OLD Westbury, N.Y. — The overtime magic continues!
Andrew Zito scored the sudden-death overtime game-winner and the NYIT men's lacrosse team defeated LIU Post, 11-10, to claim its second straight East Coast Conference postseason title at President's Stadium on Saturday.
The Bears now await Sunday's 7:30 p.m. selection show on NCAA.com to learn for sure their NCAA Tournament fate.
A year ago, a day after the elation of Tom Hughes' OT goal topping Mercy in the final, the Bears were snubbed from an NCAA Tournament invite. But coach Bill Dunn feels good about NYIT's chances this season.
"I'm pretty confident the committee will do the right thing this year and we'll get the bid," Dunn said.
The eighth-ranked Bears have now won 11 straight games since a 2-4 start that included a gauntlet of the nation's top teams.
"We knew after the tough start, playing those tough teams, that it would work out for us in the end," Dunn said. "I think our biggest game was when we beat Bentley in overtime. That started everything. And now we're on an 11-game winning streak, including a conference championship."
The second straight postseason title resembled the first. Against Mercy a year ago, the Bears needed two goals in the final 5:07 of regulation to force the extra period and saet up Hughes' heroics.
This time, NYIT trailed 8-5 heading to the fourth quarter. But NYIT (13-4) then rattled off five straight goals — two by Matt Murphy and one apiece from Matt Chanenchuk, LeRoy Halftown and Jason Sullivan to take a two-goal lead.
Chanenchuk, who had two goals and five assists, was named the ECC Championships MVP.
LIU Post, which won 21 of 24 faceoffs on the afternoon to control possession, scored two goals in the final 76 seconds to force overtime.
But then came Zito's game-winner precisely three minutes into the extra session and the Bears' sideline erupted.
"I didn't believe it at first," Zito said. "I was like, 'Did that really just happen?' I started running to the crowd, and everyone started running around me. It felt great with everyone rushing in."
Provided by the NYIT Sports Information Department.