This is all happening, people.
Tonight marks the first huge weekend of college lacrosse in 2013. We've all been patiently waiting for a weekend like this for nine months, the perfect gestation period for anticipation. There are two mega tilts on the slate tonight, featuring four schools that are so blue-blooded that they should only be able to date within their caste upon prior approval from their institutional parents. While the entirety of Division I lacrosse contains many special snowflakes, there's nothing that quite matches the excitement of four schools with multiple national titles between them meeting to try to beat each other to a pulp simply because the game exists on the schedule and that's what is expected. This is livin'.
Here are the evening's highlights:
- Princeton at Johns Hopkins (5:00 P.M.): Hopkins has been impressive in their three games thus far this season, but beating the tar out of Siena, Towson, and Michigan doesn't get you a citation from the Mayor where there are balloons by the podium and newspaper photographers saying, "Mistah Pietramala! Stand closah to the mayah so I can take a pick-cha!" No, sir. Beating a Princeton team with Tom Schreiber, a tactical nuclear weapon, gets Hopkins a lot closer to that situation, though. It's hard to say what kind of game this is going to be (the Tigers have only one effort under their belt so far, a nice 10-7 victory over Hofstra), but I do know this: Princeton still has questions regarding what kind of defensive team they're going to be in 2013; Hopkins has hammers all over the field (if they're not all suspended tonight). This one has tons of potential, I'm just not sure if the Tigers are ready to win this game. (Infographic: Here; Video: Here (ESPNU); Audio: Here; Live Stats: Here; A Picture of an Angry Bird: Here)
- Virginia at Syracuse (6:00 P.M.): People start exploding their brains when Virginia-Syracuse rolls around, and I understand it. It's two powerhouses, clashing on the full length of play, with players slinging the pill from all over the field. And the games, for the most part, have satisfied the hype: In their last five meetings, four of those games were decided by two goals or less; in their last ten games, six meetings were decided by two goals or less. That's super/fantastic/awesome, but it does create some forgetfulness around Virginia's 20-10 demolition of Syracuse in the Final Four in 2006 and the 20-15 and 14-10 poundings that the Cavaliers put on the Orange in 2006 (at Klockner) and 2012, respectively. Regardless, tonight should be an interesting iteration of the rivalry, and there is one statistic that you should keep in mind: In the last five meetings between the schools, Virginia has played with 15 more total offensive possessions than Syracuse; in their last 10, the number moves to 25 in favor of the Cavaliers. Virginia, of course, is 4-1 against the Orange in their last five and 8-2 against Syracuse in their last 10. JETPACK LACROSSE ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! (Infographic: Here; Video: Here or Here; Audio: Here; Live Stats: Here; A Picture of an Angry Bird: Here)
Leave your comments about the game or anything else (QUERY: The ability to lift 200 pounds is impressive, but is it stronger than the power of love?) in the comments below.