Nicky Galasso, Syracuse midfielder (No. 2 Syracuse vs. No. 4 North Carolina, 4 p.m.)
This is Galasso’s moment. After transferring from North Carolina following his sophomore year, Galasso finally makes his return to Chapel Hill — the place where he earned Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year back in 2011. The No. 1 recruit in the country in the Class of 2010 according to Inside Lacrosse battled through injuries over parts of the past three seasons. But now, Galasso is fully healthy for the first time since his freshman year and in Syracuse’s first trip to UNC in 22 years, Galasso could be the one that shines for the Orange. He has 19 goals and five assists on the season, including six goals in the past two games, and will look to add to those totals on Saturday.
Honorable Mention: Luke Goldstock, North Carolina attack, 35 goals this season
TJ Neubauer, Fairfield midfielder (No. 20 Fairfield vs. No. 15 Towson, 2 p.m.)
In the battle for the top spot in the Colonial Athletic Association, Neubauer is the player to watch. He leads the Stags with 25 goals this year and has taken 20 more shots than any of his teammates. Fairfield is on a five-game win streak, but Towson presents a tougher test. It’s an opportunity for Neubauer to prove himself against a stiff defense and as the season progresses and the games become more and more meaningful, the stage opens up for players to rise to the occasion. In three straight losses in the middle of the season, Neubauer had just five goals. If Fairfield were to maximize its chance to win, it would go to Neubauer early and often.
Honorable Mention: Joe Seider, Towson attack, 25 goals
Dylan Molloy, Brown attack (No. 7 Yale vs. No. 12 Brown, 12:30 p.m.)
Plain and simple, Molloy is one of the best scorers in the country. Though Yale and Brown doesn’t quite sound like it has the juice to compare to some of the other games on Saturday, a player like Molloy could make it worthwhile. He leads all of Division I in goals per game (44 goals in 10 games) with 4.4. In the first five games this season, Molloy scored 29 goals. While he was shutout on ESPNU against Princeton on March 29, Molloy bounced back with a three-goal performance against Penn. And, oh yeah, Molloy’s just a sophomore.
Honorable Mention: Larken Kemp, Brown long-stick midfielder, 2.33 caused turnovers per game (second in D-I)
Brady Dove, Navy faceoff specialist (Navy vs. No. 13 Army, 1 p.m.)
Army vs. Navy. Does it get any better?
We’ve all heard the same story over and over: You can’t score without the ball.
Dove is one of the best in the business. His 66.5 percentage ranks sixth best in the country and has helped keep Navy in some big games throughout the season. The Midshipmen are looking to knock off their biggest rival and the best way to do that is to take the ball away from Army. Dove’s performance at the X could go a long way to making that game plan a reality.
However, Army’s faceoff man, Dan Grabher, ranks 14th in D-I in faceoffs with a 58.8 percentage. The game within the game will be a fascinating one between the two rivals.
Honorable Mention: Connor Cook, Army attack, 52 shooting percentage (fourth in D-I)
Conor Darcey, Penn State goalie, (Johns Hopkins vs. Penn State, 6 p.m.)
Darcey is eighth in the country in saves per game. While the amount of shots opposing teams are taking may be concerning, a tip of the hat must be given to Darcey for standing in there and saving as many as he has. Johns Hopkins is going to bring it offensively and if Darcey could get in front of the Blue Jays’ shots, it could be one of the more entertaining games of the day. Both of these teams are really scrapping with under-.500 records and wins are at a premium. Darcey is what stands between the Blue Jays and another Big Ten conference win and how he fares in goal could be the difference for the Nittany Lions.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Brown, Johns Hopkins attack, 36 goals this season