Two thrilling overtime games send Virginia and Duke to lacrosse championship weekend
By Robert Earl Pszybylski
Robert Earl Pszybylski, a sophomore at Ward Melville High School, attended the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship quarterfinals May 18 at the James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University in Hempstead. The 15-year-old budding photographer captured the action shots in the photo gallery above.
The Cavaliers of Virginia University and the Blue Devils of Duke University punched their ticket to Philadelphia in front of a crowd of more 8,000 fans Saturday, May 18 at James M. Shuart Stadium, Hofstra University in Hempstead. With both games requiring overtime to determine a winner, these quarterfinal games had fans on the edge of their seats until the final whistle blew.
For the first of the two games, unranked Maryland took on No. 3 seed Virginia. The Maryland Terrapins had a 12-7 lead at 10:38 of the fourth quarter. With a five-goal lead, Maryland took their foot off the gas and started to run down the clock; not scoring at all for the remainder of the game. It looked like for yet another year they would head back to Championship weekend, but the Terrapins fell short, returning to College Park not making the semifinals for the first time in six years. Virginia came out on top, giving the Terps more than they could handle. Senior Ryan Conrad had four goals and an assist during the game, including three goals in the fourth to charge the comeback for Virginia. Michael Kraus cashed in with his game-tying goal with 1:14 left. Kraus had the assist on Matt Moore’s overtime game winner, his 40th of the season, ending this game at 13-12.
The second game of the day featured No. 2 Duke and No. 7 Notre Dame. No different from the previous two games earlier this season, where each team had won a game, it was back and forth until the very end. Duke went ahead and put four goals on the board to open this contest. However, the Fighting Irish fought right back. After being academically ineligible for the regular season, Ryder Garnsey was able to compete for the Irish in the postseason. During the first round game, Garnsey dropped a hat trick against Johns Hopkins in a convincing 16-9 win. Saturday, yet once again, Ryder Garnsey started the fire for the Irish putting in four and grabbing the helpers on another two goals. Bryan Costabile and Brendan Gleason had a pair of goals each, railing for five goals in the fourth quarter, grabbing their first lead of the game. Duke would not be stopped, bringing the game to thirteen apiece courtesy of a goal from Jake Seau. But in the end, sophomore, Joe Robertson capitalized being guarded by a short stick, and had the final blow against the Irish; with seconds winding down on the shot clock, he had his third goal of the game, with a final score of 14-13.
With this past weekend of play, we are in store for an exciting slate of games concluding on Memorial Day. No. 2 Duke takes on No. 3 Virginia. For the Blue Devils, they are competing in back to back semifinal games. Last year they lost in the Championship game to a hungry group from Yale. Virginia is returning to the Final Four for the first time since 2011, where they sealed the deal on the program’s fifth NCAA Championship. The winner of this game is set to face off with the victor of No. 1 Penn State and the reigning champs, No. 5 Yale.
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