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D2+D3 Weekend Preview: NCAA Lacrosse Playoffs

The NCAA D3 Tournament is finally here and we have some great matchups this weekend. With the Pod system in play, there’s some crazy scenarios in play for some elite matchups in the third round on Sunday. Playing back to back is a unique scenario for these teams, but many programs have used this model in their regular season scheduling to help prepare them for it in the NCAA lacrosse playoffs. 

Christopher Newport Pod 5/14 – 5/15

CNU vs. Sewanee – Saturday 12pm

Sewanee wins their first round matchup and their reward is a date with CNU coming off of a loss to Salisbury. Sewanee had a great finish to their season with a run to the SAA title which had a huge first round upset last year as Centre took down Denison. Is another upset in the cards? CNU has been one of the hottest teams this season and they have national title thoughts on their mind. 

Wesleyan vs RPI – Saturday 3pm

One of the most intriguing games of the NCAA lacrosse playoffs. RPI has had some big wins this season and faces a Wesleyan team that has gone through a gauntlet of a schedule and uses their famous zone defense to give them a chance in every game they play.

York Pod – 5/13-5/14

York vs. Southern Virginia – Friday 4pm

Friday NCAA Tourney Lacrosse! A battle tested York team faces a SVU team that has quietly put together a great season and plays a fun brand of lacrosse. Expect this game to be closer than you think. SVU is in their first year in the USA South, but came over from the CAC that forced them to deal with Salisbury and CNU for years. 

Grove City vs Denison – Friday 7pm

A rematch of one of the biggest upsets of the year. Denison gets another crack at Grove City who have steadily improved over the season and are looking to get to the third round. Denison has seen tremendous growth over the course of the season so expect this game to be a great matchup. 

Dickinson Pod – 5/14-5/15

Dickinson vs. Stevens – Saturday 12pm

Dickinson is riding high off of a conference title and an 18-0 record. This is a rematch of a 13-6 Red Devil win in the first game of the season, but both teams are quite different at this point in the year. Look to see Stevens give Dickinson a run for their money. 

Gettysburg vs. Roanoke – Saturday at 3pm

Two of the most storied programs in DIII meeting in the second round is what makes this year special and shows how much the sport has grown. Roanoke has had an up and down year, but has seemed to pick up steam going into the tourney and the same can be said for the Bullets who are starting to come into their own in their first year under Peter Toner. 

Union Pod – 5/14-5/15

Union vs. John Carroll – Saturday at 1pm

Union has been near the top of the polls throughout the year playing in a crazy good Liberty League while JCU is coming off of another OAC title. JCU has steadily improved their schedule and are well coached so expect them to use their previous NCAA lacrosse playoff experience to try get an edge in this one. 

Lynchburg vs. Western New England – Saturday at 3pm

This pod presents one of the best potential third round matchups, but standing in Lynchburg’s way is the always tough and well coached WNEU team. Expect some creative defensive schemes to help the Bears give themselves an edge. Lynchburg is starting to peak and are looking to make a run at Championship Weekend. 

RIT Pod – 5/14 – 5/15

RIT vs. Albion – Saturday at 12pm

RIT has really refocused itself after an early season loss and is looking to make another run at a title. They are fast, athletic, and play a style that is very difficult to keep up with. Albion has had a tremendous season after winning the MIAA and have one of the most prolific scorers in the NCAA in Jace Conley. They live and die by the 10-man ride, so if they can control RIT in transition they will give themselves an opportunity to keep themselves in it. 

MIT vs. Amherst – Saturday at 3pm

MIT has put together the best season they’ve had in a very long time on the backs of a prolific offense and are looking to get past a well coached and extremely athletic Amherst team. MIT already has a major NESCAC upset under the belt this season, can they add another?

Bowdoin Pod – 5/14-5/15

Bowdoin vs. Colorado College – Saturday at 12pm

Bowdoin has been one of the surprise teams of 2022 and are looking to continue their great season. They’ve been solid on both sides of the ball and are looking to get past Colorado College who are in the tourney thanks to the HCLC AQ. 

St. Lawrence vs. Cortland – Saturday at 3pm

Two upstate NY teams going to Maine to play this one. St. Lawrence has had a tremendous season in the Liberty League and have all the ability to make a run this season. Cortland has been an NCAA mainstay due to their dominance in the SUNYAC. Expect them to be well coached and tough in between the boxes. Can the Red Dragons stop St. Lawrence? We’ll find out. 

Salisbury Pod – 3/14 – 3/15

Salisbury vs. Stockton – Saturday at 12pm

THE BATTLE OF THE BIRDS! The Seagulls vs. The Ospreys. Salisbury looked mortal after a loss to CNU, and have since gotten their revenge. Stockton has been a team that has improved dramatically year to year. Can they stop the Seagulls and Cross Ferrara? That’s a tall order. 

Washington and Lee vs. Cabrini – Saturday at 3pm

One of the best matchups of the second round. Both teams have tons of talent and have the ability to beat eachother. The question in this one is whether or not whoever wins has enough left in the tank to get to Sunday. Expect a great one in this game. 

Tufts Pod – 3/14-3/15

Tufts vs. Norwich – Saturday at 1pm

Tufts has really come into their own since their speed bump early in the season and their offense is really starting to click. They avenged the Bowdoin loss in the NESCAC championship and are looking to assert themselves as the best team in DIII. Norwich has put together their best season ever and have a mountain to move in the Jumbos. 

St. John Fisher vs. Catholic – Saturday at 4pm

The sleeper of the NCAA tournament may be SJF. They have steadily been climbing for years under Coach Dobbins and have all the pieces to make a deep run this year. A loaded pod that gives them a tough Catholic team that has given people fits all season. 

DII Weekend Preview

No Pods, just play. One of the deepest tournament fields in history boasts some extraordinary teams led by phenomenal coaches and players. Expect these games to be dogfights. NCAA playoff Sunday lacrosse at its best!

Adelphi vs. Le Moyne – Sunday at 1pm

Third time is a charm. Adelphi has owned the season series in 2022 and have seemed to figure out Le Moyne for the first time in a long time. This has become one of the major rivalries in DII and has often decided the team who goes to the title game. Le Moyne is battle tested with championship experience so expect this game to be closer and expect to see the Le Moyne offense out for blood since they were held to their lowest offensive output since 1990 in their last meeting. 

Tampa vs. Lenoir Rhyne – Sunday at 1pm

Fun in the sun. It seems that Tampa under JB Clarke has been on a collision course with championship weekend, but the LR Bears stand in their way. LR has really figured things out in the 2nd half of the season and shown they haven’t taken a step back from their championship game run from last year. 

Limestone vs. Wingate – Sunday at 1pm

Another rematch. Both teams boast explosive offenses and tough defense so this one will come down to which team plays more disciplined. Expect a hostile environment in Gaffney with a shot at the NCAA lacrosse playoff Final Four at stake. 

Mercy vs. Seton Hill – Sunday at 1pm

Is there a team talked about less than the Mercy Mavericks? They have been building to this season for years and have put themselves in a position to play for a shot at Championship weekend. They are great on both sides of the ball, but their X Factor is at the Faceoff X where they have been dominant all season. Seton Hill overcame some early season losses and were able to beat Mercyhurst twice in a row to get here. A team with some great hype in the preseason are finally clicking and living up to the hype!