Gameday Guide: What to Watch for This Weekend in Men's Lacrosse

Arden Cohen anchors a Notre Dame defense that ranks first nationally, allowing just 5.25 goals per game. "They have the kryptonite to the rest of the ACC," ESPN analyst Paul Carcaterra says.


Welcome to the Gameday Guide.

Every weekend during the college lacrosse season, US Lacrosse Magazine staff will riff here on the juiciest matchups, trendiest topics, biggest storylines and hottest takes.

Thursday’s Duke-Syracuse thriller reaffirmed at least two things about this most unusual NCAA men’s lacrosse season.

Yes, both of those teams are as good as advertised.

And yes, this ACC race will be breathtaking.

Now onto another question: Does Notre Dame belong in the same conversation as Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse and Virginia? The ninth-ranked Fighting Irish (4-0) will make that case Saturday when they host the seventh-ranked Cavaliers (6-2)  at 12 p.m. Eastern (ESPNU).

Check out the TV listings page for all of this weekend’s games on TV and streaming platforms.

GAMES TO WATCH
All times Eastern

Day

Time

Away

Home

TV/Stream

Fri 5 p.m. High Point No. 14 Richmond ESPN+
Sat 12 p.m. No. 7 Virginia No. 9 Notre Dame ESPNU
Sat 12 p.m. No. 13 Loyola Towson LSN
Sat 1 p.m. No. 17 Ohio State Michigan BTN+
Sat 3 p.m. Villanova No. 10 Georgetown HV
Sat 3 p.m. Albany Stony Brook LSN
Sun 12 p.m. No. 2 Maryland No. 6 Rutgers ESPNU
Sun 2 p.m. No. 18 Johns Hopkins Penn State ESPNU
Sun 3 p.m. Bucknell No. 15 Navy ESPN+

Game of the Week
No. 7 Virginia at No. 9 Notre Dame

Really, it’s the game of the weekend, as it will be tough to top the show Duke and Syracuse put on in prime time Thursday. But there’s this juicy juxtaposition of Virginia’s star-studded position-less offense (14.75 goals scored per game) and Notre Dame’s top-ranked defense (5.25 goals allowed per game).

The Fighting Irish have quietly dominated their regional nonconference schedule defeating Robert Morris, Bellarmine, Marquette and Cleveland State by a combined score of 50-21.

“They have the kryptonite to the rest of the ACC,” ESPN analyst Paul Carcaterra said on this week’s episode of “Yard Sale,” referring to Notre Dame’s fearsome close defense of Arden Cohen, Jack Kielty and Kyle Thornton as well as rope-unit specialists John Hallenbeck and Jose Boyer.

This also will be the first national showcase of 2021 for a pair of U.S. U21 team standouts in goalie Liam Entenmann and attackman Pat Kavanagh. They’ve been lights out, with Entenmann stopping shots at a 70-percent clip and Kavanagh averaging more than six points per game, including his team-high 19 assists.







UPSET WATCH
No. 13 Loyola at Towson

The Tigers are 2-5, yes. But two of their losses came to ACC teams (and we’ve already covered how that league is peerless this spring) and the remaining three losses were by a combined four goals. If Towson is better than its record indicates, then it might be a good time to catch Loyola riding high on the heels of consecutive blowout wins over Lafayette and Bucknell.

BEST GAME NO ONE’S TALKING ABOUT
No. 18 Johns Hopkins at Penn State

It’s do or die for the Nittany Lions, who at 1-4 have fallen precipitously from their preseason No. 4 ranking and were surprisingly shut out for an entire quarter two weeks ago in a 13-6 loss to this same Blue Jays team that at 2-4 also has an air of desperation about it. What you’ll see on ESPNU are two talent-rich teams with their backs against the wall. A sluggish third quarter also did in Penn State last week against Michigan. In fact, in their four losses, the Nittany Lions have been outscored 17-5 in the third quarter.

MILESTONE WATCH
Kevin Corrigan, Notre Dame

Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan has led the Fighting Irish to 309 victories, one shy of former Delaware coach Bob Shillinglaw’s Division I record for most at a single school. Corrigan can tie the record if Notre Dame defeats Virginia on Saturday in its conference opener.

UNDER-THE-RADAR STARS

TJ Haley, Georgetown: Look at the national leaders for assists. Sandwiched between Michael Sowers (29) and Chris Gray (23) is a freshman attackman no one was talking about at the beginning of this season. Haley, a D.C. area native who played at nearby St. John’s College High School, has 24 assists in six games, making the most of his opportunity that came about with the injury to Dylan Watson.

Dylan Pallonetti, Stony Brook: Sometimes the grass isn’t greener. Pallonetti, a former Suffolk County high school player of the year at nearby Ward Melville (N.Y.), originally committed to UMass and then redshirted a year at Maryland. He scored six goals in his collegiate debut and has not stopped scoring since then. His 20 goals rank 12th in Division I. He has added nine assists for good measure.

Kyle Kology, Virginia: OK, he’s not under the radar now, but he was then. Cavaliers coach Lars Tiffany loves to talk up the one-time walk-on who has become the “dean of the defense.” Kology’s 16 caused turnovers rank fourth nationally.

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