Total Lacrosse Magazine

The NCAA Div I final four is set.

by: perry mcculloch

  What a ride to get here. The Nittany Lions 21-14 win over Loyola Maryland was the only game not going to OT. Lacrosse fans who attended James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. were treated to high tempo, high skill and high stakes lacrosse. The Penn Quakers played the defending champions Yale Bulldogs. Since losing their first three games Penn had won 11 straight. They had beat the Bulldogs for the Ivy League championship so all indications was this was going to be a great game and it was. No team lead by more than two goals six lead changes. Yale was up by two with less than a minute to go when Penn gained possession in their defensive end and Yale coach Andy Shay called a time out. This was a penalty for illegal procedure as Penn had the ball and it was not out of bounds. Penn scored on the man up with 47 seconds left to play. That made for a very important faceoff between two of the best in the game T.D. Ierlan from Yale vs Kyle Gallagher. Penn won the scrambled draw and called a time out to set the play with 35 seconds remaining. Penn’s Simon Mathias was able to even the score with 4.4 seconds remaining. The sudden victory was scrambled as well as with both goalies making game saving stops 2:32 seconds into the sudden victory Jack Tigh scored one of his biggest career goals to return the defending champions Yale Bulldogs to the final four. Over in Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT Virginia and Maryland were set to battle for their chance to play on Memorial Day weekend. If you were at the game in the fourth quarter you might think Maryland was in good control the score was 12-7 with 10 minutes to go time to start clock management. Virginia and Ryan Conrad had other ideas. Virginia scored 5 unanswered goals three of them by Ryan Conrad and two of those were on the man up. In OT, again, it took Matt More 45 seconds to send Virginia to the big show. As the spectators catch their breath from that nail biter. Duke and Notre Dame took to the field to warm up. In this 20th meeting between these two lacrosse power houses. Quite a different finish to this game. Notre Dame scored to tie the game with 1:24 remaining and even though Duke took a 30 technical for a faceoff violation and with the ensuing man up Notre Dame could not finish off the Blue Devils. Another trip to sudden victory for the lacrosse fans in attendance. Duke took 1:27 for Joe Robertson to send the Blue Devils to their 23rd NCAA final four berth. So the Div I table is set. Lincoln Financial Field in Pittsburgh will see Virginia play Duke at 12:00 on Saturday May 25th then Penn State will play Yale at 2:30. All four of those teams are looking to play for the NCAA 25th anniversary championship on Memorial Day. Get your tickets it is going to be a great show. Perry McCulloch