Saturday’s matchups in the NCAA will be an exciting day of lacrosse. Several teams are battling to stay in the top 20 rankings.
No. 3 Denver vs No. 5 Loyola
The Denver Pioneers (9-2) are travelling to Loyola (9-2) to take on the Greyhounds at 1 pm at the Ridley Athletic Complex in an ECAC matchup. The last time these two teams played each other, Loyola beat Denver 10—9 in the 2012 NCAA quarterfinals and eventually moving on to win the NCAA Championship. There will be no doubt that Denver will be looking to revenge that loss on Saturday.
Loyola is finally back to being healthy and will be relying on their top scorers Justin Ward (23G, 24A), Nikko Pontrello (13G, 14A) and Mike Sawyer (19G, 2A). The Greyhounds clearing rate is at 94 percent.
Denver is touted as the No 1 offense in the NCAA thus far in the season. Scoring 13 goals per game and shooting at 35 percent. The Pioneers will be looking to Cameron Flint, Eric Law and Wesley Berg to take the lead on offense.
No. 15 Johns Hopkins vs No. 1 Maryland
The JohnsHopkins Blue Jays (6-4) are struggling to stay within the top 20 rankings, but with a win over MarylandTerps (8-1) that would propel them in the top 10 most likely. The Blue Jays are on the road versus the Terps on Saturday at Byrd Stadium, College Park, MD.
Johns Hopkins is coming off two straight losses to North Carolina (March 30th) and Albany (April 5th) and will look to rebound versus the best team in the nation. The Blue Jays will need their top tier attack namely, Wells Stanwick (38 points) and Zach Palmer (24 points) to have exceptional games to break through the strong Terp defense.
Maryland has had an outstanding season to date losing only to North Carolina (March 23rd). The Terps are scoring 13 goals a game and only allowing seven. Kevin Cooper (31 points) and John Haus (23 points) will be leading the offense for the Terps on Saturday afternoon.
Towson vs No. 10 Penn State
The Towson Tigers (7-5) have had an remarkable turn-around this season winning their last four games. The Penn State Nittany Lions (8-3) are going to be in tough if the Tigers stay hot. Penn State hosts Towson at Jeffrey Field, University Park, PA on Saturday at 1 pm.
The key to the Towson’s success so far this season has been their goaltending. Senior Andrew Wascavage has a 6.5 GAA in his last four games and ranks No. 4 in the nation with a save percentage of .615.
The Penn State offense has had an outstanding season and will look to beat Wascavage earlier to break his confidence. TJ Sanders (28G, 3A), Jack Forster (26G, 11A) and Shane Sturgis (18G, 13A) will be the top offensive leaders for the Nittany Lions.
No 6. North Carolina vs Hofstra
The North Carolina Tar Heels (8-3) are travelling to Hofstra (7-4) on Saturday night to take on the Pride. The Tar Heels are coming off a five game win streak and a 10-7 win versus Virginia (April 6th). Meanwhile the Pride is fresh off a 13-1 killing of St. Joseph’s (April 6th).
North Carolina is scoring an average of 12 goals per game while only allowing 9.73 goals against. The Tar Heels have scored 132 goals this season and only given up 107. Marcus Holman is having a spectacular season for the Heels scoring 27 goals and 26 assists.
Hofstra is having an up and down season and is struggling to make it into the top 20 rankings and the NCAA Tournament. Two one goal losses separate Hostra from a perfect mark in CAA action. Hostra is scoring just 9.18 goals per game but holding opponents to 6.36 goals against. Torin Varn is the leading scorer for the Pride with 27 goals and two assists.
No. 9 Princeton vs Dartmouth
The Princeton Tigers (7-3) are travelling to Dartmouth (2-8) on Saturday in Hanover, NH. The Tigers recently beat Rutgers 13-8 on April 9th. Dartmouth is having a rough season to date and lost a nail biter 8-7 to Hartford on April 9th.
The Tigers have not had a strong schedule this season but did manage to beat Hofstra, Johns Hopkins and Villanova early in the season. They have allowed just 9.30 goals against this season and are scoring 12.50 goals per game. Tom Schreiber (41 points) and Mike MacDonald (37 points) are leading the Tigers offense this season.
The struggling Dartmouth Big Green are scoring just eight goals per game and giving up 10.90 goals against. Chris Costabile (24 points), Nikki Dysenchuk (15 points) and Adam Hull (15 points) are the Big Greens top scorers.