One of the oldest and most respected rivalries in college lacrosse, Johns Hopkins visiting Maryland ended up being the best game of the weekend, as expected. Hopkins picked up the win, and is now looking to be the favorite to win the Big Ten tournament, but seeing how every team makes the cut, it could still get interesting.

North Carolina and Syracuse both badly needed wins to keep their hopes for an at large bid alive, and both lost as Notre Dame and Virginia handled their business against their ACC rivals in a weekend that saw Duke relax with a weekend off.

Cornell and Princeton both picked up victories to remain at the top of the Ivy League standings and there were huge games in almost every conference in terms of setting up the conference tournament seedings and so on.

#7 Johns Hopkins – 12
#3 Maryland – 11

For sure the game of the weekend going into it, and the outcome didn’t disappoint as Hopkins and Maryland did battle to the end and this game featured a metric shit ton hits, chirping, lead changes, ties and more.

Picking up in the 4th quarter, Hopkins held a 10-9 lead with a chance to extend said lead, but Brian Ruppel made a monster save on a doorstep look by Brendan Grimes just off to his left, right on the crease. On the ensuing clear, Ruppel found John Geppert alone in the middle of the field, hit him, he booked it upfield and hit Daniel Maltz who buried it while getting wrecked, tied up at 10’s.

8:40 in the fourth, Braden Erksa dodges up the right side and tries to toss the ball up top, but as he releases it, Beaudan Szuluk got on his hands forcing the ball to the deck and after executing a perfect man/ball, Carson Brown picks up the ball, tears ass upfield and tosses the ball to his right to Degnon who throws a rope to Melendez opposite field who one touches it down to Angelus who took the extra step to greatness (as Quint would say) and buried it.  Hopkins back up by a goal.

Maryland failed on a clear around the 4:37, looked like it was offsides and that gave Hopkins the ball back in a settled set with 58 seconds on the shot clock.  Melendez dodged on Brett Makar with the help of a pick.  Melendez busted a swim on Makar and got up the left side, not using the pick, but the screen ate enough of Makar’s attention that he slept on that first step and Melendez scored a diving backhand goal that I presume is going to get this video flagged and my revenue handed to the B1G.

Maryland would manage to get one back with 54 seconds left in the game and Wierman would winning the ensuing faceoff giving the Terps a chance to tie things up but Zach Whittier turned the ball over with 19 seconds left in the contest, the Jay’s clear was successful and Hopkins picked up a monster win over their most hated rival, Maryland.

Huge key in the victory for Johns Hopkins was Tyler Dunn going 14 of 23 from the dot.  His wins held Luke Wierman to 13 of 27 on the day and that stat.  In a 1-goal game, the player that surprised the most should get the MVP, and while Melendez paved the way with 5 points including the eventual game winner, Dunn had no business actually getting the best of Wierman, yet he did.

#14 North Carolina – 9
#1 Notre Dame – 16

Dewy Egan bullied his way into a question mark dodge that resulted in a goal for Carolina that tied things up at 1’s early in the first quarter.  But then shit got serious as Notre Dame went on a 6 goal run that ran into the second quarter.

The first goal was oddly enough unassisted and scored by Jake Taylor, not something you see a whole lot.  Taylor picked up a groundball and UNC shut off everyone around him forcing him to run through X and run for his life.  Cooper Frankenheimer got a bit aggressive and lost his footing and Taylor inside rolled him, slow sprinted to the crease and stuck it just as he got above GLE while eating glancing blow from a sliding defender.

The final goal of the run was scored by Chris Kavanaugh who dodged up the right side from X and with the help of a pick at GLE that put both defenders brains in a blender, Kavanaugh had his hands free at the top of the 5&5 and ripped one that went through both defenders, Krieg barely saw it as he was pretty badly screened.  7-1 Notre Dame at this point.

Carolina would answer with their own run, this one of the 4-goal variety.  That run was capped by Ryan Levy who buried 4 yards off the crease, not too far above GLE on a dish by long pole Andrew Geppert.  This got UNC back to within 2 goals as the score at the half was 7-5 Notre Dame.

But lacrosse is a game of runs and as is often the case, Notre Dame went on to score 4 of the next 5 goals across the 3rd quarter.  Dobson got the first goal of the quarter for the Irish and Pat Kavanaugh scored the final goal that put Notre Dame up 11-6. A pretty solid 3/4 bounce shot that hit the far right pipe and went in, just out of the reach of Krieg.

Key in this game for Notre Dame was their play on defense, between the boxes and on the ride.  UNC won 20 of 30 draws on the day between Andrew Tyeryar (15 of 24) and Graham Schwartz (5 of 6).  But the Irish excelled in all aspects of defensive ball resulting in the Tarheels committing 18 turnovers.  Even better, 13 of them were forced by guys wearing shiny green helmets.

Pat Kavanagh forced 4 of those turnovers leading everyone on the field.  HIst statline on the day, 1 goal, 3 assists a gb and 4 caused turnovers in the riding game.  Brian Tevlin and Will Donovan forced 2 each.

Pat Kavanagh leads the nation in points per game with 5.67. He leads the nation in assists per game with 3.78.  He draws a lot of eyeballs and he does a great job helping out his pals. He also has 26 groundballs and 8 caused turnovers.  This guy does everything well and never takes a play off.  Alongside his brother, these two kids set the tone for the rest of this team and right now Notre Dame is playing insane team lacrosse.

Sidenote in terms of how the faceoff battle played out, Colin Hagstrom lost 8 of 20 on the day, but scored 2 goals.  I’d say that makes up for a bunch of those losses.

Total team effort offensively for Notre Dame.  Nine guys scored at least two points.  Four players scored 3 points or more.  Dobson (3g), McCAhon (1g, 2a), Chris Kavanagh (2g, 1a). 

Interesting note for this game beyond the fact that Carolina has to play Notre Dame twice in a row to end their season.  Eight sets of brothers played in this game between the two teams.

#12 Syracuse – 12
#4 Virginia – 19

Virginia got rolling right away opening the game up with a 6-goal that saw Xander Dickson score three goals including the final two of the run.

His 2nd goal of both the game, and the run came at the 4:46 mark, a perfectly time cut from Dickson made the Shellenberger feed easy.  Dickson received the feed and busted a quick twister low and to the opposite pipe, 5-0 Virginia.

His 3rd goal of both the game, and the run came just under a minute later, this time Jeff Conner dodging to the middle of the field (left to right dodge) and he found Dickson camping down low and to the left.  Dickson put a fake high, buried it low (I’m talking to you Gary Jackson), and now the Cavs are up 6 to zip.

Syracuse didn’t give up and managed to get back to within four goals off back-to-back goals by Alex Simmons.  The first one (his second of the game) was a nice two-man game with Finn Thompson who I think Simmons has had great chemistry with as they are both Canadians that now how to play in tight spaces.

Simmons scored a man-up goal about a minute later, his 3rd of the game up to this point on a crazy cross-field feed by Owen Hiltz.  That made it 9-5 Syracuse.

After Syracuse got a defensive stop and looked poised to get back to within three goals, a turnover on the ensuing clear resulted in a quick Payton Cormier goal off the restart and the Cavaliers were back up 10-5.  It never got better for the Orange as UVA would open a 13-5 lead and that was all she wrote.

Interesting enough, Cormier scored that goal, the Xander Dickson scored, then Cormier scored and then Dickson again and that was how it went from 9-5 to 13-5.  It was a dark time for the Orange (I got jokes).

Syracuse actually held up fairly well at the faceoff dot with Johnny Richiusa going 10 of 20.  Jack Fine had a terrible day, so LaSalla still managed to win 17 of 29 draws and he scored a goal.  But on a day that Syracuse did “enough at the dot to not make life miserable for the offense and defense”, Cuse still couldn’t get it done.

Syracuse committed 6 turnovers in that terrible first quarter, and 11 over the course of the first half hence the 5 goal deficit.  UVA forced 10 of those 15 turnovers and Cade Saustad led the way by forcing 4 on the day.

In the end, UVA outplayed Syracuse across most aspects of the game.  Syracuse has struggled against teams that have both experience and talent (obviously) as they have talent, but they lack experience. 

Now I gotta say, Xander Dickson (aka the Slim Reaper) had himself a monster game.  By awesome I mean 10 points off 7 goals and 2 helpers.  He only took 10 shots, he also picked up 5 groundballs and caused a turnover.  Payton Cormier put up 4 goals and Thomas McConvey went for 2 goals and 2 assists.

Syracuse managed to hold Shellenberger to just 2 assists off 6 shots and 3 turnovers.  Shellenberger has continued to play on and off depending on the day.

Alex Simmons paced Syracuse’s goal scorers with 4 goals, Coke Kirst put up 3 goals and a dish and Owen Hiltz flipped that statline and went for a goal and 3 helpers.

Syracuse really needed this win to give themselves a shot at picking up an at large bid.  They aren’t out of it yet as beating #1 Notre Dame next weekend would probably be enough to punch the Orange a ticket, but beating Notre Dame will be a TALL task.

#6 Cornell – 16
Brown – 9

Brown jumped out to a 3-2 lead off a Matteo Corsi goal with 7:41 in the first quarter. The Cuse transfer beat his defender to the middle of the field on a straight up sprint dodge, the help didn’t get there in time and he beat Ierlan on what appeared to be the stick side.

Cornell would then go on to score 7 of the games next 8 goals enroute to an 8-4 lead.  CJ Kirst put up 4 goals over this stretch including the first three goals of the run.  He scored the first goal of the run on a dish from Michael Long.  Kirst got free on the crease and ripped it low to low and went 5-hole on Theriault.

Kirst also capped the run scoring unassisted off a turnover caused by Michael Long although it won’t show in the stat book.  Long was pestering Trey Taylor while he was trying to clear.  Taylor stepped in the crease as he threw a pass upfield.  Whistle was blown, ball was placed directly in front of Kirst halfway between the box and midfield, he picked it up, got to about 14 yards out and ripped it past the people’s goalie, low right, perfect placement and totally out of Theriaults reach.

By this point of the game, with the score sitting at 9-4, Kirst had 5 goals.  He finished the game with 6 goals and 3 helpers, his 4th game of the season with 7 or more points.  He had 11 points in a win over Hobart, 7 points in a win over Penn, 8 points in a win over Marquette, and now 9 against Brown.  He’s sitting at 55 goals and 15 assists over 12 games. That puts him at 2nd in the country in points per game with 5.55 and 1st in the country in goals per game with 4.45.

Cornell did an incredible job offensively considering they turned the ball over 17 times and lost 18 of 29 faceoffs.  Credit the Big Red defense for playing solid in forcing 10 turnovers, while playing pesky defense that resulted in Brown turning the ball over 23 times total on the day.

For Cornell, this win ties them with Princeton atop the Ivy League standings.  They host Princeton in Ithaca next weekend to see who gets the #1 seed in the Ivy League tournament. 5 of those turnovers came on clears as Brown was only 15 of 20.

Lehigh – 11
Boston U – 14

Boston University jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, but Lehigh would battle back and get back to within two goals off a Christian Mule man up goal with 8:31 left in the third quarter.

But the Terriers would answer as Louis Perfetto would score on a straight up bull dodge from GLE on the right into the low crease for a score.  Credit to Conor Calderone for winning the faceoff after that Lehigh goal making sure to put a stop to their momentum.

A little under 3 minutes later, Perfetto would find Timmy Ley just off the left side of the crease for an easy man up goal and the lead was back to four goals, 9-5 Boston U.

Mike Sisselberger was his usual self for Leigh winning 17 out of the 28 draws he took on the day, but the Boston U. defense caused an astounding 21 turnovers per their stat sheet, which I don’t think could be correct, but per their box score, it is.  Roy Meyer was credited with 5 forced turnovers and Dane Degoler and Patrick Morrison each took the rock away 3 times as well.  So if that stat is in fact accurate, that would for certain make up for Sisselberger wrecking Calderon eat the dot.

Navy – 6
#8 Army – 11

The Army/Navy game got bumped up to earlier in the day due to pending storms, but it was Army’s defense that made life difficult for Navy’s starting attack and midfield units  as they shot 0 for 16 over the first half and finished the game 2 for 26. That allowed Army to build a 9-2 halftime lead and they never looked back. 

Marquette – 15
#13 Villanova – 16 (OT) 

Villanova was down by a goal with a 1:18 left to play in regulation and Marquette had the ball and took a timeout. 

Nova decided to be aggressive and doubled the ball out of the timeout, forced a turnover and Austin Fraser scored the game tying goal, and later the game winning goal to propel the Wildcats to victory. Fraser had 4 goals on the day.

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