ROUND ROCK, Texas – For the second straight season, UNC-Charlotte has posted a first-round upset as a double-digit seed at the 2023 MCLA National Championships presented by New Balance on Monday.
Declan McHugh completed his hat trick with just five ticks remaining in regulation to give the No. 12 49ers (11-2) the 15-14 victory over Missouri State (10-3).
Charlotte powered out of the gate, taking a 5-2 lead after the first quarter and still led 9-6 at halftime. The Bears responded in the third quarter, briefly taking a lead before the 49ers went back up 14-13.
Jakob Wattles countered for Missouri State, netting his hat trick with 2:44 remaining, setting up McHugh’s heroics.
Blake Moxim added a hat trick for Charlotte while Cody Seaman made 18 stops in net. Blake Donnelly scored four goals for MoState. Trenton Meeks made 13 saves for the Bears.
No. 7 Grand Valley State (9-3) d. No. 10 Florida Gulf Coast (10-2), 11-7
Grand Valley State’s offense and defense teamed up to outscore Florida Gulf Coast, 9-2 in the second and third quarters, giving the Lakers the insurmountable lead and the eventual four-goal triumph.
Knotted at one after 15 minutes, GVSU went on a six-goal scoring binge, led by two of Nick Melser’s three goals on the afternoon, to grab a 7-3 lead heading into intermission.
In the third, the Grand Valley backline blanked the Eagles while the Lakers added another three goals for a 10-3 bulge. FGCU would put the heat on in the fourth quarter, but the gap was too wide to close.
Jacob Rogers added a goal and two assists for GVSU while Keegan Greene made nine saves. Jayson Andino had a hat trick and an assist for the Eagles. Grant Shafer made seven stops in the losing effort.
No. 9 Dayton (10-5) d. No. 8 Kennesaw State (10-5), 15-9
Dayton pulled of the mild upset on the Owls by steadily pulling away during the course of the game. A 3-2 first-quarter lead built to 6-4 at the break and then 11-8 after three. The Flyers capped the game with a strong finished and the six-goal win.
Matt Cesario had four goals and an assist for Dayton while Jonathan Abbarno chipped in with a pair of markers and a dime. Tucker Hoffmann finished with 13 saves.
Chasen Campbell had four goals and an assist in the losing effort while a pair of Kennesaw goalies teamed up for eight stops.
No. 6 Montana State (14-2) d. No. 11 UC San Diego (12-4), 16-8
Behind a five-goal onslaught from Johnathan Serrell, Montana State raced out to an early lead and never looked back before eventually doubling up UC San Diego.
The Bobcats held a 10-3 lead at halftime that was never realistically threatened.
Billy Diffley added two goals and an assist for Montana State. Ethan Zwickey made seven saves on the day. Eight different players scored a goal while Austin Ortel dished out three assists for the Tritons. UCSD goalies combined for four saves.