(Photo Courtesy of Harvard Athletics)
Welcome to week 12 of the college lacrosse season, Y’all!
Believe it or not, we have reached the final week of the regular season. By the time the Sun hits the horizon on Sunday, the regular season will have passed and the postseason will be in full focus.
Harvard & Yale Duel in Crucial Rivalry Battle
On Saturday afternoon, Harvard welcomes in arch rival Yale for the 104th all-time meeting between these two programs. And this meeting has a lot on the line as the winner will secure a berth in the Ivy League Tournament while the loser will be very likely seeing their season come to an end.
Last year’s battle between these two yielded a 17-16 overtime victory for Yale. The Bulldogs have won each of the past three meetings and six of the past seven contests. Harvard’s last win over Yale came in 2017.
Harvard comes into Saturday’s contest on a two-game losing streak, having lost to Penn 15-9 and Princeton 17-11 each of the past two weeks. The Crimson are headlined by its offense, which has averaged 12.64 goals per game this season as the 28th-best scoring offense in DI. Sam King leads the way for that unit with 51 points off 27 goals and 24 assists. On the back end, one of the more exciting players for the Crimson is SSDM Chase Yager. He has notched four points (2G/2A), grabbed 26 ground balls, and caused 13 turnovers as the leader of that rope unit this season.
Yale comes into Saturday on a four-game winning streak and off 14-6 win over UAlbany last week. Yale downed Brown 16-10, Dartmouth 21-11, and Boston U. 17-14 in the previous weeks. The Bulldogs are also headlined by their offense as they have put up 14.91 goals per game as the 10th-best scoring offense in college lacrosse. The duo of Matt Brandau (29G/23A) and Chris Lyons (46G/6A) has led the Bulldogs’ offense with 52 points apiece.
Both defenses have struggled this season with Harvard allowing 13.36 goals per game (59th in DI) while Yale has allowed 13.27 goals per game (56th in DI). A shootout on Saturday, much like last season, could be expected.
Battle For First in The Patriot League
On Friday night the Army West Point Black Knights welcome in the Boston U. Terriers for what will be a battle for the to seed in the Patriot League Tournament.
Last season, the Black Knights beat the Terriers in the regular season but Boston U. later returned the favor in the Patriot League title game.
Boston U. comes into Saturday after taking down Lehigh 14-11 last week. The Terriers topped Loyola 16-9 the week prior. The Terriers are headlined by its attack unit of Vince D’Alto (39G/20A), Louis Perfetto (25G/31A), and Timmy Ley (34G/14A). That experienced unit had helped lead the way for an offense which has averaged 14 goals per game.
Army is coming off a big 11-6 win over arch rival Navy last week. That contest saw the Black Knights’ second-ranked scoring defense (8.08 goals allowed per game) show its teeth once more. Anchored by Knox Dent in cage and led out in front by AJ Pilate, who often gets the matchup against the opposition’s best offensive player, this group has remained one of the best in the nation.
How well this Army defense handles the Boston U. offense, and that attack unit in particular, will be one of the biggest factors to watch in this matchup.
Chaos in the A10 and CAA
In the Atlantic 10, Saint Joseph’s and Richmond have locked up the top two sports in the conference tournament. Thus, UMass, High Point, and Hobart are fighting for those final two spots.
Hobart is 1-3 in league play and controls its own destiny, perhaps, the most in this final week. A win over UMass on Friday and a High Point win over Saint Joseph’s Saturday locks the Statesmen into the postseason. Also, in a tiebreaker scenario, a Hobart win by four over UMass and a High Point loss to Saint Joseph’s would give the Statesmen a path in.
As usual, the CAA is one of the craziest and most chaos-filled conferences in college lacrosse all the way up through the final weekend of the regular season.
Delaware has clinched its spot and the top seed. Drexel has also locked up a tournament spot. That leaves two sports open and there are three teams fighting for them: Towson, Hofstra, and Stony Brook.
Hofstra and Stony Brook face each other in the Long Island Rivalry on Saturday. A Hofstra win puts the Pride in the CAA Tournament with an opportunity to be slotted anywhere from No. 2 to No. 4 depending on other results. If Stony Brook wins and the Pride are out and the Seawolves are in. Towson plays Delaware in a game that will secure their slot. The Tigers also have a path in shall they lose and Stony Brook beats Hofstra.
Other Games to Watch
Georgetown vs Villanova (Fri, 7pm): The Hoyas welcome the Wildcats to DC on Friday night for what will be a big battle in the Big East with playoff implications. Both teams have clinched spots.
Marquette vs Denver (Fri., 7pm): Marquette needs a win over Denver to get into the Big East Tournament, which will be hosted in Milwaukee by the Golden Eagles. A loss and Marquette is out.
Lehigh vs Loyola (Fri, 7pm): Lehigh and Loyola go head to head on Friday night in a battle that will have postseason seeding implications in the Patriot League. Both teams have clinched spots.
Air Force vs Robert Morris (Sat., 2pm): The Falcons and Colonials meet in a rematch of last year’s ASUN title game.
Cornell vs Princeton (Sat., 3pm): The Big Red and Tigers fight for the top seed in the Ivy League.
Virginia vs Notre Dame (Sun., 2pm): The Cavaliers welcome in the Irish for a second meeting between these two top-tier squads.