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Irish lacrosse headed back to Championship Weekend for the second straight year; UNC and Syracuse fall
DENVER, Colo. ---- Notre Dame is headed back to NCAA Championship Weekend for the fifth time in school history and for the second straight season, the program's first back-to-back appearances at college lacrosse's showcase postseason weekend.
The top-seeded Fighting Irish men's lacrosse team secured the berth with a 14-10 quarterfinal victory over Albany on Saturday afternoon at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo. In a game that featured a series of second-half runs by both teams and an 80-minute lightning delay in the second quarter, Notre Dame's balanced scoring attack and stout defense proved to be the difference in the emotion-packed rematch from the 2014 NCAAs.
Notre Dame (12-2) next will face the University of Denver, which overcame a 7-1 deficit to defeat Ohio State 15-13 in Saturday's second quarterfinal at Sports Authority Field. The Irish and Pioneers will meet on Saturday, May 23, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia (time TBD, either 1:00 or 3:30 ET).
It will mark the first time in Division I Lacrosse history that two teams outside the sports' traditional eastern corridor have met on Championship Weekend. Prior to 2014 - when Notre Dame and Denver played in opposite semifinals - two teams outside the eastern corridor had not participated in the same Championship Weekend. Notre Dame's previous trips to the final weekend came in 2001, '10 (runner-up), '12 and '14 (runner-up) while Denver was an NCAA semifinalist in 2011 and '13, plus '14. This marks the sixth straight season that Notre Dame and/or Denver are among the four semifinalists.
Sophomore Sergio Perkovic registered his fifth hat trick of the season in scoring a season-high five goals and dishing off one assist, while senior Conor Doyle accounted for three goals and an assist. The Great Danes saw their nine-game win streak come to an end as they ended their season with a 16-3 record. The 10 goals were the second-fewest scored this season by the potent Albany offense.
"Today's game was terrific. It was a fight. You make a couple plays; they make a couple plays. We go up four; they come roaring back with five," said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan, now in his 27th season directing the Irish.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – No. 2 seed Syracuse (13-3) scored three goals in 33 seconds late in the fourth quarter to pull to within one, but ultimately ran out of time as Johns Hopkins (11-6) defeated the Orange, 16-15, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Sunday, May 17 in the quarterfinal round of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship.
In the 13th postseason matchup between the two most storied programs in college lacrosse it was fitting the game came down to the final seconds.
Trailing 16-12 and less than a minute left, SU's Kevin Rice and Henry Schoonmaker scored 22 seconds apart to close the gap to 16-14 with 34 seconds remaining.
Following Schoonmaker's goal, Hunter Moreland moved early on the faceoff. It was the Blue Jays' third faceoff violation of the half. The penalty resulted in an extra-man opportunity for the Orange, which Rice capitalized on to a make it 16-15 with 23 ticks left on the clock.
Moreland won the faceoff after Rice's man-up goal, but threw an errant pass. Brandon Mullinscollected the loose ball for Syracuse with less than 10 seconds left. The ball eventually ended up in Sean Young's stick as time wound down and he heaved the ball into the midfield as the final buzzer sounded.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Sixth-seeded Maryland led from start to finish Sunday afternoon as it defeated third-seeded North Carolina 14-7 in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament quarterfinals before a crowd of 10,235 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Maryland advances to the NCAA semifinals and the Terps will play arch-rival Johns Hopkins next Saturday in Philadelphia.
Bryan Cole led the Terrapins with four goals and an assist while Connor Kelly had a hat trick with all three goals coming in the first half. Jay Carlson had a pair of goals for the Terps while Joe LoCascio had a goal and three assists for Maryland, which improved to 14-3 on the season.
Carolina saw its season end at 13-4. Joey Sankey led the Tar Heels offensively with three goals and an assist while Jimmy Bitter finished with a goal and two assists. Steve Pontrello had two goals for UNC. Sankey finished his career as UNC’s leading scorer with 229 points while Bitter is the third leading scorer in Tar Heel history with 208 points. Bitter and Sankey finished second and third in goal scoring in UNC history with 126 and 125 goals, respectively.
Maryland outshot the Tar Heels 46-41 and won 13 face-offs to UNC’s 12. Kyle Bernlohr started the game for Maryland and earned the win in goal with 12 saves and seven goals allowed in 57 minutes. UNC played two goalkeepers with Bryan Balkam coming on in the second half. He made seven saves and allowed two goals in the final 26 minutes of action.