NCAA Division 3 Men’s Lax, just like their D1 counterparts, have reached the Elite 8 portion of the playoffs, but unlike the D1 boys, the D3 guys don’t get a whole week off to prepare for the game that could take them into the Final Four, because they play this Wednesday! D1 has their entire Final Four on Memorial Day weekend, while D3 plays the Semifinals the weekend before. Therefore they have to play their Elite 8 games midweek.
This weekend we saw some great games and some blowouts (and highlight videos are at the bottom of the post!), but in the end, the usual suspects (more or less) made it through. Down South, Stevenson handled Cabrini and ended up winning comfortably, 13-8. Salisbury faced a tough foe in Endicott out of Massachusetts, but the Gulls prevailed at home on the Eastern Shore by a 12-8 count. Roanoke just out-offensed Gettysburg and won 15-9. Dickinson beat Wittenberg 11-4 to join the others as the Top 4 of the South.
Up North, Cortland blew out Stevens 10-3. 10 goals isn’t a ton for a lot of teams, but when you’re holding the other team to 3 goals, 10 is plenty. The Cortland D is back, just in time! Amherst beat Middlebury 12-9, which is an upset, I guess. Amherst is good and everyone knows it, and this matchup favored the Jeffs. Tufts barely got by Union 6-5 in a very close contest. I’ve heard matchups were in Union’s favor but that’s a cop out. It’s tourney time, games will be tough, and a win is a win. Finally, RIT needed OVERTIME to beat Denison, and they barely even got TO overtime! RIT was down all day it seemed, and in the end, they were lucky to escape with a W.
On Wednesday, there are 4 DIII games, and each of them is going to be interesting.
Amherst @ RIT
RIT is the top dog in DIII lax right now, but their super tight game with Denison is giving some people pause. Amherst could do similar things up in Rochester as they have a couple of marquee players on O, a solid D, and a goalie that LOVES outside shots. If RIT doesn’t work it inside for good open looks, they could easily lose this game. Going with the upset here Amherst 13-12 over RIT. SHOCKER!
Cortland @ Tufts
Tufts has a dynamic quarterback on O in DJ Hessler but Cortland has a super tough defense. These two teams played each other last year in the NCAA Semis, so the familiarity and respect is definitely going to be there. Last time, the game was at Corltand and Tufts won, this time the game is at Tufts. If the Jumbos had rolled over Union, I might have picked Cortland in the upset, but the close game refocuses Tufts, and they win 8-7.
Dickinson @ Salisbury
The Red Devils have been rolling along nicely all year, but they haven’t been playing a ton of teams like Salisbury… but then again, who does?!?!?! I like Dickinson to be in this game, but definitely feel SU will emerge victorious in the end. The swagger is back on the Eastern Shore, but it brought along its friend, composure. And the gulls now have both swagger AND composure, and this means they’re back to being the OLD Salisbury. If I’m right about this, watch out lax world. Salisbury by 3 in a low teens game.
Roanoke @ Stevenson
As a Northern biased DIII lax fan, I always hated Roanoke because the people down South always thought they were SO good, even though they never made it past SU or SU/VJC in the playoffs. And the fact is, I was wrong. Roanoke is good, and my hatred was probably just jealousy, but the point stands that they don’t make it past the SUs… and 2011 is no exception. Noke has a solid O and can put up points, but their D cant stop Stevenson. And if Stevenson’s D is a little more disciplined, they can definitely stop Noke. Noke could win, but the won’t. Stevenson will win 17-12.
Promised Video Bonus:
Amherst over Midd? Yup.
RIT beats Denison, but just barely.
Gburg – Dickinson from the Centennial Finals a few weeks back: