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Notre Dame vs Albany Lacrosse 2014 NCAA Quarterfinal Credit: Joe Williams ncaa first round
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NCAA First Round Super Post!

The various NCAA first round reactions people have often depend on who they root for, but sometimes there are stories and things that happen, and pretty much everyone can get behind just how awesome that particular play or game was. Today, we recap all the big games, from D1 to D2 to D3!

NCAA First Round – D1 Notables

Goalie Goal – How do you not lead with this?

Team Scoring – Albany, Ohio State, and Johns Hopkins all won on the road, and all three of those victorious teams scored 16+ goals, putting them each in the top 5 for scoring for the weekend, along with Cuse (20 goals vs Marist) and UNC (19 vs Colgate). Maryland beat Yale 8-7, and that was the only time where the winning team scored less than 12 goals.

Did you see that last second no goal? I’d be angry if I were Yale too:

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Hop Hidden Ball Trick (Make it a double)ESPN announcers seem to think that lacrosse is like football, and that once you run a certain play, you can NEVER run it again in the NCAAs because other teams will have scouted you on it. This is, quite possibly, the worst analysis I have ever heard. It almost made my eyes bleed, and I don’t use them to hear, I use my ears. That’s how bad it was.

First off, it was a double hidden ball trick, and Hop only used option #1 in this game. There was a second “high five” which could be used as a transfer point in the future. Secondly, hidden ball tricks work because they create confusion as to where the ball is, not because they are a surprise to the other team. Finally, we shouldn’t be surprised to see Hop run this in a blowout win. Hop is typically pretty conservative, right?

Could you tell who REALLY had the ball? I couldn’t. I knew one of three guys had it, but wasn’t sure which one. Right, you can NEVER run that again! Ha.

Is #22 at Syracuse back? Sure, we’ve know that Jordan Evans was wearing #22 at Cuse this year, but it didn’t quite feel like it did when Marasco, Powell, Powell, Powell, or Gait was wearing the magic number. Last night we got a glimpse at the future of #22, and it looks like the legendary jersey is in capable hands as Evans notched five goals against Marist playing midfield. Evans’ goals came in a multitude of ways, and his quickness and stick work was excellent. Maybe we’ll see him put on a show for the rest of the tourney? Never hurts to having a 22 balling in Orange.

We got Notre Dame Vs Albany: THE REMATCH! – Towson took Notre Dame to the wire, but the Irish pulled out the W, and Albany crushed Cornell. So how excited is absolutely everyone that Albany and Notre Dame are going to meet again in the NCAAs after last year’s epic game? Seriously! Fans are excited to see a great contrast in styles. Albany is pumped to get another shot at ND in the playoffs after last year’s loss. And Notre Dame HAS to be excited as well. They get the chance to prove that last year was NOT a fluke in any way. This has the makings of a truly exciting game and one you can’t afford to miss.

Duke is OUT, OSU Vs Denver Rematch! – OSU took down Duke in a decisive manner this past weekend, and while their offense didn’t look super fluid, when it clicked, OSU drew blood. They also got some great individual goals from many of their players, and Duke really did not have an answer. So now Ohio State will play Denver, whom they beat earlier in the year. I actually will still pick Denver in this upcoming game, but if there is a cinderella team in 2015, right now it’s OSU!

Which Conference is the BEST? – Sure, the ACC is still looking extremely strong with 3 teams left in the tourney, and the Ivy looks a little weaker now that Yale, Brown, and Cornell have all lost. But what about the Big Ten? Maryland, Hopkins, and OSU are all still in it as well! The Ivy has a record of 0-3. The ACC is now 3-2, and the Big Ten is 3-0. In the next round there are TWO Big Ten Vs ACC match ups, so be sure to watch those closely. A lot of conference pride is on the line!

NCAA First Round – D2 Notables

We’re down to FOUR – Le Moyne, Merrimack, Limestone, and Lake Erie are the four schools still playing in D2.  ‘Mack over Adelphi 10-9 was the only upset of the first round, and now we have two #1 seeds (Le Moyne and Limestone) paired with a #3 seed (‘Mack) and a #2 seed (Lake Erie) in the North and South national semifinals, respectively.

Rematch City – Le Moyne beat Merrimack 12-6 during the regular season, but that’s not necessarily a huge concern for Merrimack, as they had lost to Adelphi on May 1st, before beating them in the NCAAs on May 9th. Limestone, on the other hand, LOST to Lake Erie in the regular season 14-12, and that was Limestone’s sole loss of the regular season. Both should be awesome games!

WHERE is Long Island? – Obviously it’s part of NY, and just South of CT, but that’s not what I’m asking!

The D2 schools out on Long Island have placed at least one team in the NCAA D2 Final Four since there has been a Final Four, but NOT this year! With Merrimack knocking off Adelphi and Le Moyne topping Post, both LI teams were eliminated in the Quarterfinals. This does not show a drop off on Long Island to me, but rather, it shows how far the rest of the D2 world has come. This is a GOOD thing, and hopefully serves as further motivation for the D2 powerhouses on the island.

NCAA First Rounds – D3 Notables

Salisbury beat Stevenson this weekend, and the game didn’t start until LATE – There was an accident on one of the bridges, SU was severely delayed, and the game was pushed back to after 9pm. The Gulls came intent on doing business after a longer than usual bus ride, and took the win back to the Eastern Shore with them. Next up the Gulls will play at Lynchburg. The Hornets beat Aurora 19-8 to move on and host another game.

The NESCAC is 4-2, 4-0 against Non-NESCAC – The way the tourney was set up this year means all of the NESCAC teams, save for one, will be eliminated by the next round. Why? Because they all play each other after the first round. Tufts beat Emmanuel, and Bates beat Keene State, and then Tufts beat Bates. Amherst beat Castleton, and Middlebury beat Montclair State, and then Amherst beat Middlebury. Now Tufts plays Amherst. Why not just give the NESCAC champ a bye to the Final Four? I love the NCAAs because you play teams you don’t normally play, but many of these NESCAC teams are now playing their NCAA opponents for their third time this year, which is just a little boring. Where are the head-to-head, conference vs, conference games we all love? There have been far too few of them up North. RIT also played Union 3 times this year. Seems excessive is all.

3 Rematches, 1 Freshie! – Cortland and RIT have played each other. Tufts and Amherst have played each other twice. Salisbury and Lynchburg opened their seasons against each other. The only NEW match up is Gettysburg vs Ohio Wesleyan. That should be a FUN game to watch as well!