The USA Patriot Act was passed back in 2001, which had a backronym of “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.” The act helped strengthen security measures throughout our country, and increased the wait time at our airports.
There are many Patriots throughout American history, from the Patriot Act, to the New England Patriots and Pat Patriot, to Mel Gibson starring in The Patriot.
But there’s also the Patriot League, which is home to not only the most American-named conference in the NCAA, but is also one of the most competitive conferences in college lacrosse. To recap last season, Colgate defeated Army in the Patriot League title game, while Navy won the regular season title. Loyola and Lehigh, two usually talented teams in the league, weren’t the top teams last season, but were still competitive.
The Patriot League begins conference play this weekend with a total of four conference games, some of them should be exciting. But outside of that, there’s also four big games featured ranked teams.
Bucknell @ Colgate – Noon (Patriot League Network)
I’ll highlight this Patriot League game for the Weekend Watch. Bucknell has been impressive in three games so far in 2016, winning all three of them and even cracking in some of the polls. They’re lead at attack by senior Sean Doyle, who leads the team in points with 11. and sophomores Will Sands and Connor O’Hara. All three of them have six goals on the season. Also watch for Tommy O’Connor and Thomas Flibotte at midfield, and freshman FOGO Jarett Witzal has a winning percentage of .707 on 58 draws this season.
The Raiders rebounded from a Valentine’s Day loss against Michigan with a 11-4 win against Binghamton last week. The offense took at hit with the losses of Ryan Walsh and Matt Clarkson, so the Raiders are hoping that junior Peter Donato and freshman Sam Cleveland can keep their production up and help the Raiders defend their Patriot League championship. At least they still have junior Brandon Burke in goal.
The other Patriot League games on Saturday include Holy Cross @ Lehigh, Lafayette @ #6 Loyola, and #17 Navy @ Boston. All games will be streamed on the Patriot League Network.
#18 Georgetown @ #14 Towson – Noon (Towson Sports Network)
The Hoyas have one of the toughest schedules in the nation, and it doesn’t get any easier after falling to Notre Dame last week in Georgia 12-7. Sophomore Stephen Quinzi had a goal and an assist, while junior Peter Conley had two goals, and freshman sensation “Damn” Daniel Bucaro had two goals and one assist in his debut. Hopefully he’ll be back at it again with another multi-goal game this weekend. Sophomore goalie Nick Marrocco got pounded by the Fighting Irish offense, but stood tall in the cage.
Towson’s coming off a 9-5 win over Mount St. Mary’s last week. In two games this year, the Tigers have limited their opponents to only seven goals. Granted, they’ve played Mercer and the Mount, but Georgetown will give them a test. Senior goalie Tyler White will play a pivotal role in this game for the Tigers.
#5 Maryland @ #7 Yale – 1 PM (ESPN3)
When these two teams met last year, Yale defeated the Terps 10-6, highlighted by Charlie Raffa’s struggles at the faceoff “x” and a stout Yale defense. They met again in the NCAA First Round at College Park, with the Terps edging the Bulldogs 8-7.
Without Conrad Oberbeck, the Bulldogs cruised to a 17-7 victory over UMass Lowell last week. Ben Reaves had four goals and three assists, while Jeff Cimbalista had a goal and three assists, and freshman Brendan Rooney recorded a hat-trick.
Maryland started their season a week later than expected with a tight 15-10 win over High Point. Bryan Cole had three goals and four assists, while Colin Heacock and Dylan Maltz each had hat-tricks, and Matt Rambo added a pair of goals. Add Pat Young and Henry West amongst other contributors of offense, along with Kyle Bernlohr in net, and you have a team that could contend for a National Championship, although we’ve said this a ton of times and Maryland has yet to win a championship.
#9 Brown @ #20 Stony Brook – 1 PM (AmericaEast.TV)
Unlike last season, where Brown didn’t really have any tough games prior to Ivy League play, they take on a Stony Brook team in a matchup of talented scorers. We all know what Dylan Molloy can do, after scoring 92 points a year ago. Last week against Quinnipiac, he scored five goals. Also look out for linemates Kylor Bellistri and Henry Blynn, along with LSM Larken Kemp in transition.
The other top scorer is senior Brody Eastwood, who scored 61 goals last season. Eastwood, who doesn’t have 111 point scorer Mike Rooney anymore, scored seven goals and three assists in wins against Sacred Heart and St. John’s this year. Challen Rogers had three goals and six assists, and Alex Corpolongo has six goals. The Sea Wolves also upgraded their defense in the form of goaltender Zach Oliveri.
Princeton @ #13 Hofstra – 3 PM (Pride Productions)
What an upset for the Pride, who took down North Carolina 10-5 last week down in Chapel Hill. Senior Sam Llinares had half of the team’s goals with five tallies, while former JUCO Attackman of the Year Josh Byrne bursted onto the scene for the Pride with four goals and two assists. Sophomore Dylan Alderman had the other goal. Sophomore goalie Jack Concannon had 11 saves on the day, including six in the final frame. Can they carry that success over to their matchup against the Tigers?
Princeton breezed by NJIT 21-4 last week, led by Zach Currier‘s four goals and three assists, and Riley Thompson‘s hat-trick and pair of assists. The losses of Mike MacDonald and Kip Orban will hurt this Tiger team, but seeing what freshmen Dawson McKenzie, Charlie Durbin, and Emmet Cordrey could do might ease the pain of two of Princeton’s top players from last year. But it won’t be easy with a brutal schedule from here on out.
#10 North Carolina @ #8 Johns Hopkins – Noon (ESPNU)
As much as I want to pick the Maryland-Yale game as my Game of the Week, this game is going to be on TV, so that’s the gamechanger right there. UNC returned to reality after crushing Michigan and Furman in their first two games, falling to Hofstra 10-5. Sophomore Luke Goldstock had only a goal and an assist in a very bad game for all of the Tar Heels. They lost Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey at attack, and sophomore goalie Brian Balkam will face another test in the Hopkins offense this week. No Kieran Burke doesn’t help the Heels either.
Hopkins fell yet again to Loyola 9-8 to fall to 1-1, although they could be either 2-0 or 0-2 at this point. They had a tough game against Navy a few weeks ago to start the season, and they fell early to Loyola before mounting a comeback that fell short. We know about Ryan Brown and Shack Stanwick at attack, but their midfield needs help with the losses of Connor Reed and Joel Tinney. John Crawley is their best midfielder by far, and the Jays need to see guys like Holden Cattoni, Patrick Fraser, or even freshman Drew Supinski step up their game.
UMBC @ Ohio State – 5 PM (ESPNU)
Drexel @ #15 Albany – Noon (AmericaEast.TV)
Villanova @ #12 Penn State – 1 PM
Bryant @ Hartford – 1 PM (AmericaEast.TV)
Marquette @ Richmond – 1 PM (RichmondSpiders.com – $)
#4 Tampa @ #1 Limestone – 1 PM (Division II)
#5 NYIT @ #8 Seton Hill – Noon (Division II)
#6 Lake Erie @ #15 Mercy – Noon (Division II)
#9 Adelphi @ #7 LIU Post – Noon (Division II)
#2 Salisbury @ #5 Gettysburg – 1 PM (Division III)
#3 RIT @ #7 Stevenson – 7 PM (Division III)
#6 Lynchburg @ #17 Cabrini – 1 PM (Division III)
Penn @ #11 Virginia – 1 PM (VirginiaSports.com – $)
Army @ #3 Syracuse – 4 PM (ESPN3)
Definitely spend some time and watch the Division II and Division III games, four games featuring top ten games in Division II (which is ridiculous), and three really good Division III games featuring ranked teams, including a top five showdown.