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

PHOTO BY RISLEY SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY


Welcome to the Gameday Guide.

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

Check out the rankings and TV listings for more.

Here we go. The Ivy League has been the story of the men's lacrosse season — two years removed from action, the conference has emerged as the best in Division I men's lacrosse. As we head into the last weekend of April, five teams are tied atop the conference, with Penn sitting just a half-game back.

You want scenarios? Click here for Matt DaSilva's rundown. We have no idea who will make it to the conference tournament, and if as many as five teams could make the NCAA tournament, but we know this weekend will be fun.

Elsewhere, the Big Ten tournament gets underway, with Ohio State battling its bitter rival to keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive. In the ACC, Notre Dame visits the Dome in a must-win game, while Duke hosts North Carolina in the same situation. We're reaching the point where seasons end with one bad result.

Maybe this is the calm before the storm that is next weekend, but don't sleep on these games.

GAMES TO WATCH
ALL TIMES EASTERN

DAY

TIME

AWAY

HOME

TV/STREAM

Fri

6 p.m.

Lehigh

Loyola

CBS Sports Network

Fri

7 p.m.

No. 2 Georgetown

Villanova

FloSports

Fri

8 p.m.

No. 16 Army

No. 19 Boston U

ESPN+

Sat

12 p.m.

No. 14 Cornell

No. 5 Princeton

ESPN+

Sat

1 p.m.

Dartmouth

No. 10 Brown

ESPN+

Sat

1 p.m.

Penn State

Johns Hopkins

BTN+

Sat

1 p.m.

Michigan

N. 8 Ohio State

BTN+

Sat

2 p.m.

No. 15 Harvard

No. 7 Yale

ESPNU

Sun

12 p.m.

No. 9 Notre Dame

Syracuse

ESPNU

Sun

5:30 p.m.

No. 17 North Carolina

No. 12 Duke

ACC Network







GAME(S) OF THE WEEK

No. 14 Cornell at No. 5 Princeton
No. 15 Harvard at No. 7 Yale
Dartmouth at No. 10 Brown

There's no way we could avoid the Ivy League, but there's also no way to pick one game over another. Each of these three games has implications for the Ivy League tournament race, and five teams have a chance to end Saturday as the top overall seed. Here are some storylines to follow for the Ivy League regular-season finale:

  • Cornell and Princeton meet with both teams coming off a loss. The Big Red has dropped back-to-back games to Army and Brown after surviving a test from Syracuse in the Dome. This team looked the part of a top 5 team just weeks ago, but now might be fighting for an NCAA stop. As for Princeton, a loss to Harvard last week took them from a shoo-in for the conference's top seed to another one fighting for its standing. Cornell and Princeton might be the most talented teams in the Ivy League, but could miss out on the tournament entirely.

  • Harvard meets Yale fresh off a season-saving victory over Princeton. The Crimson have endured an up-and-down season that includes wins over Michigan, Brown, Boston U and Princeton, but also back-to-back defeats to Cornell and Penn. Yale owns a 4-1 record at home in its series with Harvard and hasn't lost yet this season in New Haven. The Bulldogs have spent the last two weeks playing Albany and Quinnipiac, but will enter the Ivy League chaos again this weekend.

  • As for Brown, the mission is simple. The Bears are on a four-game win streak (three against top 10 teams) and face Dartmouth for a chance to make the Ivy League tournament. Brown should win this game, but Dartmouth has played opponents tough this season.

BEST GAME NO ONE’S TALKING ABOUT

No. 16 Army at No. 19 Boston U

Yes, the Terriers have clinched the Patriot League's top seed and will host the conference tournament. However, Army has plenty to fight for when they travel to Boston this weekend. The Patriot League could be a two-bid conference (pending the results of the Ivy League), and a Black Knights victory over the Terriers would go a long way in making that a reality. Army needs a response after falling to Navy in overtime last weekend, but has a victory over Cornell to help its at-large bid. Also on the surface, Brendan Nichtern going up against Timmy Ley and Vince D'Alto would be fun to watch no matter the stakes.

UPSET WATCH

Syracuse over No. 9 Notre Dame

Notre Dame heads to Syracuse to battle a team it beat by 16 goals just under a month ago. The Orangemen were not at their best in South Bend, but tend to bring an energetic effort when inside the Carrier Dome. Syracuse has played teams like Maryland, Army and Cornell tough at home, also taking down Duke on March 26. At 4-9, Syracuse will be playing its final game of 2022, so motivation won't be hard to come by. Notre Dame will likely miss the NCAA tournament with a loss, but it will face a team eager to prove the blowout in Arlotta was an outlier, and provide hope for better days in 2023.

UNDER-THE-RADAR STARS

Luke Keating, Villanova

Keating leads Villanova with 54 points on the season and sits 16th in the nation with 2.33 assists per game. He's key to the Wildcats offense and part of the reason his teammate, Matt Campbell, has had such a strong season. The transfer from Franklin & Marshall, Keating tallied 249 points in his career as a Diplomat.

Jackson Rose, St. Bonaventure

Talk about a straight shooter. Rose leads the nation with a 56.4 shot percentage, and he's picked up 31 goals to lead the Bonnies this season. He's scored big goals in almost every one of St. Bonaventure's game, and has tallied 11 goals in his last four games. He could be key the Bonnies' hopes of winning the MAAC title.

Ryan Cornell, Vermont

Vermont has won six straight games and allowed just 6.2 goals per game in that stretch, and Cornell has been the anchor to the late-season surge. Outside of a 37.5 save percentage against Binghamton last weekend, Cornell has picked up a save percentage above 68 percent in five straight games. The Catamounts might be on track to return to the NCAA tournament.

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