Wise words from Littlefinger to accurately describe the Week 7 D1 Men’s lacrosse slate. The action started with a tripleheader on Friday night that saw three underdogs come out victorious. Fourth ranked Duke got Happy Hour started Friday night with a 16-14 win over No. 1 Virginia.
Brennan O’Neill led the Blue Devils with nine points (6G,3A) and Duke was able to make key runs to stop multiple Cavalier runs.
Navy knocked off Boston University in Patriot League action. The Terriers are a Patriot League favorite and had difficulty getting comfortable against the Mids. Utah upset Jacksonville in ASUN after dark action. Jacksonville has not looked great in recent weeks but also looked hurt by ASUN having to play midweek conference games. Here are your three biggest storylines from Saturday’s action.
It’s Great to Be A Michigan Wolverine
Michigan went on the road Saturday afternoon to College Park and the odds didn’t appear in their favor. DraftKings had the Terps as a seven-point favorite and the Wolverines entered the game 5-35 all-time in Big Ten play. Kevin Conry’s group has been close at times over the last couple of years, but the results just weren’t showing up in the win column. Last week against Johns Hopkins, Michigan battled the Jays for 2.5 quarters. Johns Hopkins then stepped on the gas and put away the Wolverines late in the third and fourth quarters. Saturday was different.
Michigan jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead over Maryland in the first quarter. The Wolverines scored the final five goals of the quarter after the Terps jumped out to an early 2-1 lead. Maryland would close the game to 7-6 at halftime. Checking Twitter, you saw some fans were excited, but many were left waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The Wolverines didn’t blink. Michigan scored the first three goals of the third quarter to go up 10-6 and managed to keep Maryland from ever coming within three goals of the Wolverines. Josh Zawada capped off the game late in the 4th quarter with a long 50+ yard goal against Maryland’s ten-man ride to seal the victory.
This was a statement win for the Michigan program and marked the first time the program has defeated a Top-5 team. The Wolverines are now 5-4 on the season and the win shows what a close race the Big Ten is shaping up to be this season. The Wolverines have three regular-season games remaining before they start the Big Ten Tournament. If they can find two more wins, the Wolverines could have an opportunity to secure the program’s first NCAA Tournament bid. Michigan travels to Piscataway on Friday night to play Rutgers at 7 p.m.
B1G #1 in Baltimore
The second game of the Big Ten doubleheader on ESPNU took us to Homewood field to see Johns Hopkins take on Rutgers. Johns Hopkins once again showed their ability to maintain their composure and consistency late into the game. The Jays outscored the Scarlet Knights 4-1 in the fourth quarter to capture their second straight Big Ten win 16-12. The Jays have outscored opponents 15-4 in the last ten minutes of each of their last four games.
This game played out remarkably similar to the Jays’ game last week against Michigan. The two teams traded goals all afternoon and Johns Hopkins went into the final quarter holding onto a one-goal lead. The Jays went to work in the fourth quarter, possibly motivated by some “unique” scoreboard entertainment between quarters.
Four different Jays would score in the fourth quarter to allow them to extend and secure the win against Rutgers. Johns Hopkins had ten different goal scorers with five players scoring at least two goals. Jacob Angelus led the Jays with five points (2G, 3A).
Hats off to Peter Milliman and his staff. Johns Hopkins continues to play with an edge and never seems to get too high or low on the season. With the win, the Jays take over sole possession of the first place in the Big Ten and could see themselves ranked in the Top-5 come Monday morning. Johns Hopkins welcomes Ohio State next weekend to Homewood at 2 p.m. next Saturday.
Dartmouth Seeing Big Red
Dartmouth started the season 4-0 and captured the program’s first Ivy League win in the Ivy League since 2015. Things were looking up for the Big Green on Saturday as they headed to Ithaca to take on Cornell. Any hopes of a two-game winning quickly faded as the Big Red jumped out to a 10-2 first-quarter lead. Cornell would score four goals in each of the game’s final three quarters to defeat Dartmouth 22-11. CJ Kirst led the Big Red with six points (4G, 2A).
We began this recap talking about Chaos, we will close by sharing D1’s men’s lacrosse’s own version of chaos: the Ivy League. Cornell has separated itself from the pack and now sits atop the league at 3-0. As mentioned on Saturday Morning Live, Cornell is still missing a signature win this season. Ohio State is the best win, but they may only be the 3rd or 4th team at best in the Big Ten.
Brown and Yale have both dug themselves holes by starting out winless in conference play. Brown played Princeton close Saturday in a 16-12 road loss. Yale’s struggles continued as they gave up three straight late goals to Penn to fall to 0-3 in league play. Princeton and Penn seem to be best positioned to qualify for the conference tournament, with that fourth spot still up for grabs. It’s been a long fall from 2022 and barring an upset over Cornell, it is difficult to see multiple teams earn bids to the tournament in May.
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