NCAA Wrap: Syracuse Survives an Upset, Top Seeds Advance


Virginia's Kate Miller celebrates a Cavalier goal during a 13-11 victory over USC in the NCAA tournament's opening round.

There were no major surprises on the opening day of the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship tournament, but Fairfield putting a scare into fifth-seeded Syracuse almost shook things up.

Beyond the games, in some very cool scenes, several teams showed public displays of support for the two NCAA Division I HBCU women’s lacrosse programs — Delaware State  and Howard — both of which endured racially-charged events this spring. Here’s the scene prior to the Drexel-Stony Brook game.

Syracuse Escapes Furious Fairfield Rally

Fairfield hung around with Syracuse for most of the game, but it appeared the heavily-favored Orange were finally in control after Olivia Adamson scored two goals in the closing minutes of the third quarter for an 11-6 lead.

But Fairfield wasn’t ready to go away. The Stags outscored Syracuse 5-1 in the final quarter, pulling to within a single goal at 12-11 on Olivia Doody’s score with 3:36 to play. Fairfield had a final chance, but the Orange held on to that final total as a shot by the Stags went wide in the final seconds.

Adamson, a freshman, had a career-best five goals for Syracuse (14-5) and Meaghan Tyrrell had three goals. Goalie Kimber Hower made seven saves while allowing just four six goals, but sat out for most of the fourth quarter until coming back in after Doody’s final goal.

Fairfield (13-7) was led by Libby Rowe with four goals while Olivia Conquest made 12 saves, including two in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter.

Fast Start Leads UVa Over USC

There were no rookie jitters for ACC Rookie of the Year Rachel Clark. Playing in her first NCAA tournament game, Clark scored four goals to lead Virginia to a 13-11 victory over USC to set up a second-round game at No. 1 ranked and seeded North Carolina on Sunday at noon on ESPN+.

Virginia raced out to an early 7-1 lead, but had to work as the Trojans answered with a six-goal run to tie the game at 7 early in the third quarter. Virginia then went on a 4-1 run with the final two goals of the run scored by Clark to keep USC at bay.

Morgan Schwab had seven assists for the Cavaliers (10-9), including assists on five of Virginia’s first seven goals. Ashlyn McGovern and Kate Miller each scored three times for Virginia. Isabelle Vitale scored four times for USC (13-5).

Michigan Rights Ship in Notre Dame Win

Michigan opened the 2022 season with seven straight wins and a 9-1 mark through 10 games. Since then, the Wolverines had won just once heading into the NCAA tournament.

None of that matters now. The Wolverines moved on in the NCAA tournament with an 17-11 victory over Notre Dame on Friday night. Michigan had reached double digits in goals just once since early March, but its offense clicked with four different players registering hat tricks and Arielle Weissman made a career-high 17 saves.

Leading 7-6, Michigan began to take control of the game with two goals in the final five minutes of the first half and then struck first in the second half to stretch its lead to four goals. The Wolverines then iced the game with a six-goal run that began midway through the third quarter.

Caitlin Muir had a team-high five points for Michigan (11-6) with three goals and two assists and Claire Galvin, Jill Smith and Kaley Thompson all scored three times as well.

Lightning Start for Jacksonville and then Lightning

Jacksonville came out roaring by scoring the first 10 goals of the game and the only thing that slowed them down in a 20-8 victory over Stanford was a lengthy weather delay in the third quarter.

Sarah Elms paced the Dolphins with five goals and three assists, scoring all five of her goals in the first half. Mackenzie Boyle added three goals and Jenny Kinsey had two goals and three assists.

Stanford’s Ashley Humphrey had four assists, giving her an NCAA Division I women’s record of 88 for the season. Stony Brook’s Kylie Ohlmiller previously held the record with 86.

LeRose Dominant in Duke Win

Sophia LeRose made 17 saves as Duke jumped out to a quick lead and controlled Johns Hopkins 17-12. It was the final game in the illustrious career of Johns Hopkins head coach Janine Tucker.

Maddie Jenner had 10 draw controls, helping Duke to a 20-12 advantage, and the Blue Devils controlled possession early while scoring the first four goals of the game. Duke led by at least two goals the rest of the way.

LeRose made eight of her saves in the fourth quarter, denying any comeback attempt for Hopkins. Olivia Carner and Katie DeSimone each had four goals for Duke (16-3) and Katie Keller had three goals and three assists. Abbey Hurlbrink and Madison McPherson each scored three goals for the Blue Jays (10-9).

Princeton Keeps Sailer’s Farewell Tour Going

Princeton Hall of Fame coach Chris Sailer’s final season has been extended at least one more game after the Tigers beat Massachusetts 15-9.

The Tigers will host No. 5 Syracuse in the second round on Sunday as the Carrier Dome was unavailable due to graduate ceremonies at Syracuse.

Princeton (15-3) did significant damage from the 8-meter arc, converting 6 of 14 free position opportunities while UMass connected just once on four free position shots.

Kyla Sears had four goals while Kate Mulham and Grace Taukus each scored three times. That trio combined for five of Princeton’s six free position goals and Sam Fish made 12 saves in the win.

Florida Outscores Mercer

Sophomore Ashley Gonzalez scored a career-high five goals to lead Florida to a 19-12 victory over Mercer. It was the second straight year the two teams met in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, but the Gators got a much tougher test this time around. Florida, which beat Mercer 23-5 in the NCAA tourney last year, led by just a goal midway through the second quarter before slowly pulling away.

Danielle Pavinelli added four goals for the Gators (16-4), now winners of 14 in a row, and Emma LoPinto had three goals and three assists. Chloe Schaeffer and Shannon Urey each had three goals and an assist for Mercer (14-5).

Stony Brook Blanks Drexel in Second Half

Stony Brook held Drexel without a goal in the second half in a dominating 16-4 victory over the Colonial Athletic Association champs — the league it will move to next season.

Ellie Masera led the Seawolves (15-2) with five goals and Kailyn Hart added four goals. Stony Brook goalie Charlie Campbell made nine saves in the win. Lucy Schneidereith led Drexel (12-8) with a pair of goals.

Rutgers Advances in NCAAs Again

After making the NCAA tournament just once in the previous 44 seasons, Rutgers has now won NCAA tournament games in back-to-back seasons after beating Saint Joseph’s 17-10. The Scarlet Knights scored eight goals in the first quarter.

Taralyn Naslonski had four goals and two assists for Rutgers (16-4), Janey Galski scored four times and  Meghan Ball wreaked havoc all over the field with 10 draw controls, five caused turnovers and five groundballs.

Behrins Sets Mark in Denver Win

Bea Behrins scored four goals, the last one her 68th of the season, to set a new Denver single season goal record in a 16-3 win over Vermont. Behrins broke the mark of 67 held by Kristie Leggio. Behrins also added two assists and now has 91 points for the season.

Denver’s defense limited Vermont (15-4) to just 14 shots in the game and one goal in the first half. Offensively, Lauren Black and Julia Gilbert each had hat tricks for the Pioneers (18-2).

Loyola Wins 19th Game

Loyola added another notch to its school record winning total, beating Mount St. Mary’s 17-5 to improve to 19-1 for the season. Only a one-goal loss to Syracuse that ended in controversy is keeping the Greyhounds away from a perfect record.

Livy Rosenzweig had three goals and two assists, giving her 103 points for the season, the third time she has topped the century mark in her Loyola career. Elli Kluegel, Georgia Latch and Jillian Wilson all had three goals as well.

James Madison Sweeps Connecticut

James Madison completed a season sweep of Connecticut, beating the Huskies 14-7 to post their 11th straight victory and improve to 14-4.

UConn’s Stephanie Palmucci scored the first goal of the game, but JMU closed the first quarter on a four-goal run and led for the remainder of the game. Molly Dougherty made seven saves to earn the win.

Taylor Marchetti scored four goals and added an assist to lead the Dukes. Katie Checkosky and Isabella Peterson each added two goals and two assists. Kacey Knobloch also scored twice, including this sweet move that led to an early celebration from Checkosky.

Northwestern Routs Central Michigan

Northwestern beat Central Michigan, 22-7, tying its school record for the largest margin of victory in an NCAA tournament win. Nine different players scored multiple goals, led by Erin Coykendall and Jill Girardi with three goals each. Madison Doucette made four saves while allowing just four goals in a little over a half of work as the Wildcats improved to 14-4.

Friday Scores

Denver 16, Vermont 3
Duke 17, Johns Hopkins 12
Florida 19, Mercer 12
Jacksonville 20, Stanford 8
James Madison 14, Connecticut 7
Loyola 17, Mount St. Mary’s 5
Michigan 17, Notre Dame 11
Northwestern 22, Central Michigan 7
Princeton 15, Massachusetts 9
Rutgers 17, Saint Joseph’s 10
Stony Brook 16, Drexel 4
Syracuse 12, Fairfield 11
Virginia 13, USC 11

Sunday Schedule

All Games on ESPN+

Virginia at No. 1 North Carolina, 12 pm
No. 5 Syracuse at Princeton, 12 pm
Rutgers at No. 8 Stony Brook, 12 pm
Denver at No. 3 Boston College, 1 pm
James Madison at No. 6 Loyola, 1 pm
Michigan at No. 4 Northwestern, 2 pm
Duke at No. 2 Maryland, 2:30 pm
Jacksonville at 7 Florida, 4 pm

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