BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—An early unassisted goal from freshman Erik Klein with just over twelve minutes left in the first quarter gave the Birmingham-Southern men's lacrosse team a lead they would never relinquish on the way to a 22-7 victory over Centre College on Friday night at Panther Stadium.
The win, which takes the Panthers to 13-4 in the 2012 campaign, also earned them a berth in the SCAC Men's Lacrosse Championship final game on Sunday in their first year of eligibility to participate in post-season play.
Klein would be the catalyst of the Panther's fast start to the game. Birmingham-Southern tallied ten of the game's first eleven goals, with Klein scoring four of them and assisting on another two. Game-high scoring honors would belong to junior Matt Ivie who scored seven goals on 14 shots.
Centre would fight back in the second quarter and rally back with five unanswered goals to make the score 11-7 with 5:02 left in the first half. The four-point gap ended up being the closest Centre would be for the rest of the game as Birmingham-Southern responded with two Ivie goals, both with two of Klein's game-high five assists, to close out the half. The Panthers tacked on nine more unanswered goals in the second half to earn the win.
The offensive production provided all the support the Panther goalie tandem of junior Andrew Huffman and freshman Conor Perine would need as the two stopped 13 of the 20 Centre shots-on-goal of the evening.
Sunday's championship tilt will begin at noon at Panther Stadium when the second-seeded Panthers square off against top-seeded Colorado College.