Bear Lax Trax Fax by John Nichols



The ACC and Patriot League got the jump on post-season tournaments this year with Syracuse and Colgate (Robby Dunnigan ‘13) coming out as champions this weekend. All other conferences will hold their tournaments this coming week. Winners will receive bids to the NCAA tournament and all others must wait to see to whom the selection committee will award at-large bids. This year, 10 conferences have automatic bids and there are another 8 teams that will receive at-large bids. Teams with Landon alums are represented in five of the eight remaining conference tournaments.


Bears vs. Bears


Colgate (Robby Dunnigan ‘13) 18

Bucknell (Sean O’Brien ’14) 5

#2 seed Colgate faced #3 seed Bucknell after Bucknell effectively dismantled Lehigh earlier in the week.   Robbie and Sean made similar contributions to their respective team efforts, each scoring a goal. Robbie picked up 2 ground balls while Sean had one. The Raiders win put them into the Patriot League title game against Army, which, as noted above, they won.


Cornell (Will Joyce ’10, Marshall Peters ’13, Jack Bolen ‘14) 15

Princeton (Justin Murphy Undergrad Asst ’11) 10

It was senior day in Ithaca-so special congratulations to Will Joyce who wraps up his NCAA lacrosse career this year. The outcome of this game was important for seeding in the NCAA tournament. Cornell needed to beat Princeton and have Dartmouth beat Brown so that the Red could get the #1 seed and host the tournament. Princeton simply needed to win to get hosting honors and the #1 seed. With Brown and Cornell winning, the Big Red and the Tigers ended up as the #2 and #3 seeds, respectively.


Princeton scored 5 unanswered goals in the first quarter, but then Cornell bounced back with 9 of their own in the second to take a lead they would not surrender. Marshall  took one shot in the game and had 9 ground balls and a caused turnover. For the full season, Marshall led the team in caused turnovers with 22 and was third for ground balls with 51.


Virginia (Michael Rhoads ’13, Jason Murphy ’13, Brandon Johnson ’14, Jack Falk ‘14) 12

Penn (Will Laco ’11, Garrett Fellows ’13, Peter Laco ’13) 6

This game was effectively a consolation game for both teams. Virginia was the odd man out of the ACC tournament this year and Penn, with Brown’s win over Dartmouth, just missed making the field for the Ivy League tournament. Jason Murphy had another solid game at the X, winning 6 of 9 faceoffs and scooping up three ground balls. Jason was also the recipient of two particularly hard body checks during ground ball scrums. Jack Falk and Will Laco also saw action in the game.


Jack Falk on defense for UVA

Jack Falk











Virginia (Michael Rhoads ’13, Jason Murphy ’13, Brandon Johnson ’14, Jack Falk ‘14)

Virginia will likely get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Although the ‘Hoos lost all four ACC regular season games, they were otherwise undefeated and played a tough schedule.


Syracuse earned the ACC’s automatic qualifier by downing Duke in the ACC tournament championship game. The remaining four ACC teams are all expected to get at-large bids and all five teams will likely have home games in the first round.

America East

Vermont (Coach Ryan Curtis ‘96)14

Binghamton 11

The Catamounts needed this win to boost their record to 4-2 and get a seeding in the America East tournament. They will need to win that tournament to advance to the NCAAs and will likely have to go through a daunting opponent-Albany, in order to do so.

Albany is the prohibitive favorite in the America East tournament. With only 2 losses on the season, the Great Danes may still be in line for an at-large bid if they fail to win the league tournament.

Big Ten

Johns Hopkins (Sam Lynch ‘14) 15

Maryland 12

Both teams were new to the Big Ten and old conference that itself is new to D-I lacrosse. Heretofore, Johns Hopkins had played as an independent and Maryland was part of the ACC. These old rivals met again, but this time the winner earned the #1 seed in the Big Ten tournament. Although Maryland had suffered but one loss this year while Hopkins had lost as many as they had won, this game proved that in great rivalry games, records are thrown out.

This was Hopkins’ first season in a conference and it may prove to be fortuitous timing for the Blue Jays. With the victory over Maryland, Johns Hopkins is back on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. While the Jays are trying to win two more and get the Big Ten’s AQ, they will also be score board watching to see how other tournaments are going, particularly with respect to Marquette in the Big East and how things are shaking out in the Ivy League tournament.

Colonial Athletic Association

Fairfield (Charlie Schnider ’11) 5

Hofstra 4

With Fairfield’s win and Towson’s loss, the Stags earned the #1 seed in the CAA tournament and will face Massachusetts in the semis.

Drexel (Hank Brown ’12) 11

Towson 10

Hank and one shot and one ground ball for the Dragons. Drexel’s win makes them the third seed and Towson the second seed in the CAA tournament. The teams will meet again on Thursday in the CAA semis.

Delaware (Taylor Valencia ‘13, Philip Pena ‘13) 10

UMass 9

Philip had one ground ball for the Blue Hens as their 2015 season came to a close.

Winning the CAA tournament may be the only way for Drexel or Fairfield to make the NCAAs this year.

Ivy League

This week’s Ivy League games are highlighted in the Bears vs. Bears section above. Brown will be hosting the League tournament this week, taking on #4 seed Yale in the semis and Cornell and Princeton will have a rematch of this week’s game.   If the prognosticators are correct in their assumption that 4 of the 8 at large slots are going to ACC teams, the semi-final games in the Ivy League tournament may well be elimination games.


Hobart (Riley McTague ‘14) 8

Mt. Saint Mary’s 10

Hobart’s loss makes them the #2 seed in the Northeast tournament and they will face Bryant in the semi-finals. Mount St. Mary’s was playing to extend their season. With the win over Hobart, the Mount makes the Northeast tournament where they will face St. Joseph’s, a team they lost to by 12 earlier this month, in the semi-finals.

The Northeast is likely to have just one NCAA bid—the automatic qualifier for the conference champion—and St Joseph’s is the #1 seed and favorite.

Patriot League

Patriot League Quarterfinals

Bucknell (Sean O’Brien ’14) 13

Lehigh 8

The Bison jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter and didn’t let Lehigh get back into the game. Sean had four shots in the game and is pictured below.

Sean O'B








Patriot League Semi-finals

Colgate (Robby Dunnigan ‘13) 18

Bucknell (Sean O’Brien ’14) 5

#2 seed Colgate faced #3 seed Bucknell after Bucknell effectively dismantled Lehigh earlier in the week.   Robbie and Sean made similar contributions to their respective team efforts, each scoring a goal. Robbie picked up 2 ground balls while Sean had one. The Raiders win put them into the Patriot League title game against Army, which, as noted above, they won.


Navy (Patrick Keena ’11) 7

Army 11

The Black Knights got revenge on the Middies for their regular season loss to Navy. Navy was in a 0-6 hole at the end of the first period but closed within 2 twice in the fourth quarter. Army was able to withstand the fusillade and advanced to the Patriot League championship game against Colgate. Patrick had one goal, one assist and one ground ball for Navy.


Patriot League Championship

Colgate (Robby Dunnigan ‘13) 8

Army 5

Colgate’s slight scoring advantage in the second and third periods was enough to lock down the win and the Patriot League automatic qualifying spot for the NCAA Tournament.

The rest of the Patriot League will have to tune into the tournament selection show on Sunday to see if the league gains any at-large bids. Most bracket projections have only Colgate going to the NCAAs this year.

Southern Conference

Jacksonville (Zac Buller ‘14) 7

Furman 11

Jacksonville failed to qualify for the Southern Conference tournament and their season ends with this loss to Furman. Zac was in the starting line up again, scoring one goal on three shots.


Richmond is the top seed for the Southern Conference tournament having gone undefeated in the league’s regular season games. Second seed Mercer is a better team than their 5-7 record indicates. This conference is expected to be a one bid conference.






Updated D-I Rankings:

LaxPower Forum USLIA Coaches IL Media
Virginia 8 8 8
Cornell 9 10 10
Colgate 14 12 13
Johns Hopkins 15 16 V
Princeton 16 15 17
Fairfield 20 19t V
Bucknell V V V
Navy V V V
Drexel V V
Penn V




Congratulations to the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan (Tommy Minkler ’11) who qualified for the NCAA D-III tournament this week!


Dickinson (Austin Dodson ’10) 9

Muhlenberg 8

Austin scored one goal on three shots for the Red Devils. It was not an easy win for Dickinson which never led by more than one goal and was two goals down early in the game.


Dickinson (Austin Dodson ’10) 9

Franklin & Marshall 8

Dickinson was on the right side of a 9-8 score for the second time this week and Austin had a near repeater, too, scoring once on four shots. Dickinson trailed for much of the game, but scored 3 goals over a 54 second span in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.


Dickinson has had a season a bit like Johns Hopkins—an unimpressive record overall, but highly competitive in their conference. The Red Devils earned the #3 seed for the Centennial Conference tournament and will play Ursinus, a team they lost to by 5 goals earlier this season. Gettysburg is the #1 seed and odds-on favorite to win the tournament, having gone undefeated in conference and overall this year.



Apologies to the Dodson crew—I missed putting this picture in last week’s issue.





Hamilton (Sellers Garrett ’12) 8

Rensselaer 10

Sellers had 1 ground ball in Hamilton’s regular season finale.


Hamilton (Sellers Garrett ’12) 12

Tufts 15

Hamilton finished seventh in the NESCAC standings, earning them and rematch with Tufts, a team they lost to by 19 goals two weeks ago, in the first round of the NESCAC tournament. Things were better this time around, but still not good enough to have the Continentals advance.


Ohio Wesleyan (Tommy Minkler ’11) 15

Kenyon 3

Ohio Wesleyan continued to roll and Tommy scored twice on 5 shots in this North Coast semi-final.


Ohio Wesleyan (Tommy Minkler ’11) 9

Denison 8

OWU and Denison reprised their April 12 match, this time extending things into overtime. Tommy scored the Battling Bishops’ last goal in regulation. With the win, OWU takes both the regular season and tournament title for the North Coast Conference and now looks to see when, where and who they will be playing in the NCAAs.


Updated D-III Rankings:

LaxPower Forum USLIA Coaches IL Media Poll
Ohio Wesleyan 4 3 3



Published in: on April 28, 2015 at 7:45 am  Leave a Comment  

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