Weekend Takeaways: Learning From a Loss
There wasn't a lot of turmoil among the nation's top-ranked teams over the weekend, but there was plenty to learn. Some of the biggest statements came from teams that came out on the losing side of the equation.
1. You can learn about teams from a loss.
Boston College and Notre Dame both lost over the weekend, but may have enhanced their stock despite the losses.
Two weeks ago, Boston College was sitting at 4-3 and had suffered blowout losses to Notre Dame and Florida. Last week the Eagles posted a stunning 13-8 win over Syracuse, but was that win an abberation or were the they ready to challenge the nation's elite? After taking No. 3 North Carolina to the wire, it's clear that Boston College is a force to be reckoned with.
Twenty minutes into the game, North Carolina had a commanding 6-0 lead, but BC got a jumpstart from someone who was on ice skates the weekend before. As she did last year, Kenzie Kent wasted no time transitioning from the ice hockey team to the lacrosse team. Kent scored BC's first two goals and the Eagles cut the UNC lead to 8-4 at the half.
Kent added two more assists in the second half, and BC pulled to within 13-12 with 8:23 in the game on Caroline Margolis' goal. The Eagles had plenty of time, but got possesion only twice in those final eight minutes and turned it over both times without getting off a shot.
Boston College wasn't the only team to show it belongs. Notre Dame has been nearly flawless most of the season, but Saturday was its first chance to take on one of the established national title contenders from last year. The Irish were up to the task.
Notre Dame led 6-2 at one point before Syracuse rallied for a 12-11 win. Notre Dame got off three shots in the final 30 seconds of the game, and were literally inches away from forcing overtime. The Irish also won the draw control battle 14-11 against a team that came into the game ranked third in the country in that category.
Notre Dame proved it is a very real contender to be playing Memorial Day Weekend this season.
2. You can't overestimate goaltending.
It's a universal truth for most lacrosse teams: You can only go as far as your goalie can take you. There were three key games over the weekend that showed just how important goaltending is.
Harvard almost pulled off an upset over No. 10 Princeton, but Tiger goalie Ellie DeGarmo made a career-high 14 saves to help her team win a 6-5 game in which it was outshot 28-15. It was DeGarmo's fourth game this season with double-digit saves and helped Princeton avoid a third straight loss.
Duke's Kelsey Duryea leads the nation in save percentage (56.2) and had 12 saves in the Blue Devils 11-8 victory over Virginia. Duryea now has 108 saves for the season and the Blue Devils have won four straight.
Stony Brook got the win it was looking for as freshman Anna Tesoriero came up huge with 13 saves in the Seawolves 17-7 win over No. 8 Stanford. Eight of those saves came in the first half to help ignite the Stony Brook offense. The Seawolves outscored the Cardinal 13-4 in the opening 30 minutes.
3. The Ivy League is up for grabs.
Coming into the season, Penn and Princeton were the clear favorites in the Ivy League. But you'd be hard-pressed to feel solid about any favorite right now.
Cornell, one of three unbeaten teams left in the country, leads the league with a 3-0 mark. Princeton is a half-game back at 2-0 after barely escaping Harvard. Behind those two are four teams with a single loss: Yale (2-1), Penn (1-1), Dartmouth (1-1) and Harvard (1-1).
Dartmouth is one of the more intriguing teams in the league. The Big Green has played a very tough schedule and bounced back losing its league opener to Princeton by beating Penn 10-9 on Saturday. Senior Jaclyn Leto already has 32 goals in Dartmouth's first eight games. She had a career-best 43 last season.
Sammy Jo Tracy continued her propensity to come up big in big games, scoring three goals as North Carolina held off Boston College 12-11. (Bill Danielewski)
Sammy Jo Tracy, North Carolina: With Sydney Holman and Olivia Ferrucci sidelined, Tracy stepped up with three goals, an assist and eight draw controls in UNC's 12-11 victory at Boston College. Tracy now has 76 draw controls for the season, a new UNC single-season record.
Jaclyn Leto, Dartmouth: The senior had six goals in the Big Green's 10-9 upset of No. 15 Penn. Leto has scored at least five goals in four of Dartmouth's eight games this season.
Courtney Murphy, Stony Brook: Murphy scored six goals on seven shots to lead Stony Brook to a 17-7 victory over No. 8 Stanford. Murphy has 36 goals for the season.
Game of the Weekend
Princeton 6, Harvard 5
It's hard to imagine a more dramatic ending to a game. Harvard’s Julia Glynn had an apparent game-tying goal with 50 seconds remaining waved off for an illegal stick. Then Harvard’s Marisa Romeo hit a post with with under 20 seconds to play and finally Princeton goalie Ellie DeGarmo saved a shot from Megan Hennessey with two seconds remaining.
Numbers of Significance
Number of years since Cornell opened the season 7-0. This year's Big Red team has tied the 1987 squad for the best start in school history.
Number of career goals for Princeton's Olivia Hompe. Hompe had four goals in the Tigers 6-5 victory over Harvard.
NCAA-leading draw controls per game for Louisville's Kaylin Morissette. Morissette has 121 draw controls in 12 games for the Cardinals and a school record 539 for her career.
NCAA-leading free position shooting percentage for Massachusetts. The Minutewomen are 17-for-27 this season.
Taylor Cummings had three goals, two assists, seven draw controls and four caused turnovers as Maryland beat James Madison 18-6. Maryland also raised over $10,000 to support JDRF and fight Type 1 diabetes. Maryland head coach Cathy Reese’s son, Riley, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes four years ago.
How the Nike/LM Top 20 Fared
1. Maryland (8-0): beat James Madison 18-6; next: vs. Northwestern (Thursday)
2. Florida (10-1): beat Vanderbilt 16-2; next: vs. Temple (Saturday)
3. North Carolina (8-2): beat Boston College 13-12; next: vs. Virginia Tech (Wednesday)
4. Notre Dame (9-2): lost to Syracuse 12-11; next: at Marquette (Monday)
5. Syracuse (8-3): beat Notre Dame 12-11; next: vs. Connecticut (Tuesday)
6. Southern California (9-0): beat Oregon 17-4; next: at Fresno State (Thursday)
7. Louisville (11-1): beat Virginia Tech 15-9; next: vs. Brown (Wednesday)
8. Stanford (6-2): lost to Stony Brook 17-7; next: vs. Denver (Friday)
9. Penn State (7-2): idle; next: vs. Drexel (Wednesday)
10. Princeton (5-2): beat Harvard 6-5; next: at Loyola (Wednesday)
11. Boston College (6-4): lost to North Carolina 13-12; next: at Virginia (Saturday)
12. Northwestern (4-4): beat Colorado 11-6; next: at Maryland (Thursday)
13. Virginia (5-6): lost to Duke 11-8; next: vs. Boston College (Saturday)
14. Duke (8-4): beat Virginia 11-8; next: at Syracuse (Sunday)
15. Penn (6-2): lost to Dartmouth 10-9; next: vs. Northwestern (Sunday)
16. Stony Brook (6-3): beat Stanford 17-8; next: vs. Vermont (Saturday)
17. Massachusetts (7-1): idle; next: at Saint Joseph's (Friday)
18. Ohio State (9-1): beat Hofstra 18-8; next: at Michigan (Sunday)
19. Towson (7-2): beat Delaware 7-6 (OT); next: at Johns Hopkins (Saturday)
20. Johns Hopkins (8-4): beat Furman 17-3; next: vs. Towson (Saturday)
Five to Watch this Week
Princeton at Loyola (7 p.m. Wednesday): After beginning the season with a 1-4 record, the Greyhounds have won five straight games. This is Loyola's final non-conference game of the season, and with the Patriot League offering few chances to enhance its resume, this game has added significance. Princeton is looking to get back on solid footing after barely avoiding a third straight loss on Saturday.
Northwestern at Maryland (7 p.m. Thursday): Last year's nationally-televised showdown on the Big Ten Network failed to live to the hype as Taylor Cummings dominated the draw and the Terps pulled away for a 16-5 victory. The Wildcats, who also got knocked out of the NCAA tournament by Maryland in a blowout, will certainly be hungry for revenge.
Cornell at Maryland (7 p.m. Saturday): The Terps will have little time to regroup after the Northwestern showdown with Cornell anticipating a battle of unbeatens. The Big Red will have to get past Binghamton on Tuesday and Maryland has its tough test against Northwestern. The Maryland game marks the opening of a very difficult April schedule for Cornell. In additon to games against four of the top Ivy League teams, Cornell plays out of league games against Maryland, Penn State and Syracuse during April.
Duke will put its undefeated ACC record on the line on Sunday at the Carrier Dome. The Blue Devils 11-8 win over Virginia on Saturday was its fourth straight victory. (Peyton Williams)
Duke at Syracuse (Noon Sunday): Duke puts its four-game winning streak and first place position in the ACC on the line in its toughest test of the season. Will Duke's veteran defense be able to shut down a Syracuse offense that averages 13.0 goals per game and already has four thirty-point scorers (Kayla Treanor, Halle Majorana, Nicole Levy and Riley Donahue)?
Notre Dame at North Carolina (Noon Sunday): North Carolina has won three of its last four games by a single goal. The Tar Heels depth will be tested against Notre Dame's relentless defensive pressure and UNC All-American goalie Caylee Waters will be tested against the nation's No. 1 offense.
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