There was some fantastic lacrosse in 2021, the year that essentially marked the return of the sport after the pandemic upended so much in 2020. Classic national championship contests, dramatic PLL contests, and more made up some of the best lacrosse games of 2021.
Let this collection of some of the best lacrosse contests from 2021 take you on a trip down memory lane to remember the lax year that was.
Best Lacrosse Games of 2021
Virginia (17) vs Maryland (16) – NCAA dI Men’s national championship
This national championship game became an instant classic right when the final whistle blew. An undefeated Maryland team against the defending national champions was sure to deliver, and deliver it did. The game came all the way down to the final seconds as Maryland had a potential game-tying goal with four seconds left that was shut down by Cavaliers goalie Alex Rode.
You couldn’t ask for anything more from a national championship game. All of the pressure that comes with competing in a game at this level was felt through each offensive set as both teams played elite-level lacrosse from start to finish, and it was unquestionably one of the best lacrosse games of 2021.
RIT (15) vs Salisbury (14) – NCAA dIII Men’s national championship
This game left everyone who watched it speechless. RIT forced two overtimes to secure the team’s first-ever national championship and capped off an undefeated season in the process. Double overtime games are always extremely stressful – add in the stakes of a national championship, and hair is asking to fall out.
RIT had previously lost to Salisbury in the 2017 national championship game in humiliating fashion. The Tigers made sure to not repeat the past and showed up very much ready to play. Both teams clearly deserved to be in the 2021 title game, and this was a true lacrosse battler. This showdown delivered on everything you could ever want from a gritty national championship game.
Loyola (14) vs Denver (13) – NCAA dI Men’s Tournament first round
This first-round matchup was truly something special. You could feel the intensity from both sidelines and fans alike. Even though Denver had a home-field advantage, the Loyola fanbase certainly made its presence known. There are certain games that evoke a certain level of passion, and this was certainly one of them.
If you haven’t seen this game yet, I highly recommend you take the time to sit down just to experience it for yourself.
Boston College (11) vs North carolina (10) – NCAA dI Women’s Tournament semifinals
Boston College overcame the odds and beat an undefeated North Carolina in the national semifinals. This game felt like a movie from start to finish as both teams were hungry for a chance to compete for a national championship. Boston College built a dominate lead, but the Tar Heels rallied back in the closing minutes of the game, even with Boston College goalie Rachel Hall making clutch save after clutch save.
This was by far one of the most exciting tournament games in recent history and has to be included as one of the top lacrosse contests of 2021.
Whipsnakes (14) vs Redwoods (13) – pll quarterfinals
The Redwoods came out hot and looked like they were finally going to secure a playoff win over the Whipsnakes. The Redwoods have always been competitive in playoff games but seem to come up short when it matters most. It seemed like this would be the game that the ‘Woods would climb over that hump, but the Whipsnakes had other ideas.
Even though the Redwoods had a lead for most of the game, it was clear that all the momentum was in the Whipsnakes’ corner. It was never clear which team would advance to the next round, which made the game all the more exciting. Zed Williams basically carried the Whipsnakes to victory, recording nine total points to finish the game.
Archers (15) vs Redwoods (12) – pll week 7
The Archers and Redwoods that don’t like each other very much. Both teams have had some intense games in the PLL’s short history, and this one was no different. The Archers were in desperate need of a win, and the Redwoods made sure to put up a good fight.
Nothing is better than a lacrosse game in the rain. There is no better feeling than the explosion of water droplets that come with stinging a top corner of a soaking wet net.
atlas (18) vs cannons (17) – pll week 3
While everyone appreciates a good defensive matchup, there is nothing better than the occasional offensive shootout. Both teams decided to put their foot on the gas and not hold back as this game finished with 35 total goals.
Paul Rabil had a dominate game, showing glimpses of his MLL MVP days, which he was yet to do in the PLL. Rookie Jeff Teat made a splash in his PLL debut, tallying up seven goals and two assists. Sometimes, it’s nice to sit back and watch the best players in the world have a little fun on offense.
Now for the other lacrosse news from the week of Dec. 7-13, 2021.
Last Week In Lacrosse
The PLL continues to unveil its Top 50 Players list with only the top-10 players remaining.
The IMLCA Winter Summit was held over the weekend in Florida. The event brought in parents, players, and coaches in from all over the country to participate in this coaching-specific convention.
Tewaaraton winner and Maryland lacrosse alumni Jared Bernhardt has led the Ferris State Bulldogs to the NCAA DII national championship game.
Get Caught Up on LAS Content
Miss out on what we did last week? Here’s a recap of some of our top content from the last seven days.
GERMANY LACROSSE: A COMMUNITY REINVENTS ITSELF
Denise Grunert and Matthias Lehna explain what’s happening with Germany Lacrosse, DLaxV, and the future the organization is aiming to build with the community.
22 LACROSSE PREDICTIONS FOR 2022
Nick Pietras lists out 22 lacrosse predications for 2022, including several levels of the sport.
BEST NCAA DI MEN’S LACROSSE TOURNAMENT RUNS OF ALL TIME
Ryan Conwell dove into some of the best runs in the history of the NCAA DI Men’s Lacrosse Tournament.