May 11, 2012

Ten to Watch: Tournament Time All Around

by LaxMagazine.com staff

The NCAA tournaments have caught up with Ten to Watch and we are both wearing our post-season best this weekend. As our quarterfinals are decided, NCAA tournament games across many division will also be played. Enjoy them.

Follow the weekend's action here at laxmagazine.com. All Times Eastern.


VS.
    

VS.
  

VS.
  
VS.
Overall 
 69-51    71-39   64-56   68-42    
72-48
  69-41   67-53   70-40
Seed

No. 9

  No. 1

  No. 12

  No. 4

  No. 6

  No. 3

  No. 10
  No. 2

M:COL@MASS COL   MASS   COL   MASS   COL   COL   COL   COL
                               

W:PSU@TOW

TOW

 

PSU

 

TOW

 

TOW

 

PSU

 

PSU

 

PSU

 

PSU

W:WC@LIME

LIME

 

LIME

 

WC

 

LIME

 

LIME

  LIME  

LIME

 

LIME

M:STV@CORT

CORT

 

CORT

 

CORT

 

CORT

 

CORT

 

CORT

 

CORT

 

STV

W:TCNJ-AMH

TCNJ

 

TCNJ

 

TCNJ

  TCNJ  

TCNJ

 

TCNJ

 

AMH

 

AMH

M:DEN@UNC

DEN

 

UNC

 

DEN

 

UNC

 

UNC

 

UNC

 

UNC

 

DEN

W:PEN@LOY

LOY

 

LOY

 

LOY

 

LOY

 

LOY

 

LOY

 

LOY

 

LOY

W:DAR@SYR

SYR

 

SYR

 

SYR

 

SYR

   

SYR

 

SYR

     

SYR

 

SYR

M:YALE@ND

ND

 

ND

 

ND

 

ND

 

YALE

 

ND

 

ND

 

ND

M:MD@LEH

LEH

 

MD

 

MD

 

LEH

 

LEH

 

LEH

 

LEH

 

MD

 

MD1: Colgate (13-3) at No. 6 UMass (15-0), 2:30 p.m. Saturday

NCAA First Round

This game preview should read like one of those in-game television teasers: "Coming up Saturday on ESPNU, it's Peter Baum and Colgate taking on Will Manny and UMass. Peter the Great against Willy the Kid in NCAA tournament action, you don't want to miss it." Tewaaraton finalists Baum and Manny, also the nation's leading point scorers in Division I, lead two of the nation's top three scoring offenses, so a lot of the focus will be placed on the pair of attackmen. But both teams have strong supporting casts, which feature at least four other players with 20-plus points. So which team will be able to slow the other? The answer will go a long way to deciding which team advances to face the winner of Duke-Syracuse in the quarterfinals.

Sixth-seeded UMass, despite an undefeated 15-0 season and the CAA automatic big, got arguably the toughest draw of the NCAA bracket. In a year defined by one-goal games, the Minutemen played only two nail-biters — against bubble teams Penn State and Hofstra — but didn't play a tournament team all season. Though it didn't take the Patriot League automatic qualifier, Colgate captured an at-large bid after topping Maryland, 13-11, last weekend.

WD1: Penn State (11-6) at No. 8 Towson (16-3), 3 p.m. Saturday

NCAA First Round

The Tigers are hosting an NCAA tournament game for the first time and they welcome former head coach Missy Doherty, now leading Penn State, back to Johnny Unitas Stadium. The game will be a showdown of two of the country's top goalies. Towson's Mary Teeters is No. 3 in the country in save percentage (.513); Penn State's Dana Cahill is No. 10 (.491). The Nittany Lions have the edge offensively (12.18 goals per game), led by sophomore attacker MacKenzie Cyr (33 goals) and freshman Tatum Coffey (33 goals). Coffey has had a breakout season for Penn State – she leads the team in draw controls (51) and caused turnovers (17). She'll go head-to-head with Tiger midfielder Kelly Custer (41 DCs).

WD2: West Chester (14-3) at Limestone (17-1), Noon Saturday

NCAA Quarterfinal

This is the third straight season that the teams are meeting in the postseason, and like the past two match-ups, likely to be decided again by a single goal. Limestone may be the hottest team in the country as it brings a 15-game winning streak into Saturday's game. The Saints suffered their only loss by one goal against Rollins on Feb. 25. Senior Racquel Prager (70 goals) paces a high-scoring offense that averages over 18 goals per game. West Chester, making its 10th straight postseason appearance, is the last team not named Adelphi to win the NCAA D-II title, capturing the trophy in 2008. A big afternoon from PSAC Player of the Year Tori Dugan (81 points, school-record 118 draws) would help to avenge last year's national semifinal loss against Limestone.

MD3: Stevens (17-2) at Cortland (18-0), Saturday

NCAA Second Round

What happens when a team that produces a high volume of shots and plenty of goals squares off against a squad predicated on a suffocating defense? Well, last year when these two teams met in the second round of the NCAA tournament, Cortland controlled the tempo of the game and shutdown the high-flying Ducks, 10-3.

What should we expect this year? Stevens will certainly know what they are in for when they travel to CNY, which can't be undervalued, and the Ducks have developed on both ends of the field since last year. Cortland? The Dragons are better everywhere, and have devoured all of the high end opponents they've faced this year. Stevens might hang around, but they'll need a couple of good bounces, and maybe a post or two to pull this one out.


This is a terrible match-up for the Ducks, and they will be hard-pressed to travel to CNY win and pick up the win.


WD3: TCNJ (15-3) vs. Amherst (13-4), Saturday

NCAA Second Round

There's got to be some whispers in Ewing, N.J. It's been five years since TCNJ has won a national championship - the longest stretch since the advent of the tourney in 1985. The Lions' 13 titles is still easily the most (Middlebury is in second with five), but there's no question that the rest of the division has caught up with Sharon Pfluger's powerhouse. TCNJ has always been near the top of the polls with a gaudy record, but the Lions are no longer the heavy favorites in big postseason games.

After winning the national championship in 2003, Amherst hasn't been able to break free of the NESCAC riptide, failing to make the conference finals since '06 or advancing past the NCAA quarterfinals since '04. The Lady Jeffs have been in every game this season - their four losses came by a combined seven goals - and they own the only win against Trinity, but are they back to their early-millenium salad days?

One of these teams will advance on to likely play Cortland in the quarterfinals and the other will head back to the drawing board in hopes of reclaiming past glory.

MD1: Denver (8-6) at No. 8 North Carolina (11-5), 7:30 p.m. Saturday

NCAA First Round

In what would be the most exciting, up-and-down first-round contest, Denver and eighth-seeded North Carolina will meet in primetime Saturday evening. Multiple times, and from multiple sources, this matchup has been described as a "toss-up." It's hard to predict what will happen on the field Saturday, but one thing is for certain: These teams can put the biscuit in the basket, both averaging more than 12 goals per game this season and ranking among the nation's top-10 scoring offenses. First to 15 wins?

In some respects, Denver's and North Carolina's seasons followed similar paths. Ranked fifth and sixth respectively in Lacrosse Magazine's 2012 preseason poll, both struggled out of the gates but hit their stride in the second half of the season and could be peaking at the right time. It's not a stretch to suggest that either team could play in Memorial Day Weekend.


Postseason play is decided in the possession battle, which often comes down to the faceoff X, where Carolina and Denver fifth and sixth respectively in win percentage. The Tar Heels' R.G. Keenan and the Pioneers' Chase Carraro are two of the finest at their craft in the country, and the game could be won or lost in their one-on-one matchup.


WD1: Penn (9-7) at No. 6 Loyola (13-5), 1 p.m. Sunday

NCAA Quarterfinal

If momentum counts for anything, the Greyhounds have it in this game. Penn fell to Dartmouth, 6-4, in the Ivy League final and lost two of its last three. Meanwhile, Loyola has won five of its last six and avenged the single loss with a 13-7 win over Syracuse in the Big East Championship. The Greyhounds lead the series 15-4, although the teams haven't met since 2005. The Quakers will need a big day from its top scorers, Erin Brennan (31g) and Meredith Cain (30g). Brennan, who is also the team's leading assister (26), will likely draw a faceguard from Loyola's Kellye Gallagher, the Big East Defender of the Year. If she's bottled up, Penn doesn't have many other options. The next highest assister, Caroline Bunting, has only seven assists.

WD1: Dartmouth (12-4) at No. 4 Syracuse (16-3), 4 p.m. Sunday

NCAA First Round

Syracuse has had some highs during the regular season, but the Orange do not appear to be playing its best ball right now. A loss to Loyola in the Big East championship game snapped a 15-game win streak, which was kept going by a one-goal win over Georgetown in the semifinals and another one-goal win against Loyola the game before that to end the regular season. They results should give Dartmouth some hope that it can keep this first-round game close, but they have a big gap to close. Syracuse crushed the Big Green, 22-4 in their regular season meeting and Tewaaraton finalist Michelle Tumolo tied her career high with eight points with a career best five assists. Dartmouth earned an NCAA bid by beating Penn, 6-4, in the Ivy League championship game. They'll likely need to score more than that against a Syracuse offense that isn't afraid to get up-and-down.

MD1: Yale (11-4) at No. 4 Notre Dame (11-2), 5:15 p.m. Sunday

NCAA First Round

The hottest team in the country, Yale, has that scary kind of momentum that would make it ripe for a NCAA tournament first-round upset in South Bend — if only it were not for that wet blanket known as the Notre Dame defense. The Irish, upset by St. John's in the Big East semifinals, will have had 10 days to rest and reload, perhaps an unexpected benefit of that loss. It will be the Bulldogs' third game in nine days, this after a grueling season in which they've played three extra games in overtime sessions alone. And among the goalies, whom would you expect to step up on the big stage: Notre Dame's John Kemp, the seasoned junior who expertly directs his defense to show him shots he can save, or Yale's Jack Meyer, a sophomore whose season-long save percentage (.498) belies his outstanding effort in the Ivy League tournament?

MD1: Maryland (9-5) at No. 7 Lehigh (14-2), 7:30 p.m. Sunday

NCAA First Round

In a season of Cinderella stories, the most poignant question of this postseason will be who among Lehigh, Colgate, Yale, Loyola or UMass can sustain their unexpected success and muddy up Memorial Day weekend? The Mountain Hawks got a tough first-round draw in Maryland, an NCAA finalist last year, but they will have the benefit of a home crowd at sold-out Banko Field at Ulrich Sports Complex. Coming off a thrilling 16-14 comeback win against Colgate in the Patriot League final, Lehigh's offense has come alive of late. Junior Dante Fantoni has posted 14 points over his last three games, including nine in the Patriot League tournament en route to MVP honors. The Mountain Hawks will meet the Terps for the first time since the 1920s. Maryland leads the all-time series 3-1. Lehigh won the first-ever matchup in 1924 (3-0) before Maryland responded with wins in 1925 (5-3), 1926 (7-3) and 1928 (11-2).


comments powered by Disqus