Lacrosse fans now know from this point on until May, the best way to spend your Saturday is on your couch watching college lacrosse. Weeks one and two have not disappointed, specifically last week where we saw the No.2 Maryland Terrapins lose to in-state rival Loyola, along with the No.3 Georgetown Hoyas falling to the maybe back, not sure yet, Johns Hopkins Blue Jays.
Looking into week three what seems to be the matchup of the weekend on paper is two bluebloods Maryland and Syracuse facing off against each other in College Park at 1:00pm this Saturday. It’s Upstate NY vs Maryland in a battle of where the true lacrosse hotbed lies. While ‘Cuse is seemingly reloaded in talent and off to a 3-0 start, Maryland will look to bounce back and continue to find its identity in this matchup.
Of note, Syracuse is yet to play a game outside the “JMA Wireless Dome” which still sounds weird to all lacrosse fans. Additionally, College Park is considered one of the toughest away venues to play at due to ravaging fans waving state flags they’re seemingly obsessed with and awful ideas of wing flavorings such as Old Bay.
The matchup I am most interested to see is if we get the historic numbers for both programs, 1 and 22 going head to head. This class’s number one recruit Joey Spallina wears the historic No.22 for Syracuse and after some harsh criticism via bozo’s on lacrosse twitter with his week one play, he has seemed to have found his footing netting 10 goals in two games last weekend. For Maryland, the No.1 is being worn by defensive leader Brett Makar, who is the first defensive player to wear the number for the Terps. For what’s it worth I can also see Ajax Zapitello covering Spallina while Makar checks the savvy Owen Hiltz, but for the sake of journalism the coaches should throw the game plan out and give the fans the historic matchup they want, #1 vs #22.
Regardless of how these matchups shake out, it appears as if Maryland will be without its back end leader, star goalkeeper Logan McNaney who suffered an injury last week. While the Terps will certainly miss McNaney, they added graduate transfer Teddy Dolan from Binghamton who provides plenty of starting experience.
On the offensive end for the Terrapins, it appears they still are looking to find their true alpha or No.1 dodging threat to get this offense clicking. While the two most prominent options appear to be Owen Murphy or Kyle Long, my dark horse candidate to step into this role is midfielder Jack Brennan, wearing No.4.
For Syracuse, keep an eye out on No.48 Saam Olexo to be the difference maker in the contest. The SSDM converted to LSM has a nose for transition and with going against top faceoff man Luke Wierman I believe this can be the difference for the ‘Cuse. Another player I wanted to highlight for the Orange was freshman midfielder No.23 Finn Thompson. Kid is a matchup nightmare who you can’t guard with a shorty, on top of this he is a human highlight reel who seems to have no regards for the fundamentals of the game (in the best way possible).
With lacrosse entering the betting world the past few years we mine as well to highlight the lines, Syracuse is getting 4.5 goals as the underdog and are +420 on moneyline. The over/under is set at 24.5. This is not gambling advice but personally I would stay away from the spread in this matchup as both sides seem to be figuring out their identities. I would take the over at 24.5 if I was to wager on the game