(Photo Courtesy of Cornell Athletics)
Welcome to week six of the 2020 NCAA lacrosse season, y’all.
This weekend will see multiple marquee non-conference matchups, including Maryland-Virginia, Rutgers-Syracuse, North Carolina-Georgetown, and Ohio State-Denver. Week six also marks the opening of conference play for the Ivy League, SoCon, NEC, MAAC, and America East.
Week six technically got underway on Tuesday night, where we saw Ohio State outlast Notre Dame, North Carolina escape Bryant, and more. Wednesday and Friday will also see multiple games, as well, as Michigan and Marquee faceoff on Wednesday and High Point and VMI will play on Friday.
How Many Will Stay Undefeated
Coming into week six, five teams remain undefeated (Georgetown, North Carolina, Cornell, Princeton, and Syracuse). But with North Carolina and Georgetown facing each other, there will only be four teams, at the most, undefeated coming out of week six.
Cornell, Princeton, and Syracuse’s unbeaten streaks could be in jeopardy this weekend, as well. Cornell will face Yale in a huge matchup to get Ivy League play underway. Princeton will face a talented Penn team in their Ivy League opener. Syracuse will go on the road and face Rutgers on Saturday.
No matter the caliber of opponent, each undefeated teams’ win streak is in jeopardy with how much parity has been going around in college lacrosse this season. Anything can happen.
The Second Season Begins
For many teams, this weekend marks the opening of conference play, which is referred to by many as the second season. This is the time of the year where you can put the woes of February and early March behind you, focus on your conference, and push for a spot in the postseason.
The first weekend of conference play for the America East will see Stony Brook face Hartford, Vermont face UMBC, and UMass Lowell face UAlbany. The MAAC will see Canisius face Manhattan, Siena face Monmouth, and Marist face St. John’s.
In the opening weekend of NEC play, all 10 teams will be facing conference opponents. Sacred Heart will face Mount St. Mary’s, Bryant will face Saint Joseph’s, NJIT and LIU will face each other, Wagner will face Merrimack, and Robert Morris will face Hobart.
SoCon play will start with High Point and VMI facing each other on Friday. Mercer-Jacksonville, Furman-Air Force, and Bellarmine-Richmond will be the first Saturday conference matchups of the year.
Perhaps the biggest conference opening weekend is in the Ivy League, where No. 2 Cornell will face No. 4 Yale and No. 3 Princeton will take on No. 16 Penn. Harvard will also face Brown in the first weekend of Ivy League play, as well.
As Y’all have heard, the Coronavirus is in the United States and many schools, colleges, and universities have pressure on them to try and stop the spread of the virus and keep their students and faculty safe. But that could in turn impact the college lacrosse season.
In DIII, NESCAC has already suspended league play and Tufts, and Middlebury have suspended spring sports all together. The Ivy League has cancelled their men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and put restrictions on spectators at sporting events. Also, multiple schools, including Harvard and Cornell have told students to go home or not come back after spring break and will complete the rest of the spring semester online.
At the time of writing this, no DI school or conference has cancelled either their lacrosse season or spring sports’ seasons. But that could change as the weekend approaches, and any decision of the sorts will likely impact college lacrosse.
Update: the Ivy League has cancelled all spring sports, thus ending the season for all seven men’s lacrosse teams.
Other Games to Watch
Saturday, March 14th
Navy vs Johns Hopkins – 12pm
Army vs Lehigh – 12pm
UMass vs Utah – 1pm
Loyola vs Bucknell – 3:30pm
Sunday, March 15th
Ohio State vs Denver – 12pm
Notre Dame vs Michigan – 4pm