Between Friday and Saturday we had some insane games including huge matchups and some OT thrillers.  We’ll start this college lacrosse weekend recaps show off talking about Saturday’s matchup between #1 Duke and #2 Notre Dame, but as the show progresses we’ll also touch on #5 Maryland vs #17 Ohio State, #3 Virginia vs #9 North Carolina, #16 Michigan vs #12 Rutgers, Syracuse vs #15 Princeton, #6 Johns Hopkins vs #8 Penn State and many more.

#1 Duke – 12
#2 Notre Dame – 17

I mentioned in this games preview on Thursday that Notre Dame was a team that has mastered “going on runs” and that proved true on Saturday against the #1 team in the country, Duke.

The first 4-goal run was started on the defensive side of the field, a Liam Entenmann save, picked up by Ben Ramsey. Ramsey picked up the rebound after a minor scrum, went coast to coast, and when the Duke defense didn’t slide, he unleashed a shot on the run that beat Will Helm.  That tied the score at 3’s.

That run was capped by a crazy sequence that saw Jake Taylor pick up a groundball with 3 seconds left on the shot clock, he sends it BTB to Pat Kavanagh on the crease who then immediately sends it BTB towards the goal and it beats Helm giving the Irish a 6-3 lead they would never relinquish.

The next run of 4 goals was started just under 4 minutes to play in the 2nd quarter, Pat Kavanagh unassisted, and capped at the top of the 3rd quarter, a monster rip from Eric Dobson, top middle, on a dish from Reilly Gray.  That made the score 10-4.

The final run was of the 5-goal variety, once again started by Pat Kavanagh, an insane question mark dodge up the left side where Brower was playing perfect defense, but Kavanagh was able to get the shot off anyway.  That made the score 13-9, Irish.

That run was capped by brother Chris, he scored an unassisted goal of his own with 9:53 remaining in the contest.  He dodged down the right alley and buried it top cheddar on Helm giving Notre Dame a 17-9 advantage.  Duke scored the game’s final 3 goals, but do we really care at this point?

Jake Naso won 22 of 32 draws, something that I assumed would give Duke enough of an advantage that they would surely win the game.  Naso’s wins were undone by Will Helm having a tough day in net stopping just 10 of the 27 shots he faced. Notre Dame also took incredible care of the ball, only turning the ball over 9 times to Duke’s 14.

Liam Entenmann played well in net.  Didn’t commit too many robberies, but he made the saves he should have made and with Chris Fake and the Notre Dame defense doing an incredible job limiting the looks that O’Neill (1g) and McAdorey (1g, 1a) got, that was all the Irish needed to pull out the win.

Fake specifically did an incredible job on Brennan O’Neill.  #34 turned the ball over 5 times, only got off 4 shots and scored a single goal.  Easily his worst game of the season, maybe one of the worst games of his career.  Credit Fake and his pals as it was a total team effort.

In terms of “what does this win/loss mean for each team”?  Not a whole lot.  Notre Dame will be back at #1 by Monday and both of these teams have already built an NCAA tournament worthy resume.  So this game was just dope across the board and won’t help or hurt either team outside of how it plays into NCAA tournament seeding.

#5 Maryland – 12 (OT)
#17 Ohio State – 11

Well, the main thing people wanted to talk about after this game was John Tillman’s sketchy move where he claims he “asked the official about the Ohio State fogo’s glove color” and that resulted in a technical without possession granting the Terps the ball without the need for winning the faceoff with about 2 minutes left in the OT period.  NOTE, my DVR cut off the OT period just as this crap was going down, so I didn’t see what happened after.  What I do know, even if OSU got another shot at winning in OT after this shit, I’ve lost quite a bit of respect for Tillman.  No way around that.  He was my #2 in terms of favorite coaches in D1 lacrosse and he’s now off the list completely after this.

In terms of how this game played out, Ohio State controlled this game from the start, but faltered badly down the stretch.  The Buckeyes took an 11-8 lead with 1:24 left in the 3rd quarter off an Ed Shean goal, assisted by Kyle Borda.

Then the wheels came off for the home team.  Daniel Kelly got Maryland back to within 2 goals just 2 minutes and 2 seconds into the 4th quarter off a dish by Ryan Siracusa. A nice cross crease feed by Siracusa as Kelly was alone on the backside.

Eric Spanos scored with 5:50 left in the 4th to get Maryland back to within a goal, and it was Daniel Kelly again, this time a step down from the high crease on a dish from Braden Erksa.

So you know the deal, we go into OT.  You also already know about Tillman’s bullshit move.  We won’t talk about that anymore.

Braden Erksa scored the game winner for the Terps, dodging from X up the right side, my DVR cut off the end of the game because I’m an idiot, so my only view of the goal was from Twitter, a shot from the Terps sideline.

#3 Virginia – 19
#9 North Carolina – 12

This game was over by the end of the 1st quarter.  Playing without Connor Shellenberger didn’t hinder the Cav’s offense from going on runs.  After UNC took a 1-0 lead just a couple minutes into the game, Virginia went on a 6 goal ripper of a run.

The first 3 of the first 4 goals in that run were scored by Peyton Cormier who had a huge day.  Cormier scored the 2nd goal of the run with 10:28 to play in the 1st quarter, unassisted, picked up a rebound off the side of the crease and buried it, that gave UVA a 2-1 lead.  Cormier would score again a little over 2 minutes later, same thing, ball was on the turf off to the left of the crease, Cormier picked it up, buried another easy one, that gave Virginia a 3-1 lead.

Cormier’s 3rd goal of that run was more like what you would expect from the Cav’s.  Dixon from the 5-and-5 area on goalies right, hit Shutz out top in the middle of the field, and he threaded the needle down to the left side of the crease for an easy stick.  Cormier completed the natural hatrick and Virginia continued to roll from there.

UVA would also put up an 8-goal run between the 2nd and 3rd quarters that would put this game totally out of reach for UNC.

On a day that saw Petey LaSalla win only 17 of 33 draws, the story was the Virginia defense.  Cole Kastner had 3 takeaways on the day as well as a goal.  Xander Dickson forced 2 turnovers, Scott Bower 2 forced turnovers and Xander Cickson forced 2 failed clears while riding like a mad man.

Matthew Nunes picked a good day to play well.  He stopped 12 shots to just 11 goals against whereas the guy standing in the opposite cage, Collin Krieg had a rough go, just 7 saves against 19 goals against.  A very uncharacteristic day for Krieg who got almost no help from his defense.

Virginia played tough, got after loose balls and played solid team defense.  North Carolina did the opposite of that. UNC picked up only 28 groundballs to Virginia’s 42 and went only scored a single goal on 7 man-up opportunities.

For UNC, this puts them on the bubble. They are lacking “quality wins”.  Johns Hopkins is their best win at the moment.  UNC faces a near “must win” game next week hosting Syracuse.  Lose and you’re now in the basement of the ACC with TWO GAMES AGAINST NOTRE DAME looming.  Sure, those two games give them two chances at picking up a win against the soon-to-be #1 team in the land, but winning that game will be tough.

For Virginia, they are likely fine so long as they don’t lose out from here, and even then, their resume is still pretty solid.

#16 Michigan – 12
#12 Rutgers 13 (OT)

Big Ten play this weekend required quite a bit of overtime to get to the winners.  Rutgers took a 12-9 lead with 9:33 to play in the game thanks to Brian Cameron bullying his man up the left side from X and burying one past Shane Carr.

Michigan would mount a comeback started by Kevin Pimental’s man up goal with 7:44 to play, dished by Ryan Cohen. A quick strike, the play had just started and Pimental was hanging open on the back side of everything and Cohen threaded the needle.

Another man up opportunity resulting from the previous play was capitalized on by Peter Thompson, again from Ryan Cohen and the Wolverines got things back to within a goal, 12-11 Rutgers.

Michael Boehm would tie the game up at 12’s with 4:11 left, a nice dodge up the left side, doing a bit of a turn back and ripping a nice little low to high.

The game winning goal in OT for Rutgers was filthy.  Shane Knoblock got a pick dodging down the left alley, the pick ate his defender, no one hedge and Knoblock ripped a righty low-to-high, perfectly hitting the corner, while on the run, with his stick on the inside.  Beautiful shot by #27 with a difficulty level of no less than 9.7 out of 10.

In the end, it was turnovers that were Michigan’s undoing.  The Wolverines committed 15 turnovers on the day while Rutgers took incredible care of the ball, only giving it up 6 times all game long.

Shane Carr, who has split time in cage at times this season, got the full game for Michigan after making 6 saves in the first half.  He played even better over the second half making 8 saves.  It wasn’t enough to get Michigan the win, but he certainly helped them stay in the game.

The Rutgers defense had their hands full as well as Michigan had been playing offensively, but they played a great game start to finish.  Brad Apgar and Jack Stahancyzyk combined for 7 caused turnovers.

Syracuse – 16
#15 Princeton – 13

Syracuse played in a “must win game” on the road against Pricneton and the Orange didn’t disappoint.

Joey Spallina gave Syracuse a 7-3 lead off a man up goal, dished by Alex Simmons with 13:27 left in the 2nd quarter.  It was Spallina’s 2nd goal of the game and one of four man-up goals Syracuse would score on the day.

Princeton would manage to get back within a goal off a Sean Cameron goal with 2:43 to play in the first half, a step down shot on a feed by Coulter Mackesy, but the Orange would answer with two late 1st half goals, getting their lead back up to 3 going into halftime.

The first was Joey Spallina finding Michael Leo on the back side, the 4th man-up goal for Syracuse. Simmons picked up a rebound, hit Spallina BTB who then sent it across the crease to a wide open Leo who simply dunked it.  Nice little tic-tac-toe play.

The second was Spallina getting some on his own.  With about 30 seconds left in the half, Spallina dodged his man behind X, up the left side, and for the second time in the game, instead of letting #22 get to the 5-and-5 spot up that left side, he gave Spallina the high side and paid for it.

The story of this game was every time Princeton would score a goal that appeared to give them hope, Syracuse would answer back.

Spallina had a monster 9 point day off 4 goals and 5 assists.  He put up points as a dodger, off-ball and he distributed the rock.  A great day for our only hope.

However, it was the Syracuse defense and fogo Jack Fine that pleased me the most in this outing.  Fine won 20 of 32 draws on the day, a huge factor in this win. Without Fine’s effort at the dot, no way Syracuse wins this game.

Dave Pietramala has this Syracuse defense playing incredibly well.  They have been without their top defender all season.  Landon Clary has missed almost every game Syracuse has played against ranked foes and managed to get back into the lineup in this one and started, only to leave the game with what appeared to be a concussion early on.  Even while playing undermanned, this defense has looked solid against some good offensive teams.

Credit Brandon Aviles and Saam Alexo for leading this group.  Aviles missed time early in the season and now that he’s back with game legs has played very solid lacrosse as Cuse’s top defensive midfielder and Olexo is playing like an All-American at this stage.  He scored the games opening goal and also had 3 caused turnovers and 3 groundballs.

Will Mark was his usual pimp self stopping 17 shots vs just 13 goals against.

For Syracuse, this gives them their first win against a ranked opponent as they head into a brutal 3-game stretch against North Carolina, Virginia and Duke, all on the road.

For Princeton, they have Dartmouth, Harvard and Cornell up next.  They already have a quality win over Yale, but that is about it, so they need to win 2 of their next 3 to make sure they have a chance of making the tournament via the Ivy’s AQ.

#6 Johns Hopkins – 11
#8 Penn State – 12 (OT)

Penn State took a 10-7 lead against Johns Hopkins with 12:58 remaining in the 4th quarter off an unassisted TJ Malone goal. Nice dodge from X up the right, got the high side and buried it as he got above GLE.

Hopkins would then go on a 4 goal run that would give them a 1 goal lead with just 2:37 remaining in the game.  The go-ahead goal was scored by Russel Melendez dished by Brendan Grimes, almost too easy, Grimes dodging up the right side from X found Melendez out top alone and he stuck the step down.  That put Hop up 11-10.

Just 20 seconds later, the Binghamton University transfer, Kevin Winkoff would knot things back up at 11’s on a dish from Jack Traynor. Trynor hit Winkoff on the right side, about GLE, and Winkoff took two steps upfield and hit a jumper.  Nice goal that resulted in OT.

In overtime, it was a broken play situation that resulted in Winkoff getting the ball in the top middle of the field about 13 or so yards out.  He very quickly stepped down and laced one to the top right corner giving Penn State the win.

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