Big Ten Men’s Lacrosse Tournament Preview
After last year’s season was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no Big Ten Tournament. However, this year it is back after each team played a 10-game, Big Ten only schedule. Most of the games will be in State College, with Penn State hosting the semifinals and the championship games.
This year’s tournament is also different from the past, as all six teams made it compared to only four in prior years. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the upcoming games.
The first game will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday between No. 5 Michigan and No. 4 Ohio State, in Columbus.
The Buckeyes ended the year 4-6 and are coming into the tournament on a two-game skid. Last week, they suffered a crushing defeat to Penn State, 10-9. Junior Jack Myers had a team-high four goals, and goalie Alec Van de Bovenkamp made 12 saves in the contest.
The Wolverines meanwhile, finished 2-8 on the year and are on a three-game losing streak. Michigan came up short against No. 8 Rutgers, losing 14-13 on Senior Day. One of those seniors, Avery Meyers, stood out despite the result, scoring three goals and adding two assists for a team-high five points.
Ohio State won both meetings during the regular season, 13-10 in Columbus and then, most recently, 14-6 in Ann Arbor on March 27.
The winner of this game will face the No. 1 Maryland Terrapins on May 6 at 5 p.m. Maryland finished with a perfect 10-0 record after coming from behind to beat Johns Hopkins, 14-13 in the regular-season finale. The Terrapins are ranked No. 1 in the country by both Inside Lacrosse and USILA.
The other quarterfinal matchup will be between No. 6 Johns Hopkins and No. 3 Penn State. The game is set for 6 p.m. on May 1 at Panzer Stadium.
The Nittany Lions finished 4-6 overall, but closed out the season strong with two straight wins, including a thrilling win over No. 15 Ohio State, 10-9. Dylan Foulds scored twice in 45 seconds to put Penn State ahead and goalie Aleric Fyock made a huge save in the waning seconds of the game.
Johns Hopkins finished 2-8 and is heading in the opposite direction compared to Penn State. The Blue Jays enter Saturday’s game on a six-game losing streak, including a tough loss last week to Maryland, 14-13, where the Terrapins scored the final three goals. Logan Wisnauskas scored the game-winner with just 18 seconds left.
Penn State and Johns Hopkins split the season series. The Blue Jays won 13-6 in Baltimore on March 13, which was the last Johns Hopkins won a game. The Nittany Lions won 11-8 in State College back on March 28.
Whoever wins that matchup will take on No. 2 Rutgers in the other semifinal, that game is currently set for 7:30 p.m. on May 6. The Scarlet Knights finished the year 8-2, with both losses coming against Maryland.
It should be a fun week of Big Ten lacrosse with plenty of exciting moments. All games can be seen on the Big Ten Network, concluding with the championship game on May 8 at 8 p.m.
Matthew Scalzo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.