New England Lacrosse Wrap Up: Vermont, Hartford Highlight NCAA Playoff Madness

Mayhem has ensued.

The entire college lacrosse world was turned around on Thursday night, and with selection Sunday upcoming, several teams had their bubbles burst with huge upsets in the day that was dubbed May Madness.

Much of the landscape has changed thanks to New England based teams, beginning with Vermont in the America East semi finals. Stony Brook, the 15th ranked team in the nation, faced a 9-7 Vermont team that while much improved from 6-10 a season ago, was a team that never should have been on the Sea Wolves level.

But, 2016 has been a year of insanity in college lacrosse, so why would that change in the post season?

Vermont knocked off Stony Brook with a 10-9 victory to eliminate the Sea Wolves from nearly any hope at being a bubble team in the national tournament. Ian McKay, Cam Milligan, and Jack Knight all scored two goals and added an assist each to lead the Catamounts. Jon Kaplan also made a season-high 17 saves.

Milligan scored his second goal of the night with less than three and a half minutes to go in the fourth quarter, shooting behind his back and through two defenders to get the game winner.

It would have been enough for just Vermont to jump into the NCAA conversation, but another New England team created absolute pandemonium.

The #4 team in the country, Albany, faced Hartford in the other America East semi final. With just 8.9 seconds left in regulation, the Great Danes held onto a 10-9 lead. It evaporated when the Hawks tied the game to send it into overtime on a goal from Alec Brown.

Justin Huggins continued his monster game (5 goals, two assists) in the overtime period. Brown found Huggins on a feed following a timeout after Dylan Protesto won the opening faceoff to end Albany’s streak of 28 straight conference wins.

Protesto led the Hawks to a 20-4 advantage at the faceoff X in the game. Griffin Feiner also scored four goals to help Hartford advance to the America East title game against Vermont.

In other contests throughout New England, Quinnipiac defeated Canisius 13-7 to advance to the MAAC championship game where the Bobcats will face Marist.

Fairfield knocked off Hofstra in the CAA semis, 11-8. The Stags will face #11 Towson for the conference championship after the Tigers took down Drexel.

The #20 Bryant Bulldogs were ousted by Hobart, 7-6. The Bulldogs had defeated Hobart 15-2 just two weeks ago, and it looked like the Rhode Island team had been on pace to make the national tournament. Hobart will play St. Joseph’s in the NEC championship.

Providence was topped by Denver in the Big East semi finals, 17-8. Denver is the top team in the nation, and faces Marquette to become an automatic qualifier.

The biggest story from the conference games remain the upsets from Vermont and Hartford, who now meet in a New England showdown in the America East championship.

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