May 2, 2014

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Ten-2-Watch: Selection Sunday Looming

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.












Last Week 8-2 9-1 6-4 8-2 8-2 7-3 4-6 3-7 9-1 6-4 7-3 5-5
Overall 64-36 61-39 61-39 58-42 58-42
58-42 58-42 58-42 57-43 54-46 53-47 51-49













W:LOY@SYR SYR SYR SYR SYR LOY SYR SYR SYR SYR SYR SYR SYR
M:YAL@HAR HAR HAR YAL HAR HAR YAL YAL YAL YAL HAR HAR YAL
W:ALBvVER ALB ALB ALB ALB ALB ALB ALB ALB VER ALB ALB ALB
M:ARM@ND ND ND ND ND ND ND ND ND ND ARM ND ND
W:FLAvJHU FLA FLA FLA FLA FLA JHU FLA FLA JHU FLA FLA FLA
M:JHU@LOY LOY LOY LOY LOY LOY JHU LOY LOY LOY JHU LOY LOY
W:WAG@ROB WAG WAG ROB ROB WAG WAG ROB ROB WAG WAG ROB WAG
M:DRE@HOF HOF DRE HOF HOF HOF HOF DRE HOF HOF DRE HOF HOF
W2:LIN@LIM LIM LIM LIM LIM LIN LIM LIM LIM LIM LIN LIM LIM
M3:YOR@SAL SAL SAL SAL SAL SAL SAL SAL SAL SAL YOR SAL SAL


WD1: No. 12 Loyola (14-4) at No. 2 Syracuse (17-2)

Who will win the Syracuse-Loyola non-conference contest?
Loyola
Syracuse

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Loyola is already in the NCAA tournament with the Patriot League title (and we're pretty sure Syracuse is too, despite losing in the ACC finals to Maryland). Who will get the seeding boost with another quality win on Saturday? (John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com)

Saturday, 1 p.m.

With no games for ACC or Patriot League schools this weekend while they wait for the remaining 11 conferences to determine their champions for the NCAAs, former Big East foes Loyola and Syracuse took advantage of the free weekend to schedule a game against each other. Loyola is riding the excitement from their first-ever Patriot League title after joining the conference this year. They defeated Boston University in a blowout 18-7 win. Tewaaraton nominee Marlee Paton leads her champion squad with 72 points (47 goals, 25 assists). Trailing her by one point is her go-to attacking partner Annie Thomas (36 goals, 35 assists). On the other hand, Syracuse lost for the second time against Maryland by six goals in its title game, lacking possession for most of the game. The Terps handed them their only losses of the season. Sophomore Kayla Treanor and senior Alyssa Murray – both Tewaaraton nominees – are the leaders in points for the Orange with 98 and 80, respectively. They are about even in assists, but Treanor, who also currently leads the nation in points including those earned from postseason play, has the edge with 66 goals versus Murray's 47. Senior Kasey Mock commands the defense with 26 caused turnovers, while junior Kailah Kempney leads in the center circle with 91 draw controls.

MD1: No. 14 Yale (9-4) at No. 13 Harvard (9-5) - Ivy League semifinals

Friday, 8 p.m.

You're always familiar with your arch-rivals, but the Crimson and Bulldogs are particularly fresh in each others minds, having battled just a week ago in their regular-season finales. Harvard took an 11-10 victory in that one behind a career-high six assists from Devin Dwyer and 14 saves from Jake Gambitsky, sealing its first Ivy League title since 1990, shared with Cornell after identical 5-1 records in league play (but Harvard gets to host the tournament due to a head-to-head win over the Big Red). Both of these teams are in good shape for a berth in the NCAAs due to the overall strength of the Ivy League this season, but a win here would all but assure the victor a spot, regardless of the outcome of Sunday's final against the winner of the Cornell/Penn semifinal.

WD1: Albany (13-2) vs. Vermont (12-5) - America East semifinals

Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Vermont threw an unexpected curve ball in the America East with its final regular season game. The Catamounts catapulted into the spotlight with its upset win over Stony Brook with the lone goal in overtime. Jessica Roach, who scored that goal in extra time, leads her team in assists with 23 to add to her 43 goals on a 66-point season. Senior Sydney Mas has docked three more points than Roach from her 59 goals and 10 assists. Vermont is 12-5 going into the America East tournament as No. 3, but one of those losses came at the hands of the team sitting one seed above them – Albany. The Great Danes will be going in confident with the season they've had. They only lost by two goals to Syracuse, one of the top teams in the country. Both Albany and Vermont could be considered on the bubble for the NCAAs, but the edge may be given to Albany with both its scoring offense and scoring defense ranked fourth nationwide. Great Dane goalie Anna Berman certainly contributes to that with her fourth-best goals against average (6.64). Netting goals for Albany include point leader Rachel Bowles (43 goals, 23 assists), Ariana Parker (36 goals, 14 assists) and Allie Phelan (33 goals, 5 assists).

MD1: Army (9-4) at No. 5 Notre Dame (8-5)

A loss to Lehigh in the Patriot League semifinals may have sealed the Black Knights' fate in terms of an NCAA bid, but with Notre Dame coming off an ACC tournament victory last weekend, a win over the Irish has a lot of potential value (and Notre Dame already has its NCAA ticket punched). The ESPNU audience should expect a grind-it-out contest either way, as Army is backstopped by the NCAA's leader in saves percentage (62%) in Sam Somers, who recently was named first-team All-Patriot League. He'll be tasked with holding an Irish offense led by Matt Kavanaugh (4.08 points per game) off the board and keeping Army's dim tourney hopes alive for another day.

WD1: No. 3 Florida (15-2) vs. No. 6 Johns Hopkins (15-3) - ALC semifinals

Friday, 5:30 p.m.

No. 1 seed Florida earned a bye the first round of the ALC tournament with its undefeated conference record, but will take on Hopkins Friday afternoon. The Blue Jays advanced from the ALC quarterfinals after edging Penn State, 13-10. In their last meeting, Florida defeated Hopkins by only one goal, despite losing by two at halftime. They used a second half surge to their advantage to take home the victory in that tight battle. Hopkins will be gunning for the win this go-around to ensure their bid to the NCAA Tournament. As the consistent leader in points and goals in Division I during the regular season, Tewaaraton nominee Shannon Gilroy is a staple for the Gators, showing her impact all over the field. Before postseason play, she boasted 91 points from 75 goals and 16 assists, as well as 72 draw controls and 23 caused turnovers. For Hopkins, Taylor D'Amore, another Tewaaraton nominee, supports her Blue Jays' efforts with the most points per game in the nation (5.35). She is second overall with 91 points total. D'Amore also became the seventh player in NCAA history to dock at least 150 career assists with her 43 assists in the regular season.

MD1: No. 6 Johns Hopkins (10-3) at No. 1 Loyola (14-1)

Saturday, 12 p.m.

Loyola is safely in the NCAA tournament and barring any major chaos on Saturday, Johns Hopkins is, too. But both teams can help their May Madness positioning with a win in the Charles Street Rivalry. Greyhounds goalie Jack Runkel made note of that fact that he could walk to Johns Hopkins from where he lives and the Blue Jays could do the same. The weather has begun to break so it's very well possible players from these two teams could have ran into each this week near either of the school's campuses in Baltimore. A big, if not sellout, crowd is expected at Loyola's Ridley Athletic Complex for what should be a competitive battle. That couldn't always have been said of this series — Johns Hopkins still leads it all-time 47-4 — but Loyola snapped a 13-game Blue Jays' winning streak with an 8-4 win last year at Homewood Field. Johns Hopkins doesn't have a top-10 RPI win this year; beating the Greyhounds would give them one. Loyola is possibly playing for a first-round NCAA tournament game. Who needs it more? This may be the last time Loyola and Johns Hopkins play near the end of the regular season for a while, on of the casualties of conference realignment. Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey said the programs will still play but probably in a mid-week setting earlier in the year.

WD1: Wagner (10-6) vs. Robert Morris (11-5) - NEC semifinals

Friday, 7 p.m.

Wagner and Robert Morris take the No. 2 and 3 seeds, respectively, as they face off on Friday in the NEC semifinals. Wagner is 10-6 overall, while Robert Morris has one more win and one less loss. The Seahawks boast the No. 1 rank in caused turnovers per game with a tight defensive game, led by sophomore Shea Gegan who is No. 1 nationally in the same category with 3.81. She is also fourth in ground balls per game with 3.63. Offensively, Gegan is the team's leader with 46 points, joined by Stephanie Peterson who has docked the most goals with 30. The Colonials are third in the country for draw controls per game (15.81) and a key player contributing to that ranking is sophomore Jessica Karwacki, who is No. 1 with 12.50 draw controls per game. No other player in Division I women's lacrosse has a draw control average above 10. Corey Karwacki tops the charts with 43 points (31 goals, 12 assists). However, one category Robert Morris may not like to boast is the fact that they have had the most yellow cards handed to them (52). Combine that with Wagner's defense, this weekend's game will be aggressive as they battle it out to see who will take on the winner of Bryant-Central Connecticut.

MD1: No. 16 Drexel (11-4) at No. 12 Hofstra (11-4) - CAA finals

Saturday, 7 p.m.

The CAA is looking like a one-bid league to the NCAA tournament so this is essentially the start of May Madness for both programs. Of course, that's still unofficial, especially for Drexel, perhaps the best program never to make an NCAA tournament. The Dragons' hopes almost burst in the CAA semifinals against Towson on Thursday, but they rallied from down three at the start of the fourth quarter to win in overtime. The game was played Thursday because of big rainstorm that flooded Drexel's Vidas Field on Wednesday night, when Hofstra beat Delaware in its semifinal matchup up on Long Island. Drexel has a shorter turnaround for the final. Hofstra handed the Dragons their last loss on March 22, an 11-8 defeat in Hempstead. Drexel has won seven in a row since and Hofstra six of seven. Faceoff man Nick Saputo has been a difference-maker for the Dragons all season long, and should be once again on Saturday night.

WD2: No. 5 Lindenwood (14-2) at No. 3 Limestone (17-0)

Saturday, 12 p.m.

Who would have thought when the schedule came out that this one would have major NCAA tournament implications? If Lindenwood, which has shocked the world in its first official NCAA season, wins this game the Lions will likely be in line to host a first round NCAA tournament game, and will even have an outside shot at the South's No. 1 seed. For now that spot belongs to mighty Limestone, which has not lost a South Region game since the 2012 NCAA tournament. Limestone will enter this game as the overwhelming favorite, but a win would mean for Lindenwood. A home game in the first round of the NCAA tournament is guarenteed for Limestone. Lindenwood, meanwhile, has crisscrossed the United States on endless road trips this season. You can bet they'll they'd love to stay in St. Louis for the first round of the NCAA tournament.

MD3: No. 11 York (15-3) at No. 2 Salisbury (17-1) - CAC final

Saturday, 2 p.m.

There will be both new blood and old in the CAC championship game when these two teams tangle for the second time this season. York is making its first-ever trip to conference title tilt while Salisbury will be seeking its 18th CAC crown. But that's the largest gap between these two programs. As indicated by the regular season match-up, which was won by the Sea Gulls, 11-8, both of these have a shot at bringing home the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Fortunately, the way the season has played out so far, even the loser of this game is in very good shape to receive an at-large bid to the tourney. So this contest is more about Salisbury putting its stamp back on the league after losing to St. Mary's last year, and keeping another young buck in its place.


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