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Men’s NCAA Division I pairings: Villanova, Penn join CAA champion Delaware in tourney

Sunday, 8th May 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/8/11

The pairings for the NCAA Division I men’s tournament as announced tonight:

1. Syracuse vs. Siena
8. North Carolina vs. Maryland
4. Notre Dame hosts Penn, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
5. Duke vs. Delaware
2. Cornell vs. Hartford
7. Virginia vs. Bucknell
3. Johns Hopkins vs. Hofstra
6. Denver vs. Villanova

From Press Releases

The University of Delaware men’s lacrosse squad, fresh off its Colonial Athletic Association championship victory over UMass Saturday night, will hit the road again this week when the Blue Hens head to defending national champion Duke for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The 16-team NCAA field was announced Sunday night and it included the Blue Hens (11-6) heading to Durham, N.C. to take on the No. 5 seed Blue Devils (12-5) on Saturday, May 14 at 5 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPNU TV.

The Blue Hens will be making their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance and their second straight thanks to the 9-7 win over 19th ranked Massachusetts Saturday night in Amherst, Mass. The Hens have won three of the last five CAA titles and captured their 23rd conference title all-time.

“We are excited,” said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw, who will be shooting for his 300th career victory. “Duke is the defending national champion so obviously they have some great personnel. This will be a good matchup for us because both teams have similar styles. We both will push the ball and like to score in transition. It could be an up and down game. Both of us have played well in spurts this season so anything can happen.”

Delaware will be facing an Atlantic Coast Conference foe in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight time. The Hens knocked off defending national champion and third-ranked Virginia 14-8 in the opening round in 2007 on the way to their first NCAA Final Four appearance and dropped a hard-fought 14-13 decision at No. 4 North Carolina in last year’s opening round.

The two teams will be playing in the post-season for the first time and will meet for the first time since then No. 5 Duke downed the 12th-ranked Blue Hens 12-6 at Koskinen Field in Durham back in 2007.

The Delaware-Duke matchup will be one of eight first round NCAA games this weekend with all being televised on the ESPN stations. On Saturday, Johns Hopkins will host Hofstra at 12 noon, Notre Dame will host Penn at 2:30 p.m., and Cornell will host Hartford at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, North Carolina will host Maryland at 1 p.m., Virginia will host Bucknell at 3 p.m., Denver will host Villanova at 5:15 p.m., and top seed Syracuse will host Siena at 7:30 p.m.

The winner of the Delaware-Duke game will advance to the quarterfinals to take the winner of the Penn-Notre Dame game on Sunday, May 22 at 2:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The NCAA semifinals and finals will be held at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on May 28-30.

“We are certainly used to being on a bus and going on the road,” said Delaware senior midfielder Kevin Kaminski, who earned CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors after scoring three goals in the championship game win over Massachusetts and two in the semifinal win over Hofstra. “We know we are a talented team and if we stick to our game we can play with anybody. We respect every opponent, but we go into every game we play confident that we can win.”

The Hens feature a balanced scoring attack led by junior Eric Smith (23 goals, 18 assists) and second team All-CAA playmaker Grant Kaleikau (12g, 27a) while four-time All-CAA performer Pat Dowling (19 caused turnovers) and goalkeeper Noah Fossner (9.20 goals against average, .530 save percentage) lead the defense. Junior Dan Cooney, a second team All-CAA selection, wins 53.1 percent of his faceoffs.

Duke, which has won four of its last five games, is 10-1 at home this season. The Blue Devils rank No. 4 nationally in scoring offense with 12.8 points per game and feature five players with 20 or more goals this season led by Zach Howell (38) and Jordan Wolf (27). Goalkeeper Dan Wigrizer has posted a 9.52 goals against average and a .540 save percentage.

Delaware and Duke have two common opponents this season in Dartmouth and Presbyterian. Delaware defeated Dartmouth 14-11 and Presbyterian 19-4 while Duke downed Dartmouth 18-10 and Presbyterian 18-6.

No. 4 Notre Dame to host Penn

Notre Dame has earned the No. 4 seed for the upcoming 2011 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship. The Fighting Irish will play host to unseeded Penn on Saturday in the tournament’s first round. The game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (ET) at Arlotta Stadium. The contest will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

Notre Dame is 10-2 this season, while Penn is 8-6.

The Fighting Irish and Quakers will be squaring off for the fifth time ever. The series is tied 2-2. Notre Dame won the last meeting, 14-5, during the 2003 season.

The 16-team NCAA Championship field is comprised of six automatic-qualifying teams and 10 at-large teams. Only the top eight squads in the field are seeded. Syracuse garnered this year’s No. 1 seed, while Cornell is the second seed and Johns Hopkins is the third seed.

The BIG EAST Conference boasts three NCAA Championship teams. Joining Notre Dame and Syracuse in the field is Villanova.

The winner of the Notre Dame-Penn contest will take on the winner of the Duke-Delaware tilt in the quarterfinal round on Sunday, May 22 in Foxboro, Mass. The tournament’s semifinals and finals will be held May 28 and 30, respectively, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. For more information on the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship, including a complete bracket, log onto www.ncaa.com

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