What to Watch: NCAA Week Four

(Photo Courtesy of Lehigh Athletics)

Welcome to week four of the 2020 NCAA lacrosse season, y’all. 

Believe it or not, after this weekend we will be a week into the season and conference play will have begun for a few teams in the Patriot League, which is the second largest conference in DI lacrosse. 

Week three technically got underway on Tuesday, where we saw some pretty bug upsets take place. On Tuesday, Virginia was able to hold off High Point and avoid another upset loss to the Panthers and Stony Brook defeated rival Hofstra. 

There will also be one more midweek game this week as Loyola host Towson on Wednesday night. Friday will see Duke and Richmond go head-to-head and rivals Syracuse and Hobart square off. 

Lacrosse Bucket has what you need to know heading into week three of the college lacrosse season with some storylines to follow below.

Patriot League Begins Conference Play

As usual, the Patriot League is the first conference to start conference play. And while the Patriot League always presents some unforseen twist and turns, this year could be even crazier as their isn’t a bonafide favorite. 

Army, Lehigh, and Loyola are the known names that seem to be front runners, at least talent wise. But what about Bucknell or Holy Cross who have also started the year very strong and both sit with a 4-1 record? Is 2020 the year Ryan Polley and the Boston U. Terriers finally break through? Can Joe Amplo lead Navy back to the promise land in year one? The Patriot League may truly be the conference with the most uncertainty this season. 

Conference play begins this weekend, as previously mentioned. This weekend’s Patriot League matchups include: Lafayette vs Loyola, Colgate vs Boston U., Army vs Holy Cross, and Lehigh vs Navy. 

Can UMass Finally Get Past Yale? 

The UMass Minutemen haven’t had the best start to the 2020 season, sitting with a 2-2 record and coming off a near upset against UMass Lowell on Tuesday. UMass has lost to Army in a blowout in week one and Harvard in week three. But they also hold a win over a then-ranked Ohio State team in week two. 

UMass will have the opportunity to beat another ranked opponent in No. 1 Yale on Saturday. And these two teams have a very recent history with each other, meeting three times in the past two seasons. However, Yale has squeaked out wins in each of those contest. 

Yale certainly looks to be heavy favorites entering this game after taking down Penn State last week and taking over the top spot in the rankings, but if UMass can play the Bulldogs the way they have in their past three meetings and they way they did against Ohio State this one could get interesting. This game could also be a huge confidence boost for UMass, who is much younger than they were last season. 

Games to Watch

Week four isn’t nearly as strong as week three was in the “marquee games” department, but there are still some contest that are much watch games.

Starting on Friday night, Duke-Richmond and Syracuse-Hobart are both games of interest across the country. Saturday’s slate includes some much see games with Maryland-Notre Dame, Princeton-Johns Hopkins, Penn-Penn State, and UMass-Yale. Ohio State-Cornell and Denver-North Carolina are both marquee games taking place on Sunday.

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