Men’s Division I
No. 11 Hofstra at No. 8 Princeton
When: Saturday, noon
The opener for both squads, this one was notable in recent seasons for being a matchup of dueling Tierneys. Now, the fact that just a couple of spots on the ranking board separate the squads is just fine for me.
Obviously Princeton is going to be hurting without defensive stalwart Chad Wiedemeier, and the midfield losses aren’t small. But the attack is solid with the cousins McBride. The Bill Tierney era started with a bare cupboard and had a NCAA title within the first graduating class. How will Chris Bates start his tenure?
Hofstra has been the big-time crush of a certain former IL staffer who’s name might rhyme with Frisgian Breezy, with its typical complement of Canadians and Islanders looking to make big things happen on the road.
Princeton student (and Daily Princetonian editor) Vikram Rao — a frequent IL contributor — will be blogging live from the wonderland that is New Jersey.
Bucknell at Towson
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
A pair of teams that narrowly missed the 2009 NCAA tournament (literally, both made their respective conference finals) face off in Towson on Saturday afternoon, where IL online editor Danielle Bernstein will be on hand to bring you the in-game updates.
The Bison are 15th in the land after winning their second game of the year against Ohio State, but their first loss — in OT against a VERY highly touted Duke team — has given a lot of us so-called ‘experts’ a bit of pause. Is Bucknell an elite team? Is Duke doing its typical uneven start to the season?
Time will tell.
Towson, on the other hand, is coming off a disappointing season that was nearly salvaged in the CAA tournament. Will Tony’s Tigers take steps back to the top of the CAA pile in 2010?
Lets check it out and consult on Monday morning.
No. 7 Maryland at No. 13 Georgetown
When: Saturday, 2 p.m.
Everybody’s favorite Ohio native will be on hand (that’s Terry Foy, for the record) for this opener for the Hoyas and second showing for the Terps.
We’re all aware of the potential that the Maryland offense holds (Yes. We got your comments calling our premature anointing of their attack as epic stupid … Thanks.) Will they have a bit more success this time around after a year of meshing? What about goalie Brian Phipps and his knee? A win over Bellarmine is nothing to look down upon, but this is a legitimate non-conference test for a team that has some serious talent.
And speaking of talent that people have taken issue with an IL evaluation of… The No. 1 recruiting class of Georgetown University are now seniors. Were we wrong? Are they underachieving? Is the water in D.C. not fortified with enough vitamins?
I smell politics. (Or a joke at our expense. You be the judge).
Penn at No. 9 Duke
When: Saturday, 3 p.m.
The Ivy Leaguers are managing their first foray into game action, and the Quakers are doing so in audacious fashion … Taking on a Blue Devils squad that has a win over Team USA and a loss to Notre Dame already (and a win over Bucknell).
Mike Murphy had plenty of success at the Division III level, but DI is a different beast, and the Ivy League is about as full of parity as possible.
UNC student and IL contributor Chris Hempson will be on hand to share the gameday action with everybody.
Siena at No. 4 Johns Hopkins
When: Sunday, noon
IL newbie Tommy Kehoe will wrench himself away from Chatroulette to bring us live coverage of this one, as the Blue Jays host the MAAC power in their final match with a team not in the current top 20 for over a month.
Penn State at No. 5 Notre Dame
When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
The Nittany Lions didn’t get off on the right foot with 24 goals allowed against Robert Morris, but we won’t know if last week’s result was more Colonials being epic or PSU being deficient on defense until we have a larger sample size. (For the record … I hope RMU is very good on offense, because it’ll be a tough season in Happy Valley if an average team can rip 24 goals on them).
For the Irish, the possibility of a letdown between a win over the preseason No. 1 Duke squad and next weekend’s NFL-stadium Face-Off Classic crowd in Baltimore is something that their coaches are undoubtedly working towards.
ND student and IL contributor Mike Camarda will be on hand Sunday to keep us in the loop as far as what the reality is for these squads.
No. 19 UMBC at Rutgers
When: Sunday, 3 p.m.
IL contributor Joe Santoloquito will be live in Jersey to keep us posted on how the Scarlet Knights look against a UMBC squad that is looking to get back on track after an opening loss to Delaware in 3OT.
This one is one of many games that has been slid from its original schedule to accommodate a rare snowstorm that isn’t hitting Maryland this winter.
Army at No. 1 Syracuse
When: Sunday, 3 p.m.
The Orange look to move to 2-0 with a win over Army in what has suddenly become an epic double-header of New York teams on Sunday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.
As if kismet were involved, IL Editor in Chief John Jiloty was planning on being here in general, so he’ll be live blogging the work between one Big City Classic team and another making an appearance at the Day of Rivals.
No. 6 Cornell vs. Hobart
When: Sunday, 6 p.m. at Syracuse
An upstate rivalry that becomes the season opener for both teams this spring, this one will feature IL contributor Chris Osburn firing up the blog machine for your reading enjoyment.
Cornell is an attack-dominated offense compared to last year’s midfield monster, but who knows how things will work out once they hit the field for real in 2010. Hobart is in a vastly different league under the same banner, but coach T.W. Johnson has talent and could make a run at league favorites Loyola, Denver and Ohio State this spring.