This is a very exciting weekend of NAIA lacrosse headlined by several key out-of-conference top 10 matchups. Below are three of the most intriguing games you won’t want to miss.
#4 Cumberlands vs Webber
This week we will find out just how quickly Webber can become a contending program. I don’t think anyone will argue against the fact that they are one of the newest programs that look primed and ready to make their way into the NAIA rankings this season. The real question is are they ready to compete with the top teams in the NAIA?
This week they lost to Aquinas in double overtime and beat Siena Heights 14-7. These are two historic WHAC programs and the fact Webber beat Siena Heights outright and were able to hang with Aquinas for two overtimes is impressive in and of itself. Webber currently has a record of 3-1 to start the season.
Now they have to face #4 Cumberlands. This is a very intriguing matchup as it is a very difficult AAC conference opener for both sides. Cumberlands will rely on their high powered offense and anticipated debut of face off specialist Nik Kubik (LTU transfer). Webber has a dynamic duo in Alexander Kew & Chase Jackson. They will need another big day to keep pace with UC. All-American LSM Jake Morgan being back at Cumberlands looms large in this matchup, expect him to slide down to close defense and guard Kew in this matchup.
St.Andrews vs Scad
Last year when these two met in the first round of the AAC conference tournament it ended up being one of the best games of the NAIA season. The teams had been within 1 goal of each other most of the game and even entered the 4th quarter tied at 6-6. St. Andrews was able to win the 4th quarter 3-2 and take the game 9-8, thus ending SCAD’s season. SCAD will surely be looking for revenge in this one. Here’s hoping for another tightly contested affair.
#6 Concordia vs Kalamazoo
This will be the season opener for CUAA who is coming off of a program best season in 2021 (8-3). They will be playing a very talented Kalamazoo team who is no stranger to playing NAIA foes. Kalamazoo is 0-1 on the year having been on the losing end of a very entertaining 8-10 game with LTU on February 12th.
I am fully expecting Hunter McCarty (WHAC 2021 Newcomer of the Year) to pick up right where he left off and start his campaign towards becoming an NAIA All-American. In net, expect Sam Bowling to see plenty of shots but the Cardinals should come out on top in this one.
If you crave more NAIA Lacrosse, check out the NAIA Lax Updates podcast on YouTube. Jon Vance and Tucker La Belle give their insight on this past weekend and look forward to next. They also have a great discussion on where the NAIA is headed.