4/5/11 12:00 PM
There were a number of big games in the NCAA this weekend that all could have an effect on the seedings in May’s national tournament. (Note: Rankings reflect Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. Players in bold are Cannons draftees.)
The action got started on Saturday as #10 Maryland got a huge upset on the road as they defeated #4 Virginia 12-7. It was a tale of two halves for the Cavaliers, who were without star middie Shamel Bratton. Virginia led 5-4 at halftime but the Maryland defense stepped up their play in the second half and outscored the Cavaliers 8-2.
Steele Stanwick gave UVA the 1-0 lead four minutes into the game before the Terps game back with two quick goals. After trading goals for much of the second quarter, Virginia entered the locker room with a 5-4 lead thanks in part to two goals from Rhamel Bratton.
It was a completely different game in the second half as Maryland’s top tier defense stepped up their game and held UVA off the board until there were only 10 minutes left to play when Chris Bocklet scored. By that time, the Terps had built a 10-6 lead that was too much for Virginia to overcome.
Ryan Young, two goals and four assists, Joe Cummings and John Haus, four goals each, led the attack for the Terps while freshman goalie Niko Amato, 12 saves, and senior LSM Brian Farrell had strong games in defense.
Senior goalie Adam Ghitelman played well for the Cavs, making 11 saves, while Bocklet and Bratton led the way for the struggling UVA offense, scoring two goals each.
In Saturday’s second marquee match up, #2 Notre Dame used a big second half to defeat #11 Villanova in South Bend to stay undefeated. The Wildcats opened the game strong, surprising the Fighting Irish and jumping out to a 5-2 lead with 12 minutes to play in the first half. Notre Dame turned up their defense and went on a five goal run to go into halftime with a 7-5 lead.
The Irish defense picked up right where it left off at halftime, holding ‘Nova to three goals in the third quarter and none in the fourth. Two quick Wildcat goals made things interesting at 7-7 before the Irish pulled away on a 5-1 run to close out the game.
Attackmen senior Colin Igoe and freshman Westy Hopkins led the Notre Dame attack with three goals each. Sophomore goalie John Kemp kept the Irish in the game early, making seven of his 11 saves in the first half. Villanova’s offense was led by junior middie CJ Burke who had three goals and an assist.
Sunday was another exciting day as several top teams faced off in the Big City Classic at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The Classic’s second game saw #6 Johns Hopkins build a lead against #5 North Carolina only to lose it in the fourth quarter. Sophomore middie Lee Coppsersmith scored his only goal of the game with less than two minutes to play to give Hopkins the 10-9 lead. The Blue Jays were able to hold off the UNC attack for the final two minutes and pick up their second straight top 10 win.
The real story of the game was Hopkins’ senior face-off specialist Matt Dolente who won 16 of 22 face-offs. Dolente’s domination led to the Blue Jays controling possession through out the game and enabled them to pick up the victory.
Sophomore middie John Ranagan and senior attackman Kyle Wharton each had hat tricks for the Blue Jays. Standout goalie sophomore Pierce Bassett, seven saves, struggled at times but was big in the fourth as Hopkins held off a late UNC rally. Tar Heels star senior attackman Billy Bitter, who has had some tough games this year, had four goals in the contest to lead North Carolina.
In the final game of the Big City Classic, #1 Syracuse got off to a big lead and held off a late rally from #3 Duke to stay undefeated on the year. Syracuse goalie John Galloway set an NCAA record with his 52nd win.
Syracuse’s veteran presence was too much for the Blue Devils early on. Senior LSM Joel White and senior defenseman John Lade stifled the young Duke offense, holding the Blue Devils to just two first half goals.
The Orange offense was just as dominant, holding Duke to 44% on clears in the first half and building a 9-2 lead at half time. Duke couldn’t chip away at the ‘Cuse lead in the third, trailing 13-6 going into the final period.
However, senior attackman Zach Howell led a Blue Devil comeback in the fourth quarter. Duke scored five goals while holding the Orange off the score board but ran out of time as Syracuse was able to hold on to the 13-11 victory.
For the Orange, Javon Miller, JoJo Marasco and Steven Keogh each had four point while Galloway made 16 saves in the win. Howell led the way for Duke with four goals and two assists while freshman attackman Josh Wolf and sophomore middie Jake Tripucka had four points each.