Sticks of the Week: Big Ten Championship concludes as Johns Hopkins, Maryland make final push toward NCAA Tournament

Liam Oram

Sports Blogger

@liam_oram

 

Maryland Terrapins vs. Johns Hopkins

 6 p.m. Saturday, Big Ten Network

Winner: Johns Hopkins

VisitPlano/Flickr

In this second meeting of “the Rivalry,” both teams played for so much more. Johns Hopkins defeated Maryland 13-10. After No. 2 Maryland had a resounding 12-9 victory in the semifinal against a strong Rutgers team on Thursday, it moved on to face its bitter rival. The Terrapins’ (12-2 overall, 5-1 Big Ten)  defense shined once again in the semifinals. They received major help from junior Curtis Corley, who helped to shut down the Scarlet Knights’ late surge in the third quarter when he made great defensive slides on some of Rutgers’ best attackmen. The Terps’ goalie play shined as well. Senior goalie Dan Morris saved 57 percent of the shots turned on net. The Terps had no lack of offense, either, as they put up 12 goals and their usual stars flourished. Two Terps finished with hat tricks. These great performances will have them fired up, but No. 7 Johns Hopkins came for revenge. Previously, the Blue Jays’ (10-4 overall, 4-2 Big Ten) semifinal against Ohio State came down to Alex Concannon’s goal with only 11 seconds remaining. The Blue Jays had struggled to get the ball rolling the right way. They had 17 turnovers during the game. The Jays did see a big defensive improvement. Senior goalie Brock Turnbaugh saved a staggering 16 of the 21 shots he saw. He was much needed, as the Blue Jays’ offense was not nearly getting off as many shots as the Buckeyes, having only 10 that came the opposing goalkeeper’s way. Kyle Marr was their star on offense. He had a hat trick, and all of his goals came at crucial times. They needed more players to help on offense against the Terrapins, and the Blue Jays stepped it up to win the Big Ten Championship. The last meeting between these teams before the championship was two games before that in a hard-hitting, three-overtime affair. With the history this rivalry instills, Saturday’s championship game was mostly the same.

Albany Great Danes vs Vermont Catamounts

11 a.m. Saturday, ESPNU

Winner: Albany

While the hype around No. 4 Albany has gone down significantly after two hard losses against UMBC and Yale, The Danes (13-2 overall, 6-1 America East) still did what they wanted to do and made it to the American East Championship, where they defeated Vermont 14-4. The Danes were forced to fight off UMASS Lowell’s late surge in their semifinal game, but with their best player, senior attackman Connor Fields, back in the lineup, the Danes finally had the offense they needed to get the job done. The Danes still needed help on defense, though, as their senior goalie JD Colarusso saved only 33 percent of the shots that came his way. The Danes built more momentum and carried that on to beat a hungry Vermont team. The Catamounts (12-3 overall, 5-2 America East) wanted to find a way into the NCAA tournament. The American East Championship was their only hope, but they lost. In the Catamounts’ semifinal performance against Stony Brook, though, they played incredibly. Their offense, which senior midfielder Ian Mackay led, looked unbeatable. Mackay ended the game with five goals, and three other Catamounts helped with one each. The defensive performance of sophomore goalie Nick Washuta was also impressive. He stopped 80 percent of the shots that he saw. This defensive performance shot Vermont into the No. 2 spot for defensive efficiency. The last time these two teams met early in the season, Albany destroyed the Catamounts with its high-powered offense. Despite the tournament setting and high stakes for the Catamounts, the Danes dominated again.

Army Black Knights at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Noon Saturday

Winner: Notre Dame

No. 8 Notre Dame is riding high after winning the ACC Tournament. The Irish rolled past Army in a 17-5 victory. Before that, in a championship victory against Virginia, Notre Dame (8-5) looked like it did in the beginning of the season. Ryder Garnsey was the key catalyst behind many of the Irish’s tournament goals. He had eight between both games. Costabile was a main factor in the tournament, much like he was in the regular season. The Irish no longer have to worry about their tournament standing as their championship win puts them into NCAA Tournament. Their young freshman goalie Matt Schmidt also put on inspired performances throughout the season. He has now faced off against two of the strongest offenses in college lacrosse. He was ready again as this Army squad has been upset-ready this year. The Black Knights’ (5-7) biggest win on the year came against Rutgers in the first couple of weeks in the season. They have struggled on offense. In many of their games, they can’t keep up with their opponents. Nate Jones leads the Knights’ offense in goals with 23 and has put on some clutch performances for them. The rest of the Knights’ offense has struggled. Only two other players on the team have double-digit goals on the year. Their defense has performed decently, as goalie AJ Barretto has saved around 52 percent of the shots that have come his way. This game went to overtime last year, and the Knights won. This year, the Knights’ offense is not as strong, so Notre Dame ran away with this game.

ozone@ocolly.com

 

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