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Week 6 storylines and matchups to watch in college lacrosse

Plenty of good matchups to enjoy this weekend, plus another Across College Lacrosse.

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Welcome to Week 6 of the 2019 college lacrosse season.

If you felt like the schedule last week wasn’t filled with a ton of quality games, wait until this weekend. Cornell-Yale and Towson-Duke are just two of the top matchups this weekend.

As always, 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.

But First, Across College Lacrosse

The latest episode of Across College Lacrosse will be here every weekend along with the Weekend Preview.

This week, I had the chance to sit down with LIU Post head coach Eric Wolf. The Pioneers are fresh off an overtime victory over then-#1 Merrimack last Saturday before crushing St. Thomas Aquinas on Wednesday. We discussed the Merrimack win, the move to Division I, and even had a short music discussion. We’ll have more on LIU Post and Merrimack in our Division I(I) Lacrosse section.

Give it a listen below or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. 5 star reviews are also helpful!

Storylines

Denver-Ohio State cancelled

Before we get to the games that’ll be played, one game that some were excited about won’t be happening. Due to the bomb cyclone out west and a number of flights cancelled in the Denver area, the Pioneers have not been able to leave and come over to Columbus. DU has exams begin on Monday.

Per Denver’s release, it’ll be the first time since 1996 that the Pioneers and Buckeyes won’t meet during the regular season. Overall, safety’s more important than playing a lacrosse game.

Ivy League Championship Rematch

The Game of the Weekend on ESPNEWS (note the channel) is in New Haven at 1 PM. Cornell and Yale split their two meetings last year, with the Big Red winning in the Ivy League Championship.

The Cornell Big Red are fresh off splitting two games at The Crown Lacrosse Classic in Charlotte last weekend with a loss to Penn State (idle this weekend) and a win over then-#1 Towson. The Yale Bulldogs are coming off a win against Michigan in Atlanta.

The offenses are talented. Jeff Teat and Clarke Petterson are a phenomenal duo, but get familiar with attackman John Piatelli, who’s tied with Petterson for second on the Big Red with 24 points, and midfielder Jonathan Donville. Whereas Cornell has five guys in double-digit point features, Yale only has two with Jackson Morrill (22) and Matt Gaudet (12). But just because of that note doesn’t mean guys like Matt Brandau, Brendan Rooney, Joey Sessa, and even Brian Tevlin who had a big game against the Wolverines on Sunday are playmakers. It’s just that they’re a balanced group.

Two factors that could hurt Cornell are their faceoffs and goalie play. The first is a known question since TD Ierlan is by far better than Paul Rasimowicz, Luca Tria, and Tim Graham. They’ve thrown Brandon Salvatore as the long-pole faceoff guy, so could Cornell throw him out there right from the start? But as we saw on Sunday, the Big Red can lose plenty of faceoffs and still win.

The goalie question may have been answered with TD’s brother Chayse Ierlan getting the start Sunday against the Tigers. He looked good in the win and is stopping 48.1% of shots faced. The freshman replaced Caelahn Bullen against Penn State. Bullen hasn’t been consistent in the early part of the season, especially at the beginning of games.

Top Five Matchup In Durham

While the Ivy League conference play schedule gets underway, the co-main event of the weekend takes place at the same time in Durham. Towson and Duke should have a fun meeting a Koskinen Stadium (1 PM, ACC Network Extra).

Shawn Nadelen’s Towson Tigers squad also split their two games in Charlotte last weekend with a win over Jacksonville and the aforementioned Cornell loss. Tyler Canto was pulled in the Big Red loss in favor of Shane Brennan. Will Brennan start moving forward, or was it just one bad performance by Canto on such a short week?

The Tiger attack of Brendan Sunday (19 Gs, 12 As), Brody McLean (17 Gs, 4 As), and Luke Fromert (11 Gs, 4 As) has been tremendous this year. Sunday gets all the attention, but give some love to McLean. The Stony Brook transfer played in just three games last year and has given Towson a nice boost to their offense. Even Koby Smith, a starting defenseman, is pushing their transition play hard.

As for Duke, they struggled in the first half against the Utah Utes on Tuesday before beating them 17-11. But it wasn’t surprising to see the Blue Devils struggle against a new team. Last year, Duke was up on Cleveland State by a goal at halftime. In 2014, when Duke won their second straight national championship, BU made things interesting early by trailing 4-3 in the first quarter and 7-5 in the middle of the second quarter.

How will Duke’s offense deal with Towson’s talented defense? Last year, the Blue Devils went up 7-2 at halftime before the Tigers stymied Duke and went on a 6-0 run to take a one-goal lead before the Blue Devils ended on a 3-0 run for the win.

Requiem For The Big East

An old Big East “rivalry” is renewed in the Carrier Dome (1 PM, ACC Network Extra). Do you consider Rutgers-Syracuse a Big East rivalry? In lacrosse, it probably is since the conference started to sponsor the sport in 2010. But even before the Big East, the two teams met every year from 1979 until 2013 when the teams left the conference for the ACC and Big Ten.

At 4-3, this is a must-win game for the Scarlet Knights after they blew a lead against Lehigh on Tuesday. So far, their best win is Princeton. Rutgers has Hofstra next weekend before Big Ten conference play starts up, and there’s no gimmies there. For the Orange, they’re coming off a good 14-10 comeback win over archrival Johns Hopkins. They limited the Blue Jay offense to five goals in the final three quarters after a slow start. Guys like Nick Mellen, Brett Kennedy, and goalie Drake Porter have made defense a strength for ‘Cuse this year.

Some Intriguing Conference Matchups

Plenty of conferences start up conference play this weekend. These games can help teams that didn’t have the best of time in nonconference play make noise and try to win an AQ to go to the NCAA Tournament. Unless you’re the ACC, because you don’t have an AQ. Get another team please.

The ACC has one conference game in Charlottesville with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish taking on the Virginia Cavaliers (3 PM, ACC Network Extra). Notre Dame looked solid in their win against Denver out in California, while Virginia struggled in their late comeback win over Brown in overtime. The Cavaliers can’t play down to the level they played against the Bears last weekend. They’ll lose if that happens. Their last three games have been decided in overtime (all wins), and their last four games have been decided by a goal.

The Patriot League continues their long and crazy conference schedule. The best game is Navy-Loyola (1 PM, Patriot League Network). I feel like we haven’t heard Loyola in weeks, but they’ve been off since last Thursday’s loss to Duke. They probably needed that long break. The Mids have scored at least 10 goals in all but one game this year (14-9 L vs. Maryland). The Greyhounds have given up 12 or more goals in their last three games.

Other Patriot League games include a potentially sneaky good Army West Point-Holy Cross matchup (12:05 PM, Patriot League Network), Bucknell-Boston University (2 PM, Patriot League Network), and the long-standing Lafayette-Lehigh showdown (Sunday 1 PM, Patriot League Network).

Along with Cornell-Yale, the Ivy League has a couple conference matchups. Princeton-Penn (3:30 PM, ESPN+) features a Quaker team that’s won their last two teams and may have broken out of their early snag. The Tigers look to bounce back after a tough loss to Rutgers with their good offense headlined by Michael Sowers. The other matchup is Harvard-Brown (4 PM, ESPN+) that could be a big game to decide the fourth seed in the Ivy League Tournament in a month and a half.

In the NEC, Robert Morris-Sacred Heart (Noon, NEC Front Row) is the top small-conference game of the weekend. There hasn’t been a clear-cut favorite in the NEC yet, but could Robert Morris break out of their tough early-season slump? There’s also Bryant-Mount St. Mary’s (Noon, NEC Front Row). Don’t sleep on the Mountaineers.

In the America East, UMass Lowell-Albany will have some eyeballs (3 PM, AmericaEast.TV). Will Tehoka Nanticoke play? Last week, he was dressed and active but never saw the field. Will that carry over this week?

What To Watch For

Outside of the games I already mentioned, here’s others to keep tabs on.

  • Jacksonville vs. Bellarmine (Noon, GLVCSN): Jacksonville looks to rebound after a 1-6 noncon start. Bellarmine looks to get off the Reverse Survivor island with a win at home after losing their last two games by a goal.
  • Drexel vs. Georgetown (Noon, HoyaVision): I don’t think Georgetown isn’t getting properly respected for what they’ve done. Their only loss is against Towson and the teams they’ve defeated aren’t the greatest. But in their last three games, they’ve scored at least 14 goals each time and have given up six goals in the wins. The Towson loss was also the only game where Georgetown didn’t score at least 13 goals. The Dragons have also been a tough team to play against and are coming off two wins last weekend against Saint Joseph’s and Villanova.
  • Providence vs. Hofstra (1 PM, Pride Productions): Two struggling teams looking to get a small boost before their final week of nonconference play. The Friars have lost three of their last four, and their last two games have been one-goal losses. Hofstra was on a four-game losing streak before they defeated St. John’s on Tuesday.
  • Delaware vs. Johns Hopkins (1 PM, ESPN3): Delaware has another chance to prove if they’re a legit threat or not in the CAA. Last year’s meeting was a good one, with the Blue Hens leading 8-7 with 1:03 left in the 3rd before the Blue Jays racked up the game’s final seven goals. Delaware will need to find a way to stop Joey Epstein, which could be a job for Austin Haynes.
  • Michigan vs. Marquette (1 PM, Golden Eagles All-Access): The Golden Eagles had their entire roster in Tuesday’s win against Robert Morris. They delivered a 17-goal performance, which tied the program-record. Michigan’s Tommy Heidt made 23 stops in a loss to Yale and pretty much kept the game from getting really ugly.
  • Villanova vs. Maryland (3 PM, BTN Plus): Villanova’s going the other way after starting the year 3-1. Losses to Penn and Drexel doesn’t help their building resume. Maryland has looked good so far, especially on offense with Jared Bernhardt and Logan Wisnauskas leading the way.

Division I(I) Lacrosse

Back to the Division II side.

I mentioned LIU Post defeated Merrimack 17-16 in overtime in a future D1 and NEC matchup. They followed that up with a 15-4 win over St. Thomas Aquinas College on Wednesday. They’re at Adelphi on Wednesday.

Merrimack looks to rebound with a trip up to Albany against Saint Rose at 1 PM in their NE10 opener.

We’ll keep you up to tabs with both schools in their last year in Division II throughout the remainder of the year.

Mustang Classic at Stevenson

And how about some Division III lacrosse! This weekend is the annual Mustang Classic at Stevenson. 10 games in two days, that’s five games per day. Here’s the schedule:

Friday, March 15

Middlebury vs. Wesleyan, 11:30 AM
Dickinson vs. Denison, 1:45 PM
Franklin & Marshall vs. Amherst, 4 PM
RIT vs. York, 6:15 PM
Stevenson vs. Lynchburg, 8:30 PM

Saturday, March 16

Middlebury vs. Dickinson, 11:30 AM
Denison vs. Franklin & Marshall, 1:45 PM
Amherst vs. RIT, 4 PM
Wesleyan vs. Lynchburg, 6:15 PM
Stevenson vs. York, 8:30 PM

If you’re in the area, go out to the games. There’s nothing like this in college lacrosse. We don’t follow D3 a ton here on College Crosse, so I’ll send you over to Ken Stockmann’s preview post on Inside Lacrosse of the event and some players to watch.

Don’t forget to follow College Crosse on Twitter for this Saturday’s College Crosse Gameday at 9 AM and for the entire 2019 season!