NCAA Lacrosse Preview: February 7, 2020
Let The Frenzy Of The Lacrosse Season Begin!
As we speak (or I guess technically you are reading in this case), the NCAA Women’s season has gotten underway with Division I games between Kent State and Cincinnati, Lehigh and Iona and Presbyterian and Howard have all begun.
Duke – Gardner-Webb is supposed to begin at 4:00 p.m. ET, so we’ll see if I can provide an early score update depending on how fast I can write this.
(UPDATE: I finished before the game started by a solid 10 minutes at least. I’ll just give myself a quick pat on the back. Check the Duke Women’s Lacrosse Twitter feed for potential updates here. Or, the Gardner-Webb Twitter feed if you are a Bulldogs fan.)
There aren’t too many major headliners in women’s college lacrosse on Friday, but things get exciting Saturday as the No. 9 team in the country in Virginia will battle against No. 17 Navy in an exciting opening-weekend matchup based on the Inside Lacrosse Women’s Division I Media Poll. Another major matchup is the top-ranked team in the country in North Carolina duking it out against the Dukes of James Madison. Other notable games include Hofstra taking on the No. 15 University of Southern California and Stanford squaring off against No. 10 Denver.
Sunday features some great games as well with No. 7 Notre Dame going up against a touch Jacksonville squad while No. 3 Northwestern will play its second game in three days on a trip to Durham against No. 20 after opening the season at home on Friday against Detroit Mercy.
The team I am really excited to watch this year and see how it does is Boston College. The Eagles lost three absolute stars in Tewaaraton-winner Sam Apuzzo and Tewaaraton-nominees Kenzie Kent and Dempsey Arsenault. Duke-transfer Charlotte North should help provide an instant impact after being declared eligible for this season for Boston College. The Eagles are ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll and could do great things this year. Could they achieve their first-ever NCAA title in 2020? We’ll get our first impressions on Saturday against UMass.
Notable Men’s Games & Storylines
Today’s games include No. 5 Syracuse against Colgate, while Navy will drop its anchor at home against Manhattan.
Interesting matchups on Saturday include Jacksonville taking on the Catamounts in Vermont’s first official game of the season down in Florida, Asher Nolting and company of High Point host Duke in a rematch of last year’s thriller that saw the Panthers defeat the then-No. 2 Blue Devils on Feb. 6. Hopefully for High Point, being two days late won’t mean they come up a dollar (or I guess in this case two dollars?) short against Duke, who is coming off of an opening-season one-goal loss to Air Force after being ranked No. 7 in the preseason poll. No. 15 Army is taking on No. 18 UMass, Villanova and No. 1 Penn State collide and No. 13 Johns Hopkins will face No. 17 Towson in a battle for Baltimore that should provide quite a show. There are lots of other exciting games this week as Utah travels to Lehigh after beating Bellarmine last weekend, and a so-far dangerous Air Force team will look to provide an aerial assault (obviously a metaphor, but I’ve always said lacrosse would get a lot more interesting with jet-packs) against No. 9 Denver in a game between the two Colorado programs. Also, No. 2 Virginia will take on No. 14 Loyola as we will get a first-look this season at the defending champions in addition to how Loyola will fare without Pat Spencer, who won last year’s Tewaaraton Award. Taking on last year’s title-winner should provide a great challenge and measuring stick to prepare for the rest of the season.
Grab your popcorn! Tune in for future NCAA Lacrosse previews.