A few months ago, Adelphi’s Nick Reisig was a lacrosse player without a place to play.

Following the closing of Dowling College, Reisig found himself looking for a new jersey. He still had a year of eligibility and wanted to keep playing.

He found that with the Panthers, appearing in all 18 games. The 6-3 senior midfielder with an imposing presence was exactly what Adelphi needed.

And in the biggest game of the season, Reisig played up to his size — causing three turnovers, recording two ground balls and scoring two goals on three shots in No. 1 Adelphi’s 10-9 win over No. 4 Pace in the first round of the NCAA Division II men’s lacrosse national championships at a cold and rainy Motamed Field on Saturday night.

Pace had possession with less than 30 seconds remaining following an Adelphi offside, but failed to get off a shot.

No. 1 Adelphi (15-3) will host No. 3 Merrimack next Saturday in the semifinals. The Panthers defeated Merrimack, 12-9, during the regular season.

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Adelphi has made the national tournament four of the last five seasons, missing it last season. It has won seven national championships in program history, the most recent in 2001.

“It’s just a well-rounded program that’s always in it to win a national championship,” Reisig said. “That’s something I’ve always strived to be a part of in my life and it’s something that I definitely found here.”

With the score tied at 7 through three quarters, Adelphi struck first in the fourth quarter on Gordon Purdie Jr.’s third goal of the game, assisted by Michael Osmundsen, with 13:37 remaining in the contest.

John Arcidiacono and Chris Racalbuto each added insurance goals for Adelphi. Brendan McDougal had nine saves, including four in the fourth quarter, and Mark Andrejack won 18 of 22 faceoffs.

The Panthers opened a 4-1 lead with 7:52 remaining in the first quarter, with two goals from Reisig and a goal each from Nicholas Racalbuto and Purdie. Pace rallied to close the half, using five different goal scorers, and Purdie added his second goal of the half as the game was tied at 5 at the half.

Pace took its first lead of the game after Bradley Paterson found Josh Kreitler with 4:14 left in the third quarter for a 7-6 advantage. Shane deBoer responded for Adelphi with 2:04 left to tie the score at 7 following Reisig’s key check, forced and recovered turnover.

“Nick has been such a leader on our team,” said coach Gordon Purdie Sr. “And I think it’s proof out there today that he did that not only with his play, but his leadership off the field.”

Pace took advantage of its extra-man opportunities, scoring on two of three chances with Adelphi failing to score on any of its three first-half man-advantages.

Adelphi won 18 of 22 faceoffs but turned the ball over 28 times compared with 15 by Pace.