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Week 5 storylines and matchups to watch in college lacrosse

Everybody’s favorite rivalry game. Plus, a jam-packed episode of Across College Lacrosse.

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Syracuse Athletics

Welcome to Week 5 of the 2019 college lacrosse season.

We’ve got a couple of rivalry games on both ends of the country, as well as two big weekend tournaments.

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 two players. The first is Utah Valley midfielder Preston Burbidge. He’s the guy that waved at his defender before scoring. You may have seen it.

Now you’ve definitely seen it. But he’s has an interesting story to tell not just about the goal, but also about how he got to Utah Valley after a two-year Mormon mission in Tallahassee.

After that, I talk to Johns Hopkins sophomore midfielder Brett Baskin on his increased role as a second line midfielder after a hat-trick against the Princeton Tigers last weekend. He also attended La Salle College High School when I was there, so we discussed some high school memories like we peaked in high school.

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

Storylines

Bad Blood

The best rivalry in all of college lacrosse, and the one that affects pretty much this entire website, is happening on Saturday. The Syracuse Orange will look to bounce back after a tough overtime loss to Virginia last week when they host the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (1 PM, ACC Network Extra).

Despite two losses, the Orange have been pretty good on defense for the most part. In the Albany game, Nick Mellen shut off Jakob Patterson as the Great Danes only scored five times. Mellen, Tyson Bomberry, and Drake Porter had solid efforts in the Army West Point win.

As for the Blue Jays, after two losses to Towson and Loyola, they’ve won their past two games against UNC and Princeton. Both victories were tight, but guys like Joey Epstein and second line midfielder Brett Baskin have started to ramp up production. The defense needs work with Ryan Darby in goal.

There’s another rivalry game on the left coast. If you’re a fan of #SaturdayNightLacrosse, Saturday will be a fun night. Along with Canisius-Robert Morris (6 PM, NEC Front Row) and Detroit Mercy-St. Bonaventure (6 PM, ESPN+) in the Bonnies’ first ever home game, the Denver Pioneers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish will renew their western lacrosse rivalry out in California (10 PM, YouTube). Notre Dame is fresh off a thrilling overtime victory against Maryland while the Pios have looked pretty good after a win against North Carolina.

2 x 4 Events

There’s two weekend events that’ll take place this weekend in Charlotte and Philadelphia.

The big one is The Crown Lacrosse Classic, featuring the Cornell Big Red, Jacksonville Dolphins, Penn State Nittany Lions, and Towson Tigers. Three of the top five teams are in action for a jam-packed weekend. Towson and Jacksonville play today a 5:30, while Penn State and Cornell play at 8. On Sunday, Cornell and Towson face off at 1 PM, before Jacksonville and Penn State cap things off at 3:30 PM.

Both Cornell games are going to highlight the tournament, and we’ll see a 1 vs. 2 matchup no matter how Cornell and Towson do on Friday. And that 1-2 matchup is probably the best game of the weekend. How will the Tigers defend Jeff Teat and the Cornell offense? Would’ve definitely loved to see Penn State and Towson play.

Over in Philly, the inaugural Philly 4 Lacrosse Classic takes place with the Drexel Dragons, Penn Quakers, Saint Joseph’s Hawks, and Villanova Wildcats (all games on LSN). At Villanova, St. Joe’s and Drexel start things up at 5 PM before Penn and Villanova face off at 7:30 PM. Sunday at Drexel, the Wildcats will play the Dragons at noon before the Hawks and Quakers face off at 2:30 PM. Last year when Across College Lacrosse began, I spoke to all four coaches about their seasons and this event. All of them were excited that it was going to be a thing to expand the sport in Philly.

The Undefeateds

Three undefeated teams suffered losses last week. Three of still are still perfect.

We mentioned the latter two since they’ll be in Charlotte and face off against one another on Sunday. We’ll have at the most two teams left once the action is over on Sunday afternoon.

As for the final team, the Buckeyes travel to Long Island to take on the Hofstra Pride (Noon, LSN). Nobody has really talked about Ohio State. They have good wins over Boston University, UMass, and Marquette. But after the Pride, Nick Myers’ crew has a gauntlet for the final seven games of the year. They host Denver next week, followed by a trip to Notre Dame before Big Ten play starts up. Jack Jasinski moved up to midfield and leads the team with 21 goals (14 Gs, 7 As). Tre Leclaire has 16 goals and freshman Jack Myers has nine goals and nine assists. Justin Inacio will bring a challenge to FOGOs in the Big Ten in a few weeks.

Holy Cross?

More like “Holy Cross.” They’re 2-3 with wins over UMass Lowell and Harvard. Not the best of resumes. But, they are a much improved team than in previous years.

The Crusaders fell to Vermont by two and this past week battled it out with Loyola in a four goal loss. They scored 15 on the Greyhounds (that’s more than Duke did last night!). They have five players in double-digit point figures, including Will Spangenberg and Kevin Kodzis. They take on Bucknell (11 AM, Patriot League Network) in Lewisburg.The Bison have some good scorers like Reed Malas, Tommy Sopko, and Will Yorke, but I definitely think Holy Cross will get some good wins in Patriot League play and would not be shocked if they make it to the conference tournament.

Pivotal Games for Albany, Rutgers

The Albany Great Danes and Rutgers Scarlet Knights had high expectations for 2019. Unfortunately, both teams haven’t had good starts.

Starting with the Great Danes, they’re 1-3 with a one-goal win over Drexel. They nearly upset Cornell last week, but fell to UMass on Tuesday. They take on the Maryland Terrapins (1 PM, AmericaEast.TV) in a must-win game for a potential at-large bid. Harvard and Yale are their last two nonconference games. The Drexel win does nothing. Albany needs to win the AE.

For Rutgers, they’re 3-2 but haven’t looked that convincing yet. They nearly got upset by St. John’s in the second game of the season, then fell in back-to-back weeks to Army West Point (again) and Loyola before an 8-4 bounceback win over Fairfield. The road doesn’t get any easier. They host the a ferocious Princeton Tigers offense at home (1 PM, BTN Plus) before a short turnaround against Lehigh on Tuesday and a trip to the Carrier Dome next Saturday. They need to win all three games to keep their at-large bids alive.

Can Utah Get Win #4?

The Utah Utes are 3-3. That’s a little surprising to see them already with three wins. Two of them (Air Force and Furman) were a little surprising. They can reach above .500 with a win against Bellarmine (3 PM, Pac-12 Plus). I think that’s definitely possible. The Knights nearly got their first win last week against Detroit Mercy, but hope they can do it out west this weekend. But they’ll have to stop Josh Stout on attack.

Division I(I) Lacrosse

Usually, this schedule is at the bottom of the post. But for this week, it gets bumped up a couple of spot.

LIU Post fell to Pace 10-7 last week, while Merrimack edged Lake Erie 16-13..

This weekend, both teams will face each other at LIU Post Saturday at 2 PM. The reason that’s a little significant? Both programs will move up to Division I next year as members of the NEC.

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

What To Watch For

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

  • UMBC vs. High Point (11 AM, ESPN+): This will be High Point’s final nonconference game before SoCon play begins. They have a challenge against UMBC’s pretty good defense. The Panthers have gone 3-1 in their last four games, all of which have been decided by a goal. Would not be surprised if that continued.
  • Boston University vs. Colgate (1 PM, Patriot League Network): After an impressive start to the season, the Raiders have started to slide a little bit. The Maryland loss was not a surprise, but the loss to Lehigh was. BU has bounced back inside the top 20 and look to continue their success with Chris Gray leading the way on offense.
  • Army West Point vs. Lehigh (1 PM, Patriot League Network): Speaking of the Mountain Hawks, they got some of their key personnel back last week. Lucas Spence scored three goals and two assist in his return to the lineup and will look to score more against Army West Point’s talented defense led by Johnny Surdick and goalie AJ Barretto.
  • Hobart vs. Vermont (at New Canaan High School) (2 PM): This is a sneaky good under-the-radar however you want to call it neutral site game. The Statesmen have scored at least 16 goals in all four games so far and they’re 3-1. Their only loss was to Cornell. But the wins against Canisius, Siena, and Binghamton aren’t the best. The 3-2 Catamounts will provide a good test for the Statesmen and their really good offense. Are they legit?
  • Brown vs. Virginia (Sunday, 1 PM, ACC Network Extra): The Lars Tiffany reunion game I guess. Tiffany used to coach at Brown before taking the Virginia job. The Cavaliers got a big comeback win against the Orange last week inside the Carrier Dome behind the resurgence of Michael Kraus. The Bears nearly got away from UMBC thanks to a Luke McCaleb goal in overtime. Phil Goss needs to improve on his 42.1% save percentage.
  • Michigan vs. Yale (in Atlanta, GA) (Sunday, 1 PM): The final neutral site game of the weekend takes place in Atlanta. The defending national champs look to put last weekend’s near upset from UMass in the rearview mirror as they take on the Michigan Wolverines. Before that game, Georgia Tech and UConn will play in an MCLA regular season game at 10 AM. If you’re in the area, go to both games.

Don’t forget to follow College Crosse on Twitter for this Saturday’s College Crosse Gameday at 10 AM and for the entire 2019 year!