The match-ups for Saturday’s US Lacrosse WCLA Championship Games in Salt Lake City are set, with No. 1 seed Pittsburgh facing No. 7 Delaware for the Division I title, and No. 1 seed Denver facing No. 3 Loyola for the Division II trophy. The D-2 game begins at 12-noon, followed by the D-1 game at 2:30 p.m. MDT

In a nip-and-tuck battle that featured six ties and four lead changes, Pittsburgh slipped past Georgia, 8-7, in one semifinal with freshman Megan Lynch emerging as the hero. With Pitt trailing 7-6, Lynch scored unassisted at 4:39 to tie the score. She then tallied the game-winner on a free-position shot over the goalie’s left shoulder with 14 seconds remaining.

“I didn’t pick a spot for that free position, I just wanted to shoot it toward the goal and hope that it goes in,” she said.

Pitt coach Kevin Tidgewell noted that Lynch’s impact has grown as the season progressed.

“She didn’t play a lot at the start of the season, but she really stepped up for us in the regional tournament and obviously here at the nationals,” he said. “This game was all about heart and guts on both sides. Both teams gave it everything.”

Pitt (17-1) brings an 11-game winning streak into Saturday’s game as they seek to win their second national championship in four years.

In the other D-1 semifinal, Delaware (12-2) outlasted North Carolina, 12-9, to win the rubber match between the teams this season. They had split a pair of earlier meetings as MAWLL rivals. Four goals each from Sarah Tapan and Olivia Gannon led the Blue Hens, a student-coached program that will be making its first-ever championship game appearance.

“We have so much fun just coaching ourselves and each other,” Tapan said. “Everybody pitches in and everybody gets equal playing time. We don’t scout other teams or do any game plans. We just play by instinct. We’re loving this.”

In Division II, Denver (13-2) used a strong second half to defeat St. Thomas, 16-8, and earn a return ticket to the final. The defending champion Pioneers outscored St. Thomas 7-1 in the final 30 minutes. Kaitlin Ball, the National Attacker of the Year Award winner, and Anna Hortik led the way with four goals each. Sophomore Cara Kaufer was outstanding in goal for the Tommies in a losing effort, registering 17 saves.

“Our defense played great today,” said Denver coach Mindy Stone. “We adjusted our slides a little, but they just kept talking throughout the game and supported each other.”

Loyola (12-2) used a dominating first half to build an 8-1 lead and withstood a late charge from Grand Canyon to win 12-8 in the other D-2 semifinal. Three goals by All-American Michaela Smith and two goals, three assists from Kelly O’Krepkie paced the Greyhounds, who return to the championship game for the first time since finishing as national runner-up in 2010.

“That first half was all momentum for us. We were so excited,” said senior Katy Loughlin, who serves as the team’s player-coach. “Michaela and Kelly basically run the offense.”

An intense defensive effort that forced repeated GCU turnovers also helped to fuel Loyola first half run.

“We like to ride it out and we anticipate well,” Loughlin said. “We almost prefer getting interceptions more than goals.”

Both the D-I and D-II championship games on Saturday will be available for viewing via free streaming from asbn.tv.

Saturday’s Championship Games
12 p.m. – No. 1 Denver (13-2) vs. No. 3 Loyola (12-2)
2:30 p.m. – No. 1 Pittsburgh (17-1) vs. No. 7 Delaware (12-2)

Friday’s Division I Semifinal Games
Pittsburgh 8, Georgia 7
Delaware 12, North Carolina 9

Friday’s Division I Consolation Bracket Scores
BYU 10, Colorado State 9
Michigan 8, Santa Clara 7 (overtime)
Cal Poly 18, Western Washington 8
UCLA 14, Virginia Tech 7
Virginia 13, San Diego State 10
Boston College 19, Texas A&M 10

Friday’s Division II Semifinal Games
Denver 16, St. Thomas 8
Loyola 12, Grand Canyon 8

Friday’s Division II Consolation Bracket Scores
Concordia 12, Grand Valley State 6
Vermont 19, Washington State 4 
Utah State 13, Utah 10
St. Benedict 11, Providence 9