(Photo Courtesy of Harvard Crimson)
Easter weekend may have looked a little lighter on the outset, but it did not disappoint. Between upsets in the Ivy League, a surprising result in a No. 1 vs No. 2 battle, and renewal of a decade’s long dormant rivalry, there was a lot of great lacrosse played.
Let’s get into it!
Ivy League Madness
The Ivy League standings received some shakeup on Saturday afternoon as pair of the league’s top team fell on the road in upset fashion to league opponents.
Harvard welcomed in No. 4 Cornell and pulled off the 10-8 upset win.
Andrew Perry (3G/1A) led the Crimson with four points on the day and was the team’s only multi-goal scorer. Sam King (1G/2A) had three points and was one of seven players to find the back of the net once for the Crimson.
In the end, however, it was the Crimson defense that won the day. Christian Barnard anchored that unit with 16 saves and a 66.7% save percentage. Barnard came up with two bigs stops during the Big Red’s final possession as time ticked down, stopping shots from Christopher Davis and CJ Kirst at the :47 and :22 second mark.
Furthermore, each of the final two goals from Harvard came in transition off defensive stops. Ray Dearth caused a turnover on Ryan Sheehan and went coast-to-coast for the score to put Harvard up 9-7 with 4:29 remaining. After a quick Cornell answer, Chase Yager caused a turnover on Hugh Kelleher and did the same, taking it the distance for what would be the final goal of the game with 2:11 left.
Cornell got four shots off after that final Harvard goal and took eight shots total in the fourth quarter alone. However, they were unable to get back in front or tie it after Harvard took the 6-5 lead heading into the final frame.
CJ Kirst (4G/1A) led Cornell with five points on the day while Brian Piatelli had a hat trick. Billy Coyle had an assist and Hugh Kelleher had one goal. Jack Cascadden (12-for-16, 75%) and Angelo Petrakis (4-for-6, 66%) combined to go 72% on the day at the dot.
In Providence, Brown topped No. 14 Penn 12-11 to earn their first Ivy League win of the season.
Gabe Furey put Penn on the board first and while things were tied five during the first 52 minutes of the game, the Quakers never trailed. A four-goal run late in the second quarter helped them to their biggest lead of the game, 7-3, with 3:13 remaining in the first half. However, Brown was able to claw back.
A three-goal run that spanned from late in the second through the early in the third, and was capped off by a pair from Jack Kelly, pulled Brown within one, 7-6, at the 12:25 of the third quarter. A career first pole goal from Trey Taylor puled Brown within one,8-7, with 4:53 in the frame. Devon McLane would put in a man-up score off a feed from his brother, Aidan, at the 14:09 mark of the fourth quarter to knot things all up at 8-8.
While Ben Smith was able to answer for Penn to put them back ahead, McLane would strike twice more in the final frame to give Brown their first lead of the day. He cashed in on a Griffin King feed with 8:43 to go to make it a 9-9 game and then put home another score off a King feed during a man-up situation with 6:07 left to pull Brown ahead 10-9.
Penn saw goals from Luke DiNola and Robert Schain during those final minutes. However, they were unable to get the upper hand.
A Matthew Gunty score off a faceoff win with 4:53 left and a Jack Kelly score with 2:17 left helped Brown answered those Penn scores and allowed the Bears to remain ahead.
Penn had possession late but a turnover on James Shipley caused by Trevor Yeboah-Kodie helped to shut down their chances as time ticked down.
Devon McLane and Jack Kelly each had hat tricks for Brown while Griffin King had five points off three goals and two assists. Connor Theriault anchored the Brown defense with 12 saves.
Luke DiNola scored four goals to lead the way for Penn. Ben Smith had a hat trick and Gabe Furey (2G/1A) had three points.
Notre Dame Downs Duke
In what was a battle between the No. 1 and the No. 2 ranked teams in the land, it was the second-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish that came up victors in a big way as they blew out the Duke Blue Devils 17-12 on Saturday evening.
The Kavanagh brothers led the Irish in the win as the pair combined for 13 points. Chris scored five goals while Pat had three goals and five assists. In addition to the Kavanagh brothers, Jake Taylor (2G/1A) and Eric Dobson (3G/1A) were heavy contributors for the Irish offense.
Liam Entenmann made 15 saves to anchor the Irish defense, which held the Blue Devils to just one goal during a nearly 18-minute stretch of the game. Irish defenseman Chris Fake held Duke’s Brennan O’Neill to just one goal on four shots.
Charles Balsamo came barreling down the middle of the field off a dodge from up top and stung one past Entenemann with 59 seconds remaining in the opening frame. That goal gave Duke the 3-2 lead at the end of what was a fairly even first quarter as each side was able to answer the other. The lead, however, would be the last Duke would enjoy all night.
Notre Dame shot out of a cannon during the second quarter, scoring four straight to pull ahead 6-3 and outscoring the Blue Devils 7-1 during the frame overall to make it a 9-4 game at the half.
Four of those second-quarter goals came from a Kavanagh, including a behind-the-back finish as the shot clock expired from Pat Kavanagh. The assist came from a behind-the-back pass from Jake Taylor after he had nabbed a ground ball.
Eric Dobson scored netted two of his three goals during Notre Dame’s big run in the middle of the field, scoring the final goal of the first half and then netting the first of the second to make it a 10-4 game and extend the Irish run to 8-1.
While a three-goal Duke run late in the third cut the Notre Dame lead to four, 13-9, that is as close as the Blue Devils would get after the Irish took the reigns. A five-goal Notre Dame run was the Irish’s answer and helped put this game away as it made it a 17-9 contest with 9:53 remaining. Pat Kavanagh scored the first of that run before Chris Kavanagh put home the next two, including one on a fee from Pat, and one later on to get himself five goals on the day.
As its offense was getting going, so was the Irish defense. Notre Dame caused eight of Duke’s 14 turnovers on the day. That included a pair of failed Duke clears; one of which saw Pat Kavanagh cause the turnover before pushing the ball down to Jake Taylor for the score.
Of Entenemann’s 15 saves, eight came during the second and third quarters combined.
The faceoff dot is the only area where Duke dominated as Jake Naso went 22-for-32 (68%).
Dyson Williams had a hat trick to lead Duke’s offense. Charles Balsamo (2G/1A) had three points.
Syracuse Tops Princeton
Syracuse hit the road to take on No. 14 Princeton in what was the first meeting between the two blue blood programs since 2013.
It was the visiting Orange who would come out victorious as they went wire-to-wire for the 16-13 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Joey Spallina (4G/5A) notched nine points on the day to lead the Orange while Finn Thompson and Cole Kirst also recorded hat tricks. Eleven different players found the back of the net for Syracuse.
Jack Fine went 20-for-32 (62%) at the dot and Will Mark made 17 saves in cage.
Saam Olexo picked up the ground ball off the opening faceoff, weaved through the Princeton defense, and got the Orange started with a pole goal just 15 seconds into the contest.
Princeton made it 1-1 off a Coulter Mackesy man-up score, but the Orange would answer fairly quickly. Syracuse put home four consecutive scores to pull ahead 5-1. And while, after trading goals for the majority of the early going in the second quarter, Princeton went on a three-goal run to pull within one, 10-9, Syracuse once again answered swiftly.
A man-up score from Michael Leo with 1:15 left in the half and a Joey Spallina score exactly one minute later made it a 12-9 game at the break. Cole Kirst extended the Orange lead to 13-9 early in the third quarter.
It what was a defensive heavy second half, each side score just four goals. Syracuse held Princeton off the board for the final 15:06 of the game. Syracuse didn’t score for the final 14:05 of the game as a Finn Thompson goal early in the fourth was the final of the contest.
Coulter Mackesy led Princeton with six points off three goals and three assists. Michael Ginaforcaro made 15 saves to anchor the Princeton defense.
Penn State Tops Johns Hopkins in Double OT
From the 7:48 mark in the second quarter through the 12:58 mark of the fourth, Penn State outscored Johns Hopkins 10-2 to take the 10-7 lead. However, just as has been the case nearly each of the last few weeks, the Blue Jays were far from done.
Brendan Grimes, Garrett Degnon, Brooks English, and Russell Melendez all found the back of the net to give the Blue Jays their first lead, 11-10, since late in the second quarter. On top of that, the Blue Jays caused a pair of turnovers that helped lead to scores.
Penn State, however, would be the ones walking off the field victories, taking down the Blue Jays 12-11 in double overtime.
Kevin Winkoff was the hero of the night as he put home the overtime-forcing goal with 2:07 left in regulation to halt the Blue Jays’ run. He would then put in the game-winner in the second overtime period, receiving a feed up top from TJ Malone after Beaudan Szuluk threw a pass backwards on the clear that ended up in the stick Malone. Winkoff would give Marcille his first live shot since regulation and send it right past him.
Penn State goalie Jack Fracyon also came up big in the overtime periods, making three saves in the first frame before stopping one in the second. He made 16 saves on the day to anchor a Penn State defense that held its ground late with a man-down stop to halt any Hopkins effort to win it in regulation.
TJ Malone (4G/3A) led Penn State with seven points. Kevin Winkoff and Matt Traynor each had two goals.
Chase Mullins went 19-for-28 (67%) at the faceoff dot for the Nittany Lions.
Russell Melendez led Hopkins with six goals; four of which came consecutively to start the game.
Three Winners and Three Losers
Winners: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Its is more than likely that Notre Dame could be ranked No. 1 in the nation when Monday rolls around. The Irish blasted Duke in a battle between the two top ranked teams in college lacrosse. And while the Kavanagh’s impressed as always, the Irish defense has arguably its best day of the year with Chris Fake and Liam Entenemann’s big days leading the way.
Winners: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
On Friday night, Rutgers took down Michigan at home in a 13-12 victory in overtime. In the victory, the Scarlet Knights had to fight against a fierce comeback from the Wolverines and get the win in overtime, doing so off a Shane Knobloch goal.
Winners: Harvard Crimson
Both Harvard and Brown could get this spot this week. However, I am going with just the Crimson as their win over Cornell today not only showed a lot about their defense, and especially their rope unit, but also stopped them from dropping below .500. With Penn, Princeton, and Yale left, can this be a spark for a Crimson run?
Losers: Cornell Big Red
CJ Kirst put this team on his back once more, but the Big Red were halted by a Harvard defense that gave them trouble the likes of which Cornell hasn’t seen since the Penn State game. Cornell was in the plus in many statistical, but was unable to get their offense going like usual.
Losers: North Carolina Tar Heels
Maybe the biggest losers of the week? North Carolina fell hard to Virginia on Friday night, losing in blowout fashion 19-12. The Tar Heels were blown by from start to finish and dominated in nearly every fashion. Maybe the biggest surprise, however, was its defense inability to answer after what had been some really good performances.
Losers: Duke Blue Devils
Duke is the latest No. 1 to fall this season as they went to South Bend and got pummeled. While the Blue Devils won the faceoff battle and were very even with the Irish in many categories, they couldn’t stop them from getting hot and couldn’t break the Irish defense.
Conference By Conference Notes
- Vermont outscore Binghamton 8-4 in the final 33:06 to secure the 11-9 win in a big conference battle. Brock Haley (3G/1A) led the way for the Catamounts with four points.
- Brett Baucia had eight points off five goals and three assists to lead UMBC in a 15-8 win over UMass Lowell
- Bryant defeated UAlbany in a high-scoring, 20-16, battle.
- Merrimack topped NJIT 15-12
- Dante Batista made 14 saves and Kyle Playsted had five points off three goals and two assists to lead Bellarmine past Air Force 11-10 in the Knights’ first win over the Falcons since 2013.
- Drew Kessenich had five goals and two assists to help Detroit Mercy past Lindenwood 17-16.
- Cleveland State beat Mercer 11-8 in a game where Ryan Haigh had four goals.
- Jacksonville blasted Queens 25-5.
- Utah pulled away in the second half to take down Robert Morris 26-16.
- UMass score the final three goals of the game but Richmond held on for the 13-12 victory to move to 1-1 in league play.
- High Point beat Hobart 14-13 to move to 1-1 in league play.
- Saint Joseph’s beat St. Bonaventure 18-9 in a game where Carter Page had six points. Matt Bohmer had six points off three goals and three assists.
- Georgetown thwarted a late-game effort from the opposition to beat Providence 13-11.
- Marquette topped St. John’s 20-10
- Denver used a 9-0 run during the middle of the contest to help them take down Villanova 12-6.
- Tye Kurtz (4G/1A) became the Delaware and CAA all-time leader in career points as the Blue Hens beat Fairfield 17-7.
- Max Semple put home the game-winner in overtime to push Drexel past Stony Brook 15-14.
- Monmouth beat Hampton 14-6.
- Towson beat Hofstra 10-8
- Yale beat Dartmouth 21-11 to earn their first win in Ivy League play.
- Sacred Heart outscored Wagner 8-2 in the second half to earn the 13-9 win.
- An early spurt helped Mount St. Mary’s take down Marist 12-9.
- LIU topped Canisius 13-9.
- Quinnipiac outscored Siena 8-2 down the stretch to secure the big 14-12 win.
- Manhattan used a 4-1 fourth quarter to help them top VMI 8-6.
- Lehigh scored the final three goals of the game to help ensure the 11-8 win over Bucknell.
- Lafayette outscored Holy Cross 8-2 in the second half to pull away and earn the 17-11 win against Holy Cross.
- Army held off an upset from Colgate, winning 10-9.