lose, but all you ask for is a great championship game--and we had that," said Berry Head Coach Chris Delfausse. "We had to come back a number of times, and our effort and heart was phenomenal. I couldn't be prouder of the guys. We just came up short at the end."
Sewanee led in faceoffs (15-13), ground balls (38-29) and shots (36-33).
Jordan Boreman had five saves for Berry. Tommy Healy stopped 10 Viking shots for the Tigers.
Pierce Leonard had three goals and one assist to lead UOS.
Berry ends its season with a 13-5 and a regular-season co-championship. Sewanee is 14-3 and waits to hear if they are selected to the NCAA Division III championships.
"We exceeded expectations this year," said Delfausse. "We were a young team and matured a lot this year. The future is bright since we don't lose anybody next year."
Next year is the fourth season of men's lacrosse at Berry. It's also the first year Viking teams are eligible for the NCAA postseason.