BearLaxTraxFax by John Nichols 905.15.2017)

BLTF 051517



NCAA tournaments started this week.  In D-I, the one team featuring Landon alums on their roster, the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (Sam Lynch) saw their 2017 campaign come to an end.  JHU was seeded #6 in the field and hosted the game for the first round of the tournament.  Getting a seed and a home game was the good news for the Blue Jays, having to face Duke was just the start of the bad news.  Then the day before the game, the Hopkins coaches found out that their starting goalie had just been declared academically ineligible.

Hopkins got off to a good start, scoring the first two goals of the game.  From there on out it was all the Blue Devils’ game, with Duke outscoring Hopkins 19-4 over the balance of the contest.

In D-III, two teams with Landon alums made the field—Salisbury (Brian Menendez) and Tufts (Luke Kurtz).

Salisbury was the top seed in the South bracket.  In their first game, the played Misericordia of the MAC Freedom conference, a conference which includes schools in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Misericordia had won both the regular season and conference tournament titles and then knocked off Lasell of Newton, Massachusetts, champion of the Great Northern Athletic Conference.  Salisbury coasted to a 24-3 win.  Things didn’t look easy at first as neither team scored until there were just under five minutes left in the first quarter, when Misericordia started the scoring.  The Seagulls came back with two after that to make it a 2-1 game after one quarter.  Likely what neither team was expecting.

Salisbury’s first two goals were the start of a 13 goal run which was interrupted by a lone goal by their opponent midway through the third period and then followed up by another ten goal run.

The win over Salisbury moved the Seagulls onto play the Hampden-Sydney Tigers.  Hampden-Sydney earned a spot in the tournament by winning the ODAC tournament, rising from the #4 seed to grab the conference’s automatic qualifier slot.  This game got off to a bit faster start, with the Seagulls up 7-3 after one period and 14-4 at the half.  The Tigers put up 7 in the final period to make the final score more respectable at 25-12.

The Seagulls move on to face Cabrini next in the quarter finals.  Cabrini was the only team to hang a loss on Salisbury this year, an 11-10 overtime game in mid-April.

For Tufts, the end of the 2017 must seem like a bad remake of the movie Ground Hog Day.  The Jumbos started off the season 11-0, then had to face the toughest opponents in the NESCAC (Bates, Wesleyan, Amherst and Bowdoin).  They dropped all four of those games, then had to go back through that grinder in the league tournament.  There they were able to exact revenge on Bowdoin before falling to the eventual tournament champion, Wesleyan.

The benefit of playing in the toughest conference in D-III was the at-large slot the Jumbos earned in the D-III tournament.  The bad news was that Bates, Wesleyan and Amherst were all in the same bracket.  Tufts and each of the other NESCAC teams won their first round games to set up an all NESCAC second round.

Tufts played Keene State of New Hampshire in their first game.  The Jumbos easily won this contest 26-14 in a game marred by 18 penalties, 9 on each team.  The win earned them the right to play Wesleyan again.  The third time was not the charm, as the Jumbo’s season came to an end with a 17-8 loss to the Cardinals.   In the three games Wesleyan-Tufts games this year, the Cardinals scored 17 goals in each game while Tufts scoring decrease by 4 goals game over game.

Published in: on May 16, 2017 at 3:48 am  Leave a Comment  

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