By Paul Ryan | 5/15/14 3:00 PM
While some 2014 MLL draftees made their professional debuts, more than half of them were competing in the NCAA Tournament. There were blowouts, upsets and nail-biters throughout the weekend, with the DI and DIII tournaments down to the last eight teams, while DII enters the Final Four.
In the opening game of the tourney, No. 15 Albany upset No. 1 Loyola, 13-6. The Thompson’s did it again, with Miles (Rochester, 20th) recording five goals and two assists and Ty (Rochester, 28th) chipping in a hat trick as well. Justin Ward (Charlotte, 23rd) and Pat Laconi (Charlotte, 9th) had two goals each in the loss while Joe Fletcher (New York, 3rd) had four ground balls and caused three turnovers. It was the first loss for the Greyhounds since their first game of the season.
Later on Saturday, No. 5 Notre Dame downed No. 11 Harvard, 13-5. Stephen O’Hara (Ohio, 41st) and the Irish defense shut down Harvard, holding the Crimson to just five goals for the second straight week. Dan Eipp (Rochester, 32nd) had an assist for Harvard.
In one of the best games of the weekend, Mike Chanenchuk (Charlotte, 11th) scored with just two seconds left to propel No. 6 Maryland to an 8-7 victory over No. 13 Cornell. Chanenchuk finished the game with two goals and two assists while Michael Ehrhardt (Charlotte, 7th) and Brian Cooper (Chesapeake, 64th) combined for ten ground balls. Niko Amato (Florida, 29th) stopped eight of 15 shots for the win.
In the final game on Saturday, No. 2 Denver shut down No. 9 North Carolina, 9-5. Jeremy Noble (Denver, 6th) scored once and added an assist for the Pioneers. Jamie Faus (Denver, 38th) played the second half in net as he has for most of the season, stopping three shots in the win. None of the three draftees scored for the Heels, but R.G. Keenan (Ohio, 49th) did win 2-of-5 face offs.
No. 12 Drexel started Sunday off right, upsetting No. 9 Penn, 16-11. Ben McIntosh (Denver, 62nd) had another great game for the Dragons, scoring a hat trick and registering a game-high 13 shots. Zack Losco (Charlotte, 47th) scored once for the Quakers in their final game of the season.
No. 8 Johns Hopkins made easy work of No. 7 Virginia by winning Sunday, 14-8. Brandon Benn (Chesapeake, 40th) scored four for the Blue Jays with Rob Guida (Ohio, 13th) dishing out three assists. Defender Jack Reilly (Boston, 33rd) scored his first goal of the season and his second career goal, while Mark Cockerton (Rochester, 56th) was the only Cavalier draftee to score (2 G, 1 A).
In one of the higher scoring games of the weekend, No. 1 overall seed/No. 3 Duke demolished No. 17 Air Force, 20-9. Jordan Wolf (Rochester, 2nd) scored three goals and added an assist while Josh Dionne (Charlotte, 18th) scored twice for the Blue Devils. Brendan Fowler (Charlotte, 14th) won 17-of-28 face offs for the Dukies, scooping up 13 ground balls in the process. Erik Smith (Boston, 37th) had a goal and assist for the Falcons.
No. 19 Bryant saved the best for last, as the final DI contest of the weekend featured a 10-9 upset of No. 4 (and No. 2 overall seed) Syracuse. Both Colin Dunster (Denver, 30th) and Alex Zomerfeld (New York, 58th) registered two goals each for the Bulldogs, who are now 16-4 on the season. Derek Maltz (Ohio, 39th) was the only draftee on the Orange to register a point, getting an assist in the game.
In DII action, Andrew Wagner (Rochester, 52nd) and No. 5 Mercyhurst were knocked out in the quarterfinals, 11-9. Wagner recorded a ground ball in the loss. In DIII, Brent Hiken (Denver, 16th) and No. 3 Stevenson blew their way through the first two rounds, outscoring opponents 33-13. Hiken went 29-for-40 in the two wins with 20 ground balls.
Now for this week’s late rounder of the week. This week’s winner is Maryland’s Brian Cooper. The quintessential late rounder, Cooper was the final pick of the draft at 64 to the Bayhawks. He was fantastic at shutting down the Cornell attack this weekend, grabbing four ground balls. Cooper and the Terps have made the quarterfinals for the 12th time this century but search for their first NCAA title since 1975.
We’re getting into the final weeks of the college season, with more players declaring to play in Major League Lacrosse. Tom Schreiber and Kieran McArdle both made their debuts last week, but who will this weekend? Who will be still playing in college searching for one final championship? Come back next week and find out.