BLTF 5/13/12 by John Nichols

D-I

NCAA Tournament, First Round

The first round of the 2012 NCAA D-I Men’s Lacrosse tournament featured one Bears vs. Bears match as #8 seeded North Carolina (Will Leighton-Armah) hosted Denver (Harrison Archer).  Fans expected a high-scoring horse race of a game and were not disappointed.  Denver held on to win as a Tar Heel longstick’s shot that would have tied the game bounced off the goal and was eventually gathered up by Denver and flung down field in to an open goal to cement a 16-14 win for the Pioneers.  Denver will now head to Annapolis to face Loyola for the third time this year.  Having lost to the Greyhounds twice already this year, Denver is hoping that the third time is the charm.  

#3 seed Duke (Josh Offit) kicked off the 2012 tournament on Saturday, hosting the Syracuse Orange in Durham.  Duke earned the 12-9 win with Josh taking 2 shots and recovering one ground ball.  Syracuse tied the game up at 5 early in the third quarter, but the Blue Devils scored 4 straight goals over the next 5 minutes to effectively put the game out of reach.  Next up for Duke is Colgate, the upset winner over previously undefeated #6 seed Massachusetts.   The Blue Devils and Raiders will face off in the second game in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Sunday’s games started in Charlottesville as #5 seed and defending champ UVA hosted Princeton (Michael Grossman, Jack Strabo, Brian Reilly and Justin Murphy).  The game featured two tough defenses and two top flight goalies.  UVA held on to manage the 6-5 win.  The loss brings the Tigers’ 2012 campaign to an end.  Princeton ended the year as the official champion of the Ivy League after posting an undefeated record in league play in the regular season.  The game also marked Michael Grossman’s final game for the Tigers.  #8 had his most productive season of his four years at Princeton, starting all 16 of the Tigers’ games, scoring 7 goals and dishing out 8 assists.  During his tenure, the Tigers went 39 and 21 overall, 17 and 7 in the Ivy League regular season, including winning the Ivy League tournament in 2010 and going undefeated in the Ivy League regular season in 2012.

In the final game of the first round of the tournament, Maryland (Kellen Miller) traveled up to Lehigh to face the #7 seed Mountain Hawks.  Maryland raced out to a 6-1 lead and looked to be ready to coast to a win when Lehigh came roaring back.  After Lehigh scored the last 3 goals of the first half and the first 4 goals of the second half, the Terrapins 5 goal lead and been transformed into a 2 goal deficit.  Maryland righted the ship and tied the game at 9 with 6:42 left in the game.  Maryland got the last possession and held the ball for a final shot.  Joe Cummings converted on a dodge from behind the goal, cashing in with 6 seconds remaining.  Maryland won the right to a rematch with #2 seed Johns Hopkins in Annapolis this coming Saturday.

With the first round done, 3 of the top 8 seeds are out and only one quarter-final game will feature play between seeded teams.    For all of 2012’s twists and turns, last year’s final four are all alive and well and could, with wins this coming weekend, have a reunion in Boston on Memorial Day weekend.   Hopkins, Colgate, Loyola and Notre Dame beg to differ, of course.

D-III

NCAA Tournament, First and Second Round

The first round of the D-III tournament featured one Bears vs. Bears match as the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan (Tommy Minkler) had a road game against Gettysburg (Wes Lincoln and Austin Dodson) on Wednesday.  The Bullets got the 7-4 win and the right to advance.  Tommy Minkler had one assist for OWU, capping off a solid freshman year.   Ohio Wesleyan compiled an 11-5 record this year, quite an accomplishment considering the high level of competition in the North Coast Conference and the fact that the team started 6 freshmen this year.  Wendy Lincoln captured this great picture of three bears in their natural habitat:

                       

(l to r: Wes Lincoln ’10, Tommy Minkler ’11 and Austin Dodson ’10)

Gettysburg moved on to the second round to face Stevenson.  That, unfortunately, brought Gettysburg’s year to an end as the Bullets dropped a 13-6 decision to Stevenson.  Gettysburg ended the season with an 11-7 record , playing a schedule that LaxPower rated as the toughest in Division III.

Dickinson (Marek Laco) had a similar trajectory to Centennial Conference foe Gettysburg, winning in the first round but losing in the second.  Dickinson downed Kenyon (a North Coast rival of OWU!) 12-6 on Wednesday.  The Red Devils then faced Cabrini, dropping a 12-7 contest on Saturday.  Dickinson finished their 2012 campaign with an 11-5 record and won the Centennial Conference tournament.

Finally, Tufts (Nick Rhoads and Mark Findaro) had the day off on Wednesday, the prize for being one of the top four seeds in the tournament.   Saturday, they faced and downed NESCAC rival Trinity (alma mater of and home to lots of Bears!).  Nick was 15 of 27 on faceoffs , gathered up 6 ground balls and recorded one assist while Mark Findaro got off one shot and got 3 ground balls.  These two accomplished seniors do not want their collegiate careers one day sooner that it must.  Next up for Tufts, the lone surviving Bear team in D-III, is against RIT on Wednesday in the tournament quarter -finals.  Should Tufts win that game, they will play in the semi-finals on Saturday against the winner of the Cortland vs. Union game.

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Published in: on May 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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