March 14, 2014

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Ten-2-Watch: Redemption Battle On Tap Upstate

by Lacrosse Magazine staff | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Each week, the Lacrosse Magazine staff picks and previews of the weekend's best, from all levels of the college landscape. Use #Ten2Watch to discuss the games to come, and tweet @LacrosseMag to make your own picks. Also make sure to vote in our LaxMagazine.com Fan Vote Game of the Week.

We have a new pair of leaders this week, as Neil had a rough go of it. (All of us got Stanford-Towson wrong. He just paired that with with six other unsuccessful choices. That has allowed Corey and Lane to vault into first at 18-12 overall. This go around we've got plenty of other intriguing tilts to choose from — and it looks like we've got heavy bets leaning to one side on the women's games, but a fairly even break on all the men's action. How will they fare? We'll know soon enough.










Last Week 6-4 6-4 7-3 3-7 6-4 7-3 4-6 4-6 4-6 5-5 2-8
Overall 18-12 18-12 17-13 17-13 15-15 15-15 15-15 13-17 13-17 13-17 11-19












M: SYR@JHU SYR SYR JHU JHU SYR JHU JHU JHU SYR JHU JHU
W: FLA@SYR SYR SYR SYR SYR SYR SYR SYR SYR SYR SYR FLA
M: MAS@PSU PSU PSU PSU PSU PSU MAS PSU PSU PSU PSU MAS
W: COR@ALB ALB ALB ALB ALB ALB ALB ALB ALB COR ALB ALB
M: YAL@COR YAL YAL YAL COR YAL YAL YAL YAL COR COR COR
W: GT@UNC UNC UNC UNC UNC UNC UNC UNC UNC UNC UNC UNC
M: UNC@DUK DUK UNC DUK UNC DUK DUK DUK DUK UNC DUK DUK
W: PSU@VAN PSU PSU PSU PSU PSU PSU PSU VAN PSU PSU PSU
MD2:SHU@LIM SHU SHU LIM LIM LIM LIM LIM LIM SHU SHU SHU
W: PEN@YAL PEN PEN PEN YAL PEN PEN PEN YAL PEN PEN YAL


MD1: No. 11 Syracuse (3-2) at No. 3 Johns Hopkins (5-0)

Who will win Saturday's Florida-Syracuse game?
Florida (8-1)
Syracuse (6-1)

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Florida topped Syracuse in Miami when the pair faced off a year ago. Can the Orange return the favor at home this weekend? (Matt Dunn)

12 p.m. Saturday

One of the oldest and richest rivalries in the sport renews at Homewood Field on Saturday afternoon. And as usual, this one has great meaning for both sides as non-conference wins are at a premium. Syracuse is battle-tested so far, but hasn’t gotten the results it would like against top-10 competition: a 16-8 loss to Maryland at home and a 17-12 defeat to Virginia on the road. Johns Hopkins presents another challenge with a 5-0 record, although against a weaker schedule thus far compared to the Orange. The pre-season questions about whether Johns Hopkins would fully commit to a reworked offense have been answered. The top three point-producers are all attackmen in Wells Stanwick (27), Ryan Brown (23) and Brandon Benn (17), with Stanwick working two-man games from X and the plan to get shots from all sorts of angles and ways, a departure from the past where the Blue Jays’ relied on big downhill dodging midfielders to create. That said, Hopkins faces its stiffest test defensively since Ohio State in the season opener and will likely have to match the production of the Syracuse offense unless, of course, faceoffs, turnovers and ground balls fall in the Blue Jays’ favor.

WD1: No. 4 Florida (8-1) at No. 3 Syracuse (6-1)

12 p.m. Saturday

Midway through the season, it has become clear that this Florida team — whose first wave of recruits turned it into an NCAA title contender with a breadth of talent— will likely go only as far as one player will take it. Shannon Gilroy is the be all, end all for the Gators. And she's on fire. Gilroy has set or tied five school single-game records already this season. She leads the Gators in goals (40 through nine games), assists (11) and draw controls (41). Who knows how steep the dropoff would have been for Florida without Gilroy? The Gators have won eight straight games since a season-opening loss to No. 1 North Carolina. Syracuse is coming off of its first loss of the season. No. 2 Maryland defeated the Orange 12-10 Monday at the Carrier Dome.

Both Florida and Syracuse can score in bunches, and neither is particularly stable in between the pipes. The Gators' goalie platoon of Cara Canington and Mary-Sean Wilcox has produced a 7.67 goals against average and 49.6 save percentage — not exactly Mikey Meagher numbers. The Orange has leaned more toward Kelsey Richardson in its platoon. With Alyssa Costantino still earning minutes, the duo has combined 7.86 goals against average and 39.6 save percentage.

MD1: No. 16 UMass (5-1) at No. 7 Penn State (3-2)

1 p.m. Saturday

Penn State may be slotted seventh in the Lacrosse Magazine rankings, but they are already teetering on the brink of NCAA tournament extinction. Their two losses have been to Loyola and Denver, both top-10 teams, but the Nittany Lions — because of their CAA postseason ban — need all wins they can get to build a case for an NCAA tournament at-large bid. They’ve proven they are a top-10 team, with a win over Notre Dame, an overtime loss to Loyola and a competitive game Tuesday night at Denver. But a win over UMass, and against Albany and Villanova later this month, will help their cause. It won’t be easy. The Minutemen are coming off a 25-10 loss to Albany where the Thompsons tore up their defense. UMass has something to prove.

WD1: Cornell (4-2) at Albany (4-0)

2 p.m. Sunday

Cornell will be looking to make it 2-for-2 against the SUNY system this week, when it heads to New York's capital to face the surging Great Danes. The Big Red topped Binghamton on Tuesday behind four goals from Linsday Toppe. Albany, meanwhile, will be seeking its second consecutive Ivy League victory after Saturday's 13-7 downing of Dartmouth. The game also features two of the NCAA's top scorers. UA's Rachel Bowles ranks fifth with 4.25 goals per game. Toppe's 3.75 goals per game ranks 11th.

MD1: No. 18 Yale (3-1) at No. 10 Cornell (5-0)

1 p.m. Saturday

The Ivy League opens its season with a pair of top-20 matchups. Elsewhere, Penn plays Princeton. That game has intrigue of its own, and so does this matchup in Ithaca. Cornell beat then-No. 2 Virginia at home just one week ago while Yale fell to unranked Fairfield in overtime. But the Bulldogs rebounded emphatically with a 10-2 domination of Lehigh on Tuesday, a win that included a highlight-reel 70-yard goal by long-stick midfielder Jimmy Craft. The Ivy League race figures to be fiercely competitive this season. These two teams are still figuring out their identities, but one thing is for sure: the significance of this result isn't lost on either side. Watch the faceoff battle between Cornell's Doug Tesoriero and Yale's Dylan Levings, and how Big Red freshman goalie Christian Knight follows up his spectacular 15-save career debut against Virginia.

WD1: No. 13 Georgetown (3-2) at No. 1 North Carolina (8-0)

1 p.m. Saturday

When Georgetown looks back at the story of its 2014 season, what role will the Hoyas' collapse against Stanford play in the narrative? After taking down Duke 11-10 on Caroline Tarzian's game-winning goal with five seconds left, Georgetown had the Cardinal on the ropes. The Hoyas led by six goals early in the second half, only to see Stanford chip away at the lead for 23 minutes — right up until the final second of regulation, when Alexandra Crerend converted on a free-position opportunity after the Cardinal pulled goalie Lyndsey Munoz. Stanford went on to win 11-10 in overtime. If the Hoyas had held on, we'd probably be talking about a top-10 showdown here. Now they have the unenviable task of traveling to Chapel Hill to take on the defending NCAA champion Tar Heels, who have been an absolute buzzsaw through eight games. At this point, freshman goalie Caylee Waters has played her way into an even split with incumbent starter Megan Ward, adding another youthful contributor for North Carolina in its NCAA title defense.

MD1: No. 6 North Carolina (5-1) at No. 4 Duke (5-2)

2 p.m. Saturday

When these two ancient rivals square off in Durham this weekend, the title of Best Team from Outside the State of Maryland will be on the line. The defending NCAA champion Blue Devils snapped their two-game losing streak on Tuesday, behind six goals from Jordan Wolf, in a 20-9 rout of Marquette. UNC, of course, offers a bit stiffer test than the second-year program from Milwaukee. The Tar Heels have won two straight since their one-goal loss to North Carolina, including a 13-11 win at Princeton last Friday. The teams split their meetings last year with UNC triumphing in the regular season and Duke pulling out a one-goal victory in the ACC Tournament.

WD1: No. 14 Penn State (4-3) at Vanderbilit (3-3)

1 p.m. Saturday

Vanderbilt is dangerous, as Stanford could attest. But after upsetting the Cardinal 16-15 in overtime, the Commodores suffered a letdown 10-8 loss to Denver, a game in which Vanderbilt scored just one assisted goal. That was March 5, meaning the Commodores will have had 10 days to prepare for Penn State, while this will be the Nittany Lions' third game in seven days. Penn State rebounded nicely from back-to-back losses to James Madison and Virginia with consecutive wins over Loyola and Rutgers. The Nittany Lions scored 37 goals combined in those two victories, so the offense is humming. Eight Penn State players have at least 12 points this season.

MD2: No. 4 Limestone (6-1) at No. 5 Seton Hill (4-0)

1 p.m. Saturday

Seton Hill finds its way onto the Big Board for its second straight staff pillow fight after dispatching with Mercyhurst last week, 10-7 in an ECAC-II throwdown. It was ahuge step for the Griffins, and now Brian Novotny's squad has a chance to flirt with the top of the charts if it can subdue the Saints and it's ever-dangerous stable of talent. The game is a rematch of last year's quarterfinals when Seton Hill traveled to South Carolina, only to lose, 16-13. Now the Saints must come to the Greater Pittsburgh area and attempt to repeat the feat.

There is a schism between the "old" and "new" D-II, and this match-up encompasses it perfectly. Limestone is second division royalty, possessing multiple rings and 14-straight years of NCAA tournament admission. Seton Hill is the brash, young punk, holding just one postseason bid, but the talent to make it a habit. As such, a Saints win is a victory for the establishment and those programs who expect to be playing deep in May. A Griffins victory marks a triumph for the future of the division, and would be a small step in ushering in a new era.

Either that, or it's simply a game that will help in seeding the South bracket. Whatever works.

WD1: No. 6 Penn (3-1) at Yale (5-0)

1 p.m. Saturday

Yale's perfect start has the Ivy League on notice, but we'll see if it belongs among the elite this weekend in New Haven. It's tough to ignore Yale's defense, which is averaging 6.80 goals against, ninth best in Division I. But Penn, which defeated Yale, 12-8, last season, is far and away the toughest opponent the Bulldogs have faced this year. The Quakers got their Ivy League season started on the right foot Saturday thanks to three goals from freshman Sarah Barcia in a 9-4 victory over Harvard.


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