The opening round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament started off with a bang as the eighth ranked Nittany Lions fell to the Ivy League Champion Bulldogs, while defending champion Loyola fell in double OT to Duke.
Duke Knocks off Loyola in Double OT, Move on to Face Notre Dame
Duke freshman Case Mathias ensured there would be a new national champion crowned in 2013 after the young attackman scored the game tying and game winning goal in the Blue Devils 12-11win over the 2012 National Champion Loyola Greyhounds. Mathias tallied the game tying goal with just 55 seconds left to play in regulation, then snuck a shot between the post and Loyola goaltender Jack Runkel two minutes into the second OT. The goal was Mathias' third of the game, tying him with Zach Herreweyers of Loyola for the game high. The game featured back and forth action throughout but was dominated early on by the Greyhounds, who jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the second quarter. After Duke managed to cut the lead to 7-4 heading into the half, the Blue Devils came storming out of the locker room, eventually tying the game at eight apiece. The teams would trade goals through the fourth quarter, eventually leading to Matias' late game heroics. Duke and Loyola took a combined 98 shots in the game, 22 of which were stopped by Runkel, a career-high. Kyle Turri made 13 saves for the Blue Devils. Duke advances on to play number two Notre Dame, who needed a late fourth quarter rally to defeat MAAC champion Detroit Mercy, 9-7 in the Titans first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Yale Keeps Rolling, Upsets Penn State
For the first time in over twenty years, the Yale Bulldogs lacrosse team has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after upsetting the eighth ranked Penn State Nittany Lions, 10-7 this past weekend. The win was especially tough for the Bulldogs, as Yale found itself on the wrong end of a 5-1 score heading into halftime. However, it was a tale of two halves as Yale used a 4-1 run in the third to cut Penn States lead to 6-5. The dominance would continue as the Bulldogs were able to figure out Penn State goalie Austin Kaut, using a 5-1 run in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Yale sophomore Colin Flaherty led all payers with three goals during the game. TJ Sanders led Penn State with two goals during the game. Yale now moves on to face the tournaments number one seeded Syracuse Orange, who despite falling behind early, rallied past NEC Champion Bryant for a 12-7 win.
Wes Berg Scores Eight Times in Denver's Wild Win Over Albany
In a game that many predicted would be the highlight of the opening round, Wes Berg scored a career-high eight times to lead the Denver Pioneers to a 19-14 win over the Albany Great Danes. The eight goals by Berg were part of a game high nine points by the Pioneer sophomore. This game was every bit the shootout that was anticipated, with the Thompson trio of Albany looking to carry their success of the regular season into the NCAA Tournament. They did not disappoint, as Lyle, Miles, and Ty eight of Albany's fourteen goals, with Lyle leading all Albany players with four. However, the spotlight was all on Berg in this affair. Berg helped the Pioneers rally back from an early deficit, scoring the eventual go ahead goal in the second quarter. Denver would continue to add to their lead, eventually breaking open 16-10 lead in the fourth quarter. The Pioneers would then weather any late comeback attempt by Albany. The Pioneers will now travel to Indianapolis for their second round game with UNC, who crushed their opening round opponent Lehigh, 16-7.
Final Scores For the Opening Round:
Lax.com Player of the Week: Wes Berg, sophomore for Denver. Berg scored eight times in the Pioneers win over Albany, en route to a nine point performance.
Lax.com Clutch Performer of the Week:Duke Freshman Case Mathias. Mathias scored the game tying and game winning goal in the Blue Devils double OT win over Loyola.
Check back every week of the college lacrosse season for recaps from the weeks top games and the Lax.com Performers of the Week.