We just finished our second week of D1 men’s lacrosse with a full slate of games, and we now head into a great month of conference play, meatier schedules, and teams building their postseason resume. One of the biggest problems I have with early season games actually has nothing to do with the games themselves. I love the actual games. It’s the lack of comparison that you can make as some teams get close to five wins while others are just playing their second game. You don’t know who is really under performing, who is a disappointment, and who is a surprise. The month of March is where we see teams separate themselves and bigger match ups start appearing.
NCAA D1 Lacrosse Scoreboard
20 Army vs. VMI 5
10 Monmouth vs. Wagner 8
7 Mount St. Mary’s vs. Richmond 10
9 Holy Cross vs. Harvard 12
10 Princeton vs. Marist 6
20 Virginia vs. Siena 13
12 Detroit Mercy vs. Jacksonville 11
12 Villanova vs. Penn State 17
9 Richmond vs. Marquette 2
15 Robert Morris vs. Detroit Mercy 6
15 UMBC vs. Mercer 4
3 Fairfield vs. Rutgers 8
10 Georgetown vs. Towson 11
14 Holy Cross vs. Lehigh 8
15 High Point vs. St. John’s 6
5 Lafayette vs. Loyola 18
7 Navy vs. Boston U. 8
16 Ohio State vs. Jacksonville 8
13 Syracuse vs. Army 14
11 Delaware vs. Monmouth 10 OT
12 Maryland vs. Yale 11
9 VMI vs. NJIT 8
16 Hobart vs. Cornell 8
15 Air Force vs. Canisius 10
8 Binghamton vs. Marist 11
17 Brown vs. Stony Brook 25
8 Drexel vs. Albany 19
16 Duke vs. Saint Joseph’s 3
11 Harvard vs. UMass 7
8 Princeton vs. Hofstra 10
8 Providence vs. Vermont 6
18 UMass Lowell vs. Siena 13
5 North Carolina vs. Johns Hopkins 13
11 Penn vs. Virginia 10
19 Denver vs. Cleveland State 6
15 Hampton vs. U. of DC 19
17 Bryant vs. Hartford 11
10 Bucknell vs. Colgate 15
8 Dartmouth vs. Sacred Heart 15
13 Quinnipiac vs. Bellarmine 14
16 Air Force vs. Cleveland State 2
7 Mount St. Mary’s vs. Furman 14
12 Denver vs. Canisius 0
16 Notre Dame vs. Michigan 5
The Stat Freaks
This section will once again highlight some of the best performances from the week. Each category has a specific range of minimum values we’re looking for. It’s just fun to highlight some of the gaudy performances out there!
Freak of the Week: Christian Knight all the way. This was so easy when I saw this stat line. I literally yelled out “WHAT?!” across my apartment. Mr. Knight, a goalie, made the stats freaks section as a defender based on his 5 ground balls and 3 caused turnovers. Ridiculous. Oh, and he had an assist. And a shot on goal. I don’t care if he was 11/27 in between the pipes and Cornell was doubled up by Hobart in the battle for Finger Lakes supremacy (Cayuga is better, FYI), this is just not something you see every day. Semi-related: my wife gets full credit for noticing this, but Christian Knight not playing for Holy Cross is the biggest recruiting miss of our time.
Also, I do need to give a shout out to John Tarver, who I believe is the first Hampton player to ever makes this list with his 8 point effort on Saturday.
Offense: The Cutoff here is a combined 7 goals and/or assists
|Connor Fields – Albany (NY): 6G, 4A|
|John Tarver – Hampton: 5G, 3A|
|Tucker James – Bryant: 6G, 3A|
|Andrew Pettit – Lehigh: 4G, 3A|
|Jon Vogel – Holy Cross: 6G, 1A|
|Pat Spencer – Loyola Maryland: 5G, 3A|
|J.D. Recor – Marist: 2G, 5A|
|Morgan Cheek – Harvard: 4G, 5A|
|Max Maxwell – UMBC: 2G, 6A|
|Cory Vanginhoven – Stony Brook: 7G, 1A|
|Chris Robertson – Siena: 5G, 2A|
|Mac O’Keefe – Penn St.: 8G|
Defense: For here, you need 8 GBs, CTs, and/or points
|Zach Currier – Princeton: 11GB, 2CT|
|Henry Lilly – Holy Cross: 6GB, 2CT|
|Zed Williams – Virginia: 7GB, 1CT|
|Nicholas Accardi – Air Force: 8GB, 1CT|
|Brian Wall – Bellarmine: 7GB, 2CT|
|Matt Rees – Navy: 5GB, 3CT|
|Christian Knight – Cornell: 5GB, 3CT, 1A|
|Daniel Smith – Robert Morris: 6GB, 3CT|
|Chad Patterson – Towson: 7GB, 4CT|
|Craig Chick – Lehigh: 4GB, 5CT|
|Matt Farrell – Holy Cross: 9GB, 3CT|
|Garrett Waldron – Binghamton: 5GB, 3CT|
|Brendan Hynes – Richmond: 9GB, 3CT|
|George Christopher – Dartmouth: 7GB, 1CT|
|Austin Meacham – Dartmouth: 6GB, 2CT|
|Tom Haun – Stony Brook: 6GB, 3CT|
|Kevin Gayhardt – Penn: 5GB, 4CT|
Faceoffs: Greater than 70%, at least 10 attempts
|Peyton Smith – Marist: 11/12|
|Dan Grabher – Army West Point: 12/14|
|Brady Dove – Navy: 11/15|
|Matthew Pedicine – Hobart: 10/14|
|TD Irelan – Albany (NY): 19/27|
|Alex Woodall – Towson: 19/24|
|Dylan Protesto – Hartford: 18/23|
|Conor Gaffney – Lehigh: 17/22|
|Jake Withers – Ohio St.: 13/15|
|Tristan Capes-Davis – VMI: 16/21|
|Trent Harper – Air Force: 14/17|
|Trevor Baptiste – Denver: 11/14|
Goalies: Greater than 70%
|Max Cartor – Bellarmine: 6/8|
|Max Edelmann – Rutgers: 9/12|
|Jacob Stover – Loyola Maryland: 6/8|
|Grant Limone – Loyola Maryland: 6/7|
|Benny Pugh – Richmond: 16/18|
|Robert Shaw – Harvard: 21/28|
|Ruston Souder – UMBC: 14/18|
|Gerald Logan – Johns Hopkins: 16/21|
|Tom Carey – Ohio St.: 8/11|
|Danny Fowler – Duke: 7/9|
|Paxton Boyer – Air Force: 6/8|
|Alex Ready – Denver: 5/5|
The Big Upsets and Surprises
- Harvard is a team that I had some pretty high hopes of going into the season. Their coaching pedigree is phenomenal, Morgan Cheek has the ability to dominate games, and the Ivy is an open enough league where those factors alone give you a fighting chance. Unfortunately, they had another game where they just did not separate from a team who I at this time think they should have. We’ll see if they can get things going, but right now I am not overly optimistic.
- In Penn State’s 5 point win over Villanova, they lit up the scoreboard once again. Like Brown last year, the key to beating the boys in State College may be more about keeping up than slowing them down. It’s still early in the season, but this might be the year that Jeff Tambroni has finally put together a Championship Weekend caliber squad.
- Richmond is a team that is really starting to impress in their short life as a program. Entering just their fourth season, they are looking more and more like a team of national importance. Marquette took the world by storm last year and their first game set a program record for goals scored. Richmond responded by holding Marquette to just two goals.
- Opening their Patriot league schedule, Navy and BU had a chance to replicate their thrilling matchup at this time last year. A year ago, it took extra time to find the winner with BU coming out on top. That win brought BU into the national conversation. This year, BU won again, but on a last second goal in regulation.
- Speaking of close games, Syracuse beat Albany a week ago on a last second shot in the Carrier Dome. This time, they fell to a tough Army squad in the same way. The Orange staged a comeback and had their chances to win, but Army was too much. Syracuse was terrible on ground balls all day long, which gave Army possession after extended possession. This wasn’t a problem in Syracuse’s first two games, so I would be shocked to see it happen again. Army on the other hand showed they really can play and should be considered a serious contender for the patriot title.
- Maryland and Yale had a classic that took way too long to finish after multiple weather delays. This was a matchup that would be worth the price of admission in May. Maryland was tough all over the field, has deadly scorers, quick transition, and physical defense. Yet, Yale matched them in every phase. The Terps were able to separate themselves for a good chunk of the game, but as Yale climbed back, they made Maryland sweat it out by scoring the only goal in the fourth quarter.
- To me, one of the biggest shockers of the weekend was actually Hobart decimating Cornell. This rivalry goes back to pretty much the beginning of collegiate lacrosse, but Cornell has really been the premier program as of late. Hobart winning would have raised some eyebrows. Winning like they did raises many, many questions about were both teams sit.
- Brown followed up their 25 point debut by scoring 17 against Stony Brook. The problem was they gave up 25 to the Sea Wolves. This alone was enough to have Brown feel the wrath of pollsters, many dropping them out of their top 20. It also underscores how important a great goalie is to playing fast lacrosse. You will see more shots, including many in transition from high percentage parts of the field. Without an above average goalie, things can get bad.
- Speaking of high scoring teams, Albany bounced back from their loss to Syracuse by stretching their scoring legs in an absolute rout. Albany is now a destination school for players who want to play fast, high scoring lacrosse. Games like this just keep that image alive.
- When I saw the Hopkins/UNC score, I had an image in my head of Hopkins just steamrolling the Tar Heels and not looking back. After actually watching it, I saw something very different. Hopkins was just as good as they have been all year (which is to say one of the best in the country), but UNC really was in this game until the fourth quarter. They weren’t sloppy, throwing the ball away, or acting like traffic cones on defense. Hopkins put a great run together and made this game look much worse than it was. Hats off to Hopkins and they earned the praise they’re getting, but this is not a game that should have people writing off UNC.
- Another shocker of the weekend was UVA going up to Philly and dropping a one point game to Penn. Penn is another team that people are looking at very favorably right now. This one win shot them up 12 spots in the weekly media poll, which is pretty amazing. I did like the look of Penn, and UVA did concern me a little bit with how careless they seemed at the end of the game. I still need to see more from both of these teams, though.
- Denver had a few easy games this weekend, but the real shocker was that they actually had a shutout against Canisius. Shutouts do not happen very often in lacrosse, so when it does, people should take notice.
Last week, only three conferences have winning records, but now we’re up to four with the America East picking up some wins while the Ivies dipped closer to .500. The other big news was the Big Ten finally picking up their first loss (Michigan to Notre Dame). The other big mover was the SoCon, who shot up from last place to top even the Big East.
|Record||%||# of Teams|
Games to Watch
This week, there are a couple match ups that really have my eye:
Denver vs. North Carolina
How does UNC respond to having their championship victory lap ruined last weekend? A road trip to the #1 team is a great way to bring honor back to the family.
Maryland at Notre Dame
A top five matchup in the first weekend of March? Yes please!
Penn at Penn State
William Penn would be so torn. Both teams are trying to stake a claim to top 10 legitimacy. Penn slowed down high scoring UVA, can they do the same to Penn State?
Brown at Rutgers
Brown is trying to make up for their terrible showing last week, and get to face one of the rising Big Ten powers. Absolutely a game worth catching.
Duke at Richmond
The Spiders enter this game as the favorite. Let me repeat that. Richmond is favored against the Duke Blue Devils, the winners of 3 of the last 7 NCAA titles, and who are led by Team USA coach John Danowski. If that isn’t interesting, I don’t know what else to say.
Virginia at Syracuse
Both teams are coming off of tough one-goal losses. This rivalry is fueled by fast play, close games, and highlight reel goals. You better have a stellar excuse for missing this one on Sunday.