Men's Weekend Watch: Maryland-Yale — Again
1. A budding rivalry?
There is enough meat on the Maryland-Yale bone to call it a budding rivalry.
This time last year, the Bulldogs beat the Terps 10-6 at Reese Stadium in New Haven, Conn., the same location this matchup will go down. The 2015 win was Yale's second ever against Maryland and first since 1925.
The teams met again last season in the NCAA tournament first round at Byrd Stadium. Yale was up three early in the fourth quarter. It relinquished the lead, giving up four straight, and trailed by one with five minutes left. Then the end happened.
With 23 seconds left, Yale midfielder Michael Keasey took a shot from about 15 yards that took a strange carom of the crossbar behind goalie Kyle Bernlohr and rebounded out to the field of play. Only video replays seemed to indicate the ball redirected off a piece of turf behind the goal line, and back out. It was goal/non-goal decision that could have used another look. Maryland won 8-7.
Yale coach Andy Shay argued for instant replay afterward and said a nearly identical situation happened in a regular season game at Byrd in 2013. Maryland also beat Yale that day, 8-7.
But all that is in the past. No. 8 Yale (1-0) has established itself as a perennial NCAA quarterfinal contender, and wants more. No. 4 Maryland (1-0) has established itself as a perennial final four team, and wants more.
2. Opportunity knocks
Yes, it's still February and there is a lot of season left, but there are a good chunk of games this weekend whose results could be entered into evidence of what we should expect the rest of the way from each program.
Princeton (1-0) at No. 11 Hofstra (1-0), 3 p.m. Saturday
Observers of Hofstra's 10-5 win over North Carolina last week said it was a dominant performance. How good are the Pride?
No. 20 Harvard (2-0) at UMass (1-1), 3 p.m. Saturday
Two overtime wins for the Crimson, which heads to the place where UMass upset Ohio State last week.
No. 18 Marquette (1-0) at Richmond (3-0), 1 p.m. Saturday
The Startup Bowl. High Point should join them. These two played into overtime last year.
No. 14 Georgetown (0-1) at No. 13 Towson (2-0), Noon Saturday
These teams have the potential to stay in and around the Top 15 all season. But will they?
No. 9 Brown (1-0) at No. 19 Stony Brook (2-0), 1 p.m. Saturday
Does the scoreboard at LaValle Stadium allow for triple-digits?
Villanova (0-1) at No. 16 Penn State (3-0), 1 p.m. Saturday
Penn State is 3-0 for the first time since 2002.
Army (2-1) at No. 5 Syracuse (2-0), 4 p.m. Sunday
Nobody likes being Syracuse's opponent in the Dome, but Army won't be scared.
3. Patriot League play begins...
... And craziness ensues. That's the moral of the Patriot League story.
As Sean Burns wrote in our preseason conference snapshot, "Loyola and Lehigh — preseason favorites to win the conference after playing in the league finals the year before — both finished under .500. Navy surged back to prominence and captured the regular-season league crown, but saw archrival Army dash its NCAA hopes with a league tournament semifinal upset on their own turf. Colgate was the lone May Madness representative after besting Army in the league final, but needed a red-hot run to make up for a four-game losing streak early in the season."
Loyola, in beating Virginia and Johns Hopkins, is the most impressive so far in 2016, but Navy nearly knocked off the Blue Jays, too. Plus, Bucknell, which had an up-and-down 2015, is 3-0. Boston U is 3-1, but just lost to Hartford 18-10. Holy Cross had a big early lead on Harvard on Tuesday before falling in overtime.
Bucknell heads to Colgate (noon Saturday), Holy Cross visits Lehigh (noon Saturday), Navy heads to Boston U. (1 p.m. Saturday), Loyola gets Lafayette (1 p.m. Saturday).
But don't take my word for it on the Patriot League nuttiness.
Here is Lehigh defenseman Tripp Telesco: "It's a crapshoot."
Of which the Mountain Hawks, ranked seventh out of nine by conference coaches in the preseason, hope to be a part.
"We're looking to do big things this year and surprise a bunch of people," Telesco said. "We were pretty disappointed with how low we were ranked preseason in the Patriot League. We're trying to turn some heads, and surprise some people."
4. Lacrosse on (Real) TV
ESPNU kicks off its season of men's coverage with UMBC at Ohio State at 5 p.m. ET and North Carolina at Johns Hopkins at noon Sunday. No tablet, phone or other mobile devices needed. Sit in front of the good old fashioned TV with both hands free for food and drink and enjoy the games.
5. Bounce backs?
How does North Carolina recover from what was a surprising loss to Hofstra. Virginia, which lost to High Point on Tuesday night, is at Penn.
6. Hampton's second game
The season goes on for Hampton, the first Division I men's lacrosse program from a historically black college or university. Two weeks after their debut against Division II Roberts Wesleyan, a 20-3 loss, the Pirates head to Division III Thiel in Greenville, Pa., for a 2 p.m. Saturday game.
Where to Watch on TV/Streams
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