NCAA First Round Sunday: Virginia and Loyola Win Hard Fought Battles

(Photo Courtesy of Virginia Athletics)

In the best game of the first round, Sam Shafer stepped up and made perhaps the goal of the year to secure the 14-13 win for Loyola over Denver and advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals. Shafer’s game-saving save earned him a season-high 16 on the game.

Shafer’s performance highlighted a big night for the Loyola defense, which held Denver to just two goals in each of the first two quarters of play and saw Matt Hughes (2GB/2CT) and Payton Rezanka (3GB/2CT) lead the aggressive effort in front of the cage.

Following that slow first half, Denver put together a six-point third quarter that began with a three-goal Pioneer run to cut the Loyola lead to 9-7 and ended with two straight from Jack Hannah and Jackson Morrill to make it a one-goal, 11-10, game heading into the fourth.

Kevin Lindley and Peter Swindell scored the only two goals for Loyola in the third quarter while Adam Poitras and Liam Bateman had the first two goals of the fourth to provide a bit for a cushion, 13-10, for the Greyhounds.

Ethan Walker, Ted Sullivan, and Jack Hannah each scored in the final period for Denver, but an Aidam Olmstead man-up goal with 3:19 helped the Greyhounds stay ahead and proved to be the game-winner.

Olmstead ended with five goals to lead the Greyhounds, who had seven different goal scorers in the contest.

Jackson Morrill had four points off three goals and an assist to lead Denver while TD Ierlan went 17-for-19 at the faceoff dot.

Virginia 13, Bryant 11

The 2019 defending champion Virginia Cavaliers are moving on after defeating Bryant 13-11 in Sunday’s first first-round contest.

Bryant never trailed by more than three in the first half and used a three-goal to end the second quarter to tie things up at 6 before Peter Garno followed up with one for Virginia to make it a 7-6 Cavaliers lead at the half. The Bulldogs put together another three-goal run in the third quarter that saw Bryant not only tie things up but take the lead 10-8 with 5:41 left in the contest.

Virginia answered with a game-clinching, five-goal run from the 1:24 mark in the third through the 3:18 mark in the fourth to push ahead 13-10.

Connor Shellenberger and Matt Moore each had five points off two goals and three assists to lead the Cavaliers’ offense. Additionally, Ian Laviano also had three points off two goals and an assist.

Alex Rode made 18 saves in cage to anchor the Virginia defense.

Logan McGovern had three goals and one assist to lead the Bulldogs.

Maryland 17, Vermont 11

Behind a seven-point (6G/1A) performance from Jared Bernhardt, the Maryland Terrapins took down the Vermont Catamounts 17-11 to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Beyond Bernhardt’s big performance to help propel the Terrapins to their seventh consecutive quarterfinal appearance, it was a big day for the Bernhardt family. Not only was Jared tearing it up on the field and his brother Jesse working the Terrapins’ sideline, but Jake was across the way on the Vermont sideline. It was, in a sense, the Bernhardt bowl- and Jared and Jake won.

Maryland came out and hot, and for the most part, stayed hot for a full 60 minutes. The Terrapins got up 7-2 early in the second quarter following a five-goal run. And while the Catamounts were able to cut the Maryland lead to 5-8 early in the third, Maryland kept their foot on the gas and outscored Vermont 9-7 in the second half to secure the win.

Outside of Bernhardt’s dominance, Kyle Long had three goals and an assist for four points for the Terrapins.

Thomas McConvey had six points off four goals and two assists to lead Vermont.

Duke 16, High Point 10

In his NCAA Tournament debut, Michael Sowers put up four goals and four assists for eight points to lead the Duke Blue Devils to victory over the High Point Panthers.

The Blue Devils pushed out to an early 4-0 lead before two straight from Brayden Mayea and Asher Nolting got High Point on the board and cut the Duke lead to 4-2 early in the second. The Blue Devils put up six goals in the second quarter to pull ahead 10-5 at the half before using a three-goal run in the third to really pull away, 13-6.

Duke added three goals in the fourth quarter, including two from Owen Caputo, to officially seal the deal and win 16-10.

Mike Alder made 12 saves in cage to anchor the Blue Devils’ defense while JT Giles-Harris had two ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Asher Nolting had four points off one goal and four assists to lead the Panthers. Brayden Mayea and Jack Vanoverbeke each had two goals and an assist for three points.

Quarterfinal Matchups

Saturday, May 22nd

No. 1 North Carolina vs Rutgers

No. 5 Georgetown vs No. 4 Virginia

Sunday, May 23rd

No. 6 Notre Dame vs No. 3 Maryland

Loyola vs No. 2 Duke

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