May 25, 2012

Ten to Watch: It All Comes Down to This

by LaxMagazine.com staff


VS.
Overall 
 85-45    82-48
Seed

No. 1

  No. 3

W:FLA-CUSE FLA
  FLA
 
 

W:NW-MD

NW

 

NW

M:LOY-ND

ND

 

ND

M:DUKE-MD

DUKE

 

DUKE

M:LIME-DOW

LIME

 

DOW

M:SAL-CORT

SAL

 

SAL

After 15 weeks, the end is here.

In the semifinals, DaSilva eliminated Cinderella Coyne in a tie-breaker situation -- they both finished 7-3 but DaSilva was closer to the correct number of total goals in the Denver-Loyola men's game last week). In the other semifinal, McLovin (that's what they call me) beat Gibson by two, setting up and an All-Long Island-native final matchup for 10-2-W bragging rights. The trophy is on its way to the office, along with the victory bagels.

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

An abridged weekend preview is below, along with opinions from some of our 10-2-Watch pickers from the season that was.

WD1: Florida vs. Syracuse, 5:30 p.m. Friday (ESPN3.com)

NCAA Semifinal at Stony Brook, N.Y.

WD1: Northwestern vs. Maryland, 8 p.m. Friday (ESPN3.com)

NCAA Semifinal at Stony Brook, N.Y.

MD1: Loyola vs. Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2)

NCAA Semifinal at Foxborough, Mass.

 

When I reflect back on the 2012 season, especially with regard to men's Division I lacrosse, I will always remember that parity reigned supreme. I think we've really turned a corner, and now, instead of 4-5 teams being viable candidates to win the championship each year, perhaps that group expands to 10-15 teams. When teams like Colgate make it to the quarterfinals, that's good for the sport.

Now, in terms of championship weekend, I really believe that Loyola has the inside track to claim their first title. I anticipate that they will play Duke on Memorial Day, and although the Blue Devils have the experience of playing on this national stage, Loyola looks like a team of destiny. When you factor in that Loyola has already knocked off Duke once this year, I believe they have the confidence to bring the trophy back to Evergreen. Both teams are similar in that they play solid defense and have a lot of firepower on the offensive end. If this match-up comes to fruition, expect a high-scoring affair.


MD1: Duke vs. Maryland, 5 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2)

NCAA Semifinal at Foxborough, Mass.

MD2: Limestone vs. Dowling, 1 p.m. Sunday

NCAA Championship at Foxborough, Mass.


It's nice to see a couple of new teams in D2's biggest game of the year, although neither is completely new to the national championship stage. Limestone has been to the final six times previously and won the title in 2000 and 2002, but the Saints have not been back to the final since finishing as runner-up for the third straight year in 2005. Dowling upset defending national champ Mercyhurst in overtime last week and is making just its second appearance in the final. The Golden Lions were runnerup to LeMoyne in the 2006 championship.


MD3: Salisbury vs. Cortland, 4 p.m. Sunday

NCAA Championship at Foxborough, Mass.


Regardless of who wins this game, D3 will crown its first undefeated champion since Salisbury went undefeated in back-to-back seasons to win the 2007 and 2008 titles. Coincidentally, the Sea Gulls defeated Cortland in the final in both of those seasons to cap their perfect runs. Does history repeat itself this year, or does Cortland return the favor, as it did when it upset the unbeaten Gulls in the 2006 final? Either way, this match-up of D3 titans will certainly produce a worthy 2012 champion.


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