Division I lacrosse entered last week with 11 teams eligible for the 2015 Reverse Survivor championship.1 After seven days of games, the pool has shrunk to five eligible teams, a pool of fewer than a half-dozen programs that are still fighting for a victory and the sweet excitement of pounding the snot out of an opponent. Departed from last week's body of contenders are the following teams:
- Binghamton: The Bearcats dumped Delaware at Delaware in strong fashion, earning an 11-7 victory against the Blue Hens. Paul O'Donnell went off for five goals against Delaware and Tucker Nelson created combustion for the Bearcats' offense with a one-and-six effort.
- Dartmouth: The Green earned their first victory of 2015 with an 11-10 triumph on Staten Island over Wagner. Dartmouth took its first lead against the Seahawks at the 11:22 mark of the fourth quarter and got the game-winning goal from Wiley Osborne with 4:53 remaining on the clock.
- Drexel: It took Drexel a while to garner its first win of the year, but when it came -- an 11-7 midweek dispatching of St. Joseph's at Vidas Field -- the Dragons didn't stop: Drexel followed up its defeat of the Hawks with an 11-8 win against Bryant. Reverse Survivor doesn't impact each team equally, and Drexel's brutal opening slate of opponents kept the Dragons in the race despite having a ceiling higher than other teams currently fishing for a win.
- Robert Morris: The Colonials needed a six-and-one performance from Eric Rankel to push past Siena at home, but Bobby Mo doesn't care: The team's first "W" of the season is on the board. LaxPower's rating detail illustrates that the team's win was only the second time this season that the Colonials were expected to have a positive predicted goal differential and Robert Morris delivered with petting-zoo-trip-for-everyone performance.
- Sacred Heart: The Pioneers were able to deliver a shot to Dartmouth's mouth in a 10-9 victory in Hanover, getting a hat trick from Brian Masi (on 13 shots!) and two-goal efforts from Ian Farley, Bryce Jurk, and Alex Dodge. The game-winner for the Pioneers came at the buzzer, a fitting way for the universe to spin in Sacred Heart's direction. (The Green had knotted the scoreboard at nine with 23 seconds remaining in regulation.)
- Vermont: The Catamounts took out NJIT and Air Force in the past seven days, the latter victory coming in triple overtime fashion. Cam Milligan cashed in on a man-up opportunity just 20 seconds into the seventh period to seal the win for Vermont.
Here's the updated field and what's upcoming for each team:
|TEAM||RECORD||NEXT OPPONENT||DATE||AFTER NEXT OPPONENT||DATE|
|Canisius||0-4||at Hobart||March 10||at Manhattan||March 14|
|Manhattan||0-6||Canisius||March 14||at Delaware||March 18|
|Massachusetts||0-5||Quinnipiac||March 10||Penn State||March 14|
|Mercer||0-5||High Point||March 14||at Furman||March 21|
|VMI||0-6||Jacksonville||March 14||at Wagner||March 17|
Here are some brief thoughts on upcoming Reverse Survivor-relevant games:
- Canisius at Manhattan: It's a guarantee -- [puts on a plaid jacket and brushes his mustache] -- that Reverse Survivor will have at least one fewer contender next week. Canisius and Manhattan are on a collision course of epic proportions, and the Griffs have to like their chances against the Jaspers: Canisius is unbeaten against Manhattan to the two teams' last seven meetings, winning by an average margin of almost three goals per game. Things will happen.
- Quinnipiac at Massachusetts: The Minutemen are in a tight spot: Massachusetts has been trying to navigate a schedule that has thrown Army, North Carolina, Harvard, Brown, and Albany in their direction over the team's first five games. Taking care of the Bobcats at home is imperative for the Minutemen as Massachusetts will immediately pivot from Quinnipiac to a four-game run that includes Penn State, Hofstra, Towson, and Fairfield. The Minutemen need to create their own relief against the Bobcats.
- Mercer at VMI: The Bears have three games before they travel to Lexington and the Keydets will face four opponents before hosting Mercer, but this may serve as a mega Reverse Survivor-off in the Southern Conference. You should want these teams to win; trudging through what each has endured this season isn't fun, and both deserve to have a great moment of "Aw, hell yeah!" at some point -- even once! -- this year.
1 New programs aren't eligible for Reverse Survivor. To include new programs in this competition misses the point as they're still learning how to get on and off the bus.