February 26, 2010

Ten to Watch: Injuries Handicap Key Matchups

by Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Each Friday, your crack laxperts here at Lacrosse Magazine Online will try to handicap the upcoming weekend for the top 10 college games across all divisions. Follow here at laxmagazine.com all season long.


WD1: No. 1 Northwestern (1-0) at No. 15 Stanford (1-1) - Friday, 4 p.m. Pacific

Princeton won't have Chad Wiedmaier (knee) to blanket Hofstra's Jay Card.

© Joe Rogate

Though Stanford did not show much resolve in its lopsided loss to Syracuse last week, home-field advantage is something that has allowed the Cardinal to spring a few upsets over the years. Couple that with a long layoff for the top-ranked and five-time defending national champion Wildcats – 20 days since their win over UMass – and things could get interesting in Palo Verdes. The game will be the season debut for Northwestern All-American and player of the year candidate Katrina Dowd, who missed the season opener with an undisclosed injury.

MD1: No. 11 Hofstra (0-0) at No. 9 Princeton (0-0) - Saturday, 12 p.m. (ESPNU)
All-American defenseman Chad Wiedmaier’s ongoing knee problems have put a wrinkle in Princeton’s plans on the defensive end. He had surgery about a week before Christmas and won’t return until March at the earliest, possibly April. Captain Jeremy Hirsch leads the unit. Hirsch, Long Ellis and Jonathan Meyers will have their hands full with Hofstra’s Jay Card and Jamie Lincoln. The Pride’s third starter on attack, Kevin Ford, is out until the end of March with a broken foot, giving Stephen Bentz an opportunity to play a larger role in the offense. Either way, new Tigers coach Chris Bates better hope goalkeeper Tyler Fiorito can avoid the so-called sophomore slump. They’ll need him to come up big.

 

Kudos to these teams for scheduling this strong season-opener, and on Feb. 27 at that — which is late by today’s standards. But despite being separated by just 75 miles, Mother Nature could beat them both with the latest snow-icane battering the East Coast. If they do play, to me weather will dictate that it come down to goaltending, and strong sophomores anchor both squads (Princeton’s former U.S. U-19 star Tyler Fiorito and Hofstra’s Andrew Gvozden). Like Loyola’s win at Navy last week, a Hofstra victory really wouldn’t be an upset.


MD2: No. 5 Merrimack (0-0) at No. 1 C.W. Post (2-0) - Saturday, 12 p.m.
Sure, Merrimack lost the best scorer in its history. Greg Rogowski and company took the Warriors to new heights in 2009, a school-record 14 wins and NCAA tournament berth. But Merrimack does return eight seniors, including Corey Spinale, arguably the top goalie in Division II. Can the Warriors upset the Pioneers? After John Jez flirted with the NYIT opening, he’s back with a loaded squad at C.W. Post. Both teams are strong in the midfield. For the Pioneers, middie Joe Meo has five goals in two games. Four have come on man-up opportunities. Faceoff specialist Mike Cama has picked up where he left off, winning 30 of 40 faceoffs in C.W. Post’s wins over Queens and Catawba.

Big early-season game as Merrimack tries to cement its spot among the D-2 contenders.The Warriors are coming off a 14-3 campaign and a berth in the national semifinals last year, but must regroup offensively with the departure of career-scoring leader Greg Rogowski. Defending champion CWP has the home advantage in this one as well as the benefit of having played twice already with two victories in North Carolina last week.


WD1: No. 2 Maryland (2-0) at No. 5 Duke (4-0) - Saturday, 12 p.m.
This is not just another case of ho hum, another ACC game. These two juggernauts have put on some fireworks in recent years with their down-to-the-wire shootouts. Despite not having Emma Hamm (knee), the Blue Devils have torn through the early part of their schedule, including ranked opponents Vanderbilt and William & Mary. Combined score of their four wins? 68-34. The Terps are off to a more expected hot start after crushing Richmond and Penn State by a combined 34-16 score. Something’s got to give when these buzzsaws clash in Durham.

Blue Devil sophomore goalie Mollie Mackler has a .540 save percentage going into this game, but she'll need to step it up against Maryland's vaunted attack. Duke can pull off this upset, though. They've got home field advantage, and they've handled some tough teams (Vandy,
W&M) already.

 
WD1: No. 6 Syracuse (2-0) at No. 12 Virginia (1-1) - Saturday, 12 p.m.
The Wahoos needed Josie Owen to become a star. So far, she’s been up to snuff. The former U.S. U-19 team standout has five goals and six assists in two games. Not to be upstaged is UVA midfielder Brittany Kalkstein, who is about to surpass Dana Dobbie as the ACC’s all-time draw controls leader. Syracuse also has some new weapons, with innovative attackers Michele Tumolo and Tee Ladouceur stepping up in a big win over Stanford and Australian Tegan Brown earning a starting midfield role.

MD1: No. 6 Maryland (1-0) at No. 12 Georgetown (0-0) - Saturday, 2 p.m.

Georgetown is stronger at midfield than Maryland, but the Hoyas top offensive and defensive midfielders are each battling injuries. Hotshot Andrew Brancaccio (concussion) is probable. Long stick midfielder Barney Ehrmann (back) is questionable. That might tempt Dave Cottle to exercise his depth at attack and bump Grant Catalino up to run roughshod at midfield.

Maryland and Georgetown has been a great way to kick off the men’s lacrosse season in the D.C. Metro area the last few years and this one should no different with two very hungry teams. Maryland’s 10-7 season last year was uninspiring and Georgetown has now missed the playoffs two straight years after making it for 11 years in a row.


MD1: No. 18 Stony Brook (1-0) at No. 2 Virginia (2-0) - Saturday, 3 p.m.
While the Wahoos were sweating against Drexel last week, the Seawolves were whipping a defensively sound Siena team to the tune of 21-14. Not hard to see where Stony Brook’s offense came from. Jordan McBride and Kevin Crowley combined for 19 points. This has all the makings of another shootout.

MD3: No. 8 WNEC (0-0) at No. 1 Cortland (0-0) - Saturday, 3 p.m.
The Golden Bears, bolstered by goalie Brewster Knowlton, gave Cortland its toughest test during the 2009 NCAA tournament in a 6-5 loss. WNEC now gets another crack at the Dragons, who lost Joey Morgan and Luke Lemon, but return stud middie Chris DeLuca.

WDIA: No. 4 UC Davis Club (6-0) at No. 1 UCSB (8-0) - Saturday 1 p.m. Pacific
The Aggies were the talk of the Santa Barbara Shootout, even upstaging the host Gauchos due to their surprise ascension in the club women’s lacrosse ranks. UCSB must be smarting after losing the No. 1 spot in the US Lacrosse WDIA poll to Santa Clara. Both of these teams received first-place votes. There will be some separation with this game and No. 5 Cal Poly visiting the top-ranked Broncos this weekend.

WD1: Florida (2-0) at No. 4 North Carolina (3-0) - Sunday, 1 p.m.
Florida has proven itself against a fellow first-year startup (Jacksonville) and an experienced, mid-major program (La Salle), but the Gators face a tall task in their first legitimate game against a national power on the road. Their best bet at an upset will be if Oregon pushes the Tar Heels enough Friday that they can’t rest their starters for Sunday. Freshman Ashley Bruns (6g, 8a) has been Florida’s top contributor.

I've never seen as much love for a start-up program as Florida receives. Lacrosse Magazine gives the Gators a print cover, the editorial staff sends a shooter to photograph their game against La Salle (!?), and now we're led believe there is a question which team will win Florida's game against No. 4 UNC? Give me a break.


I get Coyne's point. In fact, one rival coach asked us after LM's January issue came out, "When are you guys going to stop writing about Florida?" I hope we never have to stop writing about Florida. I hope the Gators serve as a shining example to those universities that treat women's lacrosse as a gender-equity afterthought of how patience, resources and a little love can go a long way to putting an immediately competitive product on the field. I hope the SEC sanctions women's lacrosse one day, or at least covers Florida the way the Big 10 does Northwestern.



Last Week 9-1 7-3 8-2 8-2 8-2 5-5
Overall 16-4 15-5 15-5 15-5 15-5 13-7
W: N'Western @ Stanford
Northwestern
Northwestern
Northwestern
Northwestern
Northwestern
Northwestern
M: Hofstra @ Princeton
Hofstra
Princeton
Princeton
Hofstra
Hofstra
Princeton
M: Merrimack @ C.W. Post
C.W. Post
C.W. Post
C.W. Post
C.W. Post
Merrimack
C.W. Post
W: Maryland @ Duke
Duke
Maryland
Duke
Maryland
Maryland
Maryland
W: Syracuse @ Virginia
Virginia
Syracuse
Syracuse
Virginia
Virginia
Syracuse
M: Maryland @ Georgetown
Maryland
Georgetown
Maryland
Georgetown
Maryland
Maryland
M: Stony Brook @ Virginia
Virginia
 Virginia
Virginia
Virginia
Virginia
Virginia
M: WNEC @ Cortland
Cortland
Cortland
Cortland
Cortland
Cortland
Cortland
W: UC Davis Club @ UCSB
UCSB
 UCSB
UC Davis
UCSB
UCSB
UCSB
W: Florida @ UNC
UNC
UNC
UNC
UNC
UNC
UNC

 


comments powered by Disqus