NCAA Championship Weekend took place this past weekend in Foxborough, MA and was full of great games at all levels.
Senior - University of Mississippi
2x Captain of Ole Miss Men's Lacrosse
Hometown: Pennington, NJ
High School: Hopewell Valley Class of 2013
Murf will be with us all summer coaching and writing articles!
All year long, lacrosse fans around the country look forward to Memorial Day Weekend, and the opportunity to see some of the top teams in the country compete for the right to call themselves champions. This high level of competition combined with the big-time atmosphere at a place like Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots, created what can only be described as the greatest weekend in lacrosse every year.
As everyone hoped for, the semifinals provided absolute nail-biting games to kick the weekend off right on Saturday. Towson and Ohio State battled down to the wire in the first game, and set the tone for an action-packed weekend.
Early in the first game, Towson took a commanding 7-3 lead at the half that looked like it could be just enough to carry them to Monday's championship game, but Ohio State had other plans. JT Blubaugh, a Buckeye senior midfielder, simply asked his teammates for one thing in the second half, "Give me two more days," he said, and his teammates answered the call; scoring eight second-half goals while limiting Towson to just two and earning two more days of lacrosse.
After an exhilarating first game, Denver and Maryland were quick to join in the excitement; producing what can only be called an absolute classic. This game will resonate in the minds of fans not necessarily for the result, but for the controversy and debate that was sparked by the events of the last few minutes. With Maryland holding a one-goal lead and just 1:25 remaining on the clock, Colin Heacock scored a goal that would've been the dagger for Maryland- only to have it called back because he dove into the crease.
Then, as Denver looked to strike to equalize and force overtime, the Pioneers were bit by the same misfortune. Midfielder Connor Donahue made an incredible individual effort to get to the net and score, before leaping into the crease and getting his goal called back with just seconds remaining.
After Saturday, the stage was set for a third showdown between Maryland and Ohio State... A team that had been here before but hadn't won in 42 years pitted against a team that had never been this far before.
The experience finally paid off for the Terps, as they accomplished what they had come so close to doing many times before; defeating Ohio State by a score of 9-6, with excellent performances from Connor Kelly and the entire defense.
The defense provided arguably their best performance of the year; holding Tre Leclaire to two points and Eric Fannell to no points while the Terps came up with 33 groundballs as a team. In addition, they won 11-of-19 face-offs and outshot Ohio State 41-25.
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