In a span of roughly three hours, Susquehanna University captured three different Landmark Conference championship titles as the softball and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams all took home their respective titles on the afternoon of May 4. All of those titles were clinched at home.
The best sports weekend in the history of Susquehanna athletics? It would be hard to argue. Never before in the history of Susquehanna sports have three different teams won championship titles on the same day, let alone win three titles at home and all at the same venue.
The weekend events started the morning of Friday, May 3, when the two-day, double-elimination Landmark Conference Softball Tournament saw the first pitch between Susquehanna and Juniata get thrown at 11 a.m. in a game the Crusaders would eventually win. By the time the day ended, Susquehanna had one win and one loss in the tournament, meaning every game on Saturday was an elimination game for Susquehanna.
Saturday started bright and early with a neutral site for the elimination game between Moravian and Juniata at 9 a.m., followed by the Crusaders’ 11 a.m. game against Juniata. Susquehanna sent Juniata packing but then found itself facing a Catholic team that needed just one more win to clinch the title.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they were taking on a Susquehanna softball team that refused to allow the championship trophy to be awarded to another team on the Crusaders’ home field. Susquehanna proceeded to defeat Catholic by 3-2 scores in back-to-back games to win the program’s first-ever Landmark Conference Championship title.
While softball was still battling in its championship games, fans at both fields had a prime view as the No. 11 Susquehanna women’s lacrosse team squared off against Catholic in its own championship contest. With boisterous cheers ever-present in the background for every run the softball team scored, the women’s lacrosse team took home its first-ever Landmark championship plaque with a 16-9 win over the visiting Cardinals to remain undefeated on the season with a 17-0 record.
Fans barely had time to clear the stadium following the women’s lacrosse championship ceremony and singing of the Susquehanna alma mater with President L. Jay Lemons before the men’s team entered the field to take on the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in its own Landmark Conference title game. The men’s team was making its first-ever appearance in the championship game after the No. 3 seed Crusaders up-ended No. 2 seed Scranton in a semifinal, road victory on May 1.
While fans were watching the men’s lacrosse championship game nearing its end, directly behind them the Susquehanna softball team was finally receiving its championship trophy, after a seven-hour day, with an on-field presentation and singing of the alma mater, again led by President Lemons. As that ceremony came to an end, all attention was directed back to the lacrosse field as the clocked ticked down to zero and the Crusader men’s lacrosse team defeated USMMA by a 6-3 score to cap off a day in which Susquehanna was a perfect three-for-three in championship games.
In a continuation of the festive atmosphere that surrounded the entire weekend, all three newly crowned championship teams paraded around the lacrosse field at the conclusion of the men’s championship ceremony with their trophies held high above their heads. All three championship teams were corralled into a photo opportunity to celebrate the historic achievements of the day. Players, coaches and even President Lemons posed as picture after picture of the three championship teams was snapped so as to permanently commemorate a historic day that will not soon be forgotten.