Maryland to Host 2024 National Tournament

BALTIMORE – The National College Lacrosse League (NCLL) has announced that it will host its 2024 league championships at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. The Elite 8 and Final 4 games will be held on the Xfinity turf fields Saturday May 4th, while for the 1st time in league history, both the Division I and II National Championships will be held in SECU stadium home of the Terrapins NCAA football program. Additionally, all games will be steamed lived throughout the event by Fans Only Sportz Network.

“We’re thrilled to bring the National Tournament back to Maryland and have every game livestreamed,” said National Director Jamie McNealey. “Maryland has a strong leadership team led by team president Jordi Andreou and VP Evan Jones as they have raised the stakes with opening the Terps facilities for participating teams. We look forward to one of the most competitive National Tournaments ever. Director of Competition Matt Reilly has been instrumental in making this event the event of the season in every way possible. We are so excited to see all 16 teams compete on May 4 and to eventually crown a National Champion. Every team has a path to victory.”

The NCLL was founded in 1990 by Commissioner Frederick and currently comprises over 85 men’s college teams in the United States. These teams are located in 12 states ranging from Vermont south to North Carolina and west to Indiana, plus the District of Columbia. The NCLL offered a single championship from 1991 until 1999, splitting into Division I and Division II championships for the 2000 season.

For additional information please consult with each team for specifics on playoff games as well as read the National Tournament Team Guide.

Kentucky ends six game win streak versus arch rival Louisville

Kentucky jumped out to a 3-0 1st quarter lead and never looked back as the Wildcats would go on to win 15-4 against defending Midwest Champion Louisville in a Top 5 National Showdown Sunday in Lexington. Kentucky stopped a 6 game losing streak to the Cardinals as Louisville has dominated the series for the past three years. Now in the driver’s seat, everyone is anticipating Game 2 as the Wildcats turned the tables defensively holding their rivals to their lowest offensive output in 4 years. Kentucky’s offense also was electric throughout scoring a season high 15.

Will Guzaldo and Dayne Goltz led all scorers with 4 goals as Ben Thomas had a hat trick. Andrew Higdon, Quinn Peters and Sammy Hamilton all had a goal apiece while Peters had two assists. Goltz and Caden Carter contribute assists as well in the unexpected double digit win. The defense caused 20 turnovers as Bryce Moad stopped 22 of 26 total shots on cage (85%).

Rochester enters Top 25 for 1st Time in Program History

“It’s really touching to see how much this program has grown. We started it during COVID passing the ball around in the campus quad. To playing games with no subs and now we’re competing and beating Division 1 teams. We never thought this would happen in 2020 so living, seeing, and being a part of it, it’s beautiful. So proud of all my teammates and new friends we made along the way! Go Jackets!”, stated senior Trevor Dominguez as Rochester downed Ohio University 9-8 in OT at Syracuse this past weekend.

“It’s been insane to watch this squad get better and better with every game. Two years ago, we only won one game. Last year, we went 5-5. We were excited just to have won some games. This year all the hard work we’ve put in is paying off. We’re coming for the whole thing,” added junior midfielder Michael Hazard, who also serves as Team President.

Entering the Division II Top 25 for the 1st time in program history, #23 Rochester stands at 2-1 as they opened the season with a win versus Niagara 13-2 before falling to now Division I #19 Syracuse 4-2. With 10 more games on the schedule, Division I teams are now on notice as Rochester plays at Cortland on March 23 with Albany, both Division I programs: before competing back in the Empire Division II Conference.

“It’s great to see the big steps we’ve taken just this year alone. We are only going up from here. Love these boys and this team! Roll jackets!,” exclaimed former president Jordan Blair. As one of the many returning players, Blair, who plays midfield, has been instrumental in leading the Jackets rise. Laying the foundation, setting the team culture and encouraging students to come out to practices and compete, while they initially struggled, now UR becomes the hunted.

Syracuse Hosts Rochester and Ohio

Syracuse hosted Rochester and Ohio as the Orange opened their season undefeated, holding back a spirited Yellow Jackets squad 4-2 while also grabbing an 8-2 win over the Bobcats.

As senior captain Jack Rispoli noted after the games, “We have a rather young offense, this season with our core strength being our defense. With a young team comes a tremendous amount of skill: but balancing that at times becomes hard. This season we are focusing on eliminating would I like to call “hero ball” essentially that means making the crazy passes we don’t need or taking the insane shots that usually don’t go in but look cool. This past weekend, we showed tremendous improvement from the start of the season and I’m happy with where we are for our future outlook. A lot of great plays were made, but there still remains a tremendous amount of opportunity for improvement. I just have to remind the guys to take a deep breath and remember to do the easy things right. It is pretty overlooked to do the easy things right but often times we forget when we grow a lead against an opposing team. Despite this It feels good to be 2 and 0 and I am excited for the rest if the season. “

No rest for the weary as junior captain John Masseria knows what’s ahead, “Team was excited to be back. The defense really showed up they were amazing but now we’re just focusing on RIT and Binghamton.”

“We kind of came out a little rough with some first game jitters against Rochester, but really found our footing against Ohio. Defense really stepped up and kept us in the games. Really had a big game from senior goalie David Burger with his shutout between both games he really laid a great foundation for us as a defense to go off of. Having seniors like Burger and Rispoli step up really was great to see especially with us as a younger team. It’s always great to start the year 2-0 and now we just have to look forward to the 23rd for our next set of games before we get into conference play,’ pitched in junior captain Mike Lupton.

In the first win of the day against Rochester, Rispoli scored twice as Carter Smith and Jeremiah Park each contributed a goal. Netminders David Burger had 6 saves in the first half and Jake Whitewell stopped 4 shots. Against Ohio, Park then notched 2 more while Preston Washer found the back of the net and Lucas Hardwick had a goal and a helper. Also with Orange goals were Rakni Pembelton, Mack Wolschina, Jared Warren and Quinn Fogarty.

“Special thank you to Ohio and Rochester for coming out and battling it out with us in the rain this past Saturday afternoon,” added Rispoli, who also was a groundball magnet throughout.

Navy Preview: Experience is vital

The Navy Midshipmen have an experienced team that is looking to make a deep run. While Navy has only 7 seniors, other returnees and newcomers bring plenty of lacrosse knowledge to the season.

Senior Mack Daniels returns as the leading scorer in the midfield and looks to continue that in 2024. In addition, senior Anthony Scigliano and junior Aidan Behr round out the top returning midfielders who will play big roles in Navy’s dynamic offense. 

On attack, junior Tanner Wadovick returns as the leading scorer, while sophomores Kieran Mckenna and Dane Johnson are expected to produce heavily.

On the defensive side, senior Connor Kemper has started in goal in the past few seasons. Seniors Tim Leung and Carter Weymouth, junior Andrew Chirieleison, and sophomore TJ Kim round out the solid group of aggressive long poles on the team. 

Navy will look to junior Tyler Sweatt and freshman Jack Staley to help as short-stick defensive midfielders who can defend opposing midfielders and attackmen, wherever the matchups lie.

“Despite the loss of 13 contributing seniors, we have reloaded at every position on the field and are confident in not only the ability of our starters but also the depth we have as a team and look to make this a significant advantage throughout the season,” club president Connor Garrison said. 

Navy ended 2023 at 8-2. The Mids had a notable early season 10-5 win over the eventual national champion, Maryland. Navy had its annual matchup with Virginia in Charlottesville and lost 10-8 last spring. 

Navy finished the season strong with wins against the Hudson Hellfire, Michigan, and Delaware. Navy returned to the NCLL semifinals where the Mids fell to a talented Ohio State 11-10. Navy also went 2-0 in the fall with wins over MCLA West Virginia and Maryland.

“As we head into the spring 2024 season, we look to return to the top of the league,” Garrison said. “After a disappointing end to last season, we are aiming to become a team able to compete at a high level for all four quarters. We are returning a plethora of solid defenders that can handle matchups all over the field. 

“Additionally, we aim to be a stronger face-off team and give our high-volume offense more time with the ball. With that being said, we want to have an offense designed around swift ball movement and having players on the field able to beat their matchup and looking to shoot the ball often. This season we have big matchups against UVa and Maryland while also looking to continue the tradition of playing the Hudson Hellfire up at West Point.” (This article has been updated as Navy beat Towson and Maryland to begin the 2024 season.)

Midwest Mayhem as Rival Kentucky Hosts Louisville

#2 Kentucky hosts conference and national rival #7 Louisville this Sunday in Lexington. While technically coming in as the underdog, the 2023 Final Four Cards were 2-0 against the Wildcats last spring winning their regular season matchup 14-12 then the Midwest Conference Championship 14-6.

 In their last two games, Louisville handled MCLA MTSU as Jackson Graham had 4 goals and an assist, Luke Truffer went 3 and 1 while Bo Wigginton, Hayden Carr and Preston Curtis (1 assist) each had two goals. In their win versus UTC, Luke Truffer scored 5 goals while Bo Wigginton pitched in 2 goals to go along with 5 assists. Kentucky for their part, took care of Western Kentucky 14-2 behind Dayne Goltz’s 4 goals and also beat MCLA Division I Indiana 9-8. Louisville played Indiana too as the Hoosiers earned the 11-5 win. Smarting from that loss, Louisville came back in their next game to upset NCLL Division I Cincinnati 9-8 in overtime as Truffer scored a hat trick and Wigginton had two on the day, none bigger than the game winner in the extra session.

Initially, Kentucky had the hot hand in the rivalry while the past three years has seen it all Louisville’s way. As one of the Nationally Ranked Top Rivalries in all of college athletics but especially in the NCLL, there will not be a better spot than to be on the sidelines of this epic early season matchup.

“Honestly the guys have bought in to something bigger than themselves. Last year we watched Louisville end our season and add to the fire of this rivalry. Seeing our seniors play their last game to a rival was a feeling we don’t want to experience again. This season we are blessed to be loaded with talent at each position, and we are competing day in and day out to do something this program hasn’t done in recent history. Our goal to achieve these aspirations starting Sunday”, noted Wildcat President Bryce Moad.

As Louisville Head Coach Ryan McCauley stated, “The expectation is for our team to play hard within our system and represent the name on the front of the jersey. We strive to continue the standard set by current and former players as we know that being able to represent the University of Louisville and compete at the collegiate level is a privilege and an opportunity that’s not taken for granted.”

Head Coach Ben Ternosky adeptly added in, “It’s the first game circled on both calendars. No matter the record the game always finishes close. Kentucky has owned the Midwest for a long time and Louisville has been crowned Midwest Champs the last 3 years and is 6-0 vs us during that time. This past fall, Kentucky beat Louisville 8-5 while undermanned but is full strength heading into Sunday.”

High Point's stock continues to rise

After reaching the National Tournament in 2022, High Point advanced to the ’23 National Championship and with the Panthers returning all of their starters, hopes are high of a return trip with a much different outcome.

“Heading into the season having a core group of leaders allows us to set a precedent on and off the field,” said M. Graham Wesel, High Point’s team president. “We all know what is expected if we want to continue the success that sprouted last season. It is just a matter of getting everyone to buy into this culture before we truly kickstart our playoff run.”

The Panthers are off to a quick start with an 8-7 victory over MCLA DII Virginia Tech and a 10-9 win over Appalachian State. Down 5-1 versus the Tar Heels this past weekend, High Point came all the way back before falling 6-5 to North Carolina in a nail biter. All of this out of conference competition will only benefit the Panthers once beginning league play. With Blue Ridge and Tidewater Conference foes in VCU and Richmond awaiting and the Beltway Bash, High Point knows what lies ahead.

“The keys to success were sticking to our team culture, game plan, and keeping level heads,” Wesel said. “Throughout the game, there were multiple lead changes and momentum swings. Instead of pointing fingers, we came together and collected ourselves as a unit. That is what we are going to lean on as we pick up the tempo of our schedule in the second half of the year.”

The attack is led by Jarrett Meibaum, who has amassed at least 3 points every game, and  sophomore Jack Sundin who has at least 2 caused turnovers riding each game.

Long-stick middie Stefan Shapiro Jr. is a solid defender who draws the top offensive player each game. Fellow midfielder Zane Cohen has produced two or more points in every game this spring.

Goalie Adam Rabb has been consistent between the pipes allowing a 8 GAA as he has kept HPU in contention throughout each contest.

Wesel couldn’t take face-offs in the playoffs last season due to a broken hand after winning 80% of his draws during the regular season.

Wesel is still healing but expects to be back in the mix.

“I am chomping at the bit to get back there and compete with my teammates,” he said.

The Panthers also have some talented freshmen on the roster ready to make an immediate impact. High Point has a challenging schedule but the Panthers have the talent and depth to pencil in the trip north to College Park come May 4th and 5th.

“I feel as though a lot of teams are in the same position where they returned a good portion of their roster,” Wesel said. “Just like us, everyone is getting bigger, faster, smarter as a team. So that means it will be that much harder to get back there. However, we brought in some talented freshmen who can make an impact.”

Preseason Division II Top 25

1. West Chester
2. High Point
3. Union
4. UMass B
5. Georgetown
6. Kentucky
7. Binghamton
8. Louisville
9. Williamson Trade
10. Electric City
11. Drexel
12. RIT
13. TCNJ
14. Marist
15. Kent State
16. Bryant
17. Duquesne
18. Brown
19. Kutztown
20. St. Joseph’s
21. Bucknell
22. Richmond
23. Radford
24. Millersville
25. Tufts

Preseason Division I Top 20

1. Ohio State
2. Maryland
3. Navy
4. Virginia
5. Notre Dame
6. Loyola
7. Penn State
8. Fairfield
9. Villanova
10. Delaware
11. Fordham
12. UMass
13. Cortland
14. Hudson Hellfire
15. Vermont
16. Penn
17. Providence
18. Cincinnati
19. Sacred Heart
20. Holy Cross

Others Considered: Ohio University, Towson, Salisbury, Lehigh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Albany, Cornell, Hofstra, Lafayette

Powell Lacrosse Becomes the Official Uniform Supplier of the NCLL

September 27, 2023 (CHITTENANGO) – Powell Lacrosse and the National College Lacrosse League (NCLL) announced a three year partnership beginning in the 2024 season. This multifaceted collaboration is set to redefine the lacrosse experience for college athletes and fans alike, bringing an unprecedented level of excitement for the sport. Read More

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