As always the ACC tournament is the first to be played and the first to be set. Virginia is the top seed followed by Duke as the two seed, Notre Dame as the number three seed, Syracuse as the four, and North Carolina sits in last place as the fifth and final seed in the ACC tournament.
The 2019 ACC Men’s Lacrosse tournament will kickoff on Thursday, April 25th with Syracuse and North Carolina playing in the quarterfinal game. The winner of that game will advance to the semifinals where they will play Virginia. The other semifinal features Duke and Notre Dame. The winner of the two semifinals will meet in the ACC Championship game on Saturday, May 4th.
#4 Syracuse vs #5 North Carolina – Quarterfinals
The Syracuse Orange will face the North Carolina Tar Heels in the quarterfinal round of the ACC tournament. This is an interesting one for two reasons. One being that these two just faced each other two weeks ago and the other is that the Soloman brothers, Nate (Syracuse) Nicky (North Carolina) will face each other for the second time this season.
Last time these two faced each other Syracuse got the better of the Tar Heels, walking away with the 12-9 win. Since then Syracuse got to beat up on a lack-luster Navy squad and North Carolina dropped a close one against Notre Dame, their third straight loss. The Orange are coming in on a high note while the Tar Heels are not, but still it is conference tournament time and everything is kicked up a notch.
This Syracuse team is much better than some give them credit for and what makes them so good is how balanced they are. While Bradley Voigt, Nate Soloman, and Stephen Rehfuss may be the headliners of that Syracuse offense, Jacob Buttermore, Brendan Curry, Jamie Trimboli, and others have also made big impacts all season. While younger than some, this balanced offense can really get it done night in and night out while using their depth to their advantage.
On the defensive side of the ball, it’s been the two-headed monster of Nick Mellen and Tyson Bomberry getting things done. The Syracuse defense did a good job of limiting North Carolina’s opportunities last time out and should be able to put up a similar performance on Thursday.
While the Tar Heels have struggled at times this season they have always been in pretty much every game this season. On the offensive end of things, the Tar Heels will be looking to use that attack of Timmy Kelly, Andy Matthews, and stud freshman Nicky Soloman. Add in a midfield that features Tanner Cook and Alex Trippi and that’s a tough offense to stop when they are on. The Tar Heels will need to attack that Syracuse and make smart plays if they want any chance at getting more quality looks this time around.
North Carolina’s defense is headed by Jack Rowlett who can pose a threat to any opposing offensive player in the country. The defense as a whole will need to step up in this game and not allow any big runs like they did last game, and it ended up being one of the things that costed them in the end.
The goalie battle in this one is between Syracuse’s Drake Porter and North Carolina’s Canton Johnson. Porter has been stellar this season, making 112 saves with a 58% save percentage. The freshman, Johnson hasn’t even been North Carolina’s number one guy all season. Even with that he has been impressive down the stretch, but he obviously is still grooming his game as a freshman.
(Note: A more in depth semifinals preview will come after the quarterfinal round has been played.)
#2 Duke vs #3 Notre Dame – Semifinals
The Duke Blue Devils come into this game after escaping a scare from Marquette and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are coming off of a win over North Carolina. With both teams have deep offenses and a pretty good defensive unit, this should be a good one.
#1 Virginia vs Syracuse/North Carolina – Semifinals
The Virginia Cavaliers await the winner of the quarterfinal game. The Cavaliers are coming off of two cupcake games in which they blew by VMI and Marist.
ACC Men’s Lacrosse Tournament Bracket