Some of the top seeds won this weekend, but not all of them! There were some huge upsets pulled off this weekend in college lacrosse, but none of them was as big as Maryland over Johns Hopkins, and none of them came in such dominating fashion either.
Hop ended the season ranked at #7, and Maryland was at #10, AND Maryland won in the regular season, but when the NCAA D1 tourney seeds came out, the Terps were unseeded and Johns Hopkins was the lofty #2 seed. Most people saw Hop making an easy run to the Final Four, and they were a favorite of many to win the title.
So when Maryland came out swinging and dominated the game early on, a lot of people, including me, were stunned. I thought it would be a tight game decided by a few face off goals going one way or the other, and I liked Hop to win that battle. Instead, Maryland won the face off war, and created goals off of their ride and clear, as well as six on six. I thought transition would be the key, but I didn’t think Maryland would shine so brightly there. It was an impressive effort, especially when Hop was clearing the ball. In the end, Maryland’s pressure ride was probably the difference maker, as they scored a number of first half goals that way.
The rest of D1 didn’t see any true upsets, although some people might call Loyola over Denver an upset, which would be weird. Loyola is the #1 seed, and they deserve it. I picked Denver to win that game in an upset, but it didn’t happen. Loyola is the real deal, they play team lacrosse, and they’re a lot of fun to watch. Duke rolled Colgate and Notre Dame beat Virginia. Again, one could argue Virginia was the favorite there, but not according to the seeds. Notre Dame looked great, and is light years ahead of where they were earlier in the year.
When you move on down the road to NCAA D2, you see nothing but upsets. It’s amazing, really. #3 Limestone traveled to New York state from Gaffney, South Carolina and beat #2 LeMoyne on the road. Limestone is the clear best team down South, and they showed there is simply NO gap between the regions’ top teams anymore. That is a good thing to see, and one heck of an impressive win for Limestone.
Limestone would love to capture another D2 title this year, and I was sure that they would have to face undefeated #1 Mercyhurst to make it happen. However, Mercyhurst is no longer undefeated because #4 Dowling came to town and took down the defending champs 7-6 in OT. Dowling has been looking strong all year, and they’re clearly clicking at the right time. I remember doing the color commentary for a Dowling game when Kyle Rubisch played there, and I was impressed with their program. I would love to see the Golden Eagles take home their first D2 title!
In D3 we didn’t see any upsets at all. Cortland, the #1 North team, beat Tufts, and they will now face Salisbury (who topped Stevenson), the best team in the South. Both of these teams have won numerous national titles and both will look to add another to their display case next weekend. The only upset that could have happened this weekend in D3 was Stevenson over Salisbury, and that would have been big. Maybe next year, Mustangs!
In the MCLA tourney, Colorado State and Cal Poly did a little dance and CSU came out victorious. They were the #2 seed and Cal Poly was the #1 seed, but these teams were so close it’s hard to call it an upset. CSU led for much of the game, but the tight 7-5 score tells me this was just a good game between two good teams. No upset here.
In the MCLA D2, St. Thomas, the #1 seed, beat GVSU, the #2 seed, by a score of 9-8. Seems just about right!
Ok, so it wasn’t ALL upsets… but there were a good number of them and some very exciting games were played all across the country. Good luck to all the NCAA teams that are still in it and thanks to all the guys who got knocked out. You were a big part of making 2012 a great lacrosse year. And we still have Memorial Day Weekend to go!