(Photo Courtesy of Michigan Athletics)
Welcome to April, Y’all!
Conference play has officially begun for every league across the landscape and the craziness has followed. From the Big Ten to the Big East and everywhere in between there was important action that went down on this Saturday and throughout this weekend.
Let’s get into all the action.
Michigan Earns First-Ever Win over Maryland
On Saturday afternoon, the Michigan Wolverines went into College Park and did something that they had never done before. The Wolverines beat the Maryland Terrapins 16-11 to earn what is the biggest win in program history.
Josh Zawada (3G/4A) and Michael Boehm (4G/2A) combined for 13 points on the day to lead the Michigan offense. Jacob Jackson also had a hat trick.
Justin Wietfeldt went 12-for-15 (80%) at the dot. Hunter Taylor made five saves with a 50% save percentage during the second half. Shane Carr made five saves with a 45% save percentage in the first half.
Trading goals early in the game, Maryland found themselves in front 2-1 after a Braden Erska score. That early, slim lead, however, would be the last of the day for the Terrapins.
An Isaac Aronson score sparked what would end up being a five-goal Michigan run to pull them ahead 6-2 heading into the second quarter. That early spurt would be the first of three sizable runs in which the Michigan offense got clicking on all cylinders and helped pave the path towards victory.
The Wolverines would score three quick goals to start the third quarter and extend their lead to 10-6. A quarter later, Michigan put home four consecutive scores to give them the 15-9 advantage with 6:14 left. They would add one more later in that final frame to ensure the win and prevent a Maryland comeback.
Michigan saw nine different goal-scorers on the day. Zawada, Boehm, and Jackson were the only multi-goal scorers for the Wolverines. 10 of the Wolverines’ 16 goals were assisted.
Maryland outscored Michigan 4-1 in the second quarter to make it a 7-6 game and had cut the Michigan lead to 11-9 early in the fourth quarter following a man-up goal from Daniel Maltz. However, the Terrapins were unable to slow down the Wolverines any further.
A big part of Michigan’s domination was its ability to win the possession battle. The duo of Nick Rowlett and Justin Wietfeldt combined to go 17-for-30 against Maryland’s Luke Wierman at the faceoff dot. That includes a 10-for-15 mark in the second half alone. Wietfeldt won each of the last three faceoffs of the game.
Both Michigan (5-4, 1-1 Big Ten) and Maryland (6-3, 1-1 Big Ten) return to action next week on Good Friday. Michigan will travel to Rutgers while Maryland travels to Ohio State.
Late-Game Spurt Helps Penn Past Yale
With 9:23 remaining in the first half of play, Matt Brandau strutted down the middle of the field unguarded and put his first score of the day past Emmett Carroll. That Brandau goal came off a successful Yale ride and pulled them within 7-6 and would be part of a 7-2 run for the Bulldogs that helped give them the 11-9 advantage at the half.
Yale had trailed 4-0 early in the contest but by late in the third quarter it was the Bulldogs who appeared to be controlling the game. Leading 13-9 following a pair of Brandau scores to open the half and having scored nine of the last 11 goals, the Bulldogs appeared to be playing their best lacrosse of the season.
The Bulldogs defense had some of its best possessions during that stretch during the middle of the game as they held the Quakers to just two goals for 20-plus minutes and caused 10 turnovers. Yale also forced four failed Penn clears during that stretch. The Bulldogs held the Quakers to a 20-for-25 mark in the clearing game on the day.
But just as fast as the pendulum swung in Yale’s favor, it would swing back to Penn just as quickly – if not quicker.
James Shipley, Robert Schain, and Sam Handley all found the back of the net in a 1:19 span to make it a one-goal game late in the third quarter. And while a Machado Rodrigiuez goal seconds later ensured a two-goal, 14-12, Yale lead entering the final frame, it would be Penn who owned those final 15 minutes.
After goals from Ben Smith and Tynan Walsh to tie things up with 9:55 left, Yale would punch back with a pair from Carson Kuhl and Brad Sharp to make it a 16-14 Bulldogs lead. However, that punch would be the last that Yale had of the day.
The Quakers would score a three straight in the final 3:33 of the contest to earn the one-goal, 17-16, victory. Tynan Walsh put home the eventual game-winner with 1:17 left and on the other end Emmett Carroll nabbed a massive game-winning save off a Matt Brandau look with just seconds left to seal the deal.
Emmett Carroll ended the day with 12 saves to anchor the Penn defense. Ben Smith (4G/1A) and Tynan Walsh (4G) led the Quakers’ offense. Sam Handley also had three goals and two assists.
Leo Johnson (4G/2A) and Matt Brandau (3G) led the way for Yale.
Penn (4-4, 2-1 Ivy League) return to action next week with a Holy Saturday meeting at Brown. Yale (3-4, 0-3 Ivy League) will face Boston U. on Tuesday.
Hopkins Pulls Away From Rutgers
The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays took down the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a 16-12 victory on Saturday night to move into control of the Big Ten.
Once again, it was a game that saw Hopkins finish strong. After a fierce 7-1 Rutgers run from late in the first through early in the fourth that cut the Blue Jays lead ton 10-8, the Scarlet Knights would score just twice more. Hopkins scored eight of the final 10 goals of the game, which included each of the final three, to help them pull away and earn the big win.
Brett Martin sealed the deal with a bomb to break the 10-man ride with under a minute left in regulation.
Earlier in the contest, the Blue Jays had pulled ahead 7-3 thanks to a four-goal run that ended with Casey McDermott, Russell Melendez, and Brett Martin netting consecutive goals in just over the span of a minute.
Jacob Angelus (2G/3A) led the Blue Jays with five points while Brooks English (2G/1A), Brett Martin (2G), Casey McDermott (2G), and Ryan Evans (2G) were also heavy contributors.
Tim Marcille made 14 saves to anchor the Hopkins defense.
Shane Knobloch (3G/2A) and Justin Kim (3G/1A) led Rutgers. Jonathan Dugenio went 17-for-30 at the dot and Anthony Palma made 9 saves, having played the final three quarter after Kyle Mullin was pulled.
Johns Hopkins (9-3, 2-0 Big Ten) hits the road next week for a Holy Saturday meeting with Penn State in Happy Valley. Rutgers (7-3, 0-2 Big Ten) welcomes in Michigan next week.
Georgetown Clamps Denver
Wilson Casey and Richie Connell scored the first two goals of the game for Denver. But it wasn’t long before this one was all Georgetown.
The Hoyas scored seven of their own from the 2:52 mark of the first through the 8:15 mark of the second quarter. Subsequently, they held the Pioneers off the board for a nearly 24-minute stretch. Denver, however, would break the seal late in the frame with scores from Michael Lampert and Jack Tortolani to cut the Georgetown lead to 7-4 at the break.
Stephen Avery and Mic Kelly each found the back of the net in third quarter, marking what would be the two final goals of the day for the Pioneers. Georgetown held them off the board in the final frame.
Outscoring the Pioneers 6-2 in the second half, Georgetown earned the 13-9 win. It marks the fourth consecutive win over Denver for Georgetown. The Hoyas have now won each of their last five games this season.
Will Bowen caused five turnovers and grabbed three ground balls to lead the Hoyas out in front. Michael Scharfenberger made eight saves to anchor the Hoyas defense. Five of those saves came during the first half of play.
Georgetown won the ground ball battle 40-18 and held the Pioneers to a 17-for-21 mark in the clearing game with three of those failed Denver clears coming in the second half.
Graham Bundy, Jr., had four goals to lead the Georgetown offense. James Reilly went 15-for-22 (68%) at the faceoff dot.
Georgetown (5-3, 1-0 Big East) and Denver (4-4, 0-1 Big East) will both return to action next week on Holy Saturday. The Hoyas will face Providence at home while Denver welcomes in Villanova.
Three Winners and Three Losers
Winners: Duke Blue Devils
Duke took down the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers on Friday night, extending their regular-season winning streak over the Cavaliers that dates back to 2004. Duke beating Virginia in the regular season is still something you can count on.
Brennan O’Neill scored six goals and dished out three assist for nine points to lead the way in the wire-to-wire victory for the Blue Devils while Dyson Williams (3G/1A) and Garret Leadmon (3G) were also big playmakers. Kenny Brower and the Blue Devils defense had the most impressive performance, perhaps. Brower held Connor Shellenberger to just one assist. (Shellenberger had two assist while Brower was serving a penalty).
Winners: Michigan Wolverines
The Michigan Wolverines earned their biggest win in program history on Saturday afternoon as they defeated the Maryland Terrapins 16-11. Between the success of Nick Rowlett and Justin Wietfeldt (17-for-30) at the dot and the depth of scoring the Michigan offense, which was led by Josh Zawada (3G/4A) and Michael Boehm (4G/2A), showcased helped them keep ahead of Maryland almost the entire way.
After slaying what has been the goliath of the league, what is next for Michigan? Could this be the win they need to spark future lead success this season?
Winners: Utah Utes
Its been a big week out west for Andrew McMinn’s squad. After defeating Air Force on Wednesday the Utes welcomed in Jacksonville on Friday and scored another big win as they defeated the No. 10 Dolphins 18-15.
Utah now controls the ASUN and will have a shot at another top-tier team in the conference when the travel to Robert Morris next week.
Losers: Maryland Terrapins
Maryland fell to Michigan, 16-11, for the first time in history. The Terrapins only led twice in the contes; 1-0 and 2-1 early in the game. Its offense seemed stagnant at times, Luke Wierman was unable to get them those extra possessions needed, and its defense struggled against a hot Michigan offense.
The loss marked Maryland’s first in the Big Ten since 2019.
Losers: Denver Pioneers
Denver lost 13-9 to Georgetown in a game where its offense was stifled all day, Alec Stathakis struggled at the dot, it was dominated in the ground ball game. After a week off following a big win over Ohio State, the Pioneers couldn’t get it done.
Denver has now last each of its last four games against the Hoyas.
Losers: Boston U. Terriers
This last spot was hard to pick and I considered Jacksonville and Boston U. here. Ultimately, I went with the Terriers as their upset loss to Navy, 10-8, on Friday night was most surprising.
Boston U. had looked as good as any in the Patriot League while Navy has been injured and hadn’t recorded a win over a team with a winning record since February 11th.
Conference By Conference Notes
- Notre Dame pulled away in the second half to take down Syracuse 20-12 in the Dome. Pat Kavanagh (2G/3A) and Eric Dobson (3G/2A) led the way for the Irish.
- Binghamton beat UMass Lowell 21-10 to stay unbeaten in league play.
- UAlbany earned a good league win, knocking off UMBC 12-6.
- Bryant topped NJIT 16-8 to move to 3-0 in AE play.
- Vermont remained unbeaten in league play as they defeated Merrimack 13-8.
- Carl Klepper had a hat trick to help lead Mercer past Robert Morris 9-8.
- Queens recorded its first ASUN win, knocking off Detroit Mercy 9-5.
- Air Force held off Cleveland State 12-9 in a game where Brandon Dodd (2G/4A) had six points.
- Bellarmine topped Lindenwood 18-7, riding behind a seven-point (4G/3A) day from Kyle Playsted that made him the program’s all-time points leader with 133.
- Stephen Dwyer (3G/1A), Carter Page (3G/1A), and Levi Anderson (3G) combined for 11 points to help lead Saint Joseph’s past Richmond 14-12 in a huge A10 battle.
- Hobart blasted St. Bonaventure 24-10. Troy Barthelme (5G/1A) had six points for the Statesmen.
- UMass edged High Point 12-10 in a tight battle.
- Providence earned a big win over Marquette, 16-14, in a game where Matt Grillo had five goals and Ryan Bell had five assists.
- Villanova topped St. John’s 18-8.
- Penn State and Ohio State will play on Sunday.
- Delaware moved to 3-0 in league play as they topped Hampton 19-1.
- Hofstra beat Monmouth 12-6, riding behind a four-goal, one assist day from Gerard Kane.
- Stony Brook topped Towson 13-12 in a game where Matt Anderson had four goals.
- Drexel moved to 3-0 in league play as they defeated Fairfield 15-11.
- Cornell topped Dartmouth 22-11 in a game where CJ Kirst had five goals and one assist.
- Princeton held on to beat Brown 16-12, earning their second win in a row.
- Harvard beat Colgate 14-10.
- Hartley Jordan put home two goals, including the game-winner, to help lift VMI past Canisius 11-10 in OT.
- Sacred Heart topped LIU 10-9, riding a four-goal day from Morgan O’Reilly. Alex Pazienza had 18 saves.
- Siena topped Wagner 13-6.
- Mount St. Mary’s beat Quinnipiac 18-11.
- In a battle of last year’s title game, Marist beat Manhattan 10-9.
- Army dominated the second half to defeat Bucknell 12-7.
- Loyola pulled away from Holy Cross 15-8.
- Scott Cole (2G/5A) and Christian Mule’ (2G/5A) each had seven points to help Lehigh past rival Lafayette 15-9.
This article will be updated following Sunday’s game