COLLEGE PARK, MD – Twelve teams from the Mid-Atlantic region gathered in College Park, Md last weekend to participate in the 27th annual NCLL Fall Brawl, the premier fall tournament for the National Collegiate Lacrosse League. This years tourney featured five teams from the NCLL DI bracket and seven teams from DII.
The highly competitive DI bracket was dominated by the University of Maryland and the United States Naval Academy, who met in the finals after a full day of round-robin play. The Terps advanced to the finals with a gritty 7-5 win over intrastate rival Towson. Towson, the defending NCLL National Champs dropped all 3 games during the day to finish out at 0-3. Navy, who defeated a stout James Madison squad in the semifinal round, lead the Terps for much of the championship game before Maryland Midfielder Keith White bagged the game winner late in the 2nd half. White’s goal gave the top seated Terps the 6-5 win.
Defending DII Fall Brawl champs Rowan University owned the DII Bracket, tearing through their round-robin opponents by a combined score of 32-8. Rowan scored early and often, dropping the Terps B squad 10-3 and taking the DII bracket Championship. Rowan was by far the most entertaining and enthusiastic squad of the weekend. Rowan dispatched a stubborn Kutztown squad 9-4 to advance to the DII final against the host Terrapin B squad.
“We went to Maryland with the goal of becoming back to back Fall Brawl champs”, Rowan team captain Ian Rattigan said. ” We fought hard each game and focused on building our chemistry. The NCLL always does a great job putting together this tournament and we’re grateful for the chance to compete against the other universities”, Rattigan added.
West Chester, the defending DII National Champs from ’17, played up in the DI bracket for the first time and pulled an upset victory over a strong Navy squad. West Chester’s other 2 games were losses, but only by a combined deficit of 3 goals.
Tournament organizer and NCLL President Jamie McNealy summed up his thoughts on the day after 13 straight hours in the sun. “The Fall Brawl is a great litmus test for these teams as it’s the first time teams get a chance to play another opponent to see where they stand. It was a great success as this year’s tourney had the most OT games in the tournament’s history”.
The official 2018 NCLL spring season begins on February 1st. Get out and support NCLL lacrosse!