What to Watch: NCAA Week Eleven

(Photo Courtesy of Denver Athletics)

Welcome to week eleven of the college lacrosse season, Y’all!

Technically, week eleven got underway on Tuesday afternoon when Towson scored a much-needed, upset win over Hofstra. We also saw two games on Wednesday as Marquette topped St. John’s and Mount St. Mary’s beat Sacred Heart. Thursday night will see Duke and Virginia faceoff in an ACC Thursday night matchup while Friday will see a slew of games, including a Big Ten rematch between Penn State and Michigan and a non-conference battle in the Keystone State between Bucknell and Robert Morris.

Here’s a look at some storylines coming into the weekend:

Week Eleven Storylines

Craziness Continues in The CAA

Are we sure that CAA doesn’t stand for Crazy Athletic Association? Because it sure seems like it could, especially this season.

Currently, Delaware sits atop the conference with a 4-1 conference record and is coming off their first conference loss of the season against Drexel last week. On Saturday evening, the Blue Hens will be looking to rebound as they face the Hofstra Pride on the road. However, Hofstra, who is one of three teams sporting a 3-2 conference record at the moment, is coming off an upset loss against Towson on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the conference, the Towson Tigers travel to take on UMass in hopes of continuing their revenge tour to end the season. The Tigers are coming off a win over Hofstra on Tuesday in their second meeting with the Pride this season. UMass comes into Saturday after taking their second straight loss in a row last week, falling to Hofstra in a rematch. Additionally, Drexel travels to Fairfield.

With Delaware sporting a 4-1 conference record at the top and Drexel, Hofstra, and UMass all having 2-3 records in conference play while Towson sits at 2-3, this weekend could provide even more shakeup in the conference that has been the most off-the-rails this season.

Syracuse Takes Looking to Get Back on Track

Two weeks after falling to Notre Dame in the dome and recording their second consecutive loss in ACC play, the Syracuse Orange welcome the North Carolina Tar Heels to the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse comes into Saturday after beating Empire State foe UAlbany in a non-conference meeting last Thursday. In the contest, Stephen Rehfuss and Chase Scanlan combined for eight points to lead the Orange offense while Drake Porter had his best game in a few weeks, making 12 saves with a 60% save percentage.

While Syracuse comes into this contest looking for their first ACC win since beating Virginia in February, North Carolina comes into Saturday’s meeting looking to bounce back after falling to Virginia at home in their second contest of the season against the Cavaliers.

The Tar Heels are led by Chris Gray (35G/25A) and Nicky Solomon (18G/13A), among others, on offense while goalie Collin Krieg and defenseman Will Bowen highlight the Tar Heels defense. At the faceoff dot, the duo of Andrew Tyeryar and Zac Tucci will go up against the Syracuse duo of Jakob Phaup and Danny Varello, which should be a very interesting matchup that could very well dictate this contest.

Denver-Georgetown Part II

Almost a month to the day after their first meeting in Denver, the Denver Pioneers and the Georgetown Hoyas will go head-to-head in Washington, D.C. in one of the biggest Big East contests of the season.

For the home Hoyas, they will not only be looking to get revenge on the Pioneers after falling to them 13-7 last month but also looking to increase their stock. Georgetown comes into Saturday boasting an 8-1 record with their lone loss coming against Denver and coming off a three-week stretch in which they had scares against Villanova and Marquette. Unless the Hoyas win the Big East tournament and get that AQ, this contest against Denver and their season-ending game against Loyola could hold some serious weight come Selection Sunday.

Denver comes into Saturday on an eight-game win streak, not having lost since falling to North Carolina in February, and looking to sweep the season series against the Hoyas. This game also marks the fourth contest as a Pioneer for faceoff man TD Ierlan, who went under 90% (57%) against for the first time this season against Villanova last week. While Alec Sthatkis and Georgetown’s James Reilly were pretty even last outing, how the battle at the faceoff dot is handled by each squad will be very intriguing on Saturday.

Holy Cross Cancels Remainder of Season

Unfortunately, we have to end this week’s weekend preview with a negative.

On Wednesday evening, Holy Cross announced that both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams would have the remainder of their seasons cancelled due to a violation of team standards and of the College’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The Holy Cross men’s and women’s teams join the Delaware women’s team as the only three DI lacrosse programs to have their seasons halted due to violations of COVID-19 policies.

The Crusaders end their inaugural season under J.L. Reppert with a 2-4 overall record and 1-3 record in the Patriot League. They were scheduled to play Colgate this weekend and end the season at Boston U. on April 23rd. There were also reports that Holy Cross and Brown had scheduled a contest with Brown able to play local games, per the Ivy League rules.

Other Games to Watch

Bryant vs Saint Joseph’s (noon, Saturday): The Saint Joseph’s Hawks will look to stay unbeaten in conference play as they travel to Bryant, who sits in third in the NEC, on Saturday afternoon. The Hawks are riding a five-game winning streak and have won their last two games in overtime while Bryant fell to Hobart last time out and is coming off a unforseen bye week due to COVID issues.

Richmond vs Jacksonville (noon, Saturday): The Richmond Spiders welcome in the Jacksonville Dolphins for a battle for first place in the SoCon on Saturday afternoon. Richmond, who saw their game against Mercer last week get postponed due to COVID issues, has beaten conference opponents by an average of 12 goals this season. Jacksonville has looked just as strong in SoCon play and is coming off an 11-5 win over Air Force.

Rutgers vs Johns Hopkins (5pm, Saturday): The Rutgers Scarlet Knights host the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in their second meeting of the season on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights come into this contest after a 22-10 drubbing of Penn State where Connor Kirst and Kieran Mullins combined for 13 points. Johns Hopkins is riding a four-game losing streak.

Maryland vs Ohio State (5pm, Sunday): Sunday Night Lacrosse on the Big Ten Network is back with the Maryland Terrapins hosting The Ohio State Buckeyes in their second meeting of the season. Maryland comes in as the top-ranked team in the nation with an 8-0 record and coming off an 18-12 win over Michigan in which they scored 16 goals straight. Ohio State is coming off a 14-12 win over Johns Hopkins.

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