WD1: No. 9 Virginia (2-1) at No. 2 Maryland (3-0)– Friday 7 p.m.
For all the talk about the Terps offense, their defense was equally impressive last week in holding Duke to its lowest goal total in five years. Maryland is 28-1 at home under Cathy Reese, so the odds certainly stack up against Virginia. Then again, that’s how the Wahoos like ‘em. This one could come down to draws. UVA boasts the best in ACC history in Brittany Kalkstein, but maybe we’ll say the same thing about Maryland’s Karrie Ellen Johnson in a couple of years.
||“The Terps’ offense is ridiculous, scoring 17 goals in each of their three games so far this season. Cavaliers freshman goalie Kim Kolarik had a brilliant high school career at South River, but she’s allowed 12.10 gpg in her first three college starts. Welcome to the big time, rook.”
MD1: No. 9 Duke (2-1) vs. No. 6 Maryland (2-0) (at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore) – Saturday 11 a.m. (ESPNU)
The Terps and Blue Devils meet in both teams’ ACC openers and the first game of a triple-header, the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. Momentum is on Maryland’s side after its spirited comeback to beat Georgetown. Duke, meanwhile, struggled against a mediocre Penn team until late, this on the heels of a loss to Notre Dame. Maryland’s best assets are on its attack — Ryan Young is coming off arguably the best game of his career (1g, 5a) — while Duke’s are on its defense. These teams match up well with one another. It’s a close call.
||“If you don’t like the games this weekend, then you don’t like lacrosse. Beyond these 10 great games, there are a ton of other intriguing match-ups. For me, the toughest game to pick was the Duke-Maryland men’s game. Since beating the U.S. Team at Champion Challenge in January, Duke has struggled in wins over Bucknell and Penn. But there’s a reason Lacrosse Magazine had them No. 1 in our preseason poll. That said, I just think Maryland is ready for a statement win.”
MD2: No. 5 Limestone (2-0) vs. No. 2 Le Moyne (1-0) (in Severna Park, Md.) – Saturday 12 p.m.
With the massive shadow cast by the Face-Off Classic, this marquee Division II game less than a half hour away has slipped somewhat under the radar. Can Limestone hang? The Saints have been hit hard injuries. Preseason All-Americans Thomas Langan and Spencer Wims are both likely out for the season with knee injuries. Le Moyne hardly looks invincible, though, not after Mars Hill played the Dolphins to within a goal last week.
DaSilva: Le Moyne
Krome: Le Moyne
Ohanian: Le Moyne
Coyne: Le Moyne
Lochary: Le Moyne
MD3: No. 1 Cortland (3-0) vs. No. 3 Gettysburg (1-0) (in Massapequa, N.Y.) – Saturday 1 p.m.
A rematch of the 2009 NCAA Division III championship game in neutral territory on Long Island? Sounds juicy. “I think Cortland can give you special problems with the way they ride and some of the things they do on defense,” Gettysburg coach Hank Janczyk told LMO’s Jac Coyne. “I think we have to be smart on attack and be wise in the way we play them and keep improving. I think we’re getting better each game and this will be a telltale sign of where we are at this point.”
||“Last year, Gettysburg lost this game 14-8 and fell to 1-2 in the early season. A third loss a week later had many folks writing them off. Hank Janczyk may have then done one of his best coaching jobs, retooling the Bullets in-season and guiding them to a 14-game winning streak and eventual finish as the national championship runner-up. Lesson learned. Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, both of these programs are too well coached to be prematurely dismissed once again.”
WD1: No. 3 Penn (2-0) at No. 4 North Carolina (5-0) – Saturday 1 p.m.
The Tar Heels have pounded some pretty good teams – including Denver, which upset Loyola this week, Vanderbilt and Florida. Combined score of UNC’s five wins? 89-30. “We’re hard to match,” coach Jenny Levy told LMO’s David Ely. “We’re seven deep offensively and we bring people off the bench.” The Heels will look to attack the cage early and often. They did a lot of damage on free positions against Florida. Penn has beaten up on Philly doormats Drexel and Temple, but will probably look to keep this a low-scoring affair. The Quakers held UNC to its lowest goal total in years in an 11-2 victory last year.
DaSilva: North Carolina
MD1: No. 7 Princeton (1-0) vs. No. 5 Johns Hopkins (3-0) (at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore) – Saturday 1:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
The knee-jerk reaction is to say there’s a new era of Princeton lacrosse, what with the Tigers hanging 17 goals on Hofstra in a shootout in Chris Bates’ debut. But if you look back to this matchup – in this same Face-Off Classic – last year, you’ll see Bill Tierney had already sown the seeds for an offensive revolution. Princeton beat Hopkins, 14-8, in a game that wasn’t as close as even that score indicates. After the Blue Jays struggled offensively against Siena, the big question is, will we see Chris Boland (suspended for first three games due to unspecified violation of team rules) in the lineup?
DaSilva: Johns Hopkins
Krome: Johns Hopkins
Ohanian: Johns Hopkins
Coyne: Johns Hopkins
Lochary: Johns Hopkins
Logue: Johns Hopkins
WD1: No. 5 Georgetown (1-0) at No. 1 Northwestern (3-0) – Saturday 2 p.m. Central
The Wildcats picked a winner for a home opener, setting up a top-five showdown in Evanston, Ill. After Georgetown nearly upset Northwestern in 2008, losing in a 7-6 nailbiter, the Hoyas were blown out last year, 15-4. Georgetown’s Ashby Kaestner showed no ill effects from the foot injury she sustained while celebrating her third goal of the first half in the Hoyas’ eventual loss to Princeton in the 2009 NCAA tournament. She had three goals, two assists and four draw controls in Georgetown’s season-opening win over Johns Hopkins. Likewise, Northwestern’s Katrina Dowd, who sat out the Wildcats opener against UMass with an unspecified injury, showed no ill effects in being named the ALC Player of the Week. Dowd helped extend Northwestern’s winning streak to 32 games by notching five goals and adding an assist in each of the `Cats victories over 15th-ranked Stanford and California. She also made her presence known all over the field against the Cardinal, scooping up three ground balls while forcing four turnovers in the 18-11 win.
MD1: No. 3 Notre Dame (2-0) vs. No. 10 Loyola (3-0) (at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore)– Saturday 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
Funny, the de facto under card of the Face-Off Classic – crowd could get sparse and chilly as the day draws longer – could wind up being the best game of them all. Although Loyola dominates the all-time series, Notre Dame has won the last three games. Irish attackman Colin Igoe probably doesn’t take playing lacrosse for granted. After transferring to South Bend from UMass, he was injured in the fourth game of the 2008 season, missed the remainder of that season and did not play at all in 2009. He has three goals and an assist in two games for Notre Dame.
DaSilva: Notre Dame
Ohanian: Notre Dame
Logue: Notre Dame
WDIA: No. 1 Santa Clara at No. 2 UC Santa Barbara – Saturday 2 p.m. Pacific
The buzz is palpable as the top two teams in the US Lacrosse Women’s Division Intercollegiate Associates prepare to face each other. “Girls have been telling everybody on campus,” UC Santa Barbara coach Paul Ramsey told LMO’s David Ely. Said Santa Clara coach Brendan O’Brien: “You try to take the polls away from it. I think both Santa Barbara and Santa Clara could be No. 1 at this point and should be tied.” That will be a moot point after Saturday.
Krome: Santa Clara
Lochary: Santa Clara
||“Santa Clara’s Krista Shaw hasn’t shown any signs of a jinx from being named LM’s Preseason Player of the Year. Despite some added defensive attention, she had 33 goals and 14 assists to key the Broncos’ 9-0 start. The host Gauchos, also 9-0, are still riding high after Ashley Antoon-Algieri scored with one second left to deliver UCSB a 19-18 over then-No. 4 UC-Davis club last week. This one’s likely going to have a big impact on seeding for the Western Women’s Lacrosse League tournament, which UCSB won last year with a 12-10 decision over Santa Clara in the final.”
MD1: No. 1 Syracuse (2-0) at No. 2 Virginia (3-0) – Sunday 1 p.m.
After two days of non-stop college lacrosse action, big-ticket events and neutral site showdowns, fans will most certainly regroup for the best game of the weekend – and possibly the year. You know who’s been mighty quiet for UVA? Shamel Bratton. Two goals in three games for the first team All-American midfielder. When will that ticking time bomb go off? Welcome surprises in the Syracuse camp has been the coming of age of Chris Daniello (5g, 1a) and success on faceoffs. Jeremy Thompson (14-for-21), Gavin Jenkinson (17-for-24) and Tim Harder (3-for-5) have drawn success at a 68-percent clip.