CAA Chaos: It's March Madness with Sticks
Seth Tierney laments Hofstra's upset loss Saturday at Delaware.
© Kevin P. Tucker
It was a Saturday of stunners in Division I men's lacrosse, as three top-10 teams sufferedsetbacks at the hands of unranked opponents.
The Colonial Athletic Association was at the epicenter of the shakeup.
- Unranked Delaware, the defending CAA champion, defeated previously unbeaten and No. 4-ranked Hofstra 7-6. Grant Kaleikau had a hand in five of seven goals, Noah Fossner was stellar in the cage and Dom Sebastiani came up with two clutch defensive plays in the final minute to preserve the win.
- Unranked Towson snapped a two-game losing streak in a big way, upsetting preseason darling and No. 5-ranked Stony Brook 9-8. The Tigers' defense held the sharp-shooting Seawolves scoreless for over 17 minutes during a decisive 6-0 run in the second quarter.
- Unranked Penn State rode the best performance by a goalkeeper in NCAA lacrosse this season, as freshman sensation Austin Kaut made 25 saves in the Nittany Lions' 8-7 upset of No. 10-ranked UMass. The Minutemen have now lost two of three.
About a month ago, LaxMagazine.com's Gary Lambrecht contended that the CAA is maybe the toughest conference in the country and definitely the deepest. Hofstra coach Seth Tierney agreed at the time.
"From top to bottom, this conference could be the toughest in the country," Tierney said. "A lot of teams in this league are going to get you if you don't bring [your best]."
Maybe it's contagious. CAA men's basketball teams like George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth and Old Dominion have busted so many NCAA tournament brackets in recent years, it almost seems unfair to call them mid-major programs. Perhaps the same should be said of lacrosse.
In more March Madness: No. 17-ranked Loyola lost its third straight game, this time to unheralded ECAC foe Air Force; No. 18 Penn picked up its second eye-popping upset of the season by beating No. 11 Princeton for the first time since 1989; it took No. 19 Denver four overtimes to dispatch Sacred Heart.