Last week we saw some great games with Duke taking down UVA, Colby beating Bowdoin 9-8, Roanoke slipping by a very good Washington and Lee squad and Sonoma State taking down both Colorado and Colorado State by 1 goal each in the span of only 3 days! Very impressive wins all around.
UNC faces off with Hofstra and since it isn’t an ACC game, I feel confident in picking UNC. Hofstra has been up and down but I think they will struggle to contain Billy Bitter at times.
Princeton heads up to Cornell in the “battle of the nerds”. Cornell has Glynn and Seibald at the midfield and some good players at attack but I don’t think they have to the depth to beat a healthy Princeton squad. The game rests on the young shoulders of Princeton’s keeper, Fiorito, who has risen to the challenge almost every single week so far. If he can continue to make big saves, Princeton wins by 3 otherwise it is anyone’s game.
The games on Sunday aren’t great games in terms of top teams playing but when you look at WHERE the teams are coming from and it really demonstrates just how much lacrosse is spreading: Vermont vs. Albany, Air Force (CO) vs. Detroit Mercy, Ohio State vs. Denver, St. John’s (NYC) vs. Notre Dame (IN). Pretty cool stuff!
The D2 conference playoffs are starting down South but those games won’t really get interesting until next week. This weekend we do see Mercyhurst (PA) take on CW Post on LI. Post has been really impressive but the Lakers are nothing to laugh at either. I like Post at home but it will be tight.
St. Mike’s (VT) heads across the NY State border to Lemoyne to take on the Dolphins. Yes, a school in Upstate NY has a Dolphin for a mascot. weird, I agree. St. Mike’s has really improved and after LeMoyne’s 6-5 win over Merrimack in MA, I am going with the upset pick. St. Mike’s over Lemoyne. You heard it here first.
Also in Ohio, Kenyon takes on OWU on Saturday. Kenyon really needs to win this game to make the NCAAs but so does OWU. I like the Battling Bishops [best mascot ever?] to roll by 5 or more and cement their Pool B slot.
Middlebury [VT] heads to Hartford, CT to take on a surprising Trinity Bantam team. Trinity slows the game down a lot and relies on Mid Harper Cullen to do it all on offense. I do think Trinity will be able to score some goals but they will surrender quite a few more. Remember this is the same Trinity team that beat Tufts so I don’t expect them to surprise the Panthers even though the game is being played in Hartford.
Williams at Wesleyan is ALWAYS a good game as this “Little Three” (the third team is Amherst College) rivalry has been going on for over 115 years. I played at Wesleyan and before I went there we had only won ONE Little 3 ever in Men’s Lacrosse. I never lost a Little 3 in my 6 years with Wesleyan [2 as a coach] and Wesleyan has either tied or win the Little 3 since. I’m biased and hoping the Cardinals keep it up as they beat Amherst last week 6-5 in a game that was closer than many thought it would be.
Both Illinois and Lindenwood lost their last games so both teams will be looking to get back on track. I like Lindenwood in a really close game.
At 7pm at Invesco field in CO, Colorado State takes on the Buffs in yet another rivalry game. These two MCLA teams might not be at the level they were a couple of years ago but they are good teams with very good players capable of beating anyone. I wasn’t going to make a prediction (that’s how close I think they are) but what is the point of picking games if I won’t actually pick them? CSU by 1 based solely on their awesome helmets.
Oregon and Oregon State face off in… you guessed it! Oregon! The growth of the game in the Pacific NW has been HUGE over the past 10 years. The quality of both of these teams is very high. I like the Ducks in the Civil War, partly because I think they will win and partly because I want to continue writing for this site!
Good luck out there to all the laxers across the divisions/ associations! The weather is finally improving in the North East and I must say… I’m excited for my summer league to start, I’ll be playing for Southampton with a number of core players from Hobart, Rutgers, Stevens and Wesleyan!