March 26, 2010

Ten to Watch: Eat Up Cottle, UNC Is Next

by Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Each Friday, your crack laxperts here at Lacrosse Magazine Online will try to handicap the upcoming weekend for the top 10 college games across all divisions. Follow here at all season long.

Last Week 6-4 7-3 7-3 6-4 6-4 7-3
Overall 43-17 42-18 40-20 38-22 38-22 35-25

MD1: No. 12 Johns Hopkins (4-3) at No. 1 Virginia (8-0) - Saturday 12 p.m.

You think the Wahoos are prepared for some Tom Palasek? With Hopkins struggling to find any offense against Syracuse, Palasek came off the bench and near singlehandedly brought the Blue Jays back into the game. That and an assuring performance from goalie Michael Gvozden were the lone bright spots in an otherwise bleak game for Hopkins, which has lost three of four. UVA's defense is nothing to sneeze at, and you can bet Ken Clausen and company will do their best Syracuse impression in blanketing the Jays' biggest threats. Bray Malphrus is no Joel White, however, so expect a bounceback game from Michael Kimmel.

DaSilva: Virginia
Ohanian: Virginia
Coyne: Virginia
Krome: Virginia
Logue: Virginia
Lochary: Virginia

"Is it fun to be a Johns Hopkins lacrosse player? True, it’s the most storied program in the history of the sport, but the stories surrounding Homewood these days can’t conjure up memories of the good old days. The Blue Jays appear to be simply outmatched for another week, and this time they’re on the road. It may not make a difference who’s in goal for Hopkins, and the situation gets no easier next week at home against No. 3 North Carolina. It’s still early and we’ve seen slumbers like this from the Jays before, but one wonders if they’ll be able to right the ship again this time around."

MD1: No. 4 Maryland (6-0) at No. 3 North Carolina (8-0) - Saturday 2 p.m.

What’s not to love here? Maryland’s proven that nailbiters over Georgetown and Duke were no fluke. In the February edition of Lacrosse Magazine, Terps’ coach Dave Cottle said if he got nine players to score 10 goals each, he’d be “the happiest fat man in America.” Half way into the season, Cottle’s half way through the buffet line — nine Terrapins have found the net at least five times each, giving Maryland a well-balanced and potent offense that it hasn’t always had in recent years. The Tar Heels will try to continue their in-conference revenge tour against a team they haven’t beaten in the regular season since 2003. It’s good to be Bitter, as UNC fans will see in April’s LM, mailing out now. Junior attackman Billy Bitter (11g, 16a) hasn’t missed a beat despite drawing added attention. Let’s hope a cover jinx doesn’t get in the way.

DaSilva: Maryland
Ohanian: Maryland
Coyne: North Carolina
Krome: North Carolina
Logue: North Carolina
Lochary: Maryland

"Three weeks ago I was the only one in the pool to correctly pick Maryland to beat Duke, and yet I didn’t hesitate for a second to pick North Carolina in this game. There just seems to be something mystical about this year’s Tar Heel team. They blew a five-goal lead against Princeton a couple of weeks ago, but watching that game, there was zero panic despite a freight train of momentum going against them. Billy Bitter calmly put the Heels on top and they’re still undefeated. Maryland’s offense has been good this year – it will have to be great to score enough goals against a really good UNC defense for the Terps to have a chance."

MD3: No. 3 Salisbury (9-0) at No. 1 Gettysburg (9-0) - Saturday 1 p.m.

The last time these two teams met, Gettysburg ended the second-longest winning streak in college lacrosse history. The Gulls desperately want to get back to their dominant ways, but they'll have to do it by dethroning the current South region kings. The Bullets have played the stiffer schedule so far, but Salisbury is the more experienced team. It's tough envisioning this game being more than one goal either way.

DaSilva: Salisbury
Ohanian: Salisbury
Coyne: Gettysburg
Krome: Salisbury
Logue: Salisbury
Lochary: Gettysburg
MD3: No. 7 Roanoke (8-1) at No. 2 Stevenson (8-0) - Saturday 1 p.m.

With the way these two teams score, the conventional wisdom is this game should be in the 20s. What gets lost in all of the offensive flash, however, is they both have improved on the defensive from last year. Essentially, these two teams will be looking in the mirror on Saturday, so it will likely come down to the usual variables: faceoffs and goaltending.

Ohanian: Stevenson
Coyne: Roanoke
Krome: Stevenson
Logue: Stevenson
Lochary: Stevenson

"It's not unusual to see Roanoke out to a quick start. The Maroons were 10-0 last season and actually ascended to the top of the rankings before faltering in the postseason. The visit to Stevenson will be RC's sternest test to date, while the Mustangs have faced a decidedly tougher slate. Unless Stevenson is caught looking ahead toward next week's showdown with Salisbury, the Mustangs should have enough to get past the Maroons."

MD1: No. 6 Hofstra (4-1) at No. 18 Massachusetts (5-2) - Saturday 1 p.m.

UMass makes its debut in the CAA against the heavy preseason favorite, Hofstra. The Minutemen ended it’s one-goal frustrations against the Ivy League this season (losses to Yale and Harvard) by nipping Brown 11-10 on Tuesday, its first win this year against a ranked opponent. Hofstra has won four straight, and has allowed just 16 goals in its last three games. UMass blew a 7-3 halftime lead against Hofstra last year, falling 11-10.

DaSilva: Hofstra
Ohanian: Hofstra
Coyne: Hofstra
Krome: Hofstra
Logue: Hofstra
Lochary: Hofstra

MD1: No. 7 Duke (5-3) at No. 10 Georgetown (4-2) - Saturday 12 p.m.

A matchup of teams on the rebound means someone’s momentum is going to take a hit. Duke has won three straight, thanks in large part to a defense that has allowed 6.3 gpg in its last three outings. Ned Crotty has dished out 13 assists during the streak, while Max Quinzani (31g) and Zach Howell (22g) shoulder much of the scoring burden. At Georgetown, the Blue Devils will find a team that’s won four of its last five. Freshman attackman Travis Comeau scored six goals in recent wins over Delaware and Providence to earn Big East Player of the Week honors. Both teams need this one. Duke has won two of its last three games at the Hilltop.

DaSilva: Georgetown
Ohanian: Duke
Coyne: Duke
Krome: Duke
Logue: Duke
Lochary: Georgetown

WD1: No. 17 William & Mary (5-3) at No. 14 Penn State (5-3) - Sunday 12 p.m.

Both teams can put the ball in the back of the net. William & Mary captain Mary Zulty has five hat tricks in seven games. Since starting the season 2-0, Penn State has alternated losses and wins, and would be due for a loss at that rate. The Tribe might have the best defender in the game in Sarah Jonson, but the Nittany Lions boast better defensive depth. A tight-knit game would appear to be in the works.

DaSilva: William & Mary
Ohanian: Penn State
Coyne: William & Mary
Krome: Penn State
Logue: Penn State
Lochary: Penn State

MD1: No. 11 Drexel (6-2) at No. 8 Lafayette (6-0) - Sunday 1 p.m.

This Keystone State showdown lost a little luster with Drexel’s 10-8 loss to Villanova on Wednesday, but you’re still looking at two of the surprise teams of 2010. Dragons’ goalie Mark Manos was mortal for one of the few times this season, making just eight saves against 10 goals. Even after that performance, he has a 63.1 save percentage for the season. Trying to crack the code will be a Lafayette offense that is averaging 14.5 goals per game (4th best in Division I). Seven different players are already to double-digit points, led by Tom Perini (22g, 6a) and Stefan Bauer (9g, 16a).

DaSilva: Drexel
Ohanian: Lafayette
Coyne: Drexel
Krome: Drexel
Logue: Lafayette
Lochary: Lafayette

WD1: No. 8 Stanford (5-3) at No. 10 Towson (5-1) - Sunday 1 p.m.

After taking a half to show up against Maryland on Thursday, a game which it eventually lost 20-8, Stanford will most certainly emphasize starting strong against Towson. Tough thing is, when Hillary Fratzke is winning draws, the Tigers get on a roll. And how will playing two games in four days following a cross-country trip affect the Cardinal's energy level. If Stanford wants to give itself the option of being in at-large consideration come tourney time -- and not force itself into an MPSF-or-bust scenario -- a win here would be huge.

DaSilva: Towson
Ohanian: Towson
Coyne: Towson
Krome: Towson
Logue: Stanford
Lochary: Stanford

WD1: No. 5 Virginia (6-3) at No. 3 Duke (9-1) - Sunday 1 p.m.

While the Cavs have kept it interesting with their up and down season (Lose to Loyola! Beat Carolina! Lose to James Madison!), the Blue Devils are on a tear, 9-1 overall and on a current five-game winning streak. Christie Kaestner, Sarah Bullard and Lindsay Gilbride are all over the 35-point mark for the season, and the offense is averaging 14.2 goals per game.

DaSilva: Duke
Ohanian: Duke
Coyne: Duke
Krome: Virginia
Logue: Duke
Lochary: Duke

"It could be a long day for Virginia junior goalie Lauren Benner, who originally lost the starting spot to freshman Kim Kolarik but has made her way back into the starting lineup in the last four games. Benner acquitted herself quite well in the first three of those games, but only had two stops in the Cavs' last-second loss to James Madison this week."

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