(Photo Courtesy of High Point Athletics)
Welcome to week one of the 2020 NCAA lacrosse season, y’all.
After an opening weekend where Air Force upset Duke, Chris Gray made the most of his debut in Chapel Hill, and known commodities like Penn State and Maryland flex their muscles, we have a little more insight as to what this season may hold but there is still much to be seen.
While week one technically started on Tuesday with Ohio State taking down Detroit Mercy, this weekend offers the first full slate with games being played from Friday through Sunday. And with that, there is almost certainly going to be some craziness.
Lacrosse Bucket has what you need to know heading into week one of the college lacrosse season with some storylines to follow below.
LIU’s DI Debut
Just as Merrimack did last week, LIU will make their DI debut this weekend when they take the field against Siena at 1 PM on Saturday.
Again, LIU is one of two teams, along with Merrimack, that is making the jump from DII to DI this season. The last team to make the jump from DII to DI was Bryant back in 2009. All three of those teams – Bryant, Merrimack, and LIU – are now in the NEC,
The first DI contest for LIU will cone against Siena. And just like Merrimack’s debut against Holy Cross last weekend, there are a lot of eyeballs expected to be drawn to this matchup. The lacrosse world wants to see how well LIU can translate from DII to DI and if the DI era for them starts with a win.
Will a SoCon Team Pull Off an Upset?
Last weekend, Air Force went into Durham, N.C. and knocked off the number seven ranked Duke Blue Devils. There will be more SoCon vs blue blood games this weekend. Can the SoCon recreate Air Force’s success last weekend or the success the conference saw last year with Richmond and High Point both knocking off ACC teams?
This weekend’s SoCon vs blue blood matchups include Duke-High Point, Mercer-North Carolina, Maryland-Richmond, and Denver-Air Force.
While there isn’t much expectation for Mercer to hang with North Carolina, High Point, Richmond, and Air Force can do much more than just hang with the competition.
Air Force has a ton of momentum after upsetting Duke and also showed how deep they are this season with players like Brandon Dodd, seemingly, coming out of nowhere and lighting the cage on fire. High Point lost to Maryland last weekend but looked good for a good portion of the contest, especially considering that they started a freshman Parker Green in goal. Richmond comes into the season after winning their third consecutive SoCon title and returns a good portion of their squad. The Spiders only lost to Maryland by one goal last season.
Finding New in The Old
Syracuse and Navy both have long and storied lacrosse programs that each goes back nearly a century. But coming into 2020, the talk around both programs is newness.
Syracuse brings in Loyola transfer Chase Scanlan and replaces long-time assistant Kevin Donahue with former Princeton offensive coordinator Pat March. Also, Tucker Dordevic comes back into the lineup after sitting out all of last season with an injury.
Navy comes into the 2020 season with completely new coaching staff as Joe Amplo replaced Rick Sowell as head coach over the summer. The Midshipmen haven’t made the NCAA tournament since 2016 when they lost to Brown in the quarterfinals. With hopes that Amplo can breathe new life into an age-old program like Navy, hopes are high for a bright future in Annapolis.
The Orange open their season against Colgate on Friday night, looking to avenge a season-opening loss against the Raiders last season. Navy opens its season on Saturday against Manhattan.
Week One Rivalry Matchups
As usual, multiple rivalry games will take place during week one of the college lacrosse season.
Two rivalries that will go down on Saturday are Johns Hopkins-Towson and Virginia-Loyola. And whether you consider both of these games rivalries or not is up to you. But, nobody can deny how good these two early-season matchups have been over the past few years.
Johns Hopkins is 30-3 all-time against Towson, but those three losses have all come within the past five years with each team winning every other year since Towson’s first win over the Blue Jays in 2015.
Loyola and Virginia have faced each other 11 times since 1987, including each year since 2014. The Greyhounds lead the all-time series 6-5 and have won the past two meetings, which includes an NCAA quarterfinal game in 2018. Virginia, the defending national champions and number two ranked team in the land, will be looking to start their title defense with a win at home against Loyola.
Week One Schedule
|2/7||Syracuse||Colgate||4:00 PM||ACC Network|
|2/8||Hofstra||Wagner||11:00 AM||Hofstra Stream|
|2/8||Monmouth||NJIT||11:00 AM||Monmouth Stream|
|2/8||Boston U.||Ohio State||12:00 PM||Stadium|
|2/8||Delaware||Mount St. Mary’s||12:00 PM|
|2/8||Furman||Hampton||12:00 PM||ESPN +|
|2/8||High Point||Duke||12:00 PM|
|2/8||North Carolina||Mercer||12:00 PM||ACC Network Extra|
|2/8||Richmond||Maryland||12:00 PM||ESPN +|
|2/8||Hobart||Canisius||1:00 PM||HWS All-Access|
|2/8||Johns Hopkins||Towson||1:00 PM||ESPN 3|
|2/8||Marist||Binghamton||1:00 PM||Red Fox Network|
|2/8||Marquette||Bellarmine||1:00 PM||Golden Eagle All-Access|
|2/8||Michigan||Cleveland State||1:00 PM||BTN +|
|2/8||Siena||LIU||First ever DI game for LIU||1:00 PM|
|2/8||UMass Lowell||Quinnipiac||1:00 PM||America East TV|
|2/8||Villanova||Penn State||1:00 PM|
|2/8||Virginia||Loyola||2:00 PM||ACC Network|
|2/8||Air Force||Denver||3:00 PM|
|2/8||Rutgers||St. John’s||3:00 PM||BTN+|
|2/8||Providence||Holy Cross||3:30 PM||Friars All-Access|
|2/9||Bryant||Bucknell||12:00 PM||NEC Front Row|
|2/9||Sacred Heart||Hartford||12:00 PM||NEC Front Row|
|2/9||St. Bonaventure||Saint Joseph’s||at Buffalo Bills Training Facility||12:00 PM|