May 12, 2014

Northwestern, UNC, Virginia Survive and Advance

by Megan Schneider | | Twitter | May Madness

Kerrin Maurer and Duke took down Stanford and Notre Dame in South Bend to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals for the 10th straight year. The Blue Devils are the lone unseeded team among eight remaining in the tournament. (TD Paulius)

Fittingly, as seeded teams going into the NCAA Division I women's lacrosse tournament tournament, the top seven teams – Maryland, Syracuse, North Carolina, Florida, Northwestern, Virginia and Boston College – have advanced to the quarterfinals.

The lone upset of the second round came in South Bend, where No. 8-seeded Notre Dame lost to ACC foe Duke 10-8. With senior Maddy Morrissey's career-high six points and junior Kerrin Maurer's hat trick, the Blue Devils have advanced to the quarterfinals for the 10th consecutive year, with a doozy of a matchup ahead of them against another ACC opponent in top-seeded Maryland.

That's not to say the remaining seeded teams advanced with ease. While Florida's second-round game against Denver was no contest (the Gators won 19-9), Northwestern eked by NCAA tournament newcomer Louisville 11-8, defending NCAA champion North Carolina edged a surprising Georgetown squad 10-8 and Virginia held off a late charge from Princeton to win 13-11.

All four NCAA quarterfinals feature matchups of conference foes. After surviving the second round, the Tar Heels and Cavaliers will face each other. North Carolina defeated Virginia 14-10 on March 8. Northwestern will take on Florida, which has already defeated the Wildcats twice this season. The Gators ended the regular season with a 13-12 victory over Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., then returned there to defeat the host Wildcats 9-8 in the ALC championship game.

The best first-round game and an upset alert from Lacrosse Magazine's bracket breakdown were the two games that went into overtime on Friday.

Louisville was riding the excitement of its first Big East tournament title, which earned the Cardinals their first NCAA tournament berth in program history. During the regular season, the Buckeyes defeated Louisville 12-11, avenging a 12-11 Cardinals victory in 2013. On Friday, Louisville leaned heavily on Nikki Boltja, whose fourth goal in double overtime lifted the Cardinals to an 11-10 win and into the second round against Northwestern. Boltja also had three assists in the game.

Georgetown, meanwhile, made Taylor D'Amore one-dimensional and defeated Johns Hopkins 9-8 on Kelyn Freedman's overtime goal. D'Amore did not score, although she did have six assists.

Some quarterfinal questions: Will Duke be able to keep its hot streak going against the Terps, the best team in the country that had an unexpectedly slow start in the tournament? Where will the other seeded matchups end up?

NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Quarterfinals

Duke at No. 1 Maryland - Saturday, TBD
No. 5 Northwestern at No. 4 Florida - Saturday, 2 p.m. Eastern
No. 6 Virginia at No. 3 North Carolina - Saturday, 1 p.m. Eastern 
No. 7 Boston College at No. 2 Syracuse - Saturday, 1 p.m. Eastern

Second-Round Results

Maryland 13, Penn 5 | Box Score
Duke 10, Notre Dame 8 | Box Score
Florida 19, Denver 9 | Box Score
North Carolina 10, Georgetown 8 | Box Score
Virginia 13, Princeton 11 | Box Score
Boston College 8, Loyola 3 | Box Score
Syracuse 13, Stony Brook 6 | Box Score

First-Round Results

Penn 9, Canisius 4 | Box Score
Duke 13, Stanford 8 | Box Score
Notre Dame 18, High Point 4 | Box Score
Louisville 11, Ohio State 10 (2OT) | Box Score
Denver 12, Jacksonville 8 | Box Score
Georgetown 9, Johns Hopkins 8 (OT) | Box Score
Princeton 16, Penn State 13 | Box Score
Boston College 17, Bryant 9 | Box Score
Loyola 10, UMass 4 | Box Score
Stony Brook 10, Towson 8 | Box Score

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