What a FANTASTIC weekend of lacrosse we have lined up! There are some really big early season games, televised games, and more college lax action at which we can shake a short stick! Let’s get down and dirty and preview the top games coming up this weekend!!!!
On Friday night we get a televised game on ESPNU. Towson travels to Johns Hopkins and the game will air live at 5pm. We’re excited to see Hop in action, as we have high expectations for the Blue Jays, but we’re not counting Towson out either. The Tigers are looking up this year and I’m thinking this game could be decided by 5 or less goals pretty easily. I still like Hop to win. Tommy Gilligan will be down covering the game for LAS, but if you’re watching on TV, make sure to watch for the new Maverik commercial. We hear it’s pretty cool and has a definite Grow The Game flavor to it!
On Saturday we get a full slate of D1 action. Bellarmine plays Mercer and we love seeing a D1 team from Kentucky playing a game against a D1 team in Georgia. Only a couple of years ago, this would have been unthinkable. Bellarmine should take the W here. Bucknell heads to UMass for what should be a good game. I like UMass in that one though. Delaware heads to Loyola for what should be a close game. Detroit will lose at UNC, but I have no idea who takes the Duke – Notre Dame game. The game is at ND, and is sold out, but I like Duke to take it by 2 or 3 goals. Hartford at Maryland could be a good one too, but UMD should win.
Michigan heads to Penn State, and while this game should be an awesome one for years to come, I think PSU pulls out a big win. They played UNC tough last week and I think they have a real edge mentally. They need to right the ship NOW, while Michigan just needs to have a good first season. This isn’t a knock on UM whatsoever, but to think a first year team has the same mentality as Penn State is hard to believe. But maybe they do, I’ve been wrong before! Michigan will play to win, which I LOVE, because it builds on the right mentality, but PSU needs to win NOW, and that slight difference will matter. PSU by 7 to 8 goals.
There a couple of other interesting games worth mentioning: Lehigh – Villanova could be good. Nova graduated some studs, but has talent, and Lehigh seems to be up and coming. Vermont is trying to pick it up, and a win over Colgate would be huge. This is a big test for the Catamounts. And of COURSE, we can’t forget Virginia – Drexel. This is almost always a great game, and I expect nothing less this time around. I like UVA to win in a tight one.
On Sunday, we see Air Force vs. Rutgers, which will be played at Syracuse. Albany also heads to Syracuse but they actually play Syracuse. Rutgers – AFA could be good, but not a huge game. Cuse should win over Albany, but I expect Albany to be more fun to watch. Weird, right? Thompson is just going to be a pleasure to behold out on the field. Siena and Hobart are also playing in Cuse, so if you’re in the area, there is a TON of D1 lax to watch. Enjoy it. Denver vs. Ohio State in Florida should be pretty awesome. Denver looks good, but OSU is definitely experiencing an uptick. I like Denver by 4. Navy plays Jacksonville in another Florida D1 game, and we’re thinking Navy takes this one pretty comfortably. Is 2012 Navy’s rebirth year? I guess we’ll see.
In NCAA D2 action, the NYIT – NDNU game looks promising. West Coast program versus LI powerhouse. Could be epic. LeMoyne at Seton Hill could be awesome as well. LeMoyne is really strong still, and I’m curious to see if Seton Hill can pick up a big win here. On Sunday, NYIT takes on Dominican U, and this could be another good game. It’s still early in D2, but I’m excited to see some of these games play out. Florida Southern will play Limestone, and that’s a good test to see where FSC sits. Limestone should have another good year.
In DIII action, you really only have three or four games that could be considered “big”. There are a lot of games going down, but the ones that really stick out are Stevenson – Haverford, Salisbury – Lynchburg, and Saint Mary’s – Roanoke. I like the favorites, Stevenson, Salisbury and Roanoke, to win each game as I think all three have talent and desire. Some are reloading, and some didn’t graduate much, but the South region looks largely unchanged. The powers that be, be.
In MCLA action, there is a potentially huge game on Friday night featuring Santa Clara and Chapman. I like Chapman to win the game, but SC could be really for real this year, and this game could be a great indicator. A win would mean instant legitimacy in the eyes of the rest of the league. The South Carolina – Georgia game has potential, and for some reason I think the PBAU – FAU game should be really entertaining. It’s like Boca vs Palm Beach… a nice little local rivalry!
Now if I thought the SC – Chapman game on Friday was going to be good, I think the Chapman – BYU game on Saturday could be GREAT. Maybe even the game of the year. Hopefully Chapman isn’t too beat up from the SC game and we get a fantastic contest. Both of these teams can play physical lacrosse, and can score in bunches. It should be a great one. Highly anticipated for sure. I’m also excited for the Clemson – SCAD game, as I love great interdivisional match ups. The top SELC D2 team vs a top level SELC D1 team. Love it. I like Clemson by 4.
Oregon plays Cal Poly at a local HS in California, and this should be an awesome game. Oregon needs a big early win to get things going in the right direction for 2012 and Cal Poly is looking for respect. Both of these teams have a ton of potential for this year, and it should be a really intense game. Some of these players met over the Summer in Tahoe, and the intensity was there back then. I can only imagine what this regular season game will bring. Washington – St. Louis, Washington and Western Washington are all playing two games this Saturday, so good luck to them with that! Gonna be a rough road! All three of those teams also play games on Sunday. Wow.
Speaking of Sunday, we’ve got even more good games! Arizona at Cal should be good, and Oregon at Sonoma State has potential as well. South Carolina at Florida State is HUGE for both teams, and ASU gets into the action as the visit San Diego. I’m curious to see who ASU is this year. For SD it’s the land of hopeful opportunity.
It’s a full slate of games! Make sure you get out and catch one this weekend. College lax is here!