What was once 16, is now 8. In Saturday’s games, you did NOT want to come out with an early lead. It was basically a death sentence. Totally coincidental? Probably. On Sunday, we were treated to a great slate of games, and these four did not disappoint.
Syracuse Overcomes Bryant 12-7
Cuse went down 4-0 to Bryant, and things did not look great for the comeback, as Kevin Massa was dominating on face offs for the Bulldogs. He finished the day going 22 of 23, which is just silly. However, Cuse proved that their number 1 seeding was at the very least somewhat justified, as they outscored Bryant 12-3 the rest of the way, and did so without many back to back possessions. And by “without many”, I mean ONE.
Bryant is the kind of team that had the potential to knock off a couple of higher seeded teams, and the fact that the Orange came back in such a consistent and disciplined way bodes well for their run this year. Winning at home is expected for Syracuse, even in the tourney, but Bryant gave Cuse a good test, and they know every game is going to be a battle from here on out.
That’s a good thing, because Syracuse takes on Yale in the next round, and the Bulldogs proved they can make a comeback of their own on Saturday against Penn State. That should be a pretty thrilling game!
Duke Comes Back On Loyola In 2 OT
Watching the Duke – Loyola game, I felt like it was Saturday all over again. The game starts a bit slow and is disrupted by penalties, and then Loyola explodes for a huge 7-1 lead, and the game looks out of hand. Then Duke turns it on, and the tide begins to turn. Think PSU – Yale, or Detroit – ND.
In this case, double OT was needed, and that was where Duke’s Case Matheis did what few freshman can do, as he scored the goal to win the game, 12-11, off a loose ball pick up. Matheis finished with three goals on the day, and his second was the goal that forced overtime, and tied the game at 11. My, that’s impressive.
This game saw a number of players step up outside of Matheis, and Runkel’s 22 saves for Loyola, or Justin Ward’s 5 assists can not be overlooked. David Lawson scored a goal and added three helpers. Kyle Turri made 13 saves in net for Duke. Brendan Fowler won 19 of 26 face offs. Overall, this game was a true thriller. But you watched it, so you knew that.
Duke plays Notre Dame in the next round, and these two contrasting teams should provide an unpredictable game. It should be close, but will it be 6-5, or 13-12? I have no idea, and I’m not sure the teams do either.
Ohio State Domimates Towson 16-6
Towson came out with some fight in them, but by the half it was 8-4 in favor of OSU. Jesse King (4-1-5) and Logan Schuss (3-3-6) were simply scoring, and playing, too well for Towson to keep up. If you’re not impressed by OSU by now, you have perception problems. I was doubting this team for a while, and thought they were a year off, but it’s clear the Buckeyes are trying to be the 2013 version of Loyola right now. They play their own style, and within their roles, and this team fears no one. I’m loving what I’m seeing.
To reinforce the fact that OSU is now getting better as games wear on, they went on to outscore Towson 8-2 over the last two quarters. 8-4 was good. 8-2 is better. Final was obviously 16-6 in favor of OSU.
In the next round, OSU faces Cornell, and that should be a tremendous game. Cornell has Pannell, and a host of guys who feed off his play. OSU has a couple serious players of their own. My deciding factor? Which defense limits the other team’s studs to 3 points or less? Whoever does, wins.
Cornell Doubles Up Maryland 16-8
There were definitely some rumblings when the seeding came out, and much of it had to with Maryland hosting Cornell in the first round. Maybe Cornell wasn’t top 8 seed material, but was Maryland? Was this a fair first round match up?
Well, the Big Red answered those questions with a succinct, “shut up, idiots”, proving that seeds mean nothing. Pannell led the way, controlled the game offensively for Cornell, and they doubled up Maryland on the road 16-8. It was an incredibly impressive win. Cornell came out hot, kept pressure on the athletic and cohesive Maryland D, and paved their own way to success. Maryland was inspired, and played hard, and that only made Cornell’s big win more credible.
When sports writers rely on hyperbole, you know one team looked good, and that was definitely the case here.
Maryland’s weakness on offense has been that they don’t have enough ability to break down their man coverage, and create slide opportunities. They moved the ball well, and played solid team O, but Cornell’s defense was disciplined enough to keep the Terps at bay. It was a great game for any younger team to watch. THAT is how you play team defense. Holding the Terps to 0-4 on their man up chances? Yeah, take some notes, kids (and coaches).