Okay so did the selection committee completely botch this year's NCAA Lacrosse Tournament? Absolutely. There's no two ways about it. We knew right from the jump that 6 Ivy's and only once ACC team was going to be a brutal look for this tournament. We knew right away that Virginia and Maryland should be a game played on Memorial Day Weekend as opposed to the way the bracket was set up to have them play this upcoming Sunday. But at the end of the day, no matter how much the selection committee is a joke, we were still treated to some great college lacrosse over the weekend. 8 games over Saturday and Sunday and I'd say half of them were awesome. Maryland was always going to steamroll whoever they were up against in the first round. The first half of Brown vs Virginia lived up to the billing. The Blue Hens of Delaware saved the weekend by finally adding a little intrigue to the tournament by knocking off #2 Georgetown. Richmond gave Penn everything they could handle. Saint Joe's gave Yale everything they could handle. It was a perfectly fine weekend of college lacrosse.
Obviously it could have been better with Notre Dame and Duke in the mix instead of Harvard and Ohio State. I think anybody with half a functioning brain could have told you that. Regardless, we are now down to 8 teams, 7 games, and 2 weekends left in the 2022 college lacrosse season. And here's everything you need to know about how we got here on today's episode of the podcast.
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NCAA Tournament First Round Scores
#1 Maryland 21 - Vermont 5
Maryland was going to spank the shit out of whoever they played against in the first round. It just so happened that Vermont was unlucky enough to draw that card. To their credit, they hung in there with them for maybe like 4 or so minutes. Maryland is a wagon and it's criminal that either they or Virginia won't get a chance to play in the Final Four since they have to play each other in the quarterfinals this weekend.
#2 Georgetown 9 - Delaware 10
The Delaware Blue Hens took the quick drive down to Washington DC with a ton of confidence after winning the CAA and crushing Robert Morris in the play-in game. Did Georgetown overlook them? Was Georgetown just not battle tested enough because they had a cupcake schedule in the Big East? Is Georgetown just not ready to take that final step as a program to being a Championship Weekend caliber team? Don't know and don't care. Because the fact of the matter is this Delaware team is awesome. They've got guys who can sling it on offense. Owen Grant is a force on defense and in transition. They're getting some great goaltending. This Delaware team kicks ass. #FeelsLike07
#3 Penn 11 - Richmond 10 (OT)
The only game of the first round that went to OT. I said this before the weekend but Richmond is one of those teams that is always going to stick around all game. They beat Virginia earlier in the season so obviously they'll head into any game thinking they can beat anybody. Penn is a team that can play like the best lacrosse team on the planet for 45 minutes, but they're just not capable of ever putting together a full 60 minute performance. That was the perfect storm for a Richmond upset, and they were about 30 seconds away from pulling it off. But then Ben Smith scored with just under 30 seconds left in the 4th quarter to send the game to overtime, and it was Ben Smith again to deliver the final dagger. Awesome game.
#4 Yale 18 - Saint Joe's 16
This was easily the best game of the weekend. A ton of back and forth. Both teams going on some runs. Levi Anderson scoring some ridiculous goals for the Hawks. Freshmen like Leo Johnson and Chris Lyons coming up huge for Yale. And then obviously the juice goals of all juice goals when James Ball came in to finally try to figure out Zach Cole at the faceoff stripe, wins it forward to himself and the rest is history. This was a huge game for Saint Joe's as a program on the rise to get some eyes on them. But at the end of the day, Yale is a team who has been there before plenty of times and they were able to lock it up down the stretch. Gritty win for Yale, gritty loss for Saint Joe's, awesome game all around.
#5 Princeton 12 - BU 5
I'll tell you what. BU really picked a terrible time to have their worst game of the season. It was the opening game of the tournament and boy did this game stink to watch. I don't even want to talk about it anymore.
#6 Rutgers 19 - Harvard 9
I loved Rutgers heading into the weekend. But I don't know if it's because I love Rutgers game as much as I knew that Harvard wasn't going to be ready for this moment. Harvard is so young, they didn't even make the Ivy League tournament, and it's not like they were playing well to end the season. Meanwhile Rutgers has one of the best goalies in the nation with Colin Kirst, they have a guy like Ross Scott who can score 8 times in one game, and then they have a mutant in Mitch Bartolo who is 6'5" and can shoot the ball a million miles per hour. The fact that the selection committee put Harvard in this position in the first place was negligent at best.
#7 Cornell 15 - Ohio State 8
Speaking of Colin Kirst, his younger brother CJ had himself a day in Ithaca after a couple of weather delays. 7 goals on the day. We also had a goalie goal from Chayse Ierlan in this game. Ohio State actually got out to an early lead in this one and was looking like they might have given the selection committee a little hope. It was 4-2 Buckeyes heading into the 2nd weather delay of the game. But then they go their asses handed to them 13-6 from then on. Tough scene. But really solid win for Connor Buczek and the boys.
#8 Brown 10 - Virginia 17
Virginia is the 2x defending national champions. They have Matt Moore who was a top 4 pick in the PLL Draft last week. They have Connor Shellenberger who is a Tewaaraton Finalist as one of the top 5 college lacrosse players in the nation. And for some godforsaken reason, they had to travel in the first round of this year's tournament. Sure, they got waxed by Maryland in the regular season and they had that loss to Richmond. But still. Just out of pure respect, Virginia should have been hosting last weekend.
Watching the 2nd half of that game on Saturday night it is clear just how disrespected they felt. Because that was an 8-8 game heading into halftime and then the Cavs came out and dominated the rest of the way. They went on an 8-0 run, went 20/31 in faceoffs, Shellenberger had 8 points on the night, Matt Moore got himself going in the 2nd half with a couple of goals, Payton Cormier had 5, and this pole goal from Scott Bower was an absolute RIP.
So yeah. Congrats to the selection committee for giving the 2x defending champs even more fuel to the fire.
4 games coming up this weekend. Penn vs Rutgers and Princeton vs Yale on Saturday at Hofstra. And then Cornell vs Delaware and Maryland vs Virginia on Sunday at Ohio State. We'll be back on Friday with our quarterfinals preview show. We'll also be live streaming the Maryland vs Virginia game at 2:30 on Sunday.