A large group of athletes in white shirts and caps gather on a field, celebrating with a trophy in the center.
Adelphi's Men's Lacrosse Team celebrating their NCAA Division II Championship win over the Lenoir-Rhyne University Bears at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Adelphi University men’s lacrosse team has brought home the NCAA Division II Championship for the first time since 2001.

For the first time in nearly a quarter century, the Adelphi University men’s lacrosse program has hoisted a National Championship trophy, defeating the Lenoir-Rhyne University Bears by a score of 12-10 over Memorial Day weekend at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Adelphi Panthers overcame a four-goal deficit to capture the program’s eighth National Championship title—the first for Head Coach Gordon Purdie ’88 in his 17 seasons at the helm. Adelphi squelched the Bears’ hopes to repeat its 2023 National Championship victory.

“This is a long time coming—I got here in ’86 in pursuit of a National Championship as a student-athlete and couldn’t achieve that,” commented Purdie. “Those alumni have been letting me know about that and, having been given the opportunity to coach here at Adelphi some 17 years ago, it was my true hope to get our next championship. Winning this one, I can only thank everyone who helped us get here.”

“There’s a reason that [Brian] Volpi and Cat [Joe Catalonotti] have won [the title] Assistant Coach of the Year, because I have the best coaches, and they showed that today in preparing these student-athletes for today’s victory,” continued Purdie.

With a disadvantage on gaining possession off the face-off, Adelphi found itself down by four after five minutes into the third quarter.

“We had a rough first half offensively, only putting four on the board, and we came into the locker room at halftime and had to make some adjustments,” said senior midfielder Brian Harinski. “We just never gave up hope and we all felt confident shooting the ball, so as they started to find the back of the net, there was no better feeling.”

Harinski hit his final stride with four goals to earn the game’s Most Outstanding Player honors, while teammate Kyle Steinbach had a hat trick and was crucial in the comeback run.

Escaping the team pileup, USILA (United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association) Goalkeeper and Player of the Year Dylan Renner ran toward the coaching staff. He had eight first-quarter stops and finished with 15 for the game.

“It just meant everything to me because of how long it has been and how hard we know they have worked for everything to come, and the great teams in the past have fallen short,” said Renner. “I’ve got so much joy, and to watch these student-athletes never give up all year long is truly a blessing.”

News 12 Long Island captured the team and their families celebrating their post-championship return to Adelphi.

In addition to the men’s team’s success, the Adelphi women’s lacrosse program also made a National Championship appearance—the 11th in program history—but fell to the University of Tampa, 13-8, on May 25. Adelphi earned a spot in the National Championship game following a 15-10 victory over East Stroudsburg University in the semifinal round.

“On behalf of the Adelphi University Board of Trustees and everyone at Adelphi, I am honored to congratulate our student-athletes and coaches on an extraordinary year,” said President Christine Riordan. “I couldn’t be more proud of their competitive spirit as they represented our University on the national stage. I’m inspired by these moments of passion, joy and camaraderie that our community will cherish forever.”

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