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

UNC and Maryland have met four times in the final four in the last 11 seasons. (Photo by John Strohsacker)


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.

Two wild weekends are behind us. While early February results aren’t always indicative of long-term success, teams that have fallen in the standings as a result of upset losses have shown weaknesses that need to be addressed.

Will they right the ship this weekend? Check out the weekend preview to learn more.

TEN TO WATCH
All times Eastern

Day

Time

Away

Home

TV/Stream

Sat 12 p.m. No. 14 Loyola No. 2 Florida YouTube
Sat 1 p.m. No. 5 Maryland No. 1 North Carolina ACCNX
Sat 1 p.m. No. 19 James Madison High Point ESPN+
Sat 1 p.m. Johns Hopkins No. 9 Penn ESPN+
Sat 1 p.m. No. 8 Virginia No. 11 Princeton ESPN+
Sat 1 p.m. Lehigh Vanderbilt  
Sat 8 p.m. No. 7 Syracuse No. 6 Northwestern BTN Plus
Sun 12 p.m. No. 20 Colorado No. 13 Michigan BTN Plus
Sun 1 p.m. Cornell Penn State BTN Plus
Sun 3 p.m. Ohio State No. 3 Notre Dame ACCNX

[TV/Live Stream Listings]

[Nike/USL Division I Women’s Top 20]

GAME OF THE WEEK
NO. 5 MARYLAND AT NO. 1 NORTH CAROLINA​

This one’s a no-brainer and has potential to be one of the top games of the year. Two perennial championship weekend contenders come into Saturday with vastly different experiences thus far in 2020.

Maryland is fresh off a loss to Florida, and the young Terps are finding their footing. Meanwhile, North Carolina has yet to be bitten by a lower-ranked team — unlike the rest of the preseason top five.

This rivalry is intense. These teams have met four times in the final four in the last 11 seasons, have traded overtime victories the last two years and have championship aspirations. Don’t miss it.

UPSET WATCH
NO. 14 LOYOLA AT NO. 2 FLORIDA​

On Feb. 23 of last year, Loyola topped Florida in Baltimore, 15-12. Almost exactly one year later, could the Greyhounds win again?

Outside of last year, Florida has won every other meeting between these teams. And the Gators are riding the high of an upset win over Maryland last weekend. But Florida has yet to win a game decisively.

That creates an opportunity for a Loyola team with a top-tier star in Livy Rosenzweig to head to Gainsville and steal a victory.

BEST GAME NO ONE’S TALKING ABOUT
NO. 8 VIRGINIA AT NO. 11 PRINCETON​

Two teams with relatively few offseason headlines enter Saturday looking to shake up the latter portion of the top 10. These teams have split the previous four meetings, but UVA has claimed the last two.

Last year, the Cavs scored the final five goals to win, 14-9. These rosters are similar to those from last spring. Buckle up for a fun one.







MILESTONE WATCH
Kelly Amonte Hiller’s 300th Win

No. 6 Northwestern and No. 7 Syracuse play in Evanston at 8 p.m. Saturday night, and Northwestern’s Kelly Amonte Hiller needs just one win to become the eighth Division I women’s lacrosse coach to reach 300.

DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE
WHO WILL WIN A POTENTIAL LOW-SCORING AFFAIR BETWEEN NO. 20 COLORADO AND NO. 13 MICHIGAN?

Michigan allows nine goals per game. Colorado allows 11 per game. This should be a defensive battle between two very sturdy, reliable units. The prevailing question: Who will score enough to win?

UNDER-THE-RADAR STARS

Samantha Lynch, Notre Dame: The grad student from Long Island has scored eight goals on nine shots on a Notre Dame team that is suddenly a national championship contender. Yes, it’s early, but this offense has several high-level talents.

Sam Swart, Syracuse: A consistent 30-plus-goal threat, Swart has five goals and six assists during Syracuse’s 3-1 start. Swart uses her speed to penetrate defenses and get things going in transition.

Catie May, Maryland: She totaled 13 goals and 14 assists in 11 starts (23 games) in 2019, but now she’s in a more prevalent role. She already has six goals and an assist and figures to get more comfortable as the season progresses.

Small School Games to Watch

Division II: No. 1 Adelphi at No. 8 Rollins
How will defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Adelphi respond to Thursday night’s loss at No. 14 Florida Southern? The Panthers were held scoreless for the first 47 minutes of the game as FSC built an 8-0 lead and posted the 8-4 victory. Thursday’s game was arguably the easier of Adelphi’s two-game slate in the Sunshine State, which concludes Sunday with a visit to No. 8 Rollins. The Tars are 3-0 on the young season and have yet to be tested while averaging over 18 goals per game. — Paul Ohanian

Division III: No. 11 Catholic at No. 3 Salisbury
Coming off a school-record 17 wins last season, the Cardinals open the 2020 campaign with a chance to post an early statement win at No. 3 Salisbury. The 1-0 Sea Gulls, national runners-up in 2019, opened the new year with a decisive 14-2 win at Stevenson last week. Saturday’s matchup starts a daunting slate for both teams, with Salisbury scheduled to play 10 games against preseason top 20 opponents and Catholic facing seven ranked foes. — Paul Ohanian

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Follow @USLacrosseMag on Twitter and Instagram for highlights, results and stories from across the college lacrosse landscape, and check back to USLaxMagazine.com for a gameday roundup. Enjoy the games!

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