Another weekend is on its way and another great slate of quality match-ups presents itself for comment and predictions. Feel free to add your own in the comments section, but I’m feeling pretty solid with my picks this weekend…
Picks for this weekend’s top lacrosse games
, ’nuff said. The annual game between Army and Navy in any sport is an emotion packed battle, but the lacrosse rivalry is truly special. I really like Army’s goaltending and they have some solid offensive players, but I like Navy’s defensive 6 too much not to pick them, especially after seeing what they did to Maryland last week. The game will be played at M&T Bank Stadium in Maryland and should see a really solid turnout from the local lax fans.
Maryland and Hopkins face off at M&T two and a half hours later [2pm], showcasing two of the top teams year-in and year-out. Hopkins D is looking much better and their offense has really come around. Maryland will drop a couple with their offense of monsters but if Gvozden has a good day, Hop should take it by a couple. Hopkins needs to limit Reynolds both at the face-off square and offensively. Make the Terps one dimensional and it is the Jays’ game.
The two other big games are Harvard at Princeton and Virginia at Duke. Harvard has the goaltending to upset anyone but Princeton has been playing together and hitting their shots lately so I’m going to stick with the Tigers, but be aware of upset potential in this Ivy rivalry game. Duke takes on UVA at home and although the Wahoos have had some close calls I like them to keep rolling with their fast defense, solid goaltending and firepower-filled offense. The Wahoo middies can break down their men and create slides and their attack finishes better than anyone else in the country. Wahoos win.
On the D2 side of things we have a couple of matchups that have big time playoff implications. CW Post just beat NY Tech and they need to keep it up against LI powerhouse Adelphi. There used to be a time in D2 when the national champ was pretty much guaranteed to come from one of those 3 LI schools. Limestone and Lemoyne changed all of that although these 3 schools are still some of the best every season. I like Post by at least 3 goals.
Mercyhurst at Molloy should be pretty good as well but I like the Lake Erie area Hurst team in this one.
The best game of the weekend should be Lemoyne vs. Merrimack. I think this is the year Merrimack makes their mark and wins the NC so I’m picking them in this game. It helps that the it’s being played in Massachusetts.
D2 has seen some great growth in Florida over the past year or two, and Florida Southern is playing either Catawba or Rollins… laxpower has them both listed as upcoming games on the 11th of April. If the latter is the case, an all Florida D2 lax game is pretty exciting because it shows that the MCLA and Div 3 aren’t the only places where the games is expanding. I like the Whipple coached FSC squad no matter who they are actually playing.
On Friday night, Salisbury takes on St. Mary’s in D3 action. Usually this wouldn’t be in question, but Salisbury has lost TWO regular season games this year [they haven't done that since 2002!] so I guess anything is possible. I like Berkman to get the Gulls rolling and Salisbury gets back on track with a big win.
Colorado College takes on Kenyon (Ohio). This game has HUGE Pool B NCAA bid implications as both teams need to keep winning to make it in. I like Kenyon at home in Ohio to win this one by a few. Expect the other Colorado College games in Ohio (three more against NCAC teams) to go similarly with CC only able to win 1 of the 4 total games.
ECSU and Keene State also face off. These teams are ranked 10-15 in NEW ENGLAND… not even the entire division… but both should make the NCAAs so it could be a preview of a play-in game of lower level conference champions. I like ECSU but in a close one at Keene.
Ithaca at Nazareth should be a good game and I like Ithaca to win in a closer game than some suspect. Roanoke at Lynchburg will be a great all-VA ODAC game showcasing two of the top teams in the Division. I am picking L-burg to end Roanoke’s perfect season if the home crowd can get behind the Hornets.
Tufts has lost some of their luster lately and will be looking to get it back at Middlebury. The Panthers defense is suspect but their offense, behind Hopkins and Stone is one of the best in the nation. If Britt plays well in goal for the Panthers, I like Middlebury. If Droesch has a big game for the Jumbos at the face off square then the Jumbos could pile it on and win by a few. I’ll pick the Middlebury Panthers because they are at home and for some reason, it is really hard for visitors to win in Vermont.
The MCLA slate of games is going to provide some awesome match ups as well. A talented Chapman teams heads to BYU for what should be a thriller. Chapman will pull this one out as they have looked pretty strong all season and BYU has seemed to struggle a little at times. The differences may be slight but when the talent and athleticism levels are this high, they shine through.
Michigan should continue to roll over W. Michigan but in-state games often supply surprises. I like the Wolverines by a bunch though. Michigan then takes on Illinois the next day in Chicago. It still impresses me that MCLA teams will play games on consecutive days. Illinois is very good this year and although they lost to BC earlier 11-9 I think they have a talented team. The trip East can be hard and BC is no slouch so that loss looks better than many give them credit for. I still like Michigan to win the game but think Illinois could hang for the first half. Either way, a good showing is good for the program in the long run.
[ED'S NOTE: The game below should be happening this weekend, but it's not - SFU canceled their trip south when ASU's program got suspended. Wheniwasakid picked anyway, and so that basically means that the SFU Clan get an automatic win and move up if Chapman or Michigan lose. UofA stays out of the Top 25 for good. Sounds like the Laxcats got punk'd!]
On Sunday Funday Simon Fraser travels south to play the Laxcats of Arizona. A friend of mine who first played at Nassau CC [aka the Dynasty], Jay Spatafora, used to play for the Laxcats and he said the best part was that all you had to do was put on the UofA lax t-shirt and you were in store “for infinite bunz“. Yeah, he was from Lawn Guyland…
Shout out to Carson Parmalee of NYC Ulax, I know you like your Laxcats but the Clan are going to murder them and take it to 10-0.
Wheniwasakid played for a top-level team in the NESCAC and two teams in the competitive post-collegiate club-ball American Lacrosse League, a club team in Ft. Lauderdale, and has coached at every level. He lives and works in NYC and loves lax like it is his J-O-B. He still plays to this day and is a laxpower.com pollster for Div 3. Wheniwasakid also blogs at Hey! Lax Man!