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D2+D3 Weekend Preview: NCAA Lacrosse Elite 8

There are some great matchups across Division 2 and Division 3 this weekend with a shot at playing on Championship Weekend at stake. As the NCAA lacrosse tournament progresses, you usually end up with some great matchups, but this year more than ever you are seeing some special matchups in the Elite 8. Salisbury has to make the eight hour hike north to play Tufts which is a matchup for the ages. In Division 2, you’ve got JB Clarke facing his old team in Limestone and Tampa’s first shot at Championship Weekend on the line. 

This NCAA tournament has brought us some electrifying lacrosse thus far, so expect this weekend to continue that trend.

D3 Weekend Preview – NCAA Quarterfinals + Semifinals

Christopher Newport Pod – 5/21

CNU vs. York – Saturday 12pm

Christopher Newport advanced to the NCAA Lacrosse Quarterfinals after knocking off Sewanee and No.14 Wesleyan by a combined score of 50-13 last weekend. York comes into the weekend after two big wins over Southern Virginia and Denison. The Spartans enter the week with a 19-2 record while boasting the nation’s fourth-ranked scoring defense, which is surrendering just 7.11 goals per game. This one could come down to the final possession!

Gettysburg vs Union – Saturday 3pm

Union comes into the weekend after beating John Carroll, 14-7, in the second round of the tournament before toppling Western New England, 21-11, on Saturday. The eighth-ranked Dutch are certainly battle tested after playing one of the toughest schedules in Division 3. So far this season, the team has already defeated St. John Fisher and Tufts, who are tied for fourth in the USILA National Coaches Poll, while falling 14-13 to No. 2 RIT. Gettysburg comes in after giving Dickinson their lone loss of the season last week. The Bullets are no slouches themselves having played one of the toughest schedules this season and losing five games against Top Ten opponents. 

RIT Pod – 5/21

RIT vs. Bowdoin – Saturday 12pm

Can a Tiger out run a Polar Bear? We’ll find out on Saturday in the first ever meeting between the two schools. RIT advanced to the Quarterfinal with a 22-3 win over MIT in last Sunday’s third-round game. The Tigers defense held the 19th ranked offense in Division 3 lacrosse to three goals and the nation’s top goal scorer, Ryan Gebhardt, scoreless for only the second time in his career. Bowdoin features seven players with 20 or more points and ten players with at least 20 goals. This one will be an up and down affair and should be must see for all lacrosse fans. 

Tufts vs. Salisbury – Saturday 3pm

Typically a Championship Weekend game is now a week earlier. Salisbury and Tufts have met four times in the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament; all in the National Championship game. Tufts defeated Salisbury, 9-6, to win the 2010 title, before falling in a rematch the following year, 19-7. Tufts earned a 12-9 win in 2014 before Salisbury won, 14-13, in 2016.  Salisbury is making its 39th appearance in the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament, including its 31st in a row. Offense will be on display throughout as Tufts is averaging just over 20 goals a game and Salisbury is averaging over 17. Whichever defense can make stops and more importantly control transition will have the upper hand in this one. 

Division 2 Weekend Preview – NCAA Semifinals

Mercy vs. Le Moyne – Sunday at 1pm

A tremendous game on paper will decide who goes to the title game. Mercy is making its first Final Four appearance while Le Moyne is making its 16th appearance in the last 20 seasons. The Dolphins were able to dispatch Adelphi last weekend and avenge two of their losses on the season, while Mercy took down Seton Hill. This game will come down to Mercy’s ability to score and control possession. Revenge is on the Mavericks’ minds as they have they opportunity to get some payback against the Dolphins who won earlier in the year. The Mavericks are 1-5 all-time against Le Moyne. Mercy’s lone win came on February 17, 2019 by a score of 10-7 in Dobbs Ferry. The teams’ last two meetings have both been decided by one goal. The Mavericks dropped an 8-7 decision to Le Moyne in Dobbs Ferry earlier this season on March 5th.

Tampa vs. Limestone – Sunday at 1pm

No.1 vs. No.2 for a shot at the National Championship. Tampa is looking to get to unchartered territory as they look to get past Limestone and get to Championship Weekend. It’s a teacher vs. student matchup as former Limestone Head Coach and current Tampa Head Coach goes against his former assistant and current Limestone Head Coach Brendan Storrier. This game will come down to defense as both teams can put up numbers on offense. Limestone has seemed to hit its groove as of late, while Tampa has looked to be on a collision course with Championship Weekend all season.