The 2014 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament kicks off this weekend, with Loyola, Maryland, and Hopkins all participating in the tournament.
Loyola won the Patriot League, and they were the number one team in the nation for a majority of the year, despite snagging the 3-seed in the tournament. The Hounds come into the tourney on a 15 game win streak, and they take on Albany, and many experts are pinning this as their “upset.” Both teams have electric offenses. Loyola is lead by Nikko Pontrello, who has 50 goals, and Brian Schultz, who has chipped in 36. The Great Danes have a trio of brothers- Miles, Lyle, and Ty Thompson- who lead them. This game has the potential to be one of the most thrilling games of the tournament, and you can be sure that offense will be present. The game is on ESPNU at noon tomorrow.
Maryland won the ACC regular season title, despite falling to Notre Dame in the first round of the ACC Tournament. Regardless, the Terps managed to grab the 7-seed, and they will take on Cornell for the second straight year in the first round. The Terps will rely on faceoff-man Charlie Raffa, who is one of the best in the country, to help them control possession. Cornell also has a stellar offense, led by Dan Lintner (45 goals) and Matt Donovan. The Big Red also get offensive production out of their midfielders, led by 30-goal scored Connor Buczek. The Terps should win this game if they are able to control possession and limit Cornell’s chances. The game is tomorrow at 5 on ESPNU.
Finally, Hopkins will take to the road after failing to make the tournament last year. The Blue Jays will be out for blood as they take on Virginia. UVA beat Hopkins earlier in the year, 11-10 in OT, and this game should be equally as entertaining. JHU has a huge advantage on the defensive side, and both teams have solid offenses. Matt Barrett will play a huge role in this game. UVA’s goalie has had an inconsistent year. If he plays well, the Cavs have a good chance. If not, they may be in trouble. The game is on Sunday at 1 on ESPN2.