The Post-Week Tailgate: March 19, 2023


Have you had some time to breathe yet? Amidst the chaos of March Madness in college basketball, we had one of the more memorable finishes in NCAA men’s lacrosse regular season action in quite some time.

To all the fans that sat on the hill at Klockner, we envied you throughout Saturday’s epic battle between Maryland and Virginia. The crowd brought the energy with each up and down — culminating in a Daniel Kelly game-winning goal in overtime that sealed an upset win for the Terps.

However, what everyone will remember from that game is the sequence that made freshman goalie Brian Ruppel a viral sensation. Instead of using words to portray his three-save stunner, we’ll just show you the highlight.

In total, we had four matchups between ranked teams — Notre Dame dominating Michigan, Duke topping North Carolina and Cornell in control against Yale. We also saw Marquette stun Penn State on Long Island, halting the Nittany Lions’ dream start.

If madness is what you crave in March, you got plenty of it this past week. We learned a lot about the top teams, and how many have a chance at a title this season.

Random Observations

What are they feeding the d-poles at Denver? These guys are running around like they’ve been using short sticks all along. The Pioneers dropped three pole goals in a big win over Ohio State on Sunday.

Thank you, John Tillman. If the Maryland coach had not called timeout as faceoff man Luke Wierman barreled toward the cage at the end of the fourth quarter, we wouldn’t have had the chance to witness perhaps the greatest collection of saves in NCAA regular season history.

Ruppel, the freshman who stepped in after Logan McNaney tore his ACL earlier this season, certainly gave some relief to Tillman.

The highlight went viral. The commentary was ELITE. Let’s walk through some of the best pieces of praise for Ruppel.

“Truly sublime. Looked like Spiderman out there.” – Anish Shroff

“Best 10 seconds of goalie play you will ever see.” - @TheAmishTerp

“I’ve watched this 5 times already and it keeps getting better.” - @BSiemers1993

“I did Star theatre and swim team with this kid lol.” - @RyanA202021

“Someone get this man a fishbowl!” - @ItsCalebHammer

Pat Kavanagh is insanely good at lacrosse and insanely casual about it. Kavanagh does not speak loudly, but he lets his play do the work.

Kavanagh tied his own Notre Dame record with 10 points on four goals and six assists, and he did it in the most Pat Kavanagh way. Watch him flick in this nonchalant behind-the-back to cap the Fighting Irish’s huge day against Michigan.

Oh, and the Notre Dame walkout in the snow was epic.

Mason Woodward is one of the best defensemen in the country. It’s time we start talking about him.

Woodward came into Saturday’s battle with No. 6 Penn State with 36 ground balls and eight caused turnovers. With Marquette battling against another Big Ten opponent, he knew he needed to step up for his defense.

How’s seven ground balls and two caused turnovers? A top-notch performance by a player who’s becoming an attackman’s nightmare.

A Florida lacrosse team playing in white-out conditions? Not the most ideal weather for John Galloway’s men as they took on Robert Morris.

What started as a brisk Saturday afternoon quickly turned into a semi-blizzard as Jacksonville and Robert Morris wrapped up their first half in Western Pennsylvania.

Still, Dylan Watson dropped six goals and the Dolphins improved to 6-1 with a commanding win over the Colonials. We’re sure they’d still prefer playing under palm trees (as would anyone).

By the Numbers

12 • Failed clears for Providence in its battle with Hobart at USA Lacrosse headquarters.

34 • Points from Logan McGovern this season for North Carolina. The Bryant transfer leads the Tar Heels in point this season.

21 • Saves by Cornell goalie Chayse Ierlan against his brother’s former team and Ivy League rival, Yale.

10 • Shots taken through two overtimes in Wagner’s thriller with Quinnipiac on Saturday. Benjamin Stewart scored the game-winner in third overtime.

15 • Seconds remaining in the fourth quarter when Teddy Malone scored for Harvard to send the game against Brown to overtime. Sam King finished off the Crimson win in the extra period.

2 • Overtime game-winner for Tewaaraton candidate Sam Handley this season. He walked it off at Franklin Field against Princeton.


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