Bear Lax Trax Fax. By John Nichols

BLTF 050612

D-I

A rare week with no Bears vs. Bears games in D-1. With a few exceptions, all eyes were on conference tournaments as teams battled to get the coveted automatic qualifier slots (AQ) for the NCAA D-I Men’s Lacrosse Tournament.

On Wednesday, #4 seed Denver (Harrison Archer) played Loyola in the semi-finals of the ECAC conference tournament. The Pioneers got in a deep hole and were down by 7 in the fourth period. They rallied, scoring 7 goals in a span of 8 minutes and 48 seconds, 5 of those goals within 3 minutes and 2 seconds! Loyola won the faceoff after Denver tied the game and attempted to run out the last three minutes of the game hoping to halt the Denver run and score at the end of regulation time. The Denver D held on and forced overtime. Unfortunately for Denver, Loyola’s Scott Ratliff did his best CJ imitation off of the face off and scored the game winner to give the Greyhounds the win. Denver now awaits the Committee’s decisions to see if they will receive and at-large bid.

In the other semi-final game of the ECAC tournament, Ohio State (Luke Howard) fell to Fairfield 8-7. The Buckeyes had beaten the Stags last week in their final regular season conference game, but were unable to repeat the feat this week. Ohio State will also be hoping for an at-large bid.

The Ivy League tournament took place in Princeton on Friday and Sunday. Princeton, as the undefeated Ivy League Champions, won the right to host the tournament which determines which team gets the Ivy AQ. In the first game of the tournament, #2 seed Cornell (Joe Paoletta and Will Joyce) fell to Yale by a score of 14-10. Joe had one ground ball for the Big Red. In the second game, #1 seed Princeton (Mike Grossman, Jack Strabo, Brian Reilly, and Justin Murphy dispatched #4 seed Brown, 9-6. Mike Grossman had one goal, one assist, and one ground ball and Jack had one ground ball. The Tigers then faced Yale in the final and fell by a score of 15-7. Yale is now headed to the NCAA tournament while Princeton and Cornell must hope for at-large bids.
There were two ursinecentric regular season games this weekend. Maryland (Kellen Miller) played Patriot League runner-up Colgate. Maryland dropped a 13-11 decision in their regular season finale. While the loss may affect whether Maryland gets a seeded spot in the NCAA D-I tournament, they are almost certainly still in. Maryland also dropped its regular season finale to Colgate last year, but didn’t lose again until the finals of the NCAA tournament. North Carolina (Will Leighton-Armah) finished out their season with a game against Michigan. The Tar Heels gave the Wolverines a rude conclusion to their inaugural D-I Men’s Lacrosse season, beating them 19-5. Both Maryland and North Carolina are expected to receive at-large bids to the tournament.

The NCAA D-I Men’s Lacrosse Tournament selection show will be broadcast on ESPNU Sunday night at 9PM. Seven teams (Loyola, UMass, Yale, Lehigh, Syracuse, Canisius and Stony Brook) received their conference AQ and the remaining 9 slots will be filled by teams receiving at large bids.

D-III

Bears vs. Bears

Gettysburg (Austin Dodson and Wes Lincoln) got their rematch with Dickinson (Marek Laco) in the semi-finals of the Centennial Conference tournament on Friday, but we not able to get revenge for last week’s loss. Dickinson came away with the 10-5 victory and advanced to the tournament final on Sunday where they met and defeated Washington College. By winning the Centennial Conference tournament Dickinson earned the league’s automatic qualifier (AQ) slot in the NCAA D-III Men’s Lacrosse Tournament. Gettysburg must wait to see the seeding of the field Sunday night to find out if they received one of the tournament’s 7 pool C bids.

Tufts (Nick Rhoads and Mark Findaro) had no trouble getting through to the finals of the NESCAC Conference tournament, downing Connecticut College 13-2 on Saturday. In that game, Nick Rhoads was 9 for 16 on face offs with one ground ball and Mark Findaro had a pair of ground balls. The Jumbos battled the Polar Bears of Bowdoin in the final Sunday afternoon. Bowdoin rallied from a two goal deficit to force overtime and things looked really good for Tufts at the start of overtime as Nick Rhoads won the face off, charged down field a fired a shot which was, unfortunately, not on goal. In fact, no one scored in the first overtime period, but Tufts found the back of the net in the second overtime to win their third consecutive conference title. Nick was 13 of 22 on face offs and had 7 ground balls to his credit. Mark was also credited with a ground ball. Tufts earned the NESCAC AQ slot and will wait to see their seeding and opponent for their first game in the NCAA tournament. This is the third consecutive year that the Jumbos have won the NESCAC tournament. In each of the last two years the Tufts has advanced to the D-III finals, beating Salisbury in 2010 and losing to Salisbury in 2011.

Washington and Lee’s (Will Raul) Cinderella run through the ODAC tournament stopped in Sunday. The Generals had been the last team to qualify for the conference’s tournament and beat the #3 and #2 teams in successive games last week. However, proved to be a bit too much. The Generals got out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but were down at the half and could never close the gap. It is unlikely that the Generals will get a bid to the NCAA tournament.

Ohio Wesleyan (Tommy Minkler) finished out their regular season with a non-conference game against Stevenson, the #4 ranked team in the USLIA D-III Coaches’ poll. The Battling Bishops had their hands full, and dropped a 10-5 decision to Stevenson. Tommy Minkler continued to be a scoring machine, netting 2 goals (on just 2 shots!) and contributing one assist. OWU’s conference, the North Coast Conference, does not have an AQ slot this year, so OWU is a pool B team. Their current RPI is the second best of all of the Pool B teams, so they look to be in very good shape for an invitation to the NCAA D-III tournament.

The Sewanee Tigers (Drew Hayhurst) completed their season last week and are not likely to get a bid to the NCAA tournament.

The Tournament Selection Show for the D-III Men’s Lacrosse Tournament will take place and 10PM Sunday night and can be viewed on .

Thanks, John

, CO

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Published in: on May 7, 2012 at 2:56 am  Leave a Comment  

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