If Tuesday was a day of dipping our toes in the water, then Wednesday is full-blown cannonball. Eleven conferences will be playing semifinal contests today, including such power conferences as the Centennial, SUNYAC, Empire 8 and Commonwealth Coast. Each conference features several teams that entered the season with NCAA Tournament hopes, and even some may now stand as long shots. The beauty of the tournament format is that every team is in it until they aren’t.
Centennial Conference Semifinals
Washington College vs. Gettysburg, 7:00 pm
Dickinson vs. Franklin & Marshall, 4:00 pm
This is what I’m talking about, folks. Here we have four teams that have spent significant portions of this season ranked in the USILA Coaches Poll and one team with real national championship aspirations.
The Shoremen of Washington College have been rolling along since dropping their War on the Shore contest with Salisbury in the middle of the season. Since then, WAC has won all but two of its games by at least three goals including a 13-8 win over Gettysburg on April 19. Expect a similar outcome today. Prediction: WAC, 12-8.
Dickinson rolled through last season unblemished, claiming the Centennial Conference championship before bowing out in the NCAAs. This year has been quite a different story, dropping three of its first five games en route to a 9-6 record. Wednesday sees them run back last Saturday’s matchup with Franklin & Marshall that the Red Devils were only able to pull out, 8-7. The 2/3 matchup is always the best, and this one should be no different. Prediction: F&M, 10-9 (OT).
Empire 8 Semifinals
Ithaca vs. Stevens, 4:00 pm
St. John Fisher vs. Nazareth, 4:00 pm
The Ithaca Bombers coasted through most this season with an air of mystery. They were consistently ranked in the middle of the USILA Poll, beat the teams they should have beat, and generally kept their head down and played great lacrosse en route to an Empire 8 regular season crown. Then, on Saturday, the Bombers finally slipped up and lost to Stevens, 15-11. Can they rebound and keep the Ducks from ending their great season much earlier than anticipated? Prediction: Ithaca, 12-10.
Nazareth was one of last year’s Cinderella stories, catching fire late in the season to earn the Empire 8 automatic bid before bowing out in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The sophomore attack pairing of Troy Haefele and Luke Wooters has been strong, but Naz finished the regular season 8-9 after losing to this St. John Fisher team, 9-8, on Saturday. Unless the Golden Flyers can find some magic, this long season will come to an end this afternoon. Prediction: St. John Fisher, 12-9.
State University of New York Athletic Conference Semifinals
Cortland State vs. SUNY-Oneonta, 4:00 pm
SUNY-Potsdam vs. Plattsburgh State, 4:00 pm
Commonwealth Coast Conference Semifinals
Endicott vs. Salve Regina, 7:00 pm
Western New England vs. Roger Williams, 7:00 pm
New England Women’s & Men’s Athletic Conference
Springfield College vs. Clark, 7:00 pm
Babson vs. MIT, 7:00 pm
North Atlantic Conference Semifinals
Castleton State vs. Husson, 3:00 pm
New England College vs. Maine Maritime, 4:00 pm
Skyline Conference Semifinals
Montclair State vs. Richard Stockton, 4:00 pm
Kean vs. Farmingdale State, 7:00 pm
Ohio Athletic Conference Semifinals (Pool B)
Otterbein vs. Baldwin Wallace, 5:00 pm
Mount Union vs. John Carroll, 5:00 pm
North East Athletic Conference Semifinals
Keuka vs. Medaille, 4:00 pm
Morrisville State vs. Hilbert, 5:00 pm
Midwest Lacrosse Conference Semifinals
Aurora vs. Augustana, 4:00 pm CDT
Concordia vs. Carthage, 4:00 pm CDT
Landmark Conference Semifinals
Susquehanna vs. Drew, 4:00 pm
Scranton vs. Goucher, 7:00 pm