Week 12 Notebook: The Postseason is Set!

(Photo Courtesy of Yale Athletics)

The regular season is in the books and after this weekended the postseason is set in every conference across the college lacrosse landscape.

Let’s get into this past weekend’s action!

Yale Takes Down Yale, Clinches Ivy League Tournament Berth

The Yale Bulldogs extended two streaks on Saturday afternoon as they defeated arch rival Harvard 14-11 on the road. It marked the fourth consecutive win over the Crimson and clinched the Bulldogs a spot in the Ivy League Tournament. Yale has made every league tournament since its inception in 2010.

In what was a wire-to-wire for Andy Shay’s squad, the Bulldogs stepped on the gas early and never let off. Leo Johnson on each of the first three possessions of the game to pull Yale ahead 3-0 early. The latter of those scores came on a man-up situation.

Yale continued to pile on with Brad Sharp, Carson Kuhl, and Kyle Zawadzki finding the back of the net during that first frame. Leo Johnson put home his fourth at the 9:02 of the first. When those first 15 minutes were up, Yale’s early 3-0 lead had turned into a commanding 7-3 lead.

A man-up score from Johnny Keib early in the second quarter was followed by subsequent goals from Chris Lyons and Machado Rodriguez. That spurt took place in less than a minute and pulled Yale ahead 10-4. Matt Brandau put home his first in the final minute of the second quarter to help make it an 11-7 game at the break.

While Harvard outscored Yale 7-4 in the final 38 minutes of play, the Crimson were unable to bring the Bulldogs’ lead below three. Sam King put home a score to make it a 10-7 game late in the first half and did so again in the third quarter to make it an 11-8 game. Graham Blake put one home with 5:41 left following a pair of Hayden Cheek scores to cut the Yale lead to 13-11.

Following Blake’s fourth-quarter score, Harvard won the ensuing faceoff and got two shots off on that possession. One came from Blake and was blocked. The other came via Owen Gaffney and was saved by Jared Paquette. Later in the frame, Sam King sent one wide and Andrew O’berry had a shot stopped by Paquette as time expired.

In addition to Leo Johnson’s four-goal day, Yale saw Matt Brandau score two goals and assist on two others. Chris Lyons had a hat trick.

Jared Paquette made 16 saves in cage and Nicholas Ramsey went 18-for-27 (66%) at the faceoff dot.

Sam King led Harvard with four goals and one assist for five points. Hayden Cheek had three points off two goals and one assist.

Boston U. Tops Army, Claims Top Spot in The Patriot League

For the second consecutive season, the Patriot League championship will run through Boston. The Terriers knocked off Army on the road Friday night in what was a battle for the top seed in the Patriot League Tournament.

Thomas Niedringhaus bodied up the short-stick defender, got his hands free off an inside roll, and sent the eventual game-winner past Knox Dent with 2:51 left in the contest. That 12-11 edge marked only the second time in which Boston U. had led all night. The first also came in the fourth quarter as a man-up goal from Vince D’Alto pulled the Terriers ahead 11-10 with 6:54 left.

Boston U. went 3-for-6 on the man-up on Friday night with that D’Alto goal being the most important of the bunch. The Terriers other two man-up goals came consecutively as Jimmy O’Connell and Jake Cates put home the first two goals of the second half during such situations. Those pair of scores knotted things up at 7-7, marking the fourth tie in a game that would eventually see eight.

The possession before Niedringhaus’ game-winner, Boston U. had another opportunity to cash in on a man-up situation as Army SSDM Joey Stallings was called for a 30 second penalty off a push. The Terriers, however, were unable to convert as Knox Dent came up with two massive saves to shut down any chance Boston U. had. He made another earlier in the possession, as well.

Dent ended the day with 17 saves and a 58% save percentage. 15 of those saves came during the second half of play (seven in the fourth quarter).

Following D’Alto’s man-up score in the fourth quarter to give Boston U. its first lead, Army struck back quickly as Will Coletti won the ensuing faceoff and took it right up field for the score to make it an 11-11 game. Coletti went 17-for-27 (62%) in the contest. He went 8-for-13 (61%) during the second half alone.

Reese Burek (3G/2A) led the Black Knights offense with five points while Gunnar Fellows had three points off two goals and one assist.

Vince D’Alto had five points off two goals and three assists to led the Terriers. Louis Perfetto dished out three assists on the day. Matt Garber made 10 saves to anchor the Boston U. defense.

The Boston U. 10-man ride was broken once with a Gunnar Fellows goal on an empty net early in the fourth quarter. But most of the night it caused problems for the Black Knights as they went 14-for-18 (77%) in the clearing game. Army came into the contest clearing the ball at an 87% clip this season.

Boston U. grabs the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament. The Terriers advance to the semifinals and will play the lowest-remaining seed left following Tuesday’s quarterfinals. Army also heads to the conference semifinals as the No. 2 seed and will face the highest-remaining seed. Tuesday’s quarterfinals will see No. 6 Lafayette play No. 3 Lehigh while No. 5 Loyola will play No. 4 Navy.

Cornell Tops Princeton in OT Battle For Top Ivy Seed

Big time players make big time plays in big plays, goes the old adage. Aiden Blake put that into action on Saturday afternoon in Cornell’s 14-13 overtime win over Princeton. The win gave the Big Red the regular-season Ivy League title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

Blake scored two goals on the day for Cornell and they happened to be the most important of scores. With 1:13 remaining in regulation, Blake found himself wide open on the island and put one home to make it a 13-13 game and help force overtime.

The senior midfielder stuck once more in the overtime period, dodging past his defender and putting home the game-winner for the Big Red.

Blake’s game-tying goal late in regulation marked the fourth time in which things had been knotted up and the second instance where Cornell was making things even once more. Hughe Kelleher had tied Cornell back up 12-12 at the 7:11 mark of the fourth quarter.

While Cornell and Princeton seemingly played tug of war down the stretch, that is a far cry from how the contest started. Goals from Ryan Sheehan, Michael Long, Hugh Kelleher, and Billy Coyle pulled Cornell ahead 4-0 with 3:36 left in the opening frame. Sheehan added one in the second along with a pole goal from Walker Wallace and the first of the day from CJ Kirst. Those scores made it a 7-3 Cornell lead with 6:43 left in the half.

However, just when things seemed to be firmly in the hands of the Big Red, Princeton found its groove. Alexander Vardaro scored twice in a nearly two-minute span whole Christian Ronda put one home in between those two aforementioned goals. Alex Slussher put an exclamation point on a Cornell transition sequence to make it a 7-7 game at the break.

Once Princeton tied it up at the end of the first half, the Tigers never again trailed by more than two goals. Slusher tied things up again early in the fourth, knotting things at 11-11, and Ronda followed with the lead-earning goal to put Princeton in front 12-11 with 7:55 left. It was the first time in which the Tigers had the lead all day. They would lead once more following a Vardaro goal to make it a 13-12 game with 3:08 left.

While Princeton was able to get back into this contest after a slow start, the Tigers would do so on a day where Coulter Mackesy was shut out. With Gavin Adler guarding him all game, the sophomore was held to no goals, no assist, and to just one shot.

Adler ended the day with six ground balls and three caused turnovers to lead the Cornell defense. Chayse Ierlan anchored things in cage with 12 saves.

CJ Kirst had sox points off three goals and three assists to lead the Big Red offense. Hugh Kelleher had a hat trick.

Angelo Petrakis went 13-for-15 (86%) at the faceoff dot.

Lukas Stanat led Princeton with six points off two goals and four assists. Alexander Vardaro had a hat trick.

Duke Explodes Past Syracuse

The Duke Blue Devils earned themselves at least a share of the ACC title on Saturday afternoon with a dominating 18-15 victory at home over the Syracuse Orange.

Dyson Williams has seven points off six goals and one assist to lead Duke. Brennan O’Neill had six points off four goals and two assists. Andrew McAdorey (2G/2A) and Charles Balsamo (2G/1A) were also heavily involved with four and three points on the day, respectively.

Jake Naso went 22-for-35 (62%) at the faceoff dot. William Helm made five saves in the action he saw while Andrew Bonfede made seven in the action he saw.

Duke struck first and never trailed. The Blue Devils outscored the Orange 5-3 in each of the first three goals, taking a 10-6 lead into the half and extending it to a 15-9 advantage entering the final frame.

A 6-3 Syracuse run to end the contest made the final score closer.

Three Winners and Three Losers

Winners: Boston U. Terriers

On Friday night, Boston U. took down Army West Point in an absolute battle to claim the top seed of the Patriot League Tournament.

Winners: Yale Bulldogs

Yale faced a must-win scenario on Saturday and they got the job done, beating Harvard 14-11 in a game where they exploded out of the gate. The win puts Yale into the Ivy League Tournament.

Winners: Stony Brook Seawolves

Stony Brook was one of three teams fighting for two spots in the CAA Tournament entering the weekend. By virtue of their win over Hofstra on Saturday night, the Seawolves are headed to the postseason.

Losers: Harvard Crimson

Facing a must-win situation, Harvard was unable to get it done and couldn’t dig themselves out of an early hole enough to give them the chance they needed to get into the postseason.

Losers: Marquette Golden Eagles

Marquette will be hosting a Big East Tournament that will be without them next week. Marquette’s most likely path to extending its season was a win over Denver on Friday. The Golden Eagles fell in OT, which they also did against Villanova and Georgetown.

Losers: Hofstra Pride

Hofstra had its destiny in its hands, needing a win over rival Stony Brook to earn a trip to the CAA Tournament. The Pride fell 11-10 in a narrow loss and missed their opportunity.

Conference By Conference Notes

America East

  • Vermont beat UMBC 11-7.
  • NJIT defeated UMass Lowell 11-10.
  • Merrimack defeated Bryant 12-9.
  • Binghamton scored a big win over UAlbany 15-14.


  • Utah topped Queens 18-6.
  • Cleveland State defeated Detroit Mercy 14-12.
  • Mercer topped Lindenwood 12-8.
  • Jacksonville held on for a 13-12 win over Bellarmine.
  • Air Force topped Robert Morris 13-5.


  • UMass topped Hobart 13-9 on Friday night to hold the Statesmen out of the postseason.
  • Saint Joseph’s beat High Point 16-11.
  • Richmond blasted St.Bonaventure 26-10.

Big East

  • Georgetown beat Villanova 12-8 to claim the top seed in the league tournament.
  • Providence beat St. John’s 12-11 in OT to secure its spot in the Big East tournament.


  • Towson upset Delaware 15-10.
  • Fairfield beat Hampton 22-6.

Ivy League

  • Brown beat Dartmouth 13-11.

Patriot League

  • Colgate blasted Holy Cross 22-9.
  • Lehigh topped Loyola 15-7.
  • Navy beat Bucknell 12-9.

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