Ten to Watch: LMO's Staff Pick 'Em

Each Friday, we hash out the top 10 games of the weekend ahead in college lacrosse.

Enter your picks next to each game and see how they stack up to ours, then click the "Submit Picks" button below. Go undefeated, and we'll feature your new picks with ours next week. You know, a little face time next to the pros.

Note: Submissions received after the first game begins will not be considered.


WD1: No. 4 North Carolina at No. 5 Duke - Friday, 7 p.m. 

Hook: Both schools enter with identical 3-1 records in conference play. The winner will clinch the No. 2 seed and a bye in the ACC tournament, to be played in Blacksburg, Va., next weekend. (Maryland has already clinched the top seed.)

MD1: No. 6 Mercyhurst at No. 2 C.W. Post - Saturday, 12 p.m.

Hook: Coming off its win at NYIT two weeks ago, Post (10-1, 3-0) now controls its own destiny in the tight East Coast Conference race. But the Pioneers have stumbled in each of the past three years against Mercyhurst (9-2, 3-1), including an 8-1 shellacking last year in Erie. The game features two of the best goalies in the division with CWP's Daniel Sciulla and 'Hurst's All-American Jason Lashomb.

MD1: No. 18 Bucknell at No. 13 Colgate - Saturday, 1 p.m.

Hook: Both teams are 5-0 in Patriot League play, with the opportunity here to lock up the conference tournament’s top seed and rights to host. Colgate is also 5-0 at home. To boot, the loser must face Navy in the semifinals. The winner faces, um, scroll down three games.

MD1: No. 1 Princeton at No. 4 Cornell - Saturday, 1 p.m. 

Hook: The Ivy League’s lone remaining undefeated teams (in conference, that is) meet for an inside track to its automatic bid. While either team would be in good standing for an at-large berth, seeding elements are at play, too. Cornell can assure itself of at least a share of its seventh straight Ivy League title with a win. Neither team has played Brown. The Big Red is unbeaten at home this year and is 48-10 all-time at Schoellkopf Field.

WD1: No. 7 Princeton at No. 14 Dartmouth - Saturday, 1 p.m.  

Hook: Dartmouth is dangling in that dangerous at-large territory. With Penn wrapping up the Ivy League title and AQ earlier this week (courtesy of a win over Princeton; smarting much?), this game has rather significant at-large implications. Will three Ivies go to the NCAA tournament? Princeton holds a slim 19-16 win over Dartmouth in the all-time series that began in 1980. The Tigers started the series on a 5-0 streak, before the Big Green rattled off five straight wins. Dartmouth has won four of the last five meetings, including a 13-12 victory last season.

The Tigers are probably smarting from the beat-down they got from Penn and will be looking to get back on track in the Ivy League with a win over the Big Green. Dartmouth took the mighty Quakers to OT, but I attribute that to a bad day by keeper Emily Szelest, who allowed six goals on 11 shots with four saves.

WD1: No. 11 Navy at No. 9 Johns Hopkins - Saturday, 2 p.m.

Hook: Navy hopes to continue one streak (a three-game winning streak) and end another (a 35-game losing streak to Hopkins) behind its revived defense that downright smothered Army at Smartlink Day of Rivals last week. Also hot for the Mids is second-line midfielder Brian Striffler, who has scored a point in eight consecutive games. Hopkins is centering this game around homecoming festivities at Homewood Field, so expect a vibrant (and perhaps imbibed) crowd.

The last time Navy beat Johns Hopkins in men’s lacrosse was 1974. Let’s take a spin around the record player for some history. Richard Nixon was president, though he would resign that summer in the midst of the Watergate scandal. Gas prices and supplies were topics of controversy. A war raged on the other side of the planet. The world contended with a recession, which included the failure of some U.S. banks. Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were” ruled Billboard’s year-end top 100 songs. “Happy Days” began a successful 10-year run on ABC-TV. “The Exorcist” and “The Godfather, Part II” ranked among the most popular movies of the year. Surely, the Mids would like to get back to the way they were against the Blue Jays in 1974, exorcise some ghosts in the process and continue their recent happy days that have featured a three-game winning streak. Hopkins may not mind a loss: following Navy’s last win in the series, the Blue Jays won the NCAA championship that year.

MD1: No. 10 North Carolina at No. 7 Hofstra - Saturday, 7 p.m.

Hook:
It’s a pretty busy day in Hempstead, N.Y. There’ll be a youth tournament in support of the Headstrong Foundation, which funds research for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in memory of former Hofstra standout Nick Colleluori. The university will also retire the jerseys of Jerry Simandl and Doug Shanahan, arguably the two greatest players in Pride history. Oh, and a top-10 Division I men’s lacrosse game. It’ll be something of a homecoming for UNC freshman goalie James Petracca, the Manhasset, N.Y., native who finally got his feet under him against Ohio State after Grant Zimmerman’s season-ending injury sent him through baptism by fire.

MD1: Lafayette at Lehigh - Saturday 7 p.m.

Hook: Here’s the deal: these teams don’t like each other to begin with. They compete for the same recruits and their competitive proximity matches the geographical proximity. Moreover, the crazy Patriot League playoff scenario transpires as such: Lehigh wins, and it is the fourth seed; Lafayette wins by one, and Army is the fourth seed; Lafayette wins by two or more goals, and it is the fourth seed.

WD1: No. 1 Northwestern at No. 10 Virginia - Saturday, 7 p.m.

Hook: Northwestern is still getting used to life without Hilary Bowen, evidenced by Penn State jumping out to a 3-0 lead on the Wildcats last week. But the Wildcats flashed that trademark depth and cruised to another win. They’ll have to go through Hopkins first Friday before this marquee matchup in Charlottesville. Bowen, who’s hoping to rehabilitate a torn ACL in lieu of surgery to return by the end of the season, will be on the sideline – perhaps opening the door for this unpredictable UVA squad.

The Cavaliers have been looking forward to the match-up with Northwestern since the preseason, and seem to have righted the ship after a midseason slip saw them drop three of four games. An offense led by the veteran trio of Blair Weymouth, Ashley McCulloch and Jenny Hauser has been productive for most of the year, averaging 13.2 goals per game. Nevertheless, it’s a tall order for any team to match Northwestern’s firepower, even if the Cats are missing injured Hilary Bowen and will be playing their second game in three days.

WD1: No. 15 Stanford at No. 4 North Carolina - Sunday, 1 p.m.

Hook: Trap game for the Tar Heels. Two days after a Tobacco Road showdown with Duke, Stanford, in dire need of a signature win to launch it into the NCAA tournament as an at-large entry, visits Chapel Hill.

Jac Coyne is incommunicato this week while house hunting in La Crosse, Wisc. (yeah, you read that right) and then gambling away said house savings in Vegas. In the interest of full disclosure, I did his picks for him using his criteria -- private school over public school (he's such a snob) and home over away. Also for Jac, I'll draw attention to the prime D-III men's event this weekend (not on this list): No. 10 Salisbury at No. 1 Stevenson for the CAC championship Sunday at 1 p.m. It's hard to imagine an NCAA tournament without the three-time defending champion and inimitable Sea Gulls, but I'm not sure that they get in without this AQ.


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Last Week 7-3 9-1 8-2
9-1 5-5 5-5
Overall 63-27
62-28 60-30
60-30 56-34 52-38
W: UNC @ Duke
Duke
Duke
Duke
Duke
Duke
Duke
M: Mercyhurst @ C.W. Post
C.W. Post
C.W. Post
C.W. Post
C.W. Post
C.W. Post
C.W. Post
M: Bucknell @ Colgate
Colgate
Colgate
Colgate
Colgate
Colgate
Colgate
M: Princeton @ Cornell
Princeton
Princeton
Cornell
Princeton
Cornell
Princeton
W: Princeton @ Dartmouth
Princeton
Princeton
Dartmouth
Princeton
Princeton
Princeton
M: Navy @ Johns Hopkins
Navy
Hopkins
Hopkins
Hopkins
Navy
Hopkins
M: UNC @ Hofstra
UNC
 UNC
Hofstra
Hofstra
Hofstra
UNC
M: Lafayette @ Lehigh
Lehigh
Lehigh
Lehigh
Lehigh
Lehigh
Lehigh
W: Northwestern @ UVA
Northwestern
 Northwestern
Virginia
Northwestern
Northwestern
Northwestern
W: Stanford @ UNC
UNC
UNC
Stanford
UNC
UNC
UNC