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NCAA D1 2016 Lacrosse Early Takeaways

Sure, it’s still so early in the 2016 season! But that doesn’t mean we can’t make some observations or get a couple of early season takeaways from the NCAA D1 2016 lacrosse season does it? Of course not! So here goes, some early thoughts on the D1 lacrosse landscape!

Speaking of Lacrosse Takeaways…

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m noticing a good amount of takeaway checks from skilled defenders this year, and I’m liking it. Syracuse’s Nick Mellen put on a show against Siena, and the picture perfect over the head check you can see below is just one of the many takeaways Mellen landed on Saturday. He finished his first college start with 4 caused turnovers and six ground balls.

But Mellen isn’t the only knocking the ball out and then scooping it up! Navy’s Matt Rees has been outstanding through two games so far this season, scooping up 12 balls, causing six turnovers and chipping in a goal and an assist. Matt Rees is a phenomenal player for Navy, and is a true joy to watch play.

Speaking of Navy…

Remember when I picked the Midshipmen as my darkhorse team for 2016? Well, so far they are living up to my hype! They started slow against Air Force, but rebounded to win a convincing second half, and the game. Against Hopkins, they again started slow, but fought back and put up goals to push the game to double overtime before falling to the Blue Jays 12-11. With a more dynamic offense, a grinding face off game, athletes on defense, and Matt Rees emerging as one of the best LSMs in the country, Navy’s run could certainly continue.

(Check out the LAS YouTube Channel HERE for more videos.)

Speaking of Running… LOYOLA!

The Hounds are at their best when they have horses in the stable, which is a weird analogy, but it’s true. And this year, Loyola looks to have the horses, and the hounds. They have all the animals. A tough no-nonsense defense in front of a confident and talented goalie is good. Face offs are swinging in Loyola’s favor as well. And on offense? The Hounds have scorers young and old, and many are getting involved. This makes Loyola’s stars better, and starts pushing Loyola into contender (aka Top 8 programs) status, at least early on. Loyola beat up on Virginia a bit, and we have photos and video to prove it.

Hampton’s First D1 Game

Ok, so Hampton didn’t actually play a D1 game, as they played D2 Roberts Wesleyan, but the point here is that Hampton, a D1 program to-be, played their first varsity lacrosse game. It’s not really a D1 game, but it’s still a big deal, so I’m all for it. Hampton lost 20-3, but again, that is really besides the point. 2016 is Hampton’s recruiting year, where they build a team of recruited players. Saturday’s game was as much a welcoming ceremony as anything else. And what a ceremony it was! The story was showcasing something that many thought simply could not be, or should not be, and hopefully it provides the momentum needed to sustain and truly grow this program.

Early Hype – Who’s winning NOW?

UNC is 2-0. They beat up on Michigan (20-10) and Furman (14-6). They also have new helmets. What do you think?

unc lacrosse 2016
Photo Credit: Rien Zabor

Penn Stat is also 2-0, with wins over Robert Morris (20-7) and Hobart (17-12). Boston University is 2-0 with a 9-5 win over Providence and an 8-5 win over UMass-Lowell. Bucknell is 2-0 with wins over Delaware (13-5) and Bryant (11-10). OSU is 2-0 with a win over Furman (8-7) and Detroit (16-5).

Duke is 2-0, with wins over High Point (17-6) and Lehigh (11-9). Lehigh made the second one tight! Myles Jones has some crazy new shoes. I like them, but I’m crazy, so I’m biased.

NCAA D1 2016 Lacrosse – New Helmets

Cuse dominated Siena, the game was fun to watch, and Ric Beardsley did a great job providing color commentary. Also, Cuse had some silver helmets to show off, and personally, I thought they looked superb.

syracuse ncaa d1 2016 lacrosse siena
Photo Credit: Ryan Conwell

Michigan also has some sweet looking lids for 2016. How do the wings work on the Cascade R? Judge for yourself!

michigan lacrosse 2016
Photo Credit: Rien Zabor
michigan ncaa d1 lacrosse 2016
Photo Credit: Rien Zabor

Big Games Coming Up!

Monday, Feb 15th, 11am – Fairfield vs Richmond – Statement game for both programs
Tuesday, Feb 16th, 4pm – Stony Brook vs Sacred Heart – Is SBU for real?
Saturday, Feb 20th, 3pm – Cornell vs Penn State – A lot of history and talent here
Saturday, Feb 20th, 1pm – Drexel vs Virginia – UVa needs to rebound well here
Saturday, Feb 20th, 3pm – Duke vs Denver – DUH! Huge game.
Saturday, Feb 20th, 1130am – Notre Dame vs Georgetown – Hoyas are sneaky!
Saturday, Feb 20th, 12pm – Harvard vs Villanova – Who’s for real here?!?!?!?
Saturday, Feb 20th, 1pm – Loyola vs Hopkins – Charles Street, who owns it in 2016?
Sunday, Feb 21st, 4pm – Syracuse vs Albany – Who doesn’t want to watch this?

There are a ton more games, and many will be on TV or webcast, so check out our TV Schedule for 2016 to find links and more info!