The final week of the regular season ended in what has been the norm for the 2013 college lacrosse season, with another highly ranked team getting upset. This time it was the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame who were defeated by Big East rival Syracuse, 10-4. It was also the beginning of conference championship play, where the Patriot League and ACC championships were settled as well as several Division Three conferences.
Orange Drop Rival Fighting Irish at Konica Minolta Big City Classic
Using a huge 6-0 run in the fourth quarter to break a four all tie, the ninth ranked Orange defeated the second ranked Irish in front of a crowd of over 19,000 this past weekend, 10-4. The win ensured that Syracuse would have a share of the Big East regular season title with Villanova. For the first three quarters of the game, defense was the theme as neither team could get clicking consistently on offense. After a scoreless first half, the Irish jumped out to a 3-1 lead heading into the half. The opposite would hold true for the third quarter, as Syracuse would use a 3-1 quarter of their own to tie it at four. In the fourth, Kevin Rice and Dylan Donahue would take over for the Orange, with Donahue scoring three times in the quarter to lead Syracuse both in scoring and to the upset win. Notre Dame was led in scoring by freshman Matt Kavanagh with two goals. The two teams will meet again next week, as they will open the Big East Championship championships at Villanova.
UNC Wins ACC Title Over Virginia
For the first time since 1996, UNC can call themselves ACC Champions after their 16-13 win over the Virginia Cavaliers. The win over the rival Cavaliers also likely ensures that UNC will earn the number one seed in this seasons 2013 NCAA Tournament while Virginia is all but eliminated from the tournament. Despite seven assists from Nick O'Reilly, an ACC Title game record, and seven goals from Matt White, which tied an ACC Title game record, the Cavaliers could not slow down the high powered Tar Heels offense, which rallied from and early 5-3 deficit and scored a record 34 goals over the two game tournament. The back and forth game saw UVA rally back to tie the game at seven in the second quarter but the Cavaliers would come no closer he rest of the way. Davey Emala led the Tar Heels with four goals during the game and also tallied an assist. The title is the 12th ACC title for the Tar Heels in the programs history.
Cortland Goes Undefeated for Second Straight Season
For the second straight year, the number one ranked team in Division Three, Cortland State, went a perfect 15-0 on the season. The quest for regular season perfection was completed this past weekend when the Red Dragons defeated SUNYAC rival Potsdam, 10-5. The two schools will meet again next week in the semifinals of the SUNYAC playoffs. Cortland opened the scoring early on a goal by Billy Davis, but Potsdam would answer right back to tie it with a goal by senior Derek Frost. That would be the closest the Bears would come, as the Red Dragons would put the game away climbing out to an eventual 8-2 lead and then 10-5 win. Cortland now turns its sights to the postseason where it will look to win its first national title since 2009 after losing in last years championship game to Salisbury.
Loyola Defeats Hopkins for First Time in Fourteen Years
For the first time in thirteen games and in this century, the defending national champion Loyola Greyhounds beat in-state rival Johns Hopkins. Led by a suffocating defensive effort, including holding the Blue Jays scoreless for nearly the last 30 minutes of the game, the Greyhounds marched to a 8-4 win at Homewood Field. The win gives seventh ranked Loyola some much needed momentum as they head into ECAC championship play and now puts Johns Hopkins tournament chances in serious jeopardy. After trading goals to begin the game, the Greyhounds headed into half up 4-3. Loyola would open the third quarter scoring on a goal by Sean O'Sullivan. Hopkins would answer right back on a Mike Poppleton goal, but wouldn't find the back of the net for the rest of the game. Loyola senior Mike Sawyer led all players with three goals in the game while goalie Jack Runkel stopped ten of fourteen shots he faced. The win secures the second seed in the ECAC tournament for the Greyhounds where the will play Ohio State, whom Loyola defeat 9-4 earlier this year. Check out the Lax.com highlights from that game here. Hopkins will next travel to play Army for its final game of the regular season.
Lax.com Player of the Week: Miles Thompson, junior attack for Albany. Thompson led Albany with fourteen points in the Great Danes win over Stony Brook. Thompson scored five times and had nine assists. The fourteen point game is also the third highest ever in a game NCAA history and broke the Albany record of eleven, which was set by his brother Lyle earlier this season. Check out one of Thompson's sick goals from the game here!!!
Lax.com Clutch Performer of the Week: Marcus Holman, senior attack for UNC. The senior standout scored with just under 1:30 to play in the Tar Heels 18-17 win over rival Duke in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. The goal was Holman's fourth of the game.
Check back every week of the college lacrosse season for recaps from the weeks top games and the Lax.com Performers of the Week.