The 2013 season is off to a crazy start, and it’s only making me more excited for the rest of the season. Our first major upset of the year had to be first year program, High Point, over Towson, but it didn’t stop there!
This past weekend we got to see Lynchburg take down Salisbury (13-12) for the first time in over a decade. Penn State took out Top 10 Denver (15-12) in Jacksonville, FL, Mount St. Mary’s beat Bucknell (12-11), Albany beat Cuse in 2 OT periods, Marist beat Stony Brook 13-9, and Oregon took out Chapman… just to name a few!
But which of these games were REALLY upsets? And which of these games will we look back on later in the year and say “duh“?
High Point over Towson is definitely still an upset. The Panthers look great for a first year team, and could certainly rack up another couple wins, but the fact is that any first year team competing with an established program is impressive. A win is an upset. No question there.
Lynchburg is extremely good, and they are loaded with talent. But Salisbury is THE team to beat in D3 every single year. SU hadn’t lost to an ODAC foe in a long while, and Lynchburg made it happen at home in the snow. Great game, and definitely still an upset, as Salisbury was the preseason number 1 for many.
Penn State’s win over Denver is where the “is this an upset?” question really starts to perk up. Tambroni is a a winner, and PSU has been on the rise ever since his arrival. Sure, Denver is regarded as one of the Top 10 teams in the country, and had just beaten Duke, but Tambroni was 5-1 against Tierney in their last six meetings in the Ivy, and now he’s 6-1 in their last seven meetings. PSU has athletes, and they play HARD, smart lacrosse. Denver was the favorite here, but as we see more of Penn State, this one will be less and less shocking.
MSM over Bucknell was surprising, at least to me. If you asked a Mount St. Mary’s fan if it was surprising, they would probably just laugh at you, because they KNEW the Mount would be better in 2013. This is the first year the NEC gets an AQ, and a number of MSM’s players did NOT play last year, and came back for this season, in the hopes of AQing their way to the NCAAs. Watch out for the Mount this year. It could be a banner season.
Albany over Cuse? HAS TO BE AN UPSET, right? Not so fast. It’s hard not to look at Albany – Cuse the same was as I looked at Lynchburg – Salisbury, but in the end, the Thompsons are really the difference maker here. Albany landing this attack trifecta changes the game, and makes them instantly competitive. Cuse is still Cuse, but now Albany is Albany, and they have to be respected.
Photo Credit: Rich Barnes
Stony Brook hasn’t been quite the same force they were a couple of years ago, but I still expected them to beat teams like Marist. For me, this is a huge upset, and a big win for the Marist program.
Finally, we get to an MCLA upset! Oregon over Chapman, down in California is big, especially because Oregon would go on to lose to a severely underrated Stanford team in their next game. Chapman had often set the early bar out West, and to see Oregon win by a goal, and score when they needed to was a nice change to the early season trends. An even bigger upset might have been Stanford over UCSB to open the season for both teams. Stanford should be Top 5 in the next poll.
Photo Credit: Southland Lax
Overall, we seem to be getting tighter games when two good teams play each other this year. Look no further than Loyola’s one goal win over Delaware. However, when the talent is spread a bit more, the scores tend to reflect it. In 2013, there is no hiding, and there is no stalling to victory. We will continue to see “upsets” and upsets, and we won’t always know which are which until later in the year. From what I can see, some of the games mentioned above are definitely shockers. But some of them? Some of them won’t surprise us at all when we look back on them a month or two down the road.
Which of these games did YOU think was the biggest upset? Did you predict any of these outcomes? What tipped you off?