Saturday Recap: Lehigh Upsets Villanova, Big Ten Semifinals Set, Conference Tournament Fields Finalized

(Photo Courtesy of Villanova Athletics)

Despite Lehigh faceoff man Mike Sisselberger going 20-for-22 at the faceoff dot, the Villanova Wildcats scored a massive upset win, 16-8, to end the regular season and hand their non-conference opponent their first loss of the season.

While the Mountain Hawks dominated the battle at the faceoff dot, 24 turnovers and an 8-15 mark in the clearing game ultimately led to Villanova being able to take advantage and take over this contest. The Wildcats pushed ahead 4-1 at the end of the first and 9-2 at the half. While Lehigh did find a bit more success in the second half on the offensive end, the Wildcats continued to pile as they sprinted towards the finish line.

Colin Crowley led Villanova with five points on four goals and an assist while Eric Overbay had two goals and two assists for four points. Owen Prybylski led the Wildcats’ rope unit, causing four turnovers and scooping up a ground ball. Will Vitton made nine saves in cage as the starter.

The Wildcats will be the No. 3 seed in the Big East Tournament and face No. 2 seeded Georgetown. This win is a likely resume booster for an at-large bid that looks a bit closer than reality after Saturday, especially with Syracuse’s blowout loss.

Lehigh is the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament and has a bye to the semifinals, which they will host on May 7th and play the winner of Boston U.-Colgate.

Kavanagh, Notre Dame Down Syracuse

In their season-finale, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish downed the Syracuse Orange 22-8 to sweep the season series against the Orange.

Sophomore Pat Kavanagh stole the show once again and may have just started his 2022 Tewarraton Campaign for next season, tallying a program-record 10 points off five goals and five assists. That included a between the legs shot that he got to go before taking the hit from Syracuse’s Owen Murphy.

In addition to Kavanagh, Quinn McCahon and Griffin Westlin each tallied five points off three goals and two assists. Kyle Gallagher and Charlie Leonard combined to go  20-for-32 at the faceoff dot just one week after Syracuse’s Jakob Phaup went 20-for-27 against Virginia.

The Notre Dame defense, which held Syracuse scoreless for over 20 minutes from the end of the second through late in the fourth, was anchored by an 11-save performance from Liam Entenmann.

Michigan, Johns Hopkins Bunch Tickets to Big Ten Semifinals

The Michigan Wolverines pulled out, perhaps, their biggest win in program history Saturday evening as they took down arch-rival Ohio State 15-11 to grab their first ever Big Ten Tournament win in their first ever Big Ten Tournament appearance, and set a date with No. 1 Maryland in the semifinals.

After seeing Ohio State respond to an early 3-0 Michigan lead with three scores of their own to tie the game up at the end of the first, the Wolverines pushed ahead 7-4 at the half. Despite seeing Ohio State close in on their lead a bit in the third, Michigan was able to stay ahead and used a three-goal run, which included a pole goal from Ryan Schreiber, to start the fourth quarter to really pull away and help secure the win.

Michael Boehm led the way for the Wolverines with three goals and an assist while John Kiracofe made 13 saves in cage.

Reid Jackson (4G) and Jack Myers (3G/1A) led the Buckeyes offense. Justin Inacio went 14-for-26 at the dot.

The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays also earned themselves a spot in the Big Ten semifinals, where they will face Rutgers after taking down Penn State 15-7 on Saturday.

After taking a narrow, 4-3 lead at the end of the first, the Blue Jays scored five unanswered from early in the second through early in the third to pull ahead 9-4 early in the second half. They tacked on two more three-goal runs in the final two quarters of play to take home the win.

Cole Williams had four goals, including the final tally of the day to seal the deal, for the Blue Jays while Connor DeSimone had three goals and three assists.

Mac O’Keefe had two goals and an assist for Penn State.

America East, CAA, NEC, SoCon Tournament Fields Finalized

On the final regular season Saturday of the 2021 season, the tournament fields for the majority of the conference were officially set in stone.

In the America East UMBC clinched the No. 1 seed and a share of the conference title with Vermont and Stony Brook on Saturday with their win over NJIT. Vermont has grabbed the No. 2 seed, Stony Brook the No. 3 seed, and UAlbany will be the No. 4 seed.

In the CAA, Delaware has grabbed the top seed while Drexel captured the No. 2 seed with their win over Towson on Saturday. UMass is the No. 3 seed and Hofstra is the No. 4 seed.

Saint Joseph’s has taken the No. 1 seed in the NEC while Hobart grabbed the No. 2 seed, Bryant took the No. 3 seed, and LIU is the No. 4 seed.

The SoCon might have had the most interesting day as fat as tournament contention goes. While Richmond already had the No. 1 seed locked up, Air Force too down the Spiders to remain in tournament contention and knock Bellarmine out of contention. Bellarmine beat Mercer end the Bears’ postseason hopes and will Air Force into the No. 4 seed. High Point beat Jacksonville in a battle for the No. 3 seed.

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