What a weekend of men’s college lacrosse we have coming up!!!!! Scott MacPherson previewed all the big time action in the SELC D1 and D2, and Alex Jones and Brown are getting ready for a HUGE game with UMass this weekend! I’ll preview the rest of the weekend’s TOP level action including the NCAA, MCLA, NCLL and NJCAA! To see which games will be broadcast on TV and online, check out our 2012 Lacrosse On TV Schedule!
We’ll start with NCAA D1. On Friday night, we get Johns Hopkins Vs. Princeton. Hop has been winning by grinding out games so far. I’ve enjoyed watching the Blue Jays, but Princeton could be their biggest test so far. The Tigers are strong on D, and Hop will need to push the ball to score goals. It could be a high scorer, but I’m thinking it’s going to be a 9-8 game, with either team capable of winning.
Loyola at Bellarmine could be pretty good too, but we like Loyola to take it by a couple goals. Michigan visits Jacksonvilleas well, and we definitely like the Dolphins in this one. The Wolverines still look like they’re a year away from really winning games at the D1 level, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a good 15-10 game in favor of Jville.
Saturday brings us a TON of good games. Albany at Yale should be an interesting clash of styles. Army at Cornell should be an awesome game, as Army is really tough and has good poles to match up on Cornell’s Rob Pannell. Both Bucknell and Navy are in need of wins, so that game should be really intense. Duke at Maryland should be super special. Maryland is rolling right now but Duke definitely has some fight in them. I like Maryland by 4 or more though.
Lehigh at UNC could be good, especially if Lehigh is really an improved team. Carolina has some offensive depth, and can play with anyone in that regard, so Lehigh will need to manage some goals to win here. Are the Mountain Hawks ready to take the plunge? This game will tell us a lot about their true status. Penn State at Ohio State should DEFINITELY have people excited. Big state schools, playing high level lacrosse… what more do you need? I don’t think PSU will be able to slow it down all the way against OSU, but it’s anyone’s game. Probably depends on which OSU teams shows up!
Notre Dame at Drexel could also be pretty spectacular. Or not. I like Drexel to win regardless, and I’m hoping to see a fun back and forth game, but I’m not sure we’ll get that. Goals will be rare and valuable, and it will be a bit of a snoozer. I’ve been wrong before, and I hope I’m wrong here, but ND has not been playing fun or exciting lacrosse this year. They are SO good at dictating pace, but unfortunately it’s just not my style. If they win, none of that matters.
Villanova at Delaware has potential, but Delaware just doesn’t seem like a world beater to me. Villanova does a little more. So I like Nova to come away with a close win here. This could be a really fun game to watch, and promises to be up and down, and rife with turnovers and transition.
But THE top game of the weekend is being played Sunday, and it features Virginia and Syracuse. Both of these teams are ALREADY battle tested, so it should be a really great game, featuring two talented, and relatively even teams. Cuse just won a tough, physical game with Army, so I’ll give them the edge here, even though the game is in Virginia. Cuse might have something to prove!
NCAA DII is probably the division where early games count the most. The NCAA selection field is just so small, even one bad loss can knock a team out, at least in certain circumstances. So this week, a couple of games loom REALLY large, and Chestnut Hill at Mercryhurst is definitely one of them! ‘Hurst has been a top level team for a while now, and CHC is looking to get there. Can Doc keep the boys from Philly rolling? HUGE game.
Dowling at Seton Hill is also really big, as these are two teams vying to get to the next level. Mercy should thump St. Mike’s, but SMC has won some big games in the past, so we’re hoping for a good one! The S. New Hampshire at CW Post game also has some promise! On Sunday, one simply can NOT overlook an upstart Tampa team heading to Limestone in SC. Should be one of Tampa’s best game’s ever! It’s certainly the young Tampa program’s biggest game ever!
Looking for great games? Then look no further than the ranks of NCAA Division III lacrosse!
On Friday night, Whittier at Southwestern has Grow The Game implications. California vs Texas NCAA lax. Whittier may still be a year away from being “back”, but we like them to take the win here by a couple. On Saturday, there are SO many games. Babson at Hartwick could be good and Keene State at RPI could be okay too, even though KS just lost to Bates in OT. The REAL game though has to Lynchburg at Cabrini. Cabrini has a good win, and a tough loss, and needs to win this game to be considered a contender. Lynchburg had better win too, or the hype train could run out of steam. Two teams enter, one team leaves.
Montclair State at Dickinson could be good, especially if Dickinson looks past MSU. Montclair isn’t what they were two to three years ago, but there is still some talent there capable of winning a big game or two. RIT vs. Endicott will be played at Harvard, and I like Endicott here. RIT is definitely still a strong team, but EC is a dark horse for me right now… prove me right Power Gulls!
Salisbury at Gettysburg used to get me salivating. Now I know the Gulls will win by 10 or more. Skidmore vs Bates will be played in Massachusetts somewhere, and the game will be epic! Both of these teams have strong ties to Morgan McDuffee, a former Bates player and Captain, who was stabbed to death in Lewiston, ME, while trying to break up a fight. Emotions will be running high, and the game will be a battle.
St. Lawrence at Haverford could be good, as the Black Squirrels need to start racking up wins. SLU is pretty unknown to me, so I’m curious to see how they fare. Union at Cortland could be amazing! Union looked good in early scrimmage action, and Cortland seems beatable this year. Maybe a 10-9, 10-8 game, and I’m going to say Union loses, but just barely. Western New England University takes on Stevenson in Maryland, and while everyone expects Stevenson to win, this could be a superb game if WNE is back on track. It’s a statement game for the Golden Bears. Let’s see how they do! To finish out the top games, we’ve got Springfield at Stevens on Sunday. No idea who wins this. My guts say Springfield by 1.
The MCLA is almost impossible to preview, simply because there are SO many amazing match ups over the weekend, but if you want killer SELC coverage, check out Scott MacPherson’s blogs!
As for the rest of the games… let’s take a deep breath.
Friday night has one MEGA game, where BC will play at Chapman. East Coast – West Coast, two top level teams and a recipe for excellence. This game has it all. Expecting some killer highlights from this game no matter who wins. The GTech – Clemson game will probably be pretty awesome too, and if Pitt can beat Georgia, it will be a HUGE win on the road.
On Saturday, Bama at Georgia jumps out immediately. BIG game. Colorado State plays Colorado College (NCAA DIII) and no, the game doesn’t count towards making the tourney, but it’s always a great game and heats up the MCLA – NCAA debate. Michigan State at Arizona State should be a great game, and for the first time in years, I would pick MSU to win. So since I would, I will! MSU takes this one 8-6.
Santa Clara heads to Sonoma State, and yes I know SC lost a questionable game or two. But from what I hear, there was good reason. Not making excuses, but look for a very different SC team against Sonoma. So big of a difference I’ll take SC by 1. Now I blew it and they’ll lose by 1. Sorry fellas! Vtech at FSU would typically be a GREAT game, and this year is no different. But for a different reason… is FSU down? We need to know!
On Sunday, BC is involved in ANOTHER great game, but this time against Cal Poly. We like CP to win because the game is in California, and we expect BC to be sore after a physical game with Chapman. Michigan State also has a big follow up game, but theirs is against Arizona, in Arizona. I like MSU to win their follow up game. In what could be the DII game of the week, Grand Valley State at Palm Beach Atlantic should be excellent. PBAU playing at home against a top level team. Looking solid!
The NJCAA game I want to call attention to is ASA College at Suffolk CC. ASA is a first year Juco team that will be able to put up points Canadian style. I can’t wait to see what they do against a more established JuCo like Suffolk!
On the NCLL side of things, we think Navy Club will cruise to a win, but that the Towson Club Vs. Delaware Club game has some strong potential. We like Towson by a couple though. At least if the whole team travels. The Hofstra Club Vs. Fairfield Club game could also be pretty stellar. Both teams are looking like top 20 teams in 2012.
Well there you have it! A FULL weekend lacrosse preview. Man, that was exhausting!
Did we miss any games? If so, let us know in the comments and provide your thoughts on who’s going to win the big ones!