We finally start the great NCAA Lacrosse tournament and the first weekend did not disappoint. There were several great close games and the blowouts did not really occur until the fourth quarter for the others. According to the tournament rankings only 2 upsets for the start, which varies each year.
Yale Men’s Lacrosse vs. Umass Men’s Lacrosse
Yale (14-3) beats UMass (12-5) 15-13. To start off the tourney was this great game. It was very tight and back and forth scoring for most of the rainy game. The Minutemen end their long win streak after not being able to stop the Bulldogs big run. A credit to their success in the first half was their defense and goalie playing well. In the game UMass was led on offense by Buddy Carr with 3 goals 1 assist and Ben Spencer with 3 goals. Yale was able bounce back from an upsetting conference title loss and secure a big win here. They stayed in the game for the first half but started a little slow going into half up 6-5.
Yale went on a big run to start the second half behind the Jackson Morrill show who had 7 goals on the day. Helping him out and feeding him often was Tewaaraton finalist Ben Reeves with 2 goals 4 assists. The Bulldogs go on to face Loyola and another Tewaaraton finalist in Pat Spencer in New York.
Duke Men’s Lacrosse vs. Villanova Men’s Lacrosse
Duke (14-3) beats Villanova (10-6) 17-11. The Blue Devils gave the Wildcats the work in this opening round. The defense and offense of Duke were relentless and played well throughout it all. Duke had another game where they had over ten individuals get a point. This displayed the depth of the Duke roster. Leading the way was Joe Robertson with 4 goals & 1 assist and Brad Smith 1 goal & 4 assists. A lot of the big time playmakers for Nova were shut down in the game by the Duke D. Besides Danny Seibel, who put in 5 goals, the Villanova offense was spread around the roster. They tried to make a little comeback in the second half, but Villanova could not stop Duke from burying shots in the fourth quarter.
Albany Men’s Lacrosse vs. Richmond Men’s Lacrosse
Albany (15-2) beats Richmond (11-6) 18-9. A solid big round one win for the Great Danes. It was a fairly normal win for Albany; high heat offense and a great performance at the X. The biggest and best news for them was their Captain, Connor Fields, came back and played the whole game. Fields helped the offense by scoring 2 and assisting on 5 goals. Albany had scoring all over, including Tehoka Nanticoke adding 4 goals & 2 assists. Long pole Troy Reh had a notable hat trick, and TD Ierlan added an assist to his great day at the X. Ierlan went 24 of 29 and collected 21 ground balls. A great last home game for a lot of Albany seniors, they now move on to the next road game. The Spiders battled hard; but, like most teams who face the Great Danes, it is hard to stop their offense and win the battle at the X. Albany advances to face Denver in what should be an amazing contest, and a battle of the top two faceoff men in Division one Men’s NCAA lacrosse.
Loyola Men’s Lacrosse vs. Virginia Men’s Lacrosse
Loyola (13-3) beats Virginia (12-6) 14-12. This one did not start for quite a long time because of a rain delay, but the weather could hold the action forever. Once it finally began, the home team, Loyola, came out hot and went into half up 10-5. They scored early and often behind Pat Spencer with 2 goals & 3 assists, and Kevin Lindley also put in 4 goals. The Greyhounds could have made things much worse, but went 0 for 7 on man up on the day. Virginia just could not get it going like they had hoped to until it was too late.
The Cavaliers fought hard in the last quarter for a comeback of 6 goals, but it was not enough to gain a lead. Their squad was led by their main scorers Dox Aitken, 4 goals, and then Ian Laviano, Matt Moore, and Michael Kraus got 3 points a piece.
Maryland Men’s Lacrosse vs. Robert Morris Men’s Lacrosse
Maryland (13-3) beats Robert Morris (13-5) 14-11. A pretty tight game for the top ranked Terps versus the play in team of Robert Morris. Maryland even went into halftime down 3-6. Robert Morris rallied around great defense and teamwork in the first half to gain the advantage. Robert Morris had 12 players get a point, and were led by Jimmy Perkins with a hatty.
The Terps came out for the second half firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball, and won the second half by a big margin. They dominated the faceoff spot and had plenty of possession time to get their playmakers the ball. Connor Kelly and Bubba Fairman both had 4 points, along with Tim Rotanz and Jared Bernhardt with 3 each. Maryland will practically be playing a home game in the next round as well versus Cornell as they take on the Big Red in Annapolis.
Denver Men’s Lacrosse vs. Notre Dame Men’s Lacrosse
Denver (13-3) beats Notre Dame (9-6) 9-7 This game was a nail bitter, with back and forth action along with a few lead changes. Once again, the Pioneers are a roadblock for the Irish in the tournament. Notre Dame had a good plan at the X, and worked hard at it, but Trevor Baptiste is too dominant and had another big day. Baptiste went 14 of 20, and added 10 ground balls. It was a slower paced game by design from both teams; however, that didn’t take away from the excitement. It went into the fourth quarter all tied up at six after quick goals from both teams to change leads and even it up. The Irish stayed alive thanks to Ryder Garnsey putting in 4 goals, yet he couldn’t carry them to victory. The Pioneers won because shot well when it mattered and managed to get a big road playoff win. Ethan Walker and Austin French both got hat tricks and combined for 4 assists in the Pio victory.
Johns Hopkins Men’s Lacrosse vs. Georgetown Men’s Lacrosse
Johns Hopkins (12-4) beats Georgetown (12-5) 10-9 OT. A great comeback here for the Blue Jays after a hot start on offense. The Hoyas immediately answered after three straight goals to start, and then went on a 8 unanswered goal run. Georgetown played superb defense and was great in net, but could not contain the attack trio for long enough. Robert Clark put in a hat trick, and helping him in the effort was Craig Berge putting in 2 goals & 4 assists. The comeback for the Blue Jays was mainly due to Kyle Marr who scored 5 goals in 10 minutes, along with 2 assists.
In his final game at home, Shack Stanwick made sure he would be remembered and score the OT winner with less than 30 seconds to go. In addition to that goal he had 4 dimes on the day. Also in his final game at Homewood field, Joel Tinney produced as he usually does with a hatty and 1 assist. Hopkins will stay in Maryland to face Duke next.
Cornell Men’s Lacrosse vs. Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse
Cornell (13-4) beats Syracuse (8-7) 10-9. This one was an interesting game that was really entertaining. Both teams came in with different game plans from when they last faced. Syracuse locked off and isolated the Big Red’s top player, the nation’s leading scorer Jeff Teat. That part worked, and he only had 1 assist. That also took the Orange’s best defensive player out of the game and rotations were forced to be quicker. It seemed to work in Syracuse’s favor in the first half winning 7-5. Cornell then made some adjustments and played a great second half on both sides.
Clarke Petterson was burying shots putting in 5, and Jake Mcculloch aided in scoring 2 goals & 2 assists. Syracuse hustled hard all game, but the defense fell apart late. Brendan Bomberry ended his solid career at Syracuse with 2 goals & 1 assist. The young Orange team should be ones to look out for next year.