March 29, 2013

Ten-2-Watch: Northwestern, Syracuse Renew Pleasantries

by Lacrosse Magazine staff | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Each week, the Lacrosse Magazine staff picks and previews of the weekend's best, from all levels of the college landscape. Use #Ten2Watch to discuss the games to come, and tweet @LacrosseMag to make your own picks. Also make sure to vote in our LaxMagazine.com Fan Vote Game of the Week.

Overall 41-19 40-20 39-21 38-22 38-22 38-22 38-22 35-25 34-26
Last week 6-4 5-5 5-5 7-3 5-5 5-5 5-5 7-3 7-3










M:JHU@UNC UNC
JHU
UNC UNC
UNC JHU JHU
JHU
UNC
W:FLA@PSU FLA
FLA
FLA
FLA
FLA
FLA FLA
FLA
FLA
W:MID@BOW MID
MID
MID
MID
MID MID MID
BOW
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M:STJ@ND ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
STJ
ND
ND
M:BRN@PRN PRN
PRN
PRN
PRN
PRN
PRN
PRN
PRN
PRN
W:STN@JMU JMU
JMU
STN JMU
STN STN STN
STN
STN
M:LOY@OSU LOY
OSU
LOY LOY
LOY LOY LOY
OSU
LOY
W:SYR@NU NU
SYR
NU NU
NU NU NU
SYR
NU
M:MD@UVA MD
MD
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MD MD MD
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M:LYN@STV STV
STV LYN LYN
STV STV STV STV
STV

All times Eastern.  

MD1: No. 8 Johns Hopkins (6-2) at No. 6 North Carolina (6-3), Noon Saturday

This game is like a box of chocolates: You have no idea what you're going to get.

Johns Hopkins quieted all the doubters and the naysayers when last Saturday it dismantled Virginia 15-8. It looked like the Blue Jays' team we expected at the beginning of the season. Midfielders dodged downhill. Attackmen were cagey and crafty. Defenseman bullied and terrorized opposing attackmen.

On Saturday, the Jays will have their hands their full against a resurgent Tar Heel squad which beat both top-ranked Maryland and Brown in the last seven days. North Carolina is led by arguably the best attack unit in the nation. Senior Marcus Holman is the tablesetter and a potential Tewaaraton Award candidate. Sophomores Joey Sankey and Jimmy Bitter are ankle breakers who are as tough off the ground as they are quick on the corner.

The game will likely come down to who has the ball more. North Carolina's R.G. Keenan was a first team All-American in 2012 but has been hot and cold this year. Hopkins' star technician Mike Poppleton got "nicked up" against Virginia and is a gametime decision.

WD1: No. 2 Florida (13-0) at No. 10 Penn State (6-3), Noon Saturday

The Nittany Lions most recently had a bad shooting day and just squeaked by unranked Drexel, 9-8. Usually Penn State averages 13.78 goals per game, and they’ll need to make the most of its powerful attack to get past the Gators, especially goalie Mikey Meagher. The senior has a .527 save percentage and overall only one team (Syracuse) has gotten into double-digits against Florida. Last year, the Gators dropped 20 points on the Nittany Lions and that was shooting against all-ALC keeper Dana Cahill, who has since graduated. Penn State’s current defense allows 11.67 goals per game. The Nittany Lions are only 3-3 on the road, too, and Gainesville is a long trip and a hostile field for visitors.

WD3: No. 4 Middlebury (6-0) at No. 8 Bowdoin (5-0), Noon Saturday

The No. 1 contender for Trinity’s NESCAC crown likely resides in New England’s northern reaches, where Middlebury, Bowdoin and Colby call home. This game will give a nice idea of who that team is. Bowdoin is off to its best start since 2006 and has already defeated Hamilton and Amherst. Middlebury is fresh off its best win of the season, a 14-11 victory at No. 5 Gettysburg on Tuesday. These teams always play close, but Middlebury always seems to find a way to win. However, the Panthers might be a bit bus-lagged. The trip comes at the tail end of a week-long road trip through the Northeast.

MD1: No. 20 St. John's (6-2) at No. 1 Notre Dame (6-1), 1 p.m. Saturday

St. John's and Notre Dame meet in a remach of last year's Big East tournament semifinal upset that put the Red Storm on the national map. St. John's has the nation's leading scorer in Kieran McArdle, who is averaging 7.13 points per game. Another New York-based team, Hofstra, came to South Bend and knocked off the Irish in a one-goal game a few weeks ago. Can St. John's do the same? Notre Dame has played in five one-goal affairs, winning the other four. The Irish, coming off an 8-7 win over Rutgers, took over the No. 1 ranking after Maryland and Cornell faltered last week.

MD1: No. 19 Brown (5-2) at No. 10 Princeton (5-2), 1 p.m. Saturday

Brown has one of the nation’s most explosive rookies in attackman Henry Blynn (five goals against North Carolina on Wednesday and 18 for the season), but the Bears defense got shredded in an 18-12 loss against the Heels that snapped a five-game winning streak. Freshman goalie Jack Kelly has been strong (55.8 save percentage), but had little chance facing a barrage of point-blank shots against UNC. It was a good primer for a key Ivy League game against a Princeton team that handed Brown a pair of losses a year ago. The Tigers offense has been very strong, but not particularly deep. Seventy-nine of its 85 goals have come from the starting attack and first midfield unit. Princeton started 3-0 with big wins over Hofstra, Hopkins and Villanova, but has dropped two of its last four and barely edged Yale 10-9 last weekend. One area where they’ve improved recently is faceoffs with Justin Murphy winning 40-of-60 over the last three games. That could be a distinct advantage with Brown winning just 43.1 percent for the year.

WD1: No. 13 Stanford (4-2) at No. 19 James Madison (6-3), 1 p.m. Saturday

Two teams crashers with NCAA tournament aspirations meet in Harrisonburg, Va., for what should be a close one. Stanford defeated JMU 14-13 last year in Palo Alto. JMU’s Casey Ancarrow has returned from last season’s injury with a vengeance, leading the Dukes with 30 goals and 35 points. Stanford is on a three-game winning streak, and has won four of its last five The Cardinal has only lost to Top 10 teams. This will be the last tuneup for each team before conference play really picks up.

MD1: No. 5 Loyola (7-2) at No. 12 Ohio State (6-2), 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Loyola, a small Jesuit school tucked away in Baltimore gets a taste of big-time BCS athletics when the Hounds travel to Columbus, Ohio, to do battle with the Buckeyes.

The Hounds finally have most all of their pieces back from their 2012 championship run. Josh Hawkins returned from suspension and is wreaking havoc between the lines. Ditto for attackman Mike Sawyer who was out with an injury. In their absence, others shined. Notably Zach Herreweyers, a lefty no-frills Canadian who can fill up the net, emerged as a crafty complement down low.

Of course Loyola will have to tame pesky ECAC rival Ohio State. The Buckeyes are led by a couple slick-sticked North-of-the Border products, including Logan Schuss, a John Grant Jr. clone that can either shoot or feed. Loyola can get a bit reckless with how fast they play. The Hounds should think twice about fouling Ohio State: the Bucks’ man-up unit is converting at an insane 54 percent clip.


@Corey_McL
Something tells me this is the game Loyola puts everything together. Last year, I remember a road trip to Hobart being one the Greyhounds' catalysts to winning a title. You never know what will rally a team, but the Hounds are at the end of string of five straight road games. Ending the stretch with a solid win will set Loyola up well for the season's second half.

 

 

 

 


WD1: No. 5 Syracuse (4-2) at No. 4 Northwestern (7-1), 2 p.m. Saturday

Fan Vote Game of the Week

Who will win (WD1)?
Syracuse
Northwestern

View Results

Northwestern has won nine straight against Syracuse, including a 2012 regular season overtime win and an 8-6 victory in the national championship. The Wildcats look a little different than they did a year ago, with sophomore Bridget Bianco (6.95 goals against average) in the goal, and an attack that’s still in search of a go-to feeder to replace Casey Bocklet, who transferred to Virginia. Through nine games, no Wildcat has hit double-digit assists. Freshman Christina Esposito leads the team with 10. Dodging to the goal seems to be working just as well, though — the team averages 14.67 goals per game.

Syracuse looks comparatively similar to the team that took the field at Stony Brook last spring. Junior Alyssa Murray (19g, 12a) and senior Michelle Tumolo (16g, 14a) are still the 1-2 punch of the offense, and the goalie platoon with Alyssa Costantino and Kelsey Richardson is still in effect. In a slight change, Richardson has edged out Costantino for the starting spot in the last three games and has a better goals allowed average (8.12 versus 12.88). Costantino started in both games versus Northwestern last year and played the entire championship game. Richardson could provide a fresh look against the defending national champs.

@clochary Will this game have a revival of the Harrington-Tumolo faceguard? Harrington held Tumolo to a single goal and took the IWLCA Attacker of the Year out of last year's national title game, physically and mentally. Harrington was no more than a stick's length away from Tumolo at any time, even when the ball was in the other end. She puts the face in faceguard, too — she just stares and stares at her mark. It's incredibly unnerving. I saw her do it again this year, marking Navy's excellent Jasmine DePompeo (5g, 3a) in Northwestern's shaky 15-12 win over the Midshipmen on March 11. At one point, when the ball was in Navy's defensive end, DePompeo just turned her back on the action and watched it on the scoreboard instead. I couldn't tell if she couldn't see over the 5-10 Harrington, or if she just wanted an excuse to break eye contact with her. (Incidentally, the whole Syracuse team was in the stands at that game, scouting Northwestern during a spring break trip.)

 

 

 

 

 




MD1: No. 2 Maryland (6-1) at No. 17 Virginia (5-4), 2 p.m. Saturday

Joel Censer intimated Thursday that Maryland might be too reliant on its first midfield. But even in a 10-8 loss to North Carolina that dropped the Terps from No. 1, Mike Chanencuk, Jake Bernhardt and John Haus combined for four goals. Granted, a 4-for-19 shooting line is not the prettiest, but the biggest defensive victories for the Tar Heels were keeping attackman Jay Carlson from getting any open looks on the crease and limiting long pole extraordinaire Jesse Bernhardt in the transition game. Virginia, still in search of that signature win after getting throttled by Johns Hopkins at the Face-Off Classic, should look to do the same thing. Easier said than done with Chris LaPierre (knee) shelved for the season.

MD3: No. 8 Lynchburg (8-1) at No. 5 Stevenson (8-1), 7 p.m. Saturday

These two teams got locked up in a defensive struggle last year when the Mustangs visited the Hornets, with Lynchburg grinding out a 6-3 victory. The Bugs forced Stevenson into a bad shooting night — the Mustangs managed just 10 shots on net — along with a season-high 27 turnovers. Lynchburg could be without the services of Joe Lisicky, who has missed the last six games, but the Hornets are still a strong defensive squad (19 goals allowed in the last four games). Stevenson has been equally strong on the backline, yielding no more than seven goals in the last six outings. While each team has talented offensive players, all signs are pointing to this one being another single-digit slugfest.


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