May 17, 2013

Ten-2-Watch: May Madness Heats Up

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.

This weekend features NCAA tournaments across all levels of play. Use #NCAALAX to discuss the NCAA tournament 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. All times Eastern.

Overall 91-39 87-43 86-44 85-45 84-46 82-48 80-50 79-51 71-59
Last week 6-4 6-4 6-4 5-5 4-6 6-4 5-5 4-6 4-6










M:OSU-COR COR OSU COR OSU COR COR COR COR COR
M:SYR-YAL SYR
YAL
YAL
YAL SYR
SYR
SYR
SYR
SYR
W:UVA@UNC UNC
UNC
UNC
UNC UNC
UNC
UNC
UNC
UNC
W:FLA@SYR FLA
FLA
FLA
SYR
FLA
FLA
FLA
FLA
FLA
M:LIM@MER MER
MER
LIM
MER
MER
MER
LIM
LIM
LIM
W:LIM-ROL ROL
LIM
ROL
LIM
ROL
ROL
ROL
ROL
LIM
W:PSU@NU NU
NU
NU
NU
NU
NU
NU
NU
NU
M:DEN-UNC UNC
DEN
UNC
DEN
UNC
UNC
UNC
DEN
DEN
M:ND-DUKE DUKE
ND
DUKE
ND
ND
DUKE
ND
DUKE
ND
M:SAL@STV STV
STV
SAL
STV
STV
SAL
STV
STV
STV

MD1: No. 3 Ohio State (13-3) vs. Cornell (13-3), 12:30 p.m. Saturday at College Park, Md. (NCAA Quarterfinal)

Cornell put up 16 goals on a very strong Maryland defense and an All-American-caliber goalie in Niko Amato. Ohio State, meanwhile, posted the same number of goals against Towson's Andrew Wescavaga, the goalie with the hottest hand coming into the NCAA tournament. Talk about marksmanship. What was more impressive was the sheer efficiency of their offenses. The Big Red shot a scorching 52 percent, with 16 goals on just 31 shots. Credit Rob Pannell, who played arguably the best all-around game of his career with four goals and three assists. Pannell was smart with the ball, did not force feeds and shot lights out. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, shot 40 percent in their dismantling of the Tigers. Canadians Jesse King and Logan Schuss combined for seven goals, while midfielder Dominique Alexander—maybe the best two-way player left in the tournament—contributed a goal and three assists. Ohio State will look to advance to its first-ever final four.

MD1: No. 1 Syracuse (14-3) vs. Yale (12-4), 3 p.m. Saturday at College Park, Md. (NCAA Quarterfinal)

In some ways the Elis and Orange are pretty different.Whereas Syracuse is tradition-rich with the likes of the Powells and Gaits donning the Orange and White, Yale was often considered an Ivy League bottomfeeder.

But today, the two teams are similar. They both have elite defensive talent. Each group has a couple talented guys in the middle of the field. And each offense knows what its strengths and limitations are and plays accordingly.

It's not much of a secret what this game is going to come down. Last weekend, 'Cuse lost 22-23 face-offs to Bryant's Kevin Massa and still survived. Can they find other ways to flip the possession war against a more disciplined Yale outfit?

@clochary Sentimental pick for me, because I have fond memories of the last time Yale made a deep tournament run in 1990. One of my favorite sports memories was watching my normally low-key Dad (a Loyola alum) writhe around our living room floor listening to the Loyola-Yale 1990 semifinal on the radio. The Greyhounds won (with goalie Charley Toomey) 14-13 in double overtime. Dad was so high on Loyola that he took my $10 bet that the Greyhounds would triumph in the national championship against heavily favored Syracuse. Even at 9 years old, I knew that was a sucker bet. I won the wager...for a while, until Syracuse's championship was vacated by the NCAA for various infractions, and Dad made me give him the $10 back, which I still think was BS.

 

 

 

 



WD1: Virginia (11-9) at No. 3 North Carolina (15-3), 1 p.m. Saturday (NCAA Quarterfinal)

These teams met back in March, and the Tar Heels escaped with a 8-7 victory. In that game, Cavaliers sophomore attacker Liza Blue was out with mono, and defender Kelsey Gahan was playing with a hurt knee. Virginia is now healthy and seems to be peaking at the right moment, as evidenced by their 10-8 upset of No. 6 seed Georgetown in the second round. No. 3 North Carolina looks powerful, though, especially on attack (133.33 gpg). The Tar Heels shellacked Loyola, 19-9, in the second round. Tewaaraton finalist Kara Cannizzaro had 5 goals and 2 assists; Abbey Friend added 4 goals and 2 assists. Virginia’s defense looked sharp against the Hoyas, pushing Georgetown to outside shots that weren’t quite manageable. But in contrast to the pass-heavy Hoyas, North Carolina tends to dodge to the cage for high-percentage shots. Virginia goalie Kim Kolarik (.420 sv %) will need to be on her game.

WD1: No. 5 Florida (18-2) at No. 4 Syracuse (16-3), 2 p.m. Saturday (NCAA Quarterfinal)

This series is tied at 2-2. The Orange had a famous comeback against the Gators in last year’s tournament; in the regular-season rematch, Florida prevailed, 14-10. In that game, senior attacker Michelle Tumolo led the Orange with 4 goals and 1 assists. Since her ACL injury, the Orange attack hasn’t missed a beat though, thanks to the rise of freshman Kayla Treanor (38g, 14a). Treanor, a first-team All-American, will be shooting on the best goalie in the country, Florida senior Mikey Meagher. (Meagher is also a first-team All-American, and a Tewaaraton finalist too.) Many goalies playing in the Carrier Dome report that the sight lines are hard to adjust to, so there may be a true home field advantage for Syracuse. Still, to prevail against the Gators, they’ll need to clean up their games (they had 25 fouls to Florida’s 16 in the regular season game) and do better on ground balls (just 8 of 23).

MD2: Limestone (16-1) at Mercyhurst (17-0), 2 p.m. Saturday (NCAA South Region Final/NCAA Semifinal)

It was a tale of two semifinals for this duo in 2012. Mercyhurst, then the defending champions, hosted Dowling, and ended up losing in overtime, 7-6. Limestone was sent on the road to Le Moyne in the same round, and stunned the second-seeded Dolphins, 10-8, for a trip to Foxborough. You can bet that the Lakers will be guarded against a repeat and the Saints will be looking to match their recipe. It will be a contrast in styles on Saturday afternoon, with the Mercyhurst hoping to implement its bland, efficient style while the Saints, as usual, will be looking to get the Lakers running and gunning. Someone with serious Philadelphia expectations will be staying home when the final whistle blows.

WD2: Limestone (19-1) vs. Rollins (16-1), 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Owings Mills, Md. (NCAA South Region Final/NCAA Semifinal)

Limestone and Rollins used to meet at the end of the regular season, in a sort of bowl game to decide the best Division II team south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Last year they moved the game to the beginning of the year, but they've found a way to meet in May. It will be the first postseason game ever between these two rivals, who each lost just one game by one goal this season. Limestone defeated Rollins, 13-12, on March 16. Rollins rallied from a four-goal deficit to tie it in the second half, but Limestone's Brittany Howard delivered the game-winner with 3:03 remaining. Neither team has lost since.

WD1: No. 7 Penn State (14-6) at No. 2 Northwestern (18-2), 8 p.m. Saturday (NCAA Quarterfinal)

It’s allegedly tough to beat a team twice in a season, but the Wildcats have done just that, shellacking the Nittany Lions 11-3 in the regular season and eeking out a 9-8 OT victory in the ALC semifinals. Can Northwestern do it a third time? Yes, if they continue to get big plays out of their upperclassmen. Two-way midfielder Taylor Thornton had a hat trick and three caused turnovers in Northwestern’s 15-8 second-round win over Stanford. Junior midfielder Alyssa Leonard had 3 goals, 1 assist and a whopping 8 draw controls against the Cardinal. Leonard currently has 301 career draw controls, and is No. 4 all-time in NCAA history. Penn State has a good draw game (.528 win %) and has kept pace with the Wildcats in previous meetings, but Leonard (120 DC this season) and partner-in-crime Gabriella Flibotte (53 DC) are tough to beat. Leonard alone has more draw controls than Penn State’s top two, sophomore midfielder Kelly Lechner (49) and senior defender Katie Guy (47). On the other hand, the Nittany Lions have six players with 20+ draw controls, and multiple weapons might be the best way to beat Northwestern for possession. Still, the Wildcats are 18-0 at home in the NCAA tournament.

MD1: No. 4 Denver (13-4) vs. No. 5 North Carolina (13-3), Noon Sunday at Indianapolis (NCAA Quarterfinal)

Fan Vote Game of the Week

Who will win (MD1)?
Denver
North Carolina

View Results

In 2012, these two teams played maybe the best game of the year when the Pios trekked east to Chapel Hill and beat the Heels 16-14 in the first round of the playoffs.

Denver took advantage of Chase Carraro dominating the faceoff, Jeremy Noble putting up an insane ten points and toe-drag savant Mark Matthews catching-and-shooting to win the Tombstone-like shootout.

Of course things will likely be different this season. Refs can slap a timer-on call. Noble's been missing with an injury. Carraro was hurt early. And that Carolina team everyone expected to fold like laundry? The Heels are looking like early championship day favorites.

MD1: No. 2 Notre Dame (11-4) vs. No. 7 Duke (13-5), 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Indianapolis (NCAA Quarterfinals)

Nearly being on the wrong end of the biggest upset in NCAA tournament history may have been a blessing in disguise for the Irish. Their listless offense, lulled to sleep in consecutive losses to Syracuse and through three quarters against Detroit Mercy, awoke from its slumber in turning a 7-3 deficit into a 9-7 victory. Freshman standout Matt Kavanagh was the biggest beneficiary of Notre Dame's ability to create unsettled situations with a 10-man ride. Coaches call those "effort goals." Will the momentum carry over against Duke? The Irish, a de facto home team in Indy, beat the Blue Devils 13-5 back in February. But we've seen that story before. Duke has twice defeated Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament after losing to the Irish during the regular season, including the 2010 championship game and 2011 quarterfinal. And the Blue Devils showed tremendous resolve (61 shots) in defeating defending NCAA champion Loyola 12-11 in overtime last week.

MD3: Salisbury (17-5) at Stevenson (20-2), 7 p.m. Sunday (South Region Final/NCAA Semifinal)

For the third time in the last four years, Salisbury and Stevenson will square off in the national semifinals for a shot at the Big Game. Salisbury has won the previous two matchups in 2010 and 2012, but this year it's Stevenson that enters the game as the presumptive favorite. The Mustangs manhandled Lynchburg in the quarterfinals, 13-7, and now they'll test their mettle against the annual tournament benchmark. Salisbury broke the heart of Dickinson, which had rolled up until Wednesday with an undefeated record, only to see the Sea Gulls shut the Red Devils down and register the 11-9 victory. The two teams met back on April 3, and Stevenson came away with the 10-8 road victory. Can they match the feat at home on Sunday night? If they make it to Philadelphia, the Mustangs will know they've earned it.


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