Some Division Three NCAA Lacrosse teams have played 4 games already (Washington & Lee is 1-3), while others have only been practicing for 15 days (the entire NESCAC). The Laxpower Power Rankings are next to meaningless until most teams have played at least 5 games, the Coaches’ Poll is questionable (as usual), and even the Laxpower Forum Poll has seen some rapid changes since the Pre-Season with the addition of teams like Hampden-Sydney. If you want to check out 7 minutes of W&L – Denison highlights, check out 412Lax, home of the NCAC.
Early favorites like Stevenson, Salisbury, Cortland and Roanoke are all off to predictably good starts. Gettysburg dropped a game to H-SC, which is why the Tigers are now regarded a little better by the pollsters. Teams like St. John Fisher, Springfield, Denison, Dickinson and WNEC are all trying to prove they can compete with the top teams and break through to the next level. The NESCAC is still the sleeping giant in D3 but they open up this week and Bates taking on Keene State this afternoon should actually be a pretty good game to open the season. Wesleyan plays Salve Regina on the 5th and they just need to win this game to set the tone for 2011. It’s not about blowing people out for the Cardinals, but winning every game you should. And some of the games you shouldn’t.
On March 12th, the entire NESCAC season opens and Amherst, with their shiny new coach, John Thompson, travel to Tufts to take on the defending National Champs. Amherst has some serious talent with a stud at both attack and midfield in Redwood and Fox. Personally, I think we’ll see points from these two, but we will also see how good Tufts revamped D is. Should be an awesome early season game.
I’m also excited to see Whittier play Drew. If Whittier is on the right track, back to success, they win this game. They really need to. Because on the 16th they play Ithaca, and I think Ithaca may be back in 2011 in a good kind of way. Still yet to play a game, but the Bombers are, at the very least, an interesting team to watch. Of course, so is Whittier out in Cali.
Back to the big boys for a minute. Two scores stand out. One was Stevenson’s 19-5 win over Kean. It was 7-4 late in the game evidently. WHO CARES? They still won 19-5 and last time I checked games were at least 4 quarters long. Demolished. Need more proof Stevenson cruised a bit? They outshot Kean 66-16. Game, Blouses. The second score is the Cortland win over Widener. 13-0. Ouch. Is this the best Cortland D ever? The class of 2002 would say no, but it’s not out of the question! Shutting out Widener is impressive. You have to figure they’d be good for at least ONE!
To finish up, I’ll leave you with links to the Coaches’ Poll, The Laxpower Forum Poll and below, my personal poll mashed up against the other two. Of course, I made mistakes in my rankings. It’s pretty much impossible not to in the biggest NCAA lacrosse division.
Coaches Laxpower Forum Connor Wilson
Tufts Tufts Tufts
Stevenson Cortland Cortland
Salisbury Stevenson Stevenson
Cortland Salisbury Salisbury
Roanoke Roanoke H-SC
Middlebury Middlebury Middlebury
RIT Haverford Roanoke
Haverford RIT Haverford
Conn College Conn College Gettysburg
RPI Geneseo Conn College
Lynchburg Gettysburg RIT
Gettysburg RPI Lynchburg
Geneseo H-SC Geneseo
H-SC Lynchburg Springfield
Denison Denison RPI
Dickinson Dickinson Denison
Cabrini Bowdoin Ithaca
Springfield Cabrini Nazareth
Bowdoin Springfield Cabrini
Stevens Stevens Bowdoin
First off, I may have placed H-SC too high. But so far, they have the biggest win of the season, so I rewarded them for it. Plus I had them in my original top 20 so it’s a big jump but not unprecedented. Nazareth probably should have dropped out of my poll. Oops, I guess. But it’s still early and their loss came 11-8 at the hands of Springfield, a team I believe in this year. They need to produce against Geneseo on the 5th, in what will be a huge early OOC game for both teams.
Gettysburg could have dropped further in my poll as well but I still think they’re a good team. They may struggle early and have to claw their way back in. Or the H-SC loss will motivate them. We’ll see what happens!
It’s still early but exciting in the world of D3 lax! Big week coming up!
Photo Courtesy SalisburySeagulls’ Flickr Stream!