NCAA Weekend Watch: Teams Fight For Their Lives


It’s a huge weekend in college lacrosse.  Entering the final stretch of the regular season, these games mean life or death to some teams.  Here are some games to put a star next to:


Marquette vs. Providence: 12 PM

This will be a huge game for the Golden Eagles.  They’ve started the season undefeated before a close game to Georgetown gave them their first blemish on the year.  Ever since that game, they’ve alternated between a loss and a win.  If the pattern continues, they should beat Providence, but the Friars are a sneaky team to play against, although they’ve lost the last four games.  Pick: Marquette.

Penn vs. Harvard: 12 PM

Are we seeing a resurgence from the Crimson?  After a stretch of four straight losses, including a defeat from Dartmouth, Harvard has won two straight, against Cornell and Boston, each by a goal.  Penn hasn’t lived up to the expectations from last year, as they’ve also had a four game losing streak.  But they pulled off an upset against Brown last week.  It’s a rematch from the Ivy League Championship, where Penn defeated Harvard to get the Ivy League AQ.  Pick: Penn.

Brown vs. Yale: 12:30 PM

As much as Brown has dominated this season on offense, they’re actually on the brink of possibly missing out on the NCAA Tournament.  Their non-conference schedule is weak, with wins against two teams above .500 (Hartford at 6-4 and MAAC leading Marist at 8-3).  The Bulldogs have had time to rebound from two straight losses from Cornell and Princeton with three straight wins of their own.  Stealing from College Basketball terms, this is a bracket buster game.  Pick: Brown.

Army vs. Navy: 1 PM

Navy and Army are first and second in the very tight Patriot League respectively.  Navy has returned to being a good team after being very mediocre for a period of time.  Army has a strong attack anchored by sniper John Glesener, who had six goals last week against Boston.  But in a rivalry game like this, throw everything away.  I don’t think any team having strengths and weaknesses against the other matters, as these two teams want to beat each other to show who’s the better service academy.  Pick: Navy.

Towson vs. Fairfield: 2 PM

As with the Patriot League matchup above, Towson and Fairfield are first and second in the CAA.  Most likely the winner of the AQ in the conference tourney will be the lone team representing the league.  Both teams are undefeated and have strong defenses.  One of them will bend and break today.  Pick: Towson.

Syracuse vs. North Carolina: 4 PM

There’s a lot to talk about in this game, the first time that Cuse is playing at Fetzer Field for the first time since 1993.  For the Orange, Randy Staats will more than likely be back at attack after missing the past three games with a lower body injury.  However, he is not 100%, so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs and how he is used today.  Also of note, from being part of the team, new navy jerseys are debuting this afternoon, and they look nice.  For UNC, it’s their alumni weekend and senior day and is expecting a sold out crowd.  This game would have been moved to the football stadium, but due to pipe repairs inside the stadium, that could not happen.   The Orange have played on grass once this year at Georgia, beating St. John’s in a neutral site game, but should get used to playing UNC on grass, as most likely these teams will meet again in two weeks at Chester in the ACC Tournament.  Pick: Syracuse.


Virginia vs. Duke: 12 PM

Mark this game to start off your Sunday afternoon, as the winner of this game will clinch the #4 seed in the ACC Tournament, while the other plays Penn in the ACC Showcase Game.  Both teams have struggled thus far this year, but Virginia has impressed a lot of people, as they have overcome injuries to many key players such as Tanner Scales and James Pannell.  All three of their losses have been against the ACC.  Duke is not the Duke team that has been around for the past two seasons.  They’re on a three game losing streak, all to ACC teams, to add to their neutral site loss to Denver.  The key to this game is Myles Jones for the Blue Devils and Matt Barrett for the Cavaliers.  I think if Jones can go off, there’s no chance that Virginia can catch up.  But if Barrett stands on his head like he did for most of last week against UNC, it’ll be a game.  But I think the UVA injuries will start to play a role late.  Pick: Duke.