(3) Detroit v. (2) Quinnipiac
Quinnipiac raced out to a 5-2 lead after a quarter of play, increased their advantage to 9-3 at the intermission, and ultimately cruised to a 16-9 victory over third-seeded Detroit in the MAAC Tournament. Detroit will end its season with an 8-6 record, the Titans' first winning season since joining the highest level of college lacrosse in 2009. The Bobcats will seek their first trip to the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. Brian Feldman led Quinnipiac with five goals on eight shots while Connor Meth had a game-high six points for the Bobcats. Jason Weber recorded 11 saves for Detroit in the Titans' losing effort while Jack Brust held an exceptional 59.09 save percentage for Quinnipiac on the strength of 13 saves.
The result is somewhat surprising given that Detroit had stronger odds to advance to the MAAC Tournament title game than Quinnipiac, the win probability standing in contrast to the seeds of the teams. A big reason for the Bobcats' success against Detroit was Quinnipiac's continued reliance on generating assisted opportunities to shred the Titans' defense: Quinnipiac ended the day with nine assists on its total goal count, the team's offensive desire to create preferable scoring opportunities mirroring the team's approach to defeating Detroit in the regular season. The Bobcats' continued looks for the open man pushed the team's shots on goal shooting rate up to 59.26 percent, far exceeding the shots on goal shooting rate that the Titans permitted to their opponents going into today's showdown (38.72 percent). Without a sustained ability to close off Quinnipiac's dynamic tactics the Titans were left to dig out of a difficult scoring and possession margin deficit, factors that severely inhibited Detroit's ability to mount a sustained charge against a Bobcats team that has now won its last five games.
(4) Monmouth v. (1) Marist
Marist confirmed its position in the MAAC's hierarchy in a 11-6 thumping of Monmouth on the Red Foxes' home field. The win progresses Marist to its third MAAC Tournament championship appearance; the loss drops the Hawks to 6-8, a solid effort from the second-year program.
The Red Foxes started quickly against Monmouth: Scoring six of the game's first seven goals, the Red Foxes didn't dance with a dangerous situation as the team earned a 7-2 lead after the game's first 30 minutes. Marist needed only 16 shots in the first half to generate its seven goals, drowning Garrett Conaway in scores despite the fact that Conaway was able to muster five saves against Marist in the first two quarters. The Hawks, meanwhile, could not create any offensive combustion, taking only nine shots prior to the intermission with Dave Scarcello turning away six of the attempts. Joseph Radin pounded in three of his four goals in the first half, those markers exceeding the output Monmouth generated.
The second half featured Monmouth breaching Marist's net four times, equaling the output that the Red Foxes had over the same span of play, but the Hawks could not substantially impact what became a concrete conclusion at halftime. The Hawks will have better days in the future, but today was reflective of a superior team systematically deconstructing its opponent.