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BACK TO BACK: Seahawks Triumph in NAIA National Championship Game, 12-11, as Keiser Scores Last 3 Goals, Rundle 4G/1A/GW at 0:43; Badik 3G/2A, Green 22 Saves Lead the Way

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in , , , .

PB Central alum Ryan Rundle 4G/1A/3GBs/2CTOs, Lake Nona alum AJ Badik 3G/2A/2GBs, Oxbridge alum Vincent Cerasuolo 1G/1A/1GB, Lake Nona alum JP Prather 1G/1A/4GBs/1CTO and Niceville alum Marek Albiero 1A for Keiser.

via Keiser press release/website


Game Information
No. 2 Keiser Seahawks 12, No. 1 Reinhardt 11
Memorial Stadium (Savannah, Ga.)
Records: Keiser 17-2 | Reinhardt 16-1

Keiser men’s lacrosse slayed the dragon this afternoon, defeating No. 1 seed and previously undefeated Reinhardt University to claim their second consecutive national title. In one of the best games in NAIA lacrosse history that featured four lead changes, the Seahawks were able to capitalize on a Reinhardt turnover and score the game-winning goal with under a minute left. Ryan Rundle scored four goals, including the game-winner with 43 seconds remaining in the game. Lucas Green was named MVP, making a school-record 22 saves, including a critical one with 26 seconds to go to seal the victory.

First Quarter
Keiser 2, RU 1

  • The Seahawks went right to work when the game began, with a Chris Rayburn face-off win setting up an AJ Badik goal with a Vincent Cerasuolo assist. 
  • After the two squads dueled defensively for five minutes, JP Prather found Ryan Rundle for a goal. 
  • The next eight minutes featured more defense with each team fending off shots and battling for scoring position. 
  • After a failed KU clear, Reinhardt scored their first goal of the game with 1:20 on the clock. 

Second Quarter
Keiser 5, RU 4

  • The Eagles forced a turnover after the opening face-off of the quarter and scored a goal to tie the game with 14:00 on the clock. 
  • Unfazed, the Seahawks produced a goal two minutes later when Ryan Rundle capitalized on an Eagle turnover. 
  • A save by RU’s Liam Wright led to an Eagle goal with 8:55 on the clock. 
  • 90 seconds later, a Reinhardt penalty gave Ryan Rundle a chance in a man up situation as he made the Eagles pay with his third goal of the day. Marek Albiero provided the assist. 
  • Keiser turned the ball over and with 6:05 on the clock the Eagles tied the game. 
  • After six scoreless minutes, Kegan Hufford managed to sneak the ball past the goal line with just 0:06 on the clock to give Keiser a halftime lead. 
Third Quarter

Keiser 6, RU 8

  • After four minutes with no scoring to start the half, Reinhardt tied the game with a goal.
  • The Eagles took their first lead of the game one minute later. 
  • With 6:18 on the board, Vincent Cerasuolo scored with a Rundle assist. 
  • The Eagles retook the lead with 5:08 on the board and scored another goal 40 seconds later. 
  • The Eagles tried to build their lead but Lucas Green made two saves in the final three minutes of the game to keep the deficit at two goals. 
Fourth Quarter

Keiser 12, RU 11 

  • Reinhardt committed a delay of game penalty two minutes into the quarter and Kegan Hufford cashed in the man-up chance with an assist from AJ Badik
  • Two minutes later, another save from Green led to an AJ Badik goal. 
  • The Eagles scored a goal following a Keiser turnover with 10:20 showing on the clock. 
  • 50 seconds later, RU extended the lead by two with a goal shortly after a face-off win. 
  • Despite trailing late, the Seahawks showed no fear as Braeden Niemy put the ball in the net unassisted with 8:46 on the board.
  • Reinhardt All-AAC choice Brady Hanak scored RU’s last goal of the season with 7:25 left in the game.
  • Shortly afterward, JP Prather made perhaps the best play in his young career when he forced a Reinhardt turnover, collected the loose groundball, and scored unassisted to bring the Seahawks within one goal. 
  • 60 seconds later, fellow Orlando native AJ Badik scored unassisted to tie the game. 
  • After five minutes of defensive gridlock, the stage was set for one of the most intense endings in the history of NAIA lacrosse. 
  • The Eagles tried to push the ball down the field to take the lead but RU failed the clear with Badik scooping up the groundball.
  • Badik then passed the ball to Ryan Rundle, who in a season where he scored the most goals in program history, scored the greatest one of them all to give Keiser the lead.
  • Reinhardt won the ensuing face-off and had a chance to tie the matchup but Lucas Green stood his ground and closed the door on the Eagles with his 22nd save of the game. 
KU Highlights
  • KU outshot RU 54-46.
  • The Keiser defense caused eight Eagle turnovers.
  • Braeden Niemy scored at least one point in every game this season.  
  • Each team went 19-23 on clears. 
  • Keiser picked up 34 groundballs. 
  • Chris Rayburn finished the year with a program record 300 face-off wins.
  • Lucas Green had the game of his career, with a program record 22 saves. 
  • Keiser is now 9-5 in the NAIA Invitational Tournament, and 2-1 in national championship games.
  • This is the first time Keiser has defeated Reinhardt outside of West Palm Beach, Fla. 
  • Ryan RundleVincent CerasuoloKegan HuffordBraeden NiemyJackson Marshall, and Chris Rayburn were each named to the All-Tournament Team. 
  • Keiser ends the year with new program records in goals, (309) assists, (195) shots on goal, (571) caused turnovers, (201) man-up goals, (41) and groundball pickups. (633) 

Team Leaders
No. 2 Keiser
Goals: Rundle (4)
Points: Badik / Rundle (5)
Assists: Badik (2)
Faceoffs: Rayburn (14-26)
Ground Balls: Rayburn (7)
Caused Turnovers: Marshall / Rundle (2)
Saves: Green (22)

No. 1 Reinhardt
Goals: Lux (3)
Points: Lux (4)
Assists: Five Players (1)
Faceoffs: Sess (12-23)
Ground Balls: Shackleford (5)
Caused Turnovers: Sess (4)
Saves: Wright (18)