Two upsets, numerous close games and one absolute blow out marked the first round of the 2008 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament.
Two of the top eight seeds exited in the first round to the Naval Academy and the up and coming Ohio State Lacrosse program. Two of the nation's top teams last year, Cornell and North Carolina, out of the ACC, went home without a playoff win in 2008.
The Buckeyes thrashed the Big Red in the first half, jumping out to an 11-2 lead at half. Ohio State cleared the ball well and controlled the game leading to a victory for the Midwestern school. Pete Poillon led the way for OSU with a hat trick. The win sets up a date with the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils.
The Naval Academy took out North Carolina 8-7 behind the stellar play of Tim Paul, who scored a career high four goals. Navy jumped to a 4-1 lead at half, but blew the lead. Paul scored Navy's fifth which put them up for good. The Naval Academy gets Johns Hopkins at home in the second round.
Sixth seeded Notre Dame trailed Colgate, who was fresh off a win against the former number one team in the country—Syracuse—for the majority of the game. The Red Raiders consistently held two goal leads throughout the contest, but a late Fighting Irish rally sent the game into overtime.
With just 90 seconds left in the first overtime period, Notre Dame's Peter Christman found the back of the cage to send Notre Dame onto a second round match up against the winner of Syracuse and Cansuis.
As mentioned above, the Buckeyes will get Duke in the second round after the Blue Devils defeated Loyola 12-7. The Greyhounds opened the game strong jumping out to a 2-1 lead behind Cooper MacDonnell.
Seven straight Duke goals which included a record-breaking assist for one of the game's all-time greats Matt Danowski broke this game open. He passed Air Force's Joe Vasta as the NCAA's all-time scorer, leading with 347 points. Danowski finished the game with two goals and five assists for seven points.
A young Hofstra team couldn't do much against John's Hopkins. The Blue Jays controlled the game leading 5-2 at half and outscored the Pride by the same score in the second half. Hopkins was too fast, too strong, and simply too athletic for Hofstra to really compete in this game.
Number two overall seed Virginia had some severe issues against University of Maryland- Baltimore County. UVA should have rolled in this game, but was taken down to the wire against the Terriers. The Cavaliers put constant pressure on UMBC goalie Jeremy Blevins, but they struggled to score in the first game.
UVA eventually showed why they were second overall seed and took down UMBC 10-9. The Cavaliers get a second round date with Maryland.
The Terrapins defeated Denver in a game not as close as the 10-7 final. Maryland used a Duke-like 7-0 run after falling behind 2-0 to the Pioneers. Denver used a strong fourth quarter to narrow the game to 9-7, but Maryland was just too strong for Denver.
The last game of the first round featured the most fireworks. Syracuse played a few hours after graduation and a women's lacrosse playoff game in the Carrier Dome.
My CitrusTV coworker David Resnick who covered the game for Inside Lacrosse put SU's first quarter performance the best, "It’s been a pretty simple equation for SU: three possessions, three goals."
Extrapolate that equation over an entire game and you get a 20-3 thumping. The MAAC champions Cansius didn't stand a chance.
Coach John Desko took the nation's best player at the X Danny Brennan out after the first quarter in order to risk further injury to Brennan's sore hamstring.
The Orange jumped out to an 8-0 lead and entered the half up 9-3. Mike Leveille tore things up for the 'Cuse with six points while six others scored multiple goals.
Freshman goalie John Galloway needed to play just the first three quarters and notched eight saves in 11 chances.
Quick Women's Lacrosse Tournament Note: Syracuse's Katie Rowan set an NCAA Tournament record for points in a game when she tallied five goals and eight assists for 13 total points in a 21-9 trouncing of Towson.