COYNE: If I know our boy Nick, he’ll make some crack about his former UCSB teammate – and current Chapman assistant – Mike DeWan and then gleefully pick Colorado State to win. I’ll have to agree. The Panthers have very little margin for error with their anemic offense, and won’t be able to catch the Rams. CSU, 11-7.
SCHOOLER: I know these two team pretty well. Both play a disciplined game of lacrosse. This will not be the shootout of past Chapman vs. CSU games. Both have a defense-first mentality. I see the Panthers knocking off the Rams in a close one, 9-8.
No. 5 Chapman (8-2) at No. 9 Colorado (7-2) – 3 p.m. MDT, Saturday
COYNE: The last time Chapman traveled to the Mountain Time Zone, the Panthers barely squeezed out a 1-1 weekend. Now they’re heading back and playing stiffer competition. Chappy will go 1-1 again, also winning the front-end contest. Panthers, 9-7.
SCHOOLER: With a possible injury to Madison Fiore, who will fill his void? I’m not sure that Chapman has the depth that it used to have, and it will have a lot of trouble containing James Blackburn. I’m going with the Buffs, 9-8.
No. 16 Simon Fraser (4-5) at No. 15 Oregon (5-6) – 6 p.m. PDT, Friday
COYNE: The last time Fraser played, they outscored a pair of teams 63-13 on the road. Sixty. Three. Goals. Granted, it was against Idaho and a D-II school, and Oregon is a whole different animal, but still. Fraser will fade the rest of the weekend with the depth issues, but I’m going way out on a limb and taking the Clansmen, 13-12 on a buzzer-beater.
SCHOOLER: Both teams suffer from the “good loss” factor. However, the Ducks have two uncharacteristic losses to Cal and Santa Clara. This being a major rivalry game and the Ducks playing at home, I am going with Oregon, 16-10.
No. 7 Cal Poly (10-2) vs. No. 16 Simon Fraser (4-5) – 6 p.m. PDT, Saturday (in Eugene, Ore.)
COYNE: Poly is too good, too deep, and too motivated after coughing up a seed or two in the 2010 national tournament by losing to the Clansmen last March. I’ve got Fraser beating the Ducks on Friday, and that might have been a stretch. This upset won’t happen. Mustangs, 14-10.
SCHOOLER: Here is a team that I have had the pleasure of seeing this season, something Jacqui cannot claim. Has he even seen a game in person this year? Defense is the weak link for the Mustangs. Luckily Bo Dunnahoo-Kirsch has been a savior in cage and Scott Heberer has been automatic on offense. Poly wins in a blowout, 15-5.
COYNE: If I actually watched the games, this competition wouldn’t be fair.
No. 7 Cal Poly (10-2) at No. 15 Oregon (5-6) – 12 p.m. PDT, Sunday
COYNE: If Oregon loses to Simon Fraser on Friday, it will be interesting to see how the Ducks react in this contest. OU will push Poly to the breaking point, but this Mustang team has the look this spring. Marc Lea will have his kids ready in a slugfest. SLO, 9-8.
SCHOOLER: The Mustangs have been almost flawless this season, but have not had a competitive game since their loss to Colorado State back in February. Travel can be a challenge. While they will have no trouble with the Clansmen, I see the Ducks knocking off the ‘Stangs in a close one. 10-9, Oregon.