Marty Kelly's unassisted goal 24 seconds into overtime lifted second-seeded Nazareth over top-ranked Hobart, 13-12, yesterday in Geneva, N.Y., in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament, ending the Statesmen's 12-year dominance of Division III lacrosse.
Nazareth (13-1) will face Roanoke, which defeated Ithaca, 20-10, in the title game at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Sunday.
This will be the first year a team other than Hobart has won the national championship since Division III was formed in 1980. The Statesmen had won 12 straight titles and compiled a 37-0 postseason record.
Hobart's reign didn't end without a fight, as Bobby Wynne scored two goals in the final 34 seconds to force overtime. Wynne's second goal, assisted by Jeff Tambroni, came with three seconds left and tied the game 12-12.
Nazareth won the faceoff to begin overtime, and Kelly scored 24 seconds later.
"When [Kelly's shot] went in, I didn't know what to think," said Tambroni, a senior attackman. "A million thoughts ran through my mind. Every year, I wondered what it would be like to lose, but never thought it would happen."
Nazareth opened a 4-0 first-quarter lead, as Kelly scored two of his game-high five goals. The Moles outscored Hobart 4-3 in the second quarter to build an 8-3 halftime lead.
The Statesmen (9-4) rallied in the second half, outscoring Nazareth 9-4 in the third and fourth quarters.
Tambroni and Dave Frigeri led Hobart with three goals and two assists each. Jeremy Hollenbeck added three goals for Nazareth.
Nazareth almost ended Hobart's streak in last season's semifinals, but the Statesmen scored six goals in the final 6:06 to win 19-17, then beat Salisbury State, 12-11, in the finals.