Previewing UVA lacrosse’s NCAA semifinal vs Maryland with ESPN’s Paul Carcaterra (2024)

The No. 6 seed Virginia Cavaliers snuck by No. 3 Johns Hopkins in an 11-10 2OT nail-biter on Sunday, which means the ‘Hoos will face the No. 7 Maryland Terrapins on Saturday. The Terps are riding the high of a 14-11 victory over No. 2 Duke — they outscored the Blue Devils 7-2 in the fourth quarter.

This matchup has proven to be one of the most intoxicating postseason rivalries in the sport. This will mark the fourth time the two sides have faced each other in the NCAA tournament since 2019. Two of those three games were decided by one goal, including Virginia’s 2021 national championship.

That championship was nearly spoiled as the clock dwindled by Maryland FOGO Luke Wierman, who has developed into one of the best faceoff specialists in the nation. He is currently third in the NCAA winning 62% of his faceoffs. When Virginia beat Maryland 14-10 on March 16, Wahoo faceoff specialist Anthony Ghobriel handled Wierman well, winning 11-22. However, Wierman was battling an injury that kept him out the prior week.

"I thought I owed my team a couple, luckily it hit me in the body." - Alex Rode on game's final sequence #GoHoos

— Virginia Men's Lacrosse (@UVAMensLax) June 1, 2021

The No. 25 overall pick by the Denver Outlaws in the PLL draft has won at least 67% of his faceoffs in his last three games.

“We know we’re facing a different Luke Wierman,” head coach Lars Tiffany said. “[Ben Wayer], our wings, everyone’s gonna have to be involved because Luke Wierman is a problem for opponents.”

An obvious strategy to limit Wierman would be to prevent him from winning the faceoff up the field and make it a 50-50 battle, which would be an advantage for Virginia as they lead the nation in ground balls, largely due to the impact of Junior LSM Ben Wayer.

However, I spoke again with ESPN lacrosse analyst Paul Carcaterra who countered by saying, “You can’t rely on mucking it up and just making it a wing game.”

“This kid’s a really good athlete,” Carcaterra said. “He’s strong as an ox, and he’s a lacrosse player. He’s not one of these old-school faceoff guys that can’t cradle, this guy scores goals. He kept them in the game offensively, he was the leading scorer in the first half.”

Outside of Wierman, Maryland has two other cornerstone pieces “who would drive any team crazy,” with 2022 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding player in goal with Logan McNaney and No. 3 overall draft pick defender Ajax Zappitello.

Zappitello has established himself as arguably the best defender in the country over the past few years and is known for being a conservative, sound cover man who has held Connor Shellengerger in past matchups.

“That’s going to be a really tough matchup,” Carcaterra said. “It’s probably even the hardest matchup for Connor over the years, to be honest with you.”

Film Room Matchup: @TerpsMLax Ajax Zapitello vs @UVAMensLax Connor Shellenberger

These 2 have incredible battles, and go against the best week in week out!

Full matchup:

— First Class Lacrosse (@firstclasslax_) March 25, 2023

In their last two battles, Shellenberger has scored a combined six points while primarily being covered by Zappitello. In the Wahoos’ 18-9 loss in the 2022 NCAA quarterfinals, he held ‘Mr. May’ scoreless.

Expect Virginia’s offense to set a whole lot of picks to switch up the matchup. But Shellenberger won’t shy away from any matchup, especially with his Virginia career on the line, as we saw last Sunday.

“They have an elite goalie, they have an elite faceoff guy, and they have an elite cover guy,” Carcaterra said. “With those three ingredients, you can beat any team ugly, like you just can.”

The benching of Matt Nunes after the ‘Hoos went down 4-0 early against Johns Hopkins last week likely means redshirt freshman Kyle Morris will start on Saturday. Morris fared well and was a huge part of changing the tides of a once lopsided game against the Blue Jays — he finished the game with eight saves including two in OT.

“I just think that that way the game ended and putting Morris in there and him holding that team pretty much in check for three and a half quarters,” Carcaterra said. “I’d be surprised if they didn’t go with him.”

That means Morris’ first career start will be a head-to-head against McNaney who has 10 career starts in the NCAA tournament.

Where Virginia does have the advantage is on the offensive end. Maryland doesn’t have a player who’s surpassed 40 points this season McCabe Millon, Payton Cormier and Shellenberger have all notched 64 points or more.

But Carcaterra said there’s “no way” they win two games without the midfield stepping up more. Last week, outside of Jack Boyden’s hat-trick, the ‘Hoos only had one goal from the midfield. However, third-team All-American Griffin Schutz had his most productive outing last time against the Terps with six points.


(via BTN)

— TLN (@LacrosseNetwork) March 16, 2024

“Against Maryland, you can’t count on Shellenberger going for eight points,” Carcaterra said. “[John] Tillman and [Jesse] Bernhardt, who coach their defense, they’re not going to have these wide-open looks for Cormier either, they’re just so well coached.”

Virginia is scheduled to play Maryland at 2:30 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Saturday. It will be broadcast on ESPN2. If UVA wins, they would play the winner of Denver vs. Notre Dame in the Championship on Memorial Day at 1 p.m.

Previewing UVA lacrosse’s NCAA semifinal vs Maryland with ESPN’s Paul Carcaterra (2024)


How can I watch Maryland vs Virginia lacrosse? ›

How to watch Maryland vs Virginia online - TV Channels and Live Streams. Fans in the USA can catch all the actions of this thrilling Lacrosse Semifinal matchup between Maryland and Virginia live on ESPN2 TV Channel and ESPN+ Streaming Platform.

Who won Maryland vs Virginia lacrosse? › Video

Maryland cruised to a 12-6 semifinal win over Virginia to advance to its third championship game in four years. Watch the full game highlights here.

Where is Paul Carcaterra from? ›

Carcaterra – a native of Yorktown, N.Y. – graduated from Syracuse University in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in political science. A four-year letterwinner in men's lacrosse as a midfielder, Carcaterra helped guide the Orange to the 1995 national title and was named a 1997 All-American.

How can I watch UVA lacrosse? ›

📺 How to watch Virginia vs. Maryland

Time: 2:30 p.m. ET. TV channel: ESPN2 | Watch online.

How can I watch NCAA lacrosse live? ›

How can viewers watch the NCAA lacrosse championships? The women's championship will be on Sunday at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+. The men's championship will be on Monday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+. Viewers can catch the action on the men's streaming hub and women's streaming hub.

Has Maryland ever won NCAA? ›

On April 1, 2002, Williams led the Terrapins to their first NCAA National Championship, defeating Indiana 64–52. Maryland's historic run included wins against four straight former champions, including Kentucky in the Sweet 16, UConn in the Elite Eight, and Kansas in the Final Four.

Where are the NCAA lacrosse semifinals? ›

The 2024 NCAA DI men's lacrosse championship began with the selection show on Sunday, May 5. The tournament continues with the semifinals Saturday through the title game on May 27 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

How many national championships does Maryland have in lacrosse? ›

Twelve teams have won the title since that inaugural game. The 2019 season ended with a familiar name on top — Maryland. The Terrapins picked up their 14th national championship, the most in NCAA DI women's lacrosse history.

Who is the announcer for ESPN lacrosse? ›

Analysts for the men's slate of games will be Quint Kessenich, Paul Carcaterra, Ryan Boyle, Jules Heningburg, Sheehan Stanwick Burch, Bill Tierney and Matt Ward. Anish Shroff, Jay Alter, Drew Carter, Chris Cotter and Mark Dixon will handle play-by-play duties throughout the season.

Why is Sleepers a controversial book? ›

The book was published as nonfiction last year by Ballantine Books and promptly stirred a surge of controversy when various critics and journalists termed as bogus its account of four New York City teen-agers who are sent to a brutal reformatory and take revenge on their tormentors.

Is the movie Sleepers a book? ›

Sleepers is a 1996 American legal crime drama film written, produced and directed by Barry Levinson, and based on Lorenzo Carcaterra's 1995 book of the same name.

What channel is the NCAA men's lacrosse championship on? ›

The game will air on ESPN at a new start time of noon. The Terps are playing in the National Championship game for the eighth time since John Tillman 's first season in 2011. The meeting between Maryland and Notre Dame is one between the past two National Champions.

Where can I watch NCAA lacrosse 2024? ›

2024 NCAA DI men's lacrosse championship schedule
  • Wednesday, May 8 — Opening round | ESPN+
  • May 11 — First round (Day 1) | ESPNU.
  • May 12 — First round (Day 2) | ESPNU.
  • May 18-19 — Quarterfinals | ESPNU.
3 days ago

How to watch Notre Dame lacrosse today? ›

Channel: ESPN. Live stream: FuboTV (free trial), DirecTV Stream (free trial), Sling TV (promotional offers)

Who won the 2024 college lacrosse championship? ›

Notre Dame dominated the 2024 DI men's lacrosse national championship with a 15-5 win to claim their second-straight national title. The only two titles in the program's history. The Irish finished the year 16-1 and became the first team to win back-to-back championships in consecutive years since Duke (2014-15).

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