Ten-2-Watch: 1-vs.-2 Matchups On Two Fronts Saturday
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.
A pair of 1-vs.-2 matchups spice up this weekend's picks, as the Women's Division I and Men's Division II top dogs tangle on Saturday. Maryland takes a trek down to North Carolina in a rematch of last year's NCAA final at noon and Adelphi takes a trip up to central New York to visit Le Moyne. Who did we like for those and eight other big contests?
WD1: No. 2 Maryland (12-0) at No. 1 North Carolina (11-1)
|Maryland is the last unbeaten
team standing in Women's DI with North Carolina and Albany both
falling this week. Can the Tar Heels break the Terrapin streak?
Saturday, 12 p.m.
The women's marquee matchup up of the weekend will be a rematch
of last year's championship game between North Carolina (11-1) and
Maryland (13-0). Prior to this week, the Tar Heels were ranked No.
1. However, Northwestern brought them a surprising upset, ending
their 15-game winning streak and the best start in program history.
UNC was held to a season low of only five goals, losing by two.
Maryland (13-0) will likely take over the No. 1 spot if they come
out on top on Saturday. The only undefeated squad remaining, the
Terps defeated No. 4 Boston College last week in a close 10-9
contest, with the game-winning goal reaching the back of the net
with less than five minutes left in the game. Boston College has
been the first team to challenge both the Tar Heels and Terps,
coming up just one goal shy of handing each of them their first
MD1: No. 18 Albany (4-4) at No. 10 Johns Hopkins (5-3)
Friday, 7 p.m.
Here we go. The Thompson-led Great Danes head to Homewood Field
for a Friday night battle that could lift the stock of Albany while
dropping that of the Blue Jays, who are already slumping. Johns
Hopkins has lost three straight games, all to LM Top 10 teams,
since opening the season with five straight wins. "We just can't
get out of our own way," Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said
after the latest defeat, last Saturday at home to North Carolina.
He was talking about mistakes — missed shots, clears and
defensive assignments — that have piled up in losses to
Syracuse, Virginia and the Tar Heels. Albany won't make it easy. If
the Danes can get just enough possessions, they'll have a good shot
at winning in Baltimore for the second straight year. But their
best faceoff specialist, Connor Russell, has won 50 percent of his
draws while the Blue Jays' Drew Kennedy is third nationally at 69
percent. Nevertheless, Lyle and Miles Thompson (first and second
nationally in points per game at 6.88 and 6.25, respectively) and
lefty finisher Ty Thompson can change the momentum of any game
quickly and Albany has won games despite losing the faceoff battle
before, most recently a 17-10 win over Penn State on March 22. This
could be the last time Albany and Johns Hopkins meet for a while.
With Johns Hopkins headed to the Big Ten next season and scheduling
adjustments needed, this series is not scheduled to continue next
WD1: No. 19 Denver (9-1) at No. 6 Stanford (8-1)
Friday, 10 p.m.
Both undefeated in conference play, Stanford (8-1) will host their conference rival Denver (9-1) in a MPSF showdown on Friday to determine which team which take the No. 1 seed. The Pioneers, who won the 2013 regular season title with an 8-0 record, will attempt to steal the Cardinal's reigning MPSF tournament crown. Stanford leads Denver in a 17-6 all-time series lead and they have met in their conference championship six of the past eight seasons. Vanderbilt handed Stanford its lone loss of this season in overtime and Big East leader Lousiville defeated the Pioneers by five goals. Both losses came during each team's third game of the season.
MD1: Towson (7-3) at No. 17 Umass (7-2)
Saturday, 12 p.m.
The CAA should be a wide-open race for the playoffs and the NCAA berth at the end of the tunnel, and both the Minutemen and Tigers hope to be in good position to make that run when all is said and done, making this one a good mid-season test for both squads. Towson is coming in off its first league loss, falling at Hofstra last weekend by two and snapping a six-game win streak that saw the Tigers outscore foes by a combined 64-42 margin following a 20-4 blowout loss to Loyola on Feb. 19th. UMass has lost just twice this year - falling in a rout against the high-powered Albany attack and also against No. 14 Fairfield.
WD1: No. 4 Boston College (9-3) at No. 12 Duke (8-4)
Saturday, 12 p.m.
In another ACC matchup this weekend, Boston College will take on Duke, who currently sits one seed above the Eagles. Boston College has been the strongest contender all season long against top-ranked North Carolina and Maryland, losing by one goal to each in down-to-the-wire games. Duke, however, lost by nine goals to the Terps and has yet to challenge the Tar Heels. If Boston College can finally pull away with a win against a tough conference rival, both teams will become 2-3 in the ACC, allowing the Eagles to jump ahead of the Blue Devils in the standings.
MD1: Brown (6-3) at No. 11 Penn (4-3)
Saturday, 1 p.m.
Fresh off an 11-10 win at home over Princeton, its first against the Tigers since 2008, Brown heads to Philly for an Ivy League tilt with Penn. Can the Bears prove last week wasn't a fluke? Sophomore goalie Jack Kelly, a product of Long Island powerhouse West Islip (N.Y.), was the star last week, stopped 16 shots against Princeton and seven in the fourth quarter as Brown fended off a Tigers comeback attempt from down five goals. Penn has been in the national rankings all year and had a big early season win over Denver, but a closer look at their results reveals perhaps more weakness than thought. The one-goal win last Saturday over Yale was the Quakers' first victory since a 12-11 comeback win against unranked Villanova three games earlier. In between, they fell 15-12 to Princeton and 17-9 to Cornell. Their only win of more than two goals was a 14-4 win over Saint Joseph's way back on Feb. 25. Penn does it with depth, their highest goal-scorers are Isaac Bock (12) and Kevin Brown (10) and six players have at least 10 points and no more than 17 on the season.
WD1: No. 5 Florida (12-2) at No. 13 Johns Hopkins (10-1)
Saturday, 12 p.m.
After a tough loss against unranked Vanderbilt last weekend shattering its program's Division I record of wins to start the season with 10, Hopkins will be looking to rebound in its upcoming ALC contest against Florida, who is undefeated in conference play. The Gators are 12-2 overall and lead the nation in total points (297) and draw controls per game (17.21). Junior Shannon Gilroy leads her southern squad, holding the No. 1 seed for points and goals in the NCAA. The Blue Jays will attempt to hand Florida its first loss in the ALC with team leader Taylor D'Amore at its helm, trailing Gilroy's second-ranked spot in points per game in the NCAA by only 0.05.
MD1: Colgate (7-3) at Lehigh (8-3)
Saturday, 2 p.m.
With the entire Patriot League jockeying for position behind No. 2 Loyola, this contest could hold major implications for the league tournament where nobody wants to have to face the Greyhounds in that first round. Army holds the inside track at No. 2 in the league right now, but Colgate and Lehigh are right behind at 3rd and 4th, respectively. The Mountain Hawks have had one of the top defenses in the country, anchored by Senior CLASS Award finalist Ty Souders - allowing just under seven goals a game. They'll be tasked with slowing down the Ryan Welsh-led Raiders, who came close to topping the aforementioned Greyhounds in their last game, falling 10-8.
WD3: No. 7 Franklin & Marshall (9-2) at No. 5 TCNJ (9-2)
Friday, 6 p.m.
This matchup comes almost a year to the day since Franklin and Marshall ended TCNJ's undefeated 2013 season with a 10-7 victory in Lancaster, but both teams look stronger this time around, especially TCNJ, which has been on quite the defensive run. The Lions have put up back-to-back shutouts, have not allowed a goal in over 130 minutes of game time and haven't allowed a shot in their last two games. They'll need all the defense they can get against a Franklin and Marshall team coming off a 19-0 victory of its own. TCNJ already earned a one-goal victory over F&M's Centennial Conference rival Gettysburg, so a victory here would give the Dips a psychological edge moving into conference play. A win in this one likely locks up a Top 4 seed, and the right to host an NCAA quarterfinal, for TCNJ.
MD2: No. 2 Adelphi (9-0) at No. 1 Le Moyne (9-0)
Saturday, 3 p.m.
Last season these two teams met three times. Is Saturday's meeting just the first of a trio of clashes? It sure looks like it at this point. Like last spring, this opening salvo is the least important of the bunch. Yes, it will likely determine who has the home field in the Northeast-10 championship game, but Adelphi had it last year (and in the NCAA tournament), and the Dolphins still won both of those meetings. This game is more about two heavyweights sizing each other up for future bouts.
Le Moyne has played the tougher schedule to date and have posted several impressive victories, including last week's rout of Merrimack, 16-9. All told, the Dolphins have faced four ranked teams so far, with the only close shave coming to Dowling. The Panthers have two ranked wins - a close shave against Lenoir-Rhyne to open the season and then a road victory over LIU Post. Who will win the opening match and grab the top spot in the polls? Tough to say, but they'll do they dance again before the season is over.
comments powered by Disqus