Oh man, what a Saturday. I mean, I’m personally not happy about it, but I’m sure others are because it was a great weekend of lacrosse for 4 out of 6 Big Ten Lacrosse teams including one very exciting game. All Big Ten teams are still ranked, and I’m mostly unhappy because it seems Rutgers just can’t have nice things, but anyway...
#19, Michigan Wolverines
The Wolverines dispatched UMBC 10-7. It was a pretty tight game at 7-6 towards the end of the 3rd and Brent Noseworthy gave Michigan an 8-6 lead heading into the 4th. What was really fun was that 9 minutes of the 4Q were scoreless (talk about defense!) until Michigan opened up in the 4th Quarter with Ian King scoring the last two points of the game. Michigan’s single loss this season was at the crosse of Notre Dame and at 8-1, they are a better team than their ranking suggests, so I’m eager to see how they fare in B1G conference play.
Next up for Michigan: @ #9 Maryland, Saturday, April 1st
#13, Johns Hopkins Blue Jays
Overtime! Overtime win! This was an exciting game. Johns Hopkins upset Virginia 18-17. An interesting stat about this game: “the last time Johns Hopkins (5-3) won a game when it gave up 17 or more goals was on May 14, 1977, when the Blue Jays topped Maryland, 21-20, in overtime.” Of course, that was pre-Big Ten time for JHU, but still! What a game. Kyle Marr singlehandedly demolished the 6 goal deficit wrought upon the Blue Jays by the Cavaliers. Freshman Jack Rapine, can also be thanked for giving his team the opportunity to score in overtime when he forced the turnover (after Virginia won the opening faceoff) that would eventually lead to John Crawley passing to Shack Stanwick for the game winning goal. I didn’t watch this game, but I wish I did. Johns Hopkins' 5-3 record doesn’t seem very impressive compared to the other teams in the conference, but this win said a lot. Conference play is shaping up to be exciting for the Blue Jays, though they unfortunately open up conference play against Rutgers who will be playing with some furor for sure.
Next up for Johns Hopkins: vs #10 Rutgers, Friday, March 31st.
(check out the game winning goal)
#10, Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Uggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh. Rutgers lost to an unranked team and dropped to #10 because of COURSE we would after our fans were high from being ranked #1 for a whole week. Thanks, universe! Rutgers, as a team, was just not at the same level as Delaware on Saturday. Rutgers has a great freshman offensive playmaker in Kieran Mullins who scored 4 of the team’s 9 goals, but it just wasn’t enough. The Blue Hens closed the 1st quarter at 6-0 dealing the Scarlet Knights their largest deficit this whole season. So things were looking bad early on. At one point in the 4Q Rutgers was within 1, but Delaware pulled away fast after that. In terms of looking forward, this loss taught the team a lot about cohesion and complacency I’m sure. Still though, at 8-1, this is definitely in the category of “minor” setback. The team has a whole slate of conference play ahead and I’m pumped for it.
Next up for Rutgers: @ #13 Johns Hopkins, Friday, March 31st
#9, Maryland Terrapins
Maryland beat North Carolina 15-7. With the Terrapins as the favorites, it was clear that the Tarheels had little chance early on. Maryland outscored North Carolina 3-1 in the first two quarters and made 4 goals to Maryland’s 1 in the 3Q. Senior Matt Rambo and Junior Connor Kelly both scored 5 points. I won’t say this game was particularly exciting, but Maryland, now ranked #9 and sitting at 5-2, has set itself up to compete in conference play.
Next up for Maryland: vs #19 Michigan, Saturday, April 1st
#5, Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State mirrors Michigan by falling to the force of lacrosse is Notre Dame, now #1. Ranked #4 heading into last week, the Buckeyes were slight underdogs from the get-go, but the game definitely played more heavily skewed towards Notre Dame than the rankings suggested. Notre Dame outscored Ohio State 3-1 in the 4th quarter dealing a 5 point loss to the Buckeyes. I’d like to say it gets easier, buuuut with conference play starting up next week and Ohio State facing Penn State, now ranked #2 and undefeated in non-conference play... I’ll tell you that it doesn’t get easier. However, Tre Lecraire, a freshman, had a great game and led the team with four goals, and I’m sure senior goalie, Tom Carey will continue to make saves. Ohio State is definitely a team to be feared by the conference.
Next up for Ohio State: @ #2 Penn State, Sunday, April 2nd
#2, Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State impressively ends their non-conference schedule undefeated for the first time in program history. The Nittany Lions easily defeated Cleveland State 15-8 to clinch this milestone and reach the ranking of #2 after being stagnant at #3 for the past few weeks. Sophomore Grant Ament led the team with 6 points (4 goals, and 2 assists), but the whole offense was carried via a triple threat of Ament, senior Nick Aponte, and freshman Mac O’Keefe. Freshman Colby Knees, a goaltender, made 9 saves! Penn State is definitely a force in the Big Ten right now.
Next up for Penn State: vs #5 Ohio State, Sunday, April 2nd
This has been your weekly Big Ten Lacrosse update from Zuzu. I hope you all continue to follow our Little Lacrosse League as they continue to slay in the sport.