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Week 2 storylines and matchups to watch in college lacrosse

Welcome the Ivy League schools that aren’t Cornell to regular season action!

Matt Dewkett

First off, Across College Lacrosse is back!

And with that, I’d like to welcome the Ivy League back to college lacrosse.

This weekend is the first weekend Ivy League teams (and most America East teams) open up their seasons. By next week, everyone will have played at least one game.

We have a good slate of games today, beginning at 3 PM with Towson taking on Mount St. Mary’s.

There’s a new headliners along with a good chunk of interesting games to keep tabs on. We’ll break them all down here.

But first, make sure you get yourselves ready for the weekend or the season (if you’re team starts this weekend) with a bevy of College Crosse content.

Let’s get started

Storylines

Overreactions or the real deal?

Last week was headlined by upset losses from Duke, Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, and even Lehigh. Duke rebounded after their midweek loss to the High Point Panthers against Jacksonville.

But each of those teams have another game to show who they really are and to put last week’s disappointments to rest. For the Blue Devils, a loss in February has been commonplace. Whether it’s been Air Force, Penn, or High Point, it hasn’t really stopped Duke. It might affect where they are come May, but that’s so far away. They have Denver Saturday for an 11 AM start time.

Syracuse and Johns Hopkins both suffered bad losses of different degrees. For the Orange, a home opening loss to the Raiders in Matt Karweck’s debut was a stunner for many. It was the program’s first loss to Colgate since 2008. And for the Blue Jays, they got trounced by a Towson team that not only looked good, but played good. Both of those teams have more in-state opponents at home this weekend, with Albany (4 PM) and Loyola (2 PM) coming to town for the respective teams.

And then there’s Lehigh. With great expectations in the preseason to contend for a Patriot League title, the Mountain Hawks fell flat in a 4-3 loss to the Hofstra Pride. That came without Andrew Pettit for the second straight game. They play Virginia tonight (5 PM), who lost to Loyola last weekend, and things don’t look good for Lehigh prior to that game. The Mountain Hawks will be without Pettit and fellow attackman Lucas Spence for tonight’s 5 PM start, according to multiple sources.

So what about the teams that did the upsetting? High Point travels to take on the Drexel Dragons on Saturday (Noon) before playing again on Monday against the Cavaliers. Could another ACC upset be in the minds of the Panthers? Colgate has an easier opponent with Binghamton on Saturday (1 PM), but the Raiders also have a quick turnaround with a visit to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Tuesday. Towson plays Mount St. Mary’s this afternoon (3 PM), while Hofstra hosts the Utah Utes, who are coming off their first ever program victory last weekend, on Saturday (1 PM)

So with all of these teams, as well as pretty much everyone else, the jury’s still out.

An Ivy Welcome

More teams open up their seasons, but the most notable group comes from the Ivy League. All but the Cornell Big Red (who start their season next Friday against Hobart) kick off their seasons on Saturday.

The reigning national champion Yale Bulldogs start their season at home against the Villanova Wildcats (1 PM). Last year, ‘Nova pulled off an overtime upset of the Elis in Dallas, Texas at the Patriot Cup. Both teams made the NCAA Tournament, but Yale ended up not losing a tournament game.

After a 7-8 season with an RPI that could have put them into the NCAA Tournament, the Penn Quakers host the Maryland Terrapins at Franklin Field (1 PM). Penn’s first three games are against Maryland, Duke, and Penn State. Three top 10 teams. They’ll have yet another tough schedule, a Mike Murphy specialty.

More intriguing Ivy League openers include the Princeton Tigers taking on the Monmouth Hawks (1 PM) in what was a double overtime Tiger win a year ago, the Harvard Crimson going down to Chapel Hill to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels (Noon), Brown hosting Quinnipiac (1 PM), and Dartmouth taking on Boston University (Noon).

What To Watch For

This weekend, we have five Friday games and 30 Saturday games. We all rest on Sunday before we resume with a Monday game and eight Tuesday games.

Outside of the games I already mentioned, here’s others to keep tabs on. All games are on Saturday unless noted.

  • UMBC vs. Navy (Friday, 7 PM): The Retrievers had the top scoring defense in the country last season at 7.77 goals per game. But their offense was also low, 69th in the country in scoring offense at 6.85 goals per game. That was in part due to a bevy of injuries on offense, especially at attack. Trevor Patschorke, Ryan Frawley, and Mitch Howell all return with Billy Nolan back at midfield. The Killer Bees have a good task at hand with Navy’s offense, especially after big games from Greyson Torain, Ryan Wade, and Christian Daniel.
  • Marquette vs. Jacksonville (Friday, 7 PM): The Golden Eagles had a good debut against Bellarmine, but the Dolphins have begun 0-2. A late rally against Detroit Mercy was just a little too late, and Jacksonville fell to Duke last Saturday despite a good first half. Shoutout to having two screens, because I’ll definitely have this game on tonight.
  • Providence vs. Bryant (Noon): The battle for the Ocean State Cup resumes this weekend with the Friars looking to win back-to-back titles. Providence won their first ever Ocean State Cup thanks to wins over the Bulldogs and Brown Bears (also their first ever win over their in-state Ivy League foes). They’re 1-1 with a tight loss to BU two weeks ago and a win against Holy Cross last week. Bryant started their season last week with a 9-6 loss to Bucknell despite three goals from Marc O’Rourke.
  • Robert Morris vs. Georgetown (Noon): The bad news for the Colonials was getting trounced by Penn State 27-10 last week. The good news: They can only go up from here (and they tried to make it positive and enjoyable on Twitter). But with Tyson Gibson, Matt Schmidt, and Alex Heger still on the team and being the main guys from a year ago, they are still a tough team to play. The Hoyas have some studs on offense, mainly Daniel Bucaro (3 Gs, 4 As last week against Sacred Heart), Jake Carraway (3 Gs, 2 As), and Lucas Wittenberg (2 Gs, 1 A). Sophomore goalie Owen McElroy made 16 saves in his debut.
  • Army West Point vs. Rutgers (Noon): I’d consider this to be one of the top five matchups of the weekend. The Black Knights pulled off a road upset win in overtime against UMass a week ago and showed off a few of their young guys in Brandon Nichtern and Miles Silva. Rutgers has scoring in Kieran Mullins and Adam Charalambides at attack, but were in a fight with St. John’s in the fourth quarter last week. Freshman goalie Ben Pounds has played well in place of Max Edelmann, but Rutgers hopes Edelmann can play on Saturday.
  • Penn State vs. Stony Brook (1 PM): For the first time this season, everyone can see Penn State and their explosive offense play! Stony Brook could be a contender in the America East with a number of guys returning, but I’ll be interested to see who Ryland Rees covers. Probably either Grant Ament or Mac O’Keefe.
  • Ohio State vs. UMass (1 PM): Ohio State is 2-0 with wins over Cleveland State and Boston University. Their offense has looked good thanks to Tre Leclaire and Jack Jasinski, but their starting goalie situation could be a question. After starting Josh Kirson against the Vikings, the Buckeyes turned to freshman Skylar Wahlund who was taken out in the third quarter in favor of Kirson. I’d expect Kirson starts in goal against a Minutemen team that will be a contender in the CAA despite the tough loss to Army last weekend.
  • Richmond vs. Bucknell (2 PM): I’m a little stunned this game isn’t being streamed. Richmond nearly upset Maryland thanks to a 5-0 fourth quarter against the Terps thanks to five goals from Ryan Lanchbury. Bucknell, who played Maryland two weeks ago, played the Terps tough as well. Will Yorke had five goals in the Bryant win.
  • Detroit Mercy vs. Notre Dame (7:30 PM): SATURDAY. NIGHT. LACROSSE. And it’ll be a good one with the Fighting Irish starting up their season. The Titans had a rare week off after beating Jacksonville by a goal two weeks ago. Last year, Detroit Mercy fought Notre Dame into the fourth quarter thanks to the play of goalie Logan Shamblin and five points from Matthew Vangalen. Let’s see how Notre Dame’s offense looks without Ryder Garnsey and with new assistant Neil Hutchinson.

Division I(I) Lacrosse

LIU Post opens up their season against American International College (better known as AIC) Saturday at 2:30 PM.

We’ll keep you up to tabs with them as well as Merrimack in their last year in Division II. Both schools move up to Division I next year and will be a part of the NEC.

One note, both teams play each other March 9 at Post.

#WhyD3

Thanks to reader John Duffy for this.

We know about Albany’s headshots. But have you checked out Hampden-Sydney mustaches? Here’s a few of them.

And some hair to add.

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