It's the first big weekend of games this year, pals and gal pals. 24 games dot the slate, with a handful earning the "Consume Until Your Face Explodes" seal of approval. While the weather at most of these locations is still on the miserable side . . .
- New York City, NY: Saturday (High: 37; Low: 23 -- Chance of Snow)
- Baltimore, MD: Saturday (High: 44; Low: 32 -- Cloudy)
- Syracuse, NY: Sunday (High: 17; Low: 10 -- Snow )
- Boston, MA: Saturday (High: 39; Low: 23 -- Rain/Snow)
- Jacksonville, FL: Sunday (High: 52; Low: 32 -- Sunny with a Chance of Cocktails)
. . . that doesn't mitigate the fact that for the first time in 2013, this weekend actually feels like lacrosse season.
Your highlights for Saturday:
- Lehigh at Villanova: Lehigh unloaded on St. Joseph's last weekend, but things shouldn't be quite as easy this weekend for the Mountain Hawks as they head to Philadelphia for a date with a Wildcats squad that remains dangerous offensively but could be a bit of a tire fire on the defensive end if the team's goaltending situation remains unsettled and the field defense plays as if it is running from a flaming bus about to explode. Lehigh is the epitome of composure while Villanova may still have indicia of erraticism in their universe. Eastern Pennsylvania: Stand up!
- Fairfield at Bryant: The Bulldogs look pretty legitimate after their overtime effort against Colgate last weekend. Fairfield? I have no idea. Andy Copelan is becoming a hot commodity, but the Stags were the beneficiary of some -- how should I say? -- fortunate circumstances in 2012 en route to double-digit wins and a spot in the ECAC Tournament finals. I'm still not willing to accept Fairfield as a true top 20 team right now, but if they show well in Rhode Island this afternoon, I'll suck it up and take a seat on the Stags' bus.
- Drexel at Virginia: I don't have the stones to write that the Dragons are going to go into Charlottesville and drop the Cavaliers, but I do know this: With Virginia breaking in all kinds of new faces and existing in a reality without the services of Steele Stanwick, you have to like Brian Voelker's chances at convincing his sneakily dangerous Dragons squad to raise hell throughout the day. Virginia has been gaining steam as a team that may be mildly underrated at this point in the year and will have the opportunity to prove its skeptics wrong, but none of that means a bucket full of nothing if they can't take care of business at Klockner this afternoon.
- Notre Dame at Duke: The Irish's monster defense meets the Devils' Gatling gun offense. How do you feel about this, dopey Lakers fan?
- Massachusetts v. North Carolina: Much was made of the schedule that the Minutemen played last season -- and I'm still not sure that I'm 100 percent on-board with the sentiment -- but that talking point gets split like an atom this afternoon when Massachusetts travels to Atlanta to play North Carolina at Kennesaw State. (Wait. What?) The Minutemen looked like a fairly refined death machine against Army last week in Amherst, but the level of competition ramps up today against a Carolina offense -- and roster in totem -- thick with talent and ability. These kind of games in February don't necessarily define a team's season, but it does do something important: Identify whether more punishing wind sprints are necessary.
- Johns Hopkins at Towson: Give this man a prize:
Why would teams schedule an outdoor non-televised lacrosse game in February for 7pm? #FanUnfriendly— quint kessenich (@QKessenich) February 15, 2013
Here's the full schedule for the day. Game times are pulled from the Lacrosse Magazine website, so if there are errors, please let me know.
|St. John's||Holy Cross||12:00 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
|UMBC||Robert Morris||12:00 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
|Air Force||Rutgers||1:00 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
|Notre Dame||Duke||1:00 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
|St. Joseph's||High Point||1:00 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
|Stony Brook||Marist||1:00 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
|Massachusetts||North Carolina||1:00 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
|Sacred Heart||Hofstra||1:30 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
|Johns Hopkins||Towson||7:00 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
As for Sunday, here are your highlights and the day's complete schedule:
- Denver v. Penn State: Jacksonville actually has something worthwhile within its city limits on Sunday, pitting the Pioneers -- fresh off a victory the size of a tow truck that needs to tow another tow truck -- against the rising power that Jeff Tambroni is building in State College. If Denver takes a hammer to the Nittany Lions at EverBank, we can all pretty much get on a knee and kiss Bill Tierney's ring because he will, at that point, own us all and the fee to which we once had rights.
- Albany at Syracuse: Outside of the Orange's concerns -- faceoff play, midfield play, opaqueness at the attack, whether iPads are useful learning tools, etc. -- I'm mostly interested in seeing if Albany has enough defense (especially with respect to play in the net) to support an offense that is going to significantly feature the Thompson Trio while dealing with question marks elsewhere. It's not quite an upstate bragging rights kind of game, but there is something about this one that may create some happy faces.
|Denver||Penn State||12:00 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
|Bucknell||Mount St. Mary's||1:00 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
|Ohio State||Jacksonville||4:00 P.M.||N/A||N/A|
This is your open thread for Saturday and Sunday. I'm not a guy that's into nostalgia, but for whatever reason a little part of me dies on the inside when I throw away underpants. People will be around to yak about whatever is tickling their fancy.