Colonels excel in SAA Conference post-season tournaments
With the spring sports season winding down, Centre’s athletic teams continued to excel as they have all year, taking two team championships and four runner-up finishes as the Southern Athletic Association held its spring championships over the weekend.
Both the men’s lacrosse and golf teams captured SAA championships in dramatic fashion on Sunday — the lacrosse team winning its first conference tournament championship in its fourth year of competition, and the golf team winning its first since a Southern Collegiate Athletic Association championship in 2010.
The men’s lacrosse team got a man-down goal from Mitchell Kraus with three seconds remaining to knock off No. 1 seed Sewanee. With the win, Centre avenged an 18-7 loss to the Tigers earlier in the year, improved its record to 13-3 and extended its winning streak to 11 games. Clayton Brown also starred in goal for Centre, taking tournament MVP honors after coming on early in the semifinal victory over Berry.
In golf, the Colonels stunned the tournament field by jumping out to a seven-shot lead on the first day of the tournament. Centre went on to lead by as many as 10 strokes after the second day of competition and held off a late charge by Rhodes to win the tournament. Centre’s Grant Blevins finished as individual tournament champion and was the only player to shoot under par for the tournament.
The Centre women’s lacrosse team also advanced to the championship game of the SAA Tournament, but fell to Sewanee after defeating the Tigers 10-4 during the regular season. Centre still boasts an overall record of 16-3 and won the SAA regular season championship with a perfect 7-0 conference record.
Also finishing as runners-up were the women’s golf team and both track and field teams. The men’s track team lost by a narrow margin, scoring 202 points in the championship meet to come up just two points shy of SAA champion Rhodes. Rhodes also won the women’s meet, outscoring the second place Colonels 223-178. In women’s golf, Centre also came up just short, shooting a 3-day total of 955 to finish behind Rhodes’ total of 947.
In other spring championship action, the Centre softball team lost its tournament opener to Millsaps, but turned around and shut out Sewanee 12-0 before being knocked out of the double elimination tournament by Hendrix in its third game. The women’s tennis team lost its first match of the tournament, but closed out its season with a consolation win over Oglethorpe. The baseball and men’s tennis teams both lost their first two tournament contests.
Though the conference championships have concluded, some of Centre’s teams are hoping to have a chance to advance further into the postseason. The lacrosse teams await to hear the fields for their NCAA tournaments when the NCAA has its selection shows on Sunday, while the golf teams will see their tournament fields announced via press release on Monday.
by Matt Montavon