We had lots of action this weekend with the bulk of the games being played factoring in NCAA or conference tournament seeding. We’ll talk about a bunch of said games including a couple of overtime finishes between Princeton and Cornell as well as Denver and Marquette. Syracuse’s postseason hopes were on the line in an ACC road game against Duke. Yale and Harvard played a win and you’re in game, and Boston University took on Army to decide who would get the one-seed in the Patriot League tournament. The Big Ten tournament kicked off with Michigan taking on Ohio State and Maryland hosting Rutgers. We’ll talk about all of these games and more in this week’s college lacrosse weekend recap show.

#20 Princeton – 13
#6 Cornell – 14 (OT) 

CJ Kirst scored the first goal fo the fourth quarter on a dodge up the right side from X. He busted a question mark worm burner past Gianforcaro and that gave Cornell an 11-9 lead just 56 seconds into the fourth.

Princeton would answer with a 3-goal run and would take their first lead of the game when Chrstian Ronda capped said run with 7:55 left in the fourth quarter.  Ronda’s pole gave him way too much room on the left wing and he dodged into him and then down the alley and scored easily with his hands free.  12-11 Princeton.

After Hugh Kelleher tied things up again for Cornell, a dodge from out top down the right side, busted it low to high (with 7:11 left in the fourth), Alexander Vardaro would answer for Princeton to regain the lead on a dish from Sean Cameron with 3:08 remaining in the game. Cameron started a dodge from out top, shaded to the right and whipped it to Vardaro across the field on the right wing, Vardaro didn’t miss.  13-12 Princeton.

Aiden Blake would score the game tying goal on a dish from CJ Kirst.  Kirst hit blake on the right wing and Blake unleashed hell on the near side corner, glancing the pipe ever so slightly, hitting the net with some spin and popping back out.  Filthy dirty strike.  13’s and we would end up in over time.

In OT, Gavin Adler saved Cornell’s ass with a huge groundball pickup. Gianforcaro got into trouble on the clear and had to cheap it upfield.  Adler looked like he was on point but took a bad angle and the ball skipped behind him right into the stick of Coulter Mackesy…almost.  Just as it looked like Mackesy was going to vacuum up the loose ball and streak downfield for a potentially easy score, Adler threw a check, connected, Mackesy bobbled it, Adler slapped it away and then picked it up and Cornell was able to regain possession.

That led to Aiden Blake getting the ball on the right wing, he caught his defender way overplaying him on the high side so he snuck underneath towards GLE and put it in the top right corner as his window was going bye bye.  Ballgame Cornell and they will have the #1 seed in the Ivy tournament.

Credit Princeton for going down 4-0 and battling back to tie things up at 7’s by the end of the first half.  Every time it looked like Cornell may be able to deliver a kill shot, Princeton answered.

Both teams did a terrible job clearing the ball, Princeton was 18 of 25 and Cornell was 18 of 24.

Cornell dominated faceoffs (22-9), groundballs (49-29, partially because of the faceoffs) and also outshot the Tigers (50-43 overall, 28-25 on cage).

It’s a wonder Princeton was even in this game based on the above stats and the fact that Cornell only had 3 more turnovers than Princeton.

#15 Syracuse – 15
#2 Duke – 18

Faceoff woes plagued Syracuse once again as the Orange weren’t able to get themselves enough possessions on the day to keep their hope of an at large bid alive.

After some back and forth play, Duke went on a 3-goal run that resulted in a 6-3 Blue Devil lead after Dyson Williams capped the run on a doorstep finish, with a guy all over him, O’Neill put the pass right on the box, Williams received it and dunked it.  Williams is one of the best finishers in the nation in terms of “receiving feeds and scoring goals while pretty much covered”.  Dickson of Virginia is in that conversation as well.

Syracuse would go on a 3-goal run of their own, capped by Luke Rhoa, a dodge to the middle to the field where he had two steps on his man, the slide was late to come and Rhoa planted both feet and let it rip.  Tied up at 6’s with 6:49 left in the first half.

From there, the Wheels would come off for Syracuse as they would give up four unanswered goals to finish off the half.

The first was scored just 42 seconds after Rhoa tied things up, Charles Balsamo snuck up the left from behind the cage and Andrew McAdorey found him for the score.  Brandon Aviles got caught assuming Balsamo was going to try sneaking up the right side and Balsamo spotted the mistake and took advantage.  7-6 Duke.

Then Brennan O’Neill took over.  Naso won the ensuing faceoff, the ball ends up in O’Neills stick and he doesn’t bother to wait for subs, he dodges from the left wing into the middle of the field and let one rip on the run over the Cuse defense and past Will Mark.  8-6 Duke.

Naso won another draw, this time O’Neill got the ball out top and bullied his way to another score and a 9-6 Duke lead.

Dyson Williams would give Duke a 10-6 lead with 2:22 remaining in the half, a man up goal, easy feed from Leadmon and finish from about 8 or 9 yards out on the left wing, low left finish, excellent placement.

So yes, Syracuse would get back to within two goals (15-13) thanks to winning a few faceoffs for the first time all game, but Dyson Williams would score his 6th goal of the game off a loose ball on the crease and that would be all she wrote.

Just like with Princeton fighting back against Cornell, credit Syracuse for not giving up on a day that saw them get outplayed at the faceoff dot in every moment that mattered most.  They had limited possessions all game long, but they were able to be efficient and keep things respectable even though the outcome of the game was never really in question.

Jake Naso embarrassed the Cuse duo by winning 22 of 35 with 11 groundballs.  Combine that stat with the fact that Will Mark struggled making just 10 saves vs 18 goals against and you have the outcome.

For Duke the win adds to their already strong resume as they try and fight Notre Dame for the one-seed in the NCAA tournament.  I think they are a lock with the two-seed.  So long as Notre Dame takes out North Carolina in their season finale, I think Duke’s loss to Jacksonville will doom them to the two-seed.

For Syracuse, they were just a medicare faceoff man away from being a tournament team this year.  With all the youngsters on offense, a defense that played well despite injuries and Will Mark returning, if they can just bring in a fogo that can win 47 to 52 percent of their draws, Cuse should return next season even more improved. Syracuse finished 64th out of 72 teams with a 42.3% faceoff win percentage.

#16 Yale – 14
Harvard – 11

Yale jumped out to a 6-1 lead before Harvard got their crap together enough to keep things at least a little bit interesting.

Leo Johnson messed around and scored the game’s first three goals.  His first was on a dish from Matt Brandau as Johnson cut across the crease, the ball glanced off George Alvarez’s body and into the net on his left side.

His third of the game (and run) came just 2 minutes and 49 seconds into the game, this time Johnson was sneaking up the left side, got the feed a step above GLE and buried it. Kyle Zawadski had the dish.  3-0 Yale at this point.

Brad Sharp made it 4-0 Yale prior to Sam King finally getting Harvard on the board and making the score 4-1.

Leo Johnson would score his fourth goal of the game, a dodge from X up the left side, turned his hips and buried it in stride to give Yale a 5-1 lead.

I could show you more because like Syracuse, Harvard was able to get this game back to as close as two goals late after Graham Blake scored with 5:41 left in the contest.  That made the score 13-11 Yale.

But that would be it, Chris Lyons would score the back breaker with 39 seconds left in the game and Yale would punch their ticket to the Ivy League tournament, while Harvard remains below .500 and removed from consideration.  Their season is over.

Ohio State – 10
#17 Michigan – 14

Jack Myers scored off a textbook question mark dodge and gave Ohio State a 3-2 lead with 8:05 left in the first quarter and it looked like maybe Ohio State would be able to hang with Michigan this week, unlike last week.  But it wasn’t to be as the Wolverines would go on a 6 goal run from there (actually scoring 9 of the games next 10 goals) enroute to a 14-10 win in the Big Ten Quarters.

Ryan Cohen scored on a dish from Josh Zawada with 9:11 left in the first half to give Michigan an 8-3 lead and they would never look back from there.

The reality was that Ohio State played a pretty solid game.  They played well at the faceoff dot this week (whereas they got roached last week) but Shane Car had himself a big day making 14 saves vs just 10 goals against and that kept Ohio State from being able to gain any true momentum, especially early on as Carr held the Buckeyes scoreless for stretches at a time.

Michigan will now advance to take on Penn State in the B1G Semi’s.  Penn State beat Michigan earlier in the year, but the Wolverines are bringing a bit of momentum and maybe even some swagger to this next meeting.

#14 Rutgers – 11
#7 Maryland – 14

Daniel Maltz scored with 13 seconds left in the first quarter on a long pass from Kyle Long that spanned about 30 yards of field.  Maltz received the dish on the right wing and let it rip right away giving Maryland a 4-1 lead.

Just as Rutgers looked to be getting back into it, a Rutgers turnover led to a runout for Maryland that lead to Braden Erksa receiving the feed as the point on the fast break and he immediately hit Brett Makar who was trailing the play and Makar let it rip and scored the biggest juice goal of the day for the Terps.

The terps came out and scored the first three goals of the second half en route to an 11-5 lead and that was all she wrote for Rutgers.

The freshman Erksa had a monster game in terms of feeding putting up a goal and 6 assists.

Luke Wierman did his typical thing in winning 20 of 27 faceoffs and Brian Ruppel stood tall enough making 10 saves vs 11 goals against.

#10 Denver – 15 (OT)
Marquette – 14

Denver needed OT to pick up a resume building win over Marquette and solidify their seed in the Big East tournament.  

Denver had held a 14-11 lead in the fourth quarter before giving up three straight to Marquette including the game tying goal with just 11 seconds left in regulation.

It was Stephen Avery that stuck the game winner, a quick dodge down the right alley where Avery felt his defender off his hands so he stopped before the slide could get there, planted and let it rip.

Denver dominated the faceoff battle with Alec Stathakis winning 22 of 33, but as has been an issue all season for the Pio’s, they couldn’t get defensive stops because their goaltender couldn’t make any saves.  Malcolm Kleban stopped just 7 of the 21 shots he faced whereas Marquette goaltender Lucas Lawas stopped 50% of the shots Denver put on cage.

Boston U – 12
#9 Army – 11

It was Thomas Niedringhaus that scored the game winner with just under three minutes to play in the contest handing Boston U the top seed in the Patriot League tournament as well as the regular season title.

Army was up 10-9 with 12:23 left, but BU scored 3 of the games last 4 goals with Vince D’Alto netting two of them to climb back and win.

Listen to the audio version…

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