Editor’s Note: Ryan Connors will be selecting a College Lacrosse Game Of The Week each week on LaxAllStars.com. In each post, he’ll break down EXACTLY why he thinks this is THE game to watch. An NCAA Division 1 game will be featured, but others may sneak in there from time to time if they’re REALLY good!
WEEK ONE: Saturday, February 4th to Sunday, February 5th
There are only three NCAA Division 1 lacrosse games this weekend, and two out of those three “games” are actually scrimmages, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to start writing about the 2012 college lacrosse season!
MCLA Shout out: On the MCLA side, I’m really excited for FSU vs. Central Florida, but I’ll cover what I know; NCAA lax!
Ohio State vs. Bucknell
Out of this weekend’s three NCAA Division 1 match ups, I think that Bucknell vs. Ohio State will be the best game. Yes, it’s just a scrimmage, but I think that this is hands down the best game to watch.
Here are my top 5 reasons:
1) Ohio State On The Rise
Last year the Ohio State Buckeyes finished 8-8, with an ECAC tournament loss to a very strong Denver squad. I think OSU will have a strong season this year, I expect them to win a majority of their games. They are returning a strong squad and they should make some noise this year.
2) Bucknell Wants Redemption
The Bison had a terrific season last year, and quickly became on of my favorite teams to watch. The hard work and blue collar effort took Bucknell deep into the playoffs only to be denied the Final Four last year by an overtime loss to Virgina. I can see them having another strong season, and they are looking to get back to the playoffs again.
3) Matt Kawamoto
Kawamoto is a preseason third team All-American this year for the Buckeyes. He will be the anchor to the defense this year. He is a two-time first team all-conference player. If he lives up to the hype, I can see him getting over 20 CT’s and around 45 GB’s.
4) Seven Returning Starters
Bucknell is returning seven out of ten starters from last years squad, and also twenty-six players that saw action last year. Any team that returns that many players is set to have a stellar year. Playing experience is huge in DI lacrosse and with a good amount of the team playing last year and getting playoff experience can go a long way. This is just a scrimmage, so I assume that both teams will be shuffling around lines to find the best set of players to put on the field to start their season. However, this much depth can go a long way this season.
5) Billy Eisenreich
Senior midfield Eisenreich put up 34 points for the Bison last year depsite missing four games due to injury. He will step into a senior leadership role and will put up huge numbers this year. With Charlie Streep still recovering from a knee injury, I expect Eisenreich to carry the load until Streep is 100%. I wouldn’t surprise me if Eisenreich went 20 and 25 this year for a combined 45 points. If he can get to this mark and Streep comes back strong Bison will have another strong season.
Again, as I mentioned before, this is just a scrimmage but it will be a great game to watch. I expect the Bison to come out with a victory, but this will be a very evenly matched game. The game will serve as a good indicator as to how the Ohio State Buckeye season will go. I may be wrong with my predictions, but I can guarantee that this game will be a fun and exciting game to watch. A preseason loss does nothing to records, so expect both of these teams to experiment. A great game for the unofficial first week of the season.