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Don’t Sleep on Aquinas: NAIA Weekend Recap

Although it feels like the season has just begun, we are slowly coming up to the end of the regular season. The conferences are beginning to take shape and we are starting to see the favorites to make the tournament all with the same goal of bringing home some hardware. The results of these games will help with seeding in the looming conference tournaments.

Conference Rankings: March 23, 2022 

#6 Reinhardt (9) – #3 Cumberlands (8) 

It’s guaranteed to be a great game whenever these two squads square off. In arguably the biggest rivalry in NAIA lacrosse, a Top 6 matchup added to the pressure.

Much like in the rest of their close games this year, Reinhardt got off to a slow start. Cumberlands jumped out to an early 2-0 lead until Cameron Cochran poured in the first of his 4 goals to put the Eagles on the board. Reinhardt then took the lead before Dylan Crouch added one of his 3 goals on the day. The Patriots defense held the Eagles scoreless for the rest of the first half while their offense added 2 more to make it 5-3 heading into the break.

Shortly after play resumed Thomas Fogarty extended the lead to 3. The Eagles added a couple quick ones to make it a 2 goal game again heading to the final period. The Reinhardt D held tough in the final period, holding Cumberlands to just one more goal. The game’s hero was Titus Thind who would add 2, including the go-ahead goal, in the final 5 minutes. 

#5 Aquinas (17) – Madonna (10) 

Madonna looked to come into this game to put themselves into the Top 4 of the WHAC. However, they ran into an Aquinas squad looking to bounce back from a tough loss the week prior.

In the first quarter, Mitch Haggart added 2 goals while the Aquinas midfield added 3 themselves for a 5-0 lead. Jon Jardis would add one in the second quarter before Madonna would go on a 4 goal run to close out the half, 3 of which were scored by Nick Conrad. The game would remain close through the third quarter as the teams traded mini runs to make it 10-7 game.

In the fourth Aquinas couldn’t be stopped, no matter how hard the Crusader defense tried. They would score 7 times in the final quarter. The game could have looked a lot worse if it weren’t for the astounding play of Jeff Varner who made 17 saves for Madonna. 

#2 Indiana Tech (20) – Lourdes (5)

Following their tight win over Concordia, Lourdes was riding high heading into this contest. That lasted a whole 53 seconds before Samuel Bodley would put the Warriors on the board, one of his 5 on the day. Nick Johnson would add one of his 2 goals for Lourdes to tie the game.

The teams would exchange goals and remain tied halfway through the first quarter. Nothing the Gray Wolves defense tried worked, as the Warriors would add goal after goal to extend their lead to 9-3 heading into the half. The second half wasn’t much better as Tech would end the game on an 11-1 run. Andrew Ryan and Nate Lagnille vaulted their All-American campaigns by each adding four goals in the contest. 

#9 Tennessee Wesleyan (11) – St. Andrews (5)

Coming off two Top 10 AAC victories and a heavyweight match-up with Reinhardt looming, the Bulldogs found themselves in a perfect opportunity for a trap game. Early on, that appeared to be a serious possibility, as it was a one goal game after the first quarter. The teams would exchange goals until the first two minutes of the second quarter but from that point, TWU would take over.

Dylan Weaver would find Robert Holekamp and the Bulldogs never looked back. That was the start of an 8-0 run that lasted through the third quarter and into the start of the fourth. St. Andrews would add 3 goals in the fourth quarter to make the final score a little more respectable, but this one was all Bulldogs. 

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