Saturday Wrap: Manhattan, Richmond, RMU Beat No. 1 Seeds for Conference Titles

PHOTO BY RICH BARNES

Manhattan attackman Justin Malpica, who came into Saturday's MAAC final with three goals this season, scored that many in an 8-7 win over St. Bonaventure that sent the Jaspers to their first NCAA tournament since 2002.


Eight teams punched their tickets to the NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse tournament by winning conference championships Saturday — including three that knocked off No. 1 seeds — with two more automatic qualifiers to be determined Sunday.

In the lone nonconference game Saturday, Notre Dame won what may have amounted to a play-in game, fortifying its case for an at-large bid with a 16-14 win over Duke. (Read more here.)

Here’s what happened on the eve of Selection Sunday.

MANHATTAN WINS FIRST TITLE SINCE 2002

Led by star goalie Brett Dobson, St. Bonaventure has been one of the feel-good stories of the 2022 college lacrosse season. The Bonnies, who are in just their fourth varsity season since reinstating their men’s lacrosse program and lost all 19 games over their first two seasons, entered Saturday’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship game looking to advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time. But Manhattan was ready to write its own story.

Led by a surprising star in graduate student Justin Malpica, Manhattan beat St. Bonaventure 8-7 to win the MAAC title for just the second time in program history and advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002.

Malpica, who had a goal and an assist in Thursday’s 13-12 overtime win over Marist in the semifinals, continued a late-season surge with a career-high three goals to lead the Jaspers to the victory. He entered the game with just three goals this season, all of which had come in the previous four games.

A second quarter goal by Malpica gave Manhattan a 2-1 lead and the Jaspers never trailed again. After Quinn Bowler scored to put Manhattan up 3-1, the teams alternated goals until Malpica scored consecutive goals in the fourth quarter to give the Jaspers their largest lead of the game at 8-5 with 5:28 remaining.

Brett Beetow’s third goal of the game brought St. Bonaventure back to within a goal at 8-7 with 40 seconds left and the Bonnies had one final possession. Its first shot attempt was blocked and then a final long range shot sailed wide.

RICHMOND TOPS SOCON FAVE JACKSONVILLE

Richmond has played in its conference championship game all eight years of the program’s existence and the Spiders showed that playoff mettle with a 10-9 victory over top-seeded Jacksonville to win the Southern Conference championship.

Luke Frankeny, the tournament MVP, had a team-high three goals for the Spiders and two of those came during a crucial fourth quarter stretch. Frankeny tied the game at 8 with 8:02 and then after Cooper Dainton gave the Spiders the lead, Frankeny added a goal with 2:58 left that proved to be crucial.

Lance Madonna and Dalton Young each scored twice for Richmond while Jackson Intieri scored four times for Jacksonville.

The Dolphins, who came into the game ranked No. 7 in the Nike/USA Lacrosse rankings, are now 14-3 with regular season wins over Duke, Denver and Richmond, but losses to Johns Hopkins and Utah and a relatively weak strength of schedule make an NCAA tournament at-large bid unlikely.

ROBERT MORRIS WINS ASUN CHAMPIONSHIP

Robert Morris scored the final three goals of the game to beat Utah 18-17 in an overtime shootout to win the Atlantic Sun championship.

The victory came against a familiar foe — Utah is led by first-year coach Andrew McMinn, who led Robert Morris to NCAA tournament berths in 2018 and 2019.

Jake Boudreau had seven goals and three assists for Robert Morris, including a goal with 55 seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime, and Taggart Clark had four goals and three assists, but the final hero was Elliot Holden with the game-winning goal in overtime.







ST. JOE’S HEADED TO FIRST NCAA TOURNEY

After winning sixth Northeast Conference regular season championships since 2014, Saint Joseph’s finally got over the hump, beating Hobart 14-7 to win its first tournament championship and earn its first NCAA tournament bid.

The Hawks never trailed in the game as goalie Robbie Seeley made 16 saves and Carter Page carried the offense with five goals.

VERMONT REPEATS AS AMERICA EAST CHAMP

Vermont started the season ranked in the Top 20 nationally, but that was a distant memory after a 2-6 start.

The Catamounts have since rebounded with nine straight wins and clinched their second straight America East title with a 13-11 win over UMBC.

Down 7-6 at halftime, Vermont stormed out of the break with four straight goals and led the rest of the way. Thomas McConvey led the Catamounts with five goals and freshman Charlie Pope scored twice, both of them coming during the key spurt to open the second half.

KURTZ LEADS DELAWARE TO CAA CROWN

What was supposed to be a wide-open Colonial Athletic Association tournament turned into a showcase for Delaware. The Blue Hens routed host Drexel 19-6 in the semifinals and then controlled Towson 11-6 in the championship game to win its first CAA title since 2011.

Tye Kurtz scored six goals for Delaware and his goal late in the first quarter broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Blue Hens the lead for good. Luke Shilling had two goals and two assists for Towson and Shane Brennan made 15 saves.

HOYAS WIN FOURTH STRAIGHT BIG EAST TITLE

Big East top seed and No. 2 nationally ranked Georgetown built a huge lead early and staved off Villanova long enough to earn its fourth straight conference championship with a 14-12 victory at Cooper Field in Washington, D.C.

The Hoyas led 8-1 at one point in the first half before the Wildcats came to life with two goals in the final minute of the second quarter. Villanova put together a similar run at the end of the fourth quarter, scoring three goals in the final 2:31, but it was too little too late.

TJ Haley and Graham Bundy Jr. scored three goals apiece for Georgetown. Owen McElroy made nine of his 17 saves in the third quarter. Villanova goalie Will Vitton also made 17 saves. Brett Baskin scored a game-high four goals and Matt Campbell added three goals and two assists in the losing cause. (Read more here.)

MARYLAND ROUTS RUTGERS IN BIG TEN FINAL

Maryland’s masterful 2022 season remained unblemished Saturday, as the top-ranked Terps trounced third-ranked Rutgers 17-7 in the Big Ten men’s lacrosse championship game in College Park.

The win assured Maryland (14-0) of its 19th straight NCAA tournament appearance, not that it ever was in question. The Terps were already a lock for the No. 1 seed. They improved to 34-1 all-time against the Scarlet Knights, who despite the lopsided loss likely secured a first-round home game with their semifinal win over Ohio State on Thursday.

Maryland certainly didn’t play like its fourth Big Ten title was a moot point. The Terps’ prolific, unselfish offense showed up in a big way. Twelve of their 17 goals were assisted. Tewaaraton candidate and Maryland’s all-time leading scorer Logan Wisnauskas conducted the symphony once again with four goals and three assists.

But it was the defense that, combined with faceoff man Luke Wierman’s 20-for-26 performance, rendered Rutgers powerless. (Read more here.)

HOW THE TOP 20 FARED

No. 1 Maryland defeated No. 3 Rutgers 17-7
No. 2 Georgetown defeated Villanova 14-12
No. 18 Richmond defeated No. 7 Jacksonville 10-9
No. 9 Notre Dame defeated No. 13 Duke 16-14
No. 20 Saint Joseph’s defeated Hobart 14-7

FULL SCOREBOARD

Delaware 11, Towson 6 (CAA Final)
No. 2 Georgetown 14, Villanova 12 (Big East Final) (Recap)
Manhattan 8, St. Bonaventure 7 (MAAC Final)
No. 1 Maryland 17, No. 3 Rutgers 7 (Big Ten Final) (Recap)
No. 9 Notre Dame 16, No. 13 Duke 14  (Recap)
No. 18 Richmond 10, No. 7 Jacksonville 9 (SoCon Final)
Robert Morris 18, Utah 17 (OT) (ASUN Final)
No. 20 Saint Joseph’s 14, Hobart 7 (NEC Final)
Vermont 13, UMBC 11 (America East Final)

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