Catch up on the latest news from college lacrosse, including the latest rankings, best moments of the last month and the Tewaaraton tracker.
Time to catch up on the month that was in college lacrosse.
Men’s Division I
1. Penn State (12-1)
2. Yale (11-2)
3. Penn (9-3)
4. Virginia (12-3)
5. Maryland (11-3)
6. Loyola (11-3)
7. Duke (11-4)
8. Notre Dame (8-5)
9. Cornell (10-4)
10. Syracuse (9-4)
Women’s Division I
1. Maryland (17-0)
2. North Carolina (15-3)
3. Boston College (19-1)
4. Syracuse (15-4)
5. Northwestern (12-4)
6. Virginia (12-6)
7. Michigan (15-2)
8. Notre Dame (13-4)
9. James Madison (14-3)
10. Princeton (12-3)
Note: National college lacrosse rankings taken from Inside Lacrosse’s weekly media poll as of May 1.
Colorado Mesa breaks NCAA record with 52 goals in a game
On April 9, the Colorado Mesa (CMU) Division II men’s lacrosse team made headlines for its 52-0 win against Johnson & Wales-Denver (JWU). They potentially would have scored more had the game not been called in the fourth quarter with still 7:37 left to play after a JWU player hit the CMU player who had just scored the 52nd goal of the game. The game broke the previous NCAA record for goals in a game by one team of 40.
Normally success on the field like this is to be celebrated, but the victory showed a greater lack of sportsmanship (from both teams) than it did offensive prowess. For starters, CMU’s victory broke the all-time Division-II record of 33 goals in a game, which CMU tied in its game last year against none other than JWU. Yes, that’s correct; CMU destroyed JWU last year as well, which makes one wonder, why this year’s contest was scheduled in the first place.
This could be seen as a record to be celebrated had CMU boasted one of the best teams in the country. Yet, they do not and sit at measly 9-7 record. It would have also been impressive if they beat a team of similar caliber. Yet, they beat a JWU team that recently made the jump from Division III to Division II and has only 18 players on its roster.
Bottom line, the record may be celebrated for what the dominant performance that it was, but this game is a bad look for the sport of lacrosse and sportsmanship in college athletics.
PLL, MLL and WPLL hold college drafts
The PLL hosted its inaugural college draft on April 23 on NBC Sports and 168,500 viewers tuned in to watch Loyola’s Pat Spencer drafted first overall by the Archers. To see the rest of the picks from the draft, read our draft recap.
Additionally, its competitor, the MLL, followed up it’s March college draft with a dispersal draft on April 26 in response to its announcement that three of the league’s nine teams would not be playing this season. With many college players drafted by both the PLL and MLL, which league each player will play for will be a topic of discussion heading into the summer.
Additionally, the WPLL held its college draft via Facebook Watch, Twitter and YouTube on April 25 and the draft saw 25 of the best college women lacrosse players joining the league. Viewers also witnessed history with the top three draft picks coming from the same college team. Sam Apuzzo (WPLL Fight), Dempsey Arsenault (WPLL Brave), and Kenzie Kent (WPLL Command) who were drafted at No. 1, 2, and 3 respectively, all currently play for Boston College.
NCAA Division I Tournaments begin to take shape
May Madness is upon us! With the regular season at a close and conference tournaments underway, the stakes for teams on the bubble have never been higher. While winning their conference tournaments will give several teams an automatic spot in the tournament, there are many teams hoping to sneak in as an at-large bid. As it stands at the end of April, here are the sure locks, favorites, and teams on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament.
Men’s Division I
Locks to make the tournament: Penn State, Yale, Virginia, Loyola, Duke, Notre Dame
Likely to make the tournament: Penn, Maryland, Towson, Syracuse
On the bubble to make the tournament: Cornell, Denver, High Point, Georgetown, UMass, Johns Hopkins, Ohio State, Villanova
Women’s Division I
Locks to make the tournament: Maryland, Boston College, North Carolina, Richmond, USC, High Point
Likely to make the tournament: Syracuse, Northwestern, Virginia, Princeton, Michigan, Notre Dame, Loyola, James Madison
On the bubble to make the tournament: Dartmouth, Denver, Penn, Duke, Navy, Stony Brook
Check out Lacrosse Reference’s tournament simulator to see the odds of your favorite team making the tournament and be on the lookout for FanSided’s NCAA men’s and women’s Division I tournament previews following “Selection Sunday” at 9 p.m. ET on May 5.
Top moments of the month
Jared Bernhardt OT game-winning, diving goal vs Ohio State
Jared Bernhardt effectively put the team on his back when he powered his way to the cage and scored an amazing diving goal in overtime against the Buckeyes. The goal gave the Terps a 10-9 win and a critical victory over Big Ten rival Ohio State.
TD Ierlan goes 100 percent in face-offs for Yale
Inarguably the best face-off specialist in men’s lacrosse, TD Ierlan set records with his performance in Yale’s 22-11 victory against Harvard. Ierlan was a perfect 26 for 26 at the face-off X and broke the previous record set by Zach Smith of Sacred Heart in 2007 (25-of-25 vs. Hartford) for the Division I men’s lacrosse record for most faceoff wins without a single loss.
Selena Lasota’s behind the back highlights for Northwestern
Whether she’s feeding or scoring, Northwestern’s Selena Lasota has perfected the behind-the-back play. She first scored a behind the back goal in the Wildcat’s 20-13 win over Johns Hopkins on April 6. Then on April 18, she sent a beautiful behind the back pass to Lauren Gilbert to help Northwestern defeat Michigan 14-11.
Tufts goalie Mason Pollack scores his second goal of the season
In early March, Tufts goaltender Mason Pollack made a key save, cleared the ball, and put home his first career goal. It turns out Pollock wasn’t content with just one goal this season as he recorded yet another goal that ended up being a difference maker in the Jumbos’ 15-14 win over Amherst.
Best games you missed
Army defeats Navy in 100th meeting
The Black Knights and Midshipmen faced off for what couldn’t have been a more exciting 100th meeting. The game was tight throughout with multiple goal runs from both teams in the first half. The score was eventually tied with 13 minutes left after a 3-goal run for Navy. Miles Silva broke the tie with a goal for Army, but Navy once again came back to tie the game with a man-up goal with 1:26 left. However, Army would prevail in overtime with a crease dive goal from Matt Manown.
Cornell beats Princeton in the final minute
The Tigers led 12-10 with less than seven minutes to go, but Cornell’s squad rallied to take a 13-12 lead. However, Princeton standout Michael Sowers tied the game with 1:26 left. Despite this, the Tigers defense wasn’t able to hold on and allowed Cornell’s Clarke Petterson to score with four seconds left in regulation, giving the Big Red an Ivy league victory.
Michigan upsets Big Ten rival Ohio State
The Wolverines finished their season with an upset of then-No. 10 Ohio State. They went on a 3-0 run in the first quarter and a 4-0 run in the second to hold an 8-4 lead going into the half. This ended up being the difference maker as the Buckeyes were never able to come within 2 goals after that. Michigan ended with a 13-9 win that effectively killed Ohio State’s playoff hopes.
Boston College defeats Syracuse in a back-and-forth thriller
This ACC contest saw the game tied nine different times before Boston College finished on top. Syracuse led by three with around eight minutes remaining, but Boston College scored four unanswered goals including the game-winner with 17 seconds left in regulation to send the Eagles to the ACC tournament championship.
Richmond’s rallies late to defeat UMass in Atlantic 10 title
Trailing UMass by as many as six goals in the second half, Richmond rallied and tied the game at 18 with just four seconds left in regulation. Sam Geiersbach then scored the game-winner in overtime to complete the comeback and earn the Spiders their second-straight Atlantic 10 Title.
North Carolina secures playoff spot in ACC title game
North Carolina handed Boston College its first loss of the season in the ACC Championship. North Carolina defeated the Eagles after rallying from an early 5-0 deficit. The victory gave the Tar Heels an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament this May.
College lacrosse’s version of the Heisman is called the Tewaaraton (the Mohawk name for lacrosse) and it is awarded to the most outstanding player in NCAA men’s and women’s college lacrosse at the end of each season. With the season nearing its end, now is the best time to take a look at the frontrunners.
- Grant Ament (Penn State) – As a pure passer, Ament has been monumental in Penn State’s rise to the top thanks to his unprecedented, Division I leading 71 assists in just 12 games. To put this in perspective, the next highest assist total is 60 and Ament is the only player to average more than 7 points per game.
- Pat Spencer (Loyola) – Whether it’s crease dives, behind-the-back goals or feeds from behind the cage, there’s truly nothing Pat Spencer can’t do. His 93 points rank third overall and he continues to deliver as the Greyhounds make a playoff push.
- TD Ierlan (Yale) – Despite playing a position that averages less time on the field than all the others, Ierlan has been monumental in Yale’s success. His .794 face-off win percentage ranks first in the nation. Furthermore, if Ierlan wins, he’d follow 2018 winner and fellow Bulldog Ben Reeves and give Yale back-to-back Tewaaraton trophies.
- Chris Gray (Boston) – Sophomore Chris Gray has been huge for the Terriers this season and his 108 points (48 goals, 60 assists) leads the nation. He could be a dark horse to win the award especially if Boston sneaks into the tournament and makes a run.
- Michael Sowers (Princeton) – Despite playing for a Princeton team that continues to underperform and will be left out of the tourney this May, Sowers continues to succeed. The Tewaaraton is intended for the most outstanding individual performance and since no one has arguably done more with less than Sowers, he remains a name to watch on this list.
- Samantha Apuzzo (Boston College) – Apuzzo’s 78 goals rank second overall and she is tied for the most points with 104. As the favorite to win the award, her best competition may come from teammate Kenzie Kent.
- Kenzie Kent (Boston College) – Kent is the ying to Apuzzo’s yang for Boston College and her 61 assists rank second overall. As long as she keeps feeding, Apuzzo will keep scoring, but to decide who is most valuable is a tall task for the committee.
- Kelly Larkin (Navy) – Larkin has 104 points this season which ties her with Boston College’s Apuzzo, despite playing in three fewer games. She also possesses the most balanced attack of the group with 55 goals and 49 assists.
- Charlotte North (Duke) – The sophomore standout ranks fourth in goals despite playing in the competitive ACC. Her stock will undoubtedly rise depending on how far Duke goes in the tournament.
- Alyssa Parrella (Hofstra) – Parrella leads the nation in goals with 82 and has averaged just under six points per game for the Pride.
Note: 2019 statistics and rankings taken as of April 30.
What to watch in May
Men’s Div. I Tournament
Sunday, May 5 at 9 p.m. ET — Selection Show
Wednesday, May 8 — Opening Round
Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12 — First Round
Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 — Quarterfinals
Saturday, May 25 — Semifinals
Monday, May 27 — National Championship
Women’s Div. I Tournament
Sunday, May 5 at 9 p.m. ET — Selection Show
Tuesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 8 — Opening Round
Friday, May 10 — First Round
Sunday May 12 — Second Round
Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 — Quarterfinals
Friday, May 24 — Semifinals
Sunday, May 26 — National Championship
Mike Schambach’s memory honored by Rutgers
Rutgers men’s lacrosse honored former Scarlet Knight Mike Schambach by wearing the name “Schambach” on the back of every player’s jersey. Schambach passed away last June after a year-long battle with colon cancer. Along with his brother Phil Schambach, he played an influential role on the 2003 Rutgers team that was ranked within the top ten nationally and had wins over top-five teams UMass and Syracuse. Schambach also coached for Montclair State, DeSales University, and FDU-Florham before his tragic death.
John Tillman shows support to those battling illness
Maryland coach John Tillman’s had three names chalked on his hat to honor three close friends who are battling cancer and recovering from invasive surgeries. Another proof that the game is bigger than just what is on the field.
You can read more about the 2019 college lacrosse season in the March recap.