NCAA First Round Saturday: North Carolina, Rutgers, Georgetown Dominate

(Photo Courtesy of Rutgers Athletics)

The top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels are moving onto the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament after taking down Monmouth 16-4 on Saturday afternoon.

Justin Anderson, who just became a father on Friday, scored the first goal of the contest for North Carolina to help them jump out to a 4-0 first-quarter lead. The Tar Heels sprinted straight through the finish line following the first period of play, getting up 7-1 at the half before picking up the pace and keeping ahead 12-2 heading into the fourth quarter.

Chris Gray led the Tar Heels with four goals and two assists for six points. Gray’s six points put him ahead of Bruce Ledwith (81) as the single-season points leader in North Carolina history with 83 points on the year. Additionally, William Perry (1G/4A) had five points and Jacob Kelly had three points off two goals and an assist.

Collin Krieg anchored the Tar Heels’ defense with 15 saves while defenseman Matt Wright had two ground balls and two caused turnovers. SSDM Parker Alexander finished the contest with the same stat line.

Monmouth had four different goal scorers while Dillon Smart led the Hawks’ defense, who held the Tar Heels to just six goals on 26 possessions in the first half, with six ground balls and two assists. Noah Lode had 13 saves in cage for Monmouth.

Rutgers Dominates No. 8 Lehigh

Despite Mike Sisselberger going 15-for-19 (79%) at the faceoff dot for Lehigh, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights downed the Mountain Hawks 12-5 to earn their first NCAA Tournament win since 1990.

After a back-and-forth opening quarter which saw each side find the back of the net twice, the Scarlet Knights blanked the Mountain Hawks in the second quarter and added three of their own to pull ahead 5-2 at the half. The Scarlet Knights continued to pile on, taking a 7-3 lead at the end of the third before a five-goal fourth quarter to close out the contest.

The Scarlet Knights’ defense put together their best performance of the season, holding Lehigh to their least amount of goals since their 4-3 loss against Hofstra in February of 2020. Colin Kirst made 17 saves to anchor the Rutgers defense.

Justin Tiernan had two goals for Lehigh and James Spence made 17 saves.

Notre Dame 10, Drexel 8

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish avoided the upset 10-8 against the Drexel Dragons at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday evening to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals.

With 1:19 remaining, Wheaton Jackoboice put in the go-ahead goal for the Irish to end the day with a hat trick. Morrison Mirer put in the dagger with 41 seconds left in the contest to officially seal the deal for the Irish.

Reid Bowering, who ended the game with four goals, tied the game up at 8 early in the fourth for Drexel to complete the Dragons’ 5-1 run that began early in the third to come back from down 3-7 at the half. Following Bowering’s game-tying goal was nearly 11 minutes of back-in-forth play in which both goaltenders shined with Notre Dame’s Liam Entenmann and Ross Blumenthal combining for seven saves during that stretch.

Entenemann ended with 17 saves whole Blumenthal ended with 15 saves.

Also during that stretch came a crucial call in which a Drexel shortstick defenseman was called for interference on a ground ball following a Blumenthal save and the Irish were given the ball back. Jackoboice scored the go-ahead goal just 31 seconds later.

Georgetown 18, Syracuse 8

Georgetown is headed back to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time since 2007 after blowing out Syracuse in the nightcap of Saturday’s first-round action.

While the Orange were able to keep it close on the scoreboard at first, only trailing 3-2 at the end of the first, Georgetown soon blew the contest wide open. The Hoyas’ effort in the second and third quarters, in which they outscored the Orange 10-2, pushed them over the edge. They added five more in the fourth to get to 18.

Jake Carraway and Declan McDermott each had five goals for the Hoyas while Nicky Petkevich (2G/2A) and Dylan Hess (4G) each had four points. Graham Bundy Jr. added two goals to end the contest with the Hoyas’ top four midfielders contributing 15 points in the win.

Owen McElroy made 10 saves to anchor the Georgetown defense.

Jamie Trimboli had a hat trick to lead Syracuse while Drake Porter had 10 saves.

Second Round Matchups

Saturday, May 22nd

No. 1 North Carolina vs Rutgers

No. 5 Georgetown vs No. 4 Virginia/Bryant

Sunday, May 23rd

No. 6 Notre Dame vs No. 3 Maryland/Vermont

No. 7 Denver/Loyola vs No. 2 Duke/High Point

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