ROUND ROCK, Texas – The top seed in Division II has been knocked out of the 2023 MCLA National Championships presented by New Balance as No. 9 Dayton (11-5) toppled No. 1 Rhode Island (15-2), 14-6.
The Rams sprinted out to an early 4-2 lead, but the Flyers bounced back to take a 6-5 lead at the half, highlighted by a methodical offense and a suffocating defense.
The Dayton lead ballooned to 9-6 after three quarters and Rhode Island was out of answers. The Flyers finished the game with a 5-0 fourth quarter, marked by the coordinated play of the back line.
Jake Meyer was a weapon for Dayton, scoring four goals and setting up a fifth. Matt Cesario added two goals and a dime. Tucker Hoffmann finished with six saves for the win.
Keegan Riley had two goals to lead the way for Rhode Island. Hunter Billings had 13 saves.
No. 7 Concordia (13-5) d. No. 2 Georgia Tech (15-4), 14-11
Concordia pulled the biggest upset so far in Division I as the Eagles unseated one of last year’s finalists, Georgia Tech, by three.
The two teams were tied at each of the first two quarter breaks, but Concordia – which will make its first appearance in the Division I semifinals – pulled away in the second half.
The Eagles got a monster game out of Nick Beason, who accounted for half of Concordia’s goals on the day. Tyler Collins and Jeremy Barnes chipped in with a pair of goals apiece. Daniel Yang posted eight saves.
Devin Raun had four markers in the losing effort while a pair of Georgia Tech goalies amassed four saves.
No. 1 Virginia Tech (16-2) d. No. 8 Utah Valley (16-3), 17-6
They may have got off to a slow start in the first round, but the Hokies were on their game from the jump against Utah Valley.
After a mildly competitive first quarter which saw Virginia Tech grab a 4-3 lead, the Hokies proceeded to outscore the Wolverines 13-3 for the remainder of the contest.
Aidan Smith had a hat trick along with an assist while Jake Bilbaum added a pair of goals.
Six different players scored for the Wolverines and Max Sturgill made 23 saves in the loss.
No. 2 Cal State San Marcos (16-1) d. No. 7 Grand Valley State (9-4), 13-11
A late-game surge brought Grand Valley State to the brink of tying the game, but Cal State San Marcos would not surrender the tying goal, holding on for the victory.
In a physical contest featuring numerous runs for both teams, the Cougars were able to build an 8-5 lead at the half and increased that margin to 12-8 after three quarters. The Lakers made their last run with a three-goal spurt that brought them to within one, 12-11.
A goal by Jakob Hudson with 4:24 left sealed the win for San Marcos. Kobe Brown had a hat trick in the victory while Tanner Peach had a pair of goals and an assist. Easton Bates was credited with 17 saves.
Caleb Lowell had a hat trick and a dime for Grand Valley State while Stephen Koenigsknecht and Luke Tardich had two apiece. Keegan Greene made 14 saves.