We had another great group of college lacrosse games to watch on Saturday including Johns Hopkins and Syracuse at the dome, Princeton and Rutgers doing battle in Dirty Jersey, Penn State proves they are in fact the Ivy League Killers as evidenced by their 3-0 record against Ivy League teams thus far and we’ll talk about a lot more.

#10 Johns Hopkins – 11
Syracuse – 9

Another heartbreaker at the Dome, this time on a day we saw Mike Powell’s #22 put up in the rafters next to head coach Gary Gait’s.

The score was tied at 5 a piece when Joey Spallina found Finn Thomson on the crease and Thomson stuck it BTB giving the Orange a 6-5 lead with just 10 seconds left in the half.

Hopkins would strike back scoring the first two goals of the second half, both by Russell Melendez, the second coming with 11:49 left in the 3rd on a dish from Matt Collison. That gave Hopkins a 7-6 lead.

Goals were exchanged, but it was Michael Leo that gave Syracuse a 9-8 lead with 11:19 left in the game on a man up goal. Finn Thomson hit Leo dodging up the left side of the crease and he buried it.

Matt Collison tied things up at 9 a piece with 6:00 minutes left in the contest.  Syracuse would lose the ensuing faceoff and that would result in a Ryan Evans gaol with just 4:55 left to play. I closed my eyes after that, but saw later that Patrick Deans scored the dagger giving Hopkins the huge road win.

Syracuse did a slightly better job at the faceoff dot.  Johnny Richiusa lost 4 of 9 and Jack Fine looked a little bit better winning 8 of 14. That doesn’t sound all that bad as Cuse won 12 of 23 on the day.  The issue was timing.  Fine lost the draw when the score was tied at 9’s late in the game and that ended up being the game winning possession for Hopkins.

Jacob Angelus was big for Hopkins, putting up a timely goal with 3 assists.  Russel Belendez was moved to midfield in this game and scored 3 goals off just 5 shots.  He did a good job taking advantage of shorty matchups.

A key in this game late was Hopkins taking advantage of the Syracuse short stick matchups late.  Collison and Evans, both midfielders, scored the game tying and game winning goals and it was obvious Hopkins was trying hard to pick on those shorties.

Player of the game without a doubt, Tim Marcille who made 21 saves on the day vs the 30 shots he faced.  The Syracuse offense got a good number of possessions for a change and shelled Marcille and he stood tall and made them look as young as they really are.  When it comes down to it, he won this game for Hopkins.

Hopkins held this insane Syracuse man up crew to just 2 of 7, a season low for the Orange.  That was mostly thanks to Marcille, but also credit the Hopkins defense for not giving up the doorstep goals in the extra man sets that Syracuse has been scoring in bunches.

Syracuse lost Clary at the beginning of this game and that seemed to hurt Syracuse defensively quite a bit.  Their 3rd defender is now their top defender and after Clary initially went out, Syracuse gave up a couple of easy goals, quick dodges, drawing slides and easy hits to the crease.  Hopefully he’s not out for the season.  I was worried because I saw someone hug him as he stood on the sideline after being over there for a minute or two and I found that odd if he was just going to miss a bit of time.

#14 Princeton – 13
#7 Rutgers – 14 (OT)

One of the best games of the weekend was played by crosstown rivals Princeton and Rutgers, separated by like 20 or so miles of highway in Dirty Jersey.

Alex Slusher dodged up the right from X, busted an inside roll on his defender, split the approaching double team as he dove and buried a shot past Mullins tying the game up at 12 all with 20 seconds left in the third quarter.

Rutgers would regain the lead thanks to Brian Cameron sticking an outside bouncer dished by Shane Knobloch with 12:29 remaining in the 4th.  13-12 Rutgers.

Princeton’s Sam English was the beneficiary of Alex Slusher’s willingness to share, sticking a shot from the right wing. 13-13 once again and that would be the score at the end of regulation so we have overtime.

In sudden death, it was Shane Knobloch trying hard to get himself free for a shot, and as he finally did so he saw Dante Kulas sneaking up the left side near GLE, hit him and Kulas buried it off the far pipe for the win.

I’ve become a huge fan of Dante Kulas.  I kept talking about him each week as he has played well, but finally reviewed some Rutgers game film for real this week and that kid is smooth.

Three Rutgers players scored 5 points on the day.  Kulas (4g, 1a), Brian Cameron (3g, 2a) and Shane Knobloch (2g, 3a).  In all 11 Rutgers players scored at least a point.

Kyle Mullin played another good game in net and picked up the win.  He stopped 13 shots to 13 goals against.

#19 Denver – 9
#11 Yale – 11

What was a 2 goal at the halfway point turned into a 10-5 lead by the end of the third quarter.  Dener was able to get back to within 2 goals before the games end but it was too little too late.

Matt Brandau paced Yale with 3 goals and 2 assists off 7 shots. The senior has quietly piled on the points so far over Yale’s first 4 games with 12 goals and 11 assists with a .375 shooting percentage. Penn State held Brandau to just 1 goal and 2 helpers in their win over the Bulldogs, but he put up 7 points in their win over Villanova, 8 points in their win over UMass and 5 points in the win yesterday over Denver.

Denver was able to keep Leo Johnson and Chris Lyons quiet.  Johnson had just an assist and Lyons had no points. Fellow sophomore’s Brad Sharp (3g) and Max Krevsky (2g, 1a) came to play however and made up for their classmates’ quiet days.

Alec Stathakis once again helped Denver keep pace in this game by winning 15 of 22 draws.  He did have 3 turnovers, so that evened things up a bit for Yale.  But another good outing for Stathakis.

Jared Paquette was very good in cage for Yale stopping 13 shots vs 9 goals against.  Denver was very sloppy with the ball in the first half of this game despite only being down by 2 goals at halftime.  They managed to clean things up in the second half, only giving the ball up 3 times in that 3rd quarter, but Paquette heated up around the same time Denver got their offensive act together and shut down any hopes Denver had of getting back in this game in a meaningful way.  Paquette had 9 saves in the second half and has looked strong in all 3 of Yale’s wins.  His only down game was in the loss to Penn State where he was 48% between the pipes.

#8 Penn State – 10
#3 Cornell – 6

Penn State took a 4-1 lead thanks to Jake Morin, assisted by TJ Malone, a simple feed to the crease that Morin caught, turned around and buried it.

Cornell would go on a 3 goal run capped by an unassisted CJ Kirst goal with 8:46 left to play in the second quarter. It was a great effort from Kirst starting with him having to fight to get open with a shorty on him, and then he just dodged him down the right side of the field, hit the breaks, turned and ripped one past Jack Fracyon.  That knotted things up at 4’s.

It was the Nittany Lions turn to go on a run.  Luke Mercer made it 5-4.  TJ Malone from Kevin Winkoff made it 6-4 and Chris Jordan scored with 4:18 left in the third quarter giving Penn State a 7-4 lead.  Cornell would get back to within a goal late in the third but Penn State outscored the Big Red 3 to zip over the 4th and rolled to the win.

We can now officially call Penn State the “Ivy Killers”.  They hold wins over #11 Yale, #15 Penn and now #3 Cornell.  Important to point out, the reason Yale is #11 and Penn is #15 is due to them losing to Penn State. Both were top 10 teams the week they got dropped.

The goalies on both sides played huge.  Jack Fracyon stopped 16 shots and only gave up 6 goals for Penn State. Chayse Ierlan made 21 saves vs just 10 goals against.  Credit him with making sure Cornell didn’t get embarrassed in this game.

Cornell averaged 14+ goals per game coming into this weekend so credit the Nittany Lions defense for limiting Cornell to just 40 shots overall with only 22 of them being on cage.

The Penn State had nine players put up at least a point. Jack Traynor put up 2 goals with 2 helpers and his brother Matt netted a hatrick. Kevin Winkoff, the Binghamton University transfer had 3 assists and now has 13 points over his last 4 games. Sneaky good pickup for Penn State in the portal.

Penn State is looking really good offensively at the moment which is the easy thing to notice.  They’re sharing the ball, they are getting big games from a number of different guys and they are seeing depth in their scoring.

But they are really starting to gel defensively giving up fewer and fewer goals as the season has worn on.  They gave up 14 goals in their only loss of the season to Villanova.  Since then, they haven’t given up more than 12 goals and over their last two, they’ve held Penn to just 9 and Cornell to 6.

Even better, they are now 5-1 and winners of their last 4 games with 3 of those 4 teams being ranked in the top 10 at the time PSU took them down.

Penn State 3.  Ivy League 0.

#2 Tufts – 23
#19 Amherst – 21

Tufts and Amherst didn’t spend a whole lot of time playing quality defense in a game that saw 44 goals scored on the day.

Amherst held a 20-19 lead over Tufts after Tanyr Krummenacher scored on a feed from Jake Bennett.  Tufts would then go on to score the games next 4 goals, eventually taking a 23-20 lead off a George Panagopoulos goal assisted by Jack Boyden.

Jack Boydon paced all scorers with 4 goals and 9 assists.  Not a bad outing.

Despite the insane score, both goalies played well.  Tufts Conner Garzone picked up the win making 20 saves vs 21 goals against.  Amherst’s Mitch Likins came up a few saves short, but still managed to stop 18 shots vs 23 goals against.  Garzone won the goalie battle and Tufts won the game.

It was also a brutal game to be a faceoff man.  Tufts won that battle though thanks to Mason Kohn (15 of 23) and Victor Salcedo (12 of 22).  They combined to win 27 of 45 draws on the day.

Interesting statline in a game like this… There were 16 penalties in the game.  Tufts was 2 of 6 with their extra man unit, but Amherst was able to score on 6 of 10 of their man up opportunities.

Richmond – 12
#20 Georgetown – 13

Richmond held a 3 goal lead at the half and took an 8-4 after Dalton Young scored just 43 seconds into the 3rd quarter putting the Spiders up 8-4. But Georgetown being the injured dog they are sitting at 1-3, they found some fight and mounted a comeback.

The Hoyas went on a 3 goal run over a minute and 20 second span to get back to within 8-7.  After Richmond scored again getting back to a 2 goal lead, Georgetown scored 4 of the games next 5 goals to flip the script and take an 11-10 lead a minute and 4 seconds into the fourth quarter.

The teams would then each finish the game with 2 goal runs.  Richmond was up first, Joe Sheridan scored back to back goals, the second coming at the 10:05 mark in the 4th and that gave the Spiders a12-11 lead.

Nicky Solomon decided what was good for Sheridan was also good for him and he scored back-to-back goals for Georgetown including the eventual game winner with 5:35 left in the game and the Hoyas were able to hold on for the win.

The Hoyas may have won the game, but they are still shooting the ball like total shit.  Tucker Dordevic scored 4 goals on the day but took 17 shots.  The Hoyas only scored 13 goals off 47 shots.  The sad part is that isn’t a terrible shooting day for them as the bulk of the Gtown point getters are all shooting below 30% on the season, the worst offenders being Dordevic and Bundy Jr. considering they take the bulk of the shots.

But alas, shooters keep shooting and Georgetown managed to find a way to get enough stops on defense to give the offense enough possessions to eek out the win.  Credit Wallace Halpert for having a great game for the Hoyas on the defensive side of the field with 4 caused turnovers and 4 groundballs.

The reality in this game, Georgetown didn’t shoot the ball well, James Reilly got smoked at the faceoff dot, and goaltender Michael Scharfenberger played terrible making just 5 saves to 12 goals against.

That is the definition of an ugly win, but even ugly wins count as wins.

Michigan – 19
Harvard – 13

Harvard jumped out to a 9-3 lead after Miles Botkiss scored an unassisted goal with 7:18 left in the 2nd quarter.  At this point it looked like Harvard was going to roll Michigan after scoring 7 straight goals.

But not so.  Michigan would answer with a 6 goal run capped by a lucky goal scored as time expired. Shane Carr made a save with about 15 seconds left on the clock and Michigan pushed the ball in transition. Cohen took a shot with 2 seconds left that deflected off a Harvard defenders stick and in to the net as time expired.  Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Harvard came out and scored the first goal of the second half to take a 10-9 lead, but Michigan rolled from there scoring 10 of the games next 13 goals enroute to the 19-13 win.

Shane Carr had a huge game for the Wolverines stopping 17 shots while giving up fewer than that, just 13 goals against.  Harvard goaltender Christian Barnard wasn’t so lucky as he got shelled by Michigan over the course of the second half.

Michigan got huge days out of Michael Boehm (5g, 4a) and Ryan Cohen (4g, 3a).  Josh Zawada was quiet with just 2 goals and a dish, but he’s lucky he has great friends like Boehm and Cohen to help out.

Also credit the duo of Nick Rowlett (13 of 18) and Justin Wietfeldt (11 of 17) as they beat Harvard up at the faceoff dot winning a combined 24 of 35 on the day.

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