Men's Weekend Watch: Crown Lacrosse Classic Features Three Top 6 Teams

No. 1 Towson will meet No. 2 Cornell on Sunday at the Crown Lacrosse Classic in Charlotte, N.C.


Peter Milliman isn’t ready to call this a season-defining weekend — it’s still early March, after all — but there’s no denying the importance of No. 2 Cornell’s upcoming trip to Charlotte, N.C.

Milliman, promoted to head coach of the Big Red after winning an Ivy League championship with interim status last spring, knows that the Crown Lacrosse Classic this weekend brings along two of the best teams his squad will see in the regular season.

Tonight at 8 p.m., it’s a date with No. 6 Penn State. Sunday at 1 p.m., it’s No. 1 Towson in a 1-2 matchup that was a home run for organizers of the event.

“It’s certainly a great opportunity for us to experience something like this,” Milliman said. “We’re just trying to focus ourselves on making one play at a time. It’s just a good opportunity for us to be challenged.”

CROWN LACROSSE CLASSIC
WHEN: FRIDAY, MARCH 8 AND SUNDAY, MARCH 10
WHO: No. 1 TOWSON, NO. 2 CORNELL, NO. 6 PENN STATE, JACKSONVILLE
WATCH: Crown Lacrosse YouTube

A 17-16 win over Albany has Cornell at 3-0 with a Penn State team on the horizon that scores among the nation’s best. Grant Ament is first nationally with 29 assists, while Mac O’Keefe ranks third with 22 goals. Outside of Gerard Arceri’s 4-for-23 performance at the faceoff X against Yale’s TD Ierlan, he’s won 56 of 80 faceoffs.

Patrick Karey, Dom Doria and Fleet Wallace will have their hands full shutting down this juggernaut, and Milliman said they’re focusing on not “overplaying one player.”

“They have an excellent group of players that play good team lacrosse,” he said. “They’re certainly going to be a big challenge for us.”

If both Cornell and Towson win Friday (Towson plays Jacksonville), that sets up a matchup between two undefeated teams. Towson ranks in the top 10 in scoring offense and scoring defense, a testament to its well-rounded start to the season that includes wins over three ranked opponents in four games.

Milliman said much of his scouting of Towson will occur Friday night with Cornell focusing on Towson’s strengths on Saturday to prepare for the game. Again, it’s another litmus test for the Big Red.

“For sure, this is going to be a test for us,” he said. “Not just the individual games, but the totality of playing two top teams this weekend.”







Other games to watch this weekend include:

  • No. 14 Johns Hopkins at No. 19 Syracuse
    Saturday, 1 p.m., ACC Network

    Johns Hopkins’ rigorous season-opening schedule gets no easier at Syracuse, which is fresh off a 15-14 overtime loss to Virginia. The key here is how the Blue Jays defense (14.25 goals allowed per game) can respond to a Syracuse team with respectable firepower. Bradley Voigt (10 goals) and Brendan Curry (seven goals) have done the heavy lifting, and Jacob Buttermore is coming off a hat trick against Virginia. Most impressive is that Buttermore has an .857 shooting percentage. Owen Colwell, Jack Rapine and Patrick Foley will have to channel shots in front of Ryan Darby, who has made 46 saves in the Blue Jays’ 2-2 start.

  • No. 10 Denver vs. No. 8 Notre Dame
    Saturday, 10 p.m.

    These teams meet in the Pacific Coast Shootout in a rematch of 2014’s inaugural event, which Denver won 10-7. Denver has won seven of the last eight meetings, starting with that game. Austin French tallied a career-high five assists, and Ethan Walker ripped his 100th career goal in a win over North Carolina last weekend, so the Pioneers are riding high. Denver’s defense also ranks first in the country, allowing just 7.6 goals per game. Notre Dame counters with one of the best offenses Denver has seen thus far. Brendan Gleason and Bryan Costabile each have eight goals, and Brian Willetts (seven goals) and Connor Morin (six goals) have been steady contributors. This quartet on offense poses major problems for Denver.

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

5:30 p.m.

Jacksonville vs. No. 1 Towson (Crown Lacrosse YouTube)

7:30 p.m.

Penn at No. 13 Villanova (Lax Sports Network)
Marist at No. 16 North Carolina (ACC Network Extra)

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

11.a.m.

UMBC at No. 11 High Point (ESPN+)

12 p.m.

No. 7 Ohio State at Hofstra (Lax Sports Network)
VMI at No. 15 Richmond (ESPN+)
Lafayette at Navy (Stadium)

1 p.m.

No. 5 Maryland at UAlbany (AmericaEast.tv)
No. 17 Army at Lehigh (Patriot League Network)
Princeton at No. 18 Rutgers (BTN Plus)
Boston University at Colgate (Patriot League Network)

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

12 p.m.

No. 13 Villanova vs. Drexel (Lax Sports Network)

1 p.m.

Michigan at No. 3 Yale (YouTube)
Brown at No. 12 Virginia (ACC Network)

3:30 p.m.

Jacksonville vs. No. 6 Penn State (Crown Lacrosse YouTube)

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