NCAA Semi-Finals Recap

semilax

So everyone and their mother on the internet who covers lacrosse has already written a write up about what happened yesterday at Gillette, so we’re not going to be doing that.

Despite the somewhat lopsided outcomes, yesterday was a great day for lacrosse. 30,000 strong came out to Foxboro to see the action in person, while hundreds of thousands tuned into the ESPN 2 airwaves to listen to the soothing broadcast of Quint, Anish, and Carc.

For us at QuickStick, yesterday was a monumental day. Last week we had press credentials to the Quarterfinals at Hofstra and that was a great experience, but having them at the Final Four was a whole other ball game. The experience of being amongst our game’s best journalists and personalities was a culmination of all the work we’ve done at QuickStick in the past year. A year ago this blog was an idea, admittedly, a late night drunk conversation after coming home from the bar. After back and forth flirting we decided to test out our twitter fingers and so far it’s been working well and we’re excited for what’s to come.

We’re taking the day off today from Gillette but we’ll be back tomorrow for the NCAA DI Championship. No disrespect to the DII and DIII guys but it’s MDW and the boys from QuickStick are back together in person (We live in NYC, DC, and Charlotte) so we gotta make the moments last.

So back to the games from yesterday. As noted above, this isn’t a deep dive, but rather I’m going to spotlight 2 players from the winning teams who stood out the most and really made a difference in helping their squads move on.

Yale:

Chris Keating (Defense #11) – Keating, Yale’s #2 pole had the task of guarding Tehoka Nanticoke and he turned Tehoka into an absolute non-factor. It was like Tehoka wasn’t even on the field. #11 in blue held the nation’s top freshman to just one goal and that one found it’s way in late in the fourth quarter. Going into this game everyone was talking about the freshman, 1st Team All American Chris Fake guarding one of the bests to ever play NCAA lacrosse in Connor Fields. Keating stepped up and shut down Tehoka and the truly stunted any mojo Albany looked to get in 6v6 offensive sets. Keating will have a tough task tomorrow as he’ll likely match up against Brad Smith.

Matt Gaudet (Attack #44) – This kids hands are soft and smooth. Soft like Charmin Ultra and smooth like butter. The Canuck tallied 6 goals and 1 assist. His off-ball skillset tore the Dane Train apart. He was 4 for 4 shooting to start the game and the rest was history. Yale won this game by 9, and they took advantage of every unsettled or early offense situation they could get. Gaudet was in the middle of all of those. It will be interesting to see who Duke puts on Gaudet. He’s purely a weapon on the crease but you need to put a pole on him.

Duke: 

Nakeie Montgomery (Midfield #15) – I know he’s already been blogged, vlogged, and everything in between but the kid from Texas once again stepped up in the biggest moment. #15 in blue netter his second hat trick of the NCAA Tournament and now has 8 total goals in the postseason, while only scoring 6 during the regular season. Nakeie is a versatile midfielder who can be utilized as a stretch shooter but also uses his speed and strength to separate from the defense. Eventually, Maryland began putting a pole on him but that ends up opening up Peter Conley and co. We also want to shout out Nakeie’s high school, Episcopal School of Dallas, they’re a new Twitter follower of ours and have been giving us some major social media luv.

Danny Fowler (Goalie #3) – Danny Fowler has been a 3-year starter for Duke, but he’ll be the first to tell you, he’s been shaky. Early in the season he was splitting time with Turner Uppgren but eventually won the position outright. Yesterday Fowler stepped up in the biggest stage, saving 12 shots and only giving up 8 to a Maryland team whose offense features stretch shooters like Connor Kelly and Timmy Rotanz. If you want to win a national championship, teams need a hot goalie. Danny has been on his A game and will be influential in tomorrow’s game if Duke wants to hoist the trophy.

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