Of the three BIG EAST teams selected to compete in the 2011 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship, two will advance to the quarterfinals. No. 1 seed Syracuse defeated Siena 8-4 on Sunday, while fourth-seeded Notre Dame posted a 13-6 victory against Penn on Saturday. Villanova fell to Denver 13-10 on Sunday.
The top-seeded Orange (15-1) defeated MAAC champion Siena (13-5) by the score of 10-4 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, May 15 at the Carrier Dome. Junior Tommy Palasek led the Orange with five points, including a career-best four assists.
With the victory, the Orange improved to 9-2 in first-round NCAA games and advanced to the quarterfinal round for 29th time. Syracuse will face Maryland on Sunday, May 22 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The Terrapins moved on by beating eighth-seeded North Carolina 13-6.
Senior attackman Colin Igoe registered a career-high four points on three goals and an assist for the Fighting Irish in the 13-6 win at Arlotta Stadium. Notre Dame (11-2) received two goals apiece from Zach Brenneman, Westy Hopkins, Nicholas Beattie and Pat Cotter. Steve Murphy and Sean Rogers both chipped in a goal for the Irish, while junior long-stick midfielder Bobby Smith dished out a career-high two assists. Notre Dame had nine assists on its 13 goals.
The Fighting Irish defense held Penn (8-7) to just one second-half goal. The Quakers did not score from the 2:55 mark of the second quarter until the 5:43 mark of the fourth quarter, a span of 27:12.
Notre Dame will face fifth-seeded Duke next Sunday in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship. Faceoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. (ET) at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Duke defeated Delaware 15-14 on Saturday in first-round action. The Irish captured a 12-7 season-opening victory over the Blue Devils on Feb. 20 in Jacksonville, Fla.
In the first NCAA Tournament game to be played west of the Mississippi, the Wildcats (11-5) fell in its second-ever postseason appearance to the sixth-seeded Denver Pioneers (14-2). The sold-out crowd of 2,575 at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium was the largest in Denver Lacrosse history.
In a game that included seven ties and was locked 10-10 going into the fourth quarter, it marked the first postseason win for the Denver Pioneers in program history. They'll go on to face Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament next weekend at Hofstra University.
Villanova's Kevin Cunningham tallied four points while sophomore goalkeeper Billy Hurley captured 10 saves in the defeat.
The NCAA semifinals and final will take place on May 28 and 30 in Baltimore, Md. at M&T Bank Stadium.