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Down goes Towson. That really lasted long, and we congratulate Towson on their long lived run. All jokes aside, it was great to see Towson take down Loyola and earn the #1 spot, but now it belongs to Penn State. They happen to not play this weekend, so they should retain that spot too. Now, it’s all up to the rest of Division 1 men’s lacrosse to win some league games and get things really going in preparation for the tournament.
NCAA Division 1 Men’s Lacrosse Score Predictions: March 16
We’ve hit an awkward weekend when there aren’t as many games as usual, but some league games are happening that are very big. The Ivy League is really getting into it this weekend, and there are going to be some big statement games to win. A loss in the league can ruin your chances for an automatic bid if it sets you back in the conference tournament. Every games matters more and more as we approach the season’s end.
Duke Devours Towson
After losing an early season game to High Point, Duke has been on a monster run. Towson is living the exact opposite story. They climbed their way to the top of the pack by beating Loyola, Georgetown, and Hopkins, only to fall to Cornell. Towson’s last game cost them the #1 spot, and Duke is probably going to want to show the rest of the table what a real #1 looks like.
Towson absolutely has a great team this year, but their run to #1 was just that; a run. Duke should tack a second loss onto the Tiger resume this Saturday. Towson hadn’t given up more than 10 in their first four games and then let up a combined 31 to Jacksonville and Cornell. Duke will take advantage of them in a shootout and if Towson can’t get ahead and stay ahead, don’t expect them to be winning this one. Prediction: Duke +5 goals.
Blue Jays Blow By the Blue Hens
These blue birds are ready for a fight. If you just looked at the records, you’d be pretty confused about this one because Delaware is coming into the game with a 6-1 resume. Hopkins, on the other hand, is .500 at 3-3. Though, you can’t just look at something as silly as their records. Had Hopkins been able to hold a complete game together against Syracuse, we’d have Hopkins ranked much higher than they are now.
The Blue Hens have also had a much lighter schedule than the Blue Jays. Delawre has handled most of the teams they have played very well and not let up many goals; however, Villanova bested them by 8 in their sole loss. This one will be close if Delaware can bring a solid defensive effort, but Hopkins should go on a run in one quarter and keep the lead in the end. Prediction: Hopkins +3 goals.
Loyola Lifts Themselves Past Navy
After a 5 goal loss to Duke, Loyola is trying to bring their winning ways back. They’ve dropped to the 8/9 spot on the two major polls, but the numbers mean nothing. Navy hasn’t been able to hold it together against their best opponents. They trailed at half to Princeton and Maryland in their two losses and couldn’t climb back at all. Both losses were also made worse in the second half. Even though this is an in-state game with some emotion behind it, the Hounds should dogwalk Navy this Saturday in a rebound game. Prediction: Loyola +7 goals.
Michigan Moseys On By Marquette
Michigan actually put up a rather strong loss to Yale, despite losing by 6. Michigan shot well against Yale and lost because they didn’t possess the ball enough. While that will take down any team, if they can get the ball more against Marquette, Michigan should step away with a victory.
Marquette just bounced out of a 3 game slump with a win over RMU, but they showed plenty of signs of weakness recently. Two five-goal runs got them their win against Robert Morris, and their losses to CSU and Detroit Mercy were both caused by not being able to climb out of deficits. If the turf doesn’t tilt in Marquette’s favor, Michigan takes this one. Prediction: Michigan +3 goals.
Maryland Vanquishes Villanova
Maryland would be the #1 had they not lost to Notre Dame in overtime but it happened. There’s no way to erase the past, but Maryland is trying to pen one great future. Villanova may have had an amazing upset against Yale, but lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place very often. Maryland is too consistent to get beat by Villanova, and Notre Dame is a systematic team just like the Terps so the loss kind of explains itself. Cats are in for a rude awakening. Prediction: Maryland +6 goals.
Penn Pwns Princeton
The Quakers have been on a bit of a tear recently; their game against Villanova was a huge victory for the squad and it propelled them past St. Jo’s. Their recent success is going to be challenged against Princeton, but I like the Quakers this weekend. They’ve been a nice dark horse late in the season in some of the past few years, and this game against Princeton could be a statement win for them heading into Ivy league play.
The Tigers have been having a very unfortunate season, with 2 big wins and 3 close losses. This is never a great feeling for a program, and losses that are so close can be damaging to moral. Feeling like your just a bit short can get you to feel very complacent if it doesn’t motivate you to be great. Right now, Princeton has been on a downward slump. Sure they has a resounding win over Navy, but can they bring it together against Penn? I think not. Prediction: Penn +2 goals.
Richmond Runs All Over Furman
Richmond has put together a really great season outside of their overtime loss to Mount Saint Mary’s. Had they won that game, they’d be at 5-2 and probably in the top 20 still. They still have a great shot to put Furman down early and run away with this one.
Furman hasn’t been very exciting this year, and their only real win was against Canisius. This probably won’t end well for Furman if Richmond puts a complete game together and things don’t get chippy. Prediction: Richmond +6 goals.
Syracuse Slays Rutgers
The Orange took it to Hopkins during their last game, and the Orange look like they might be back on track. Their 1 goal lost to Virginia can’t really be held against them too much either. Cuse is still legit. If you’ve watched them play, they’re still a talented Orange team that plays hard per usual. Counting them out after they lost to Colgate was a mistake that too many people made.
Rutgers has only lost to ranked opponents this year, but Syracuse is currently in the top 20. If things stick to the current trend, Rutgers isn’t going to win this one. I don’t think that’s enough to rely on, but this one will be going Syracuse’s way. Prediction: Syracuse +3 goals.
Virginia Veers Around Notre Dame
Virginia is on a 3 game OT win streak. I’m not gonna beat against that mojo. Prediction: Virginia +1 goal.
Harvard Turns the Tables On Brown
Harvard started the year on a 3 game losing streak, and then they won 2 games in a row. Brown just won an OT game, and then lost an OT game. I’m gonna keep the OT trend going, but for Harvard’s benefit. Prediction: Harvard +1 goal.
Yale Yanks Cornell Down
Yale still hasn’t played many games, but they’ve done well in most of them so far. Their lone blunder was their opening game to Villanova, and Yale has really picked it up since. Can’t go against the Bulldogs when they’ve got such a talented roster and were firing on all cylinders against Michigan. If they get shots off against Cornell, this one could get away from the Big Red.
Even though they just took down Towson, I’m not totally sold on Cornell yet. It’ll be a very emotional game against Yale as they both begin Ivy League play, but skill wins games when emotions cloud judgement. Yale has the advantage on paper, and Cornell’s only hope is getting in Yale’s head and doing it early. Prediction: Yale +2 goals.