Wednesday is often the biggest midweek day for college lacrosse games, so each week I preview the action to come on Hump Day. And this week the quality is as high as ever… prepare yourselves for some midweek battles that will span the array of college lacrosse divisions!
On the NCAA D1 side of things Towson hosts UMBC and this intra-Maryland rivalry game is poised to be quite good. Both teams were black, white and yellow, but that is irrelevant. What matters is that these two teams are really neck and neck talent-wise, even if they have somewhat different records. Towson should take the W at home, but I’m picking UMBC with the upset here by 2. The other D1 game is Georgetown at Villanova, and nothing so far this season tells that the Hoyas will win. ‘Nova by 4+ goals.
Moving on the NCAA D2 ball, Dowling at Dominican College stands out to me for the following reason: DII Lacrosse was on its death bed in the eyes of some only a few years ago, but the arrival of new teams ceased that type of talk. But can these new teams truly compete with the established elite in the division, especially on the East Coast? Dominican says maybe not yet, but the Chargers should keep it respectable. Still, I’ll take #3 Dowling by 8+.
A second potential game of the week in D2 is St. Mike’s at Merrimack. Both of these squads are in Laxpower’s top 10 for Power Rankings right now, and they both have 6 wins. St. Mike’s also has two losses. My gut says ‘Mack takes it at home, but probably only by a goal or two. Maybe 3.
I had high hopes for Bentley but it looks like I was wrong there. I’d expect St. Anslem to take home the W by at least 6 or 7 goals. Mercy at Saint Rose could really be the game of the week though in D2, even though neither teams is in the top 10 right now. Both teams could be by seasons end, and I get the distinct feeling that one of these programs could make major waves over the coming years. Maybe new teams can work on the East Coast after all…
On the NCAA D3 side of things we have a couple of games that stand out like RIT at Nazareth or RPI at Skidmore, so I’ll cover those quickly… I like RIT on the road and Skidmore at home. Now on to the game of the midweek!
Western New England leaves the friendly confines of Massachusetts and heads upstate to play Cortland in New York. If I had to say there was a top team in the North, I’d probably say it’s Cortland. But WNE is just one of those teams that makes me scratch my head. Sure, they lost to Stevenson by a goal early on when the Mustangs looked suspect, and they lost to Tufts by 4 goals only one week ago, but I still like the Golden Bears this year for some reason. I don’t think they’ll actually beat Cortland, but I do think they can give them a game, and these two teams may meet again in the NCAAs!
Sometimes the MCLA doesn’t really deliver on midweek days because so many of their games are played on weekends, but this week is a major exception for ONE REASON. Georgia at Clemson is an absolutely HUGE SELC game, and as you know from our SELC coverage, I now love the SELC. As much as I love the NESCAC? Probably not, but even being mentioned in the same breath as the good ol’ ‘Cac is a huge compliment when it comes from me.
Georgia has been looking dangerous and a bit up and down all year long. I like what they’ve got going on and feel like they could pull out big wins regularly, however Clemson is the last ranked team they play, and their last chance for a big win. How big of a win? BIG. Clemson is undefeated in SELC play and looking like the team to beat, which is a new spot for that program to be in. Can they deal with the pressure? Will UGA come together to pull it out?
I like Clemson by 3 at home. Their staff seems on point and they are well prepared for games. In tight ones, that’s what matters!
Overall we’ll be treated to a great group of games, but these are the contest that really stood out to me! If you think I missed a GREAT one, let me know in the comments!