Top Games of the Weekend:
#7 Princeton vs # 3 Rutgers:
- The Princeton Tigers are coming off the biggest win of the season thus far and will look to carry that momentum against a dangerous Rutgers team that is just 25 minutes down the road. The Princeton offense has been led by veteran leadership as well a plethora of talent with six different guys who have already registered over five goals this season.
- Rutgers came into this game undefeated after outlasting a good Stony Brook team by 1 to improve to 6-0 on the season. Rutgers was able to defeat Army earlier in the year, but the Tigers should be their toughest test so far in early march. Rutgers’ offense has been led by new faces to the team from the transfer portal like Mitch Bartolo (UPENN), Brian Cameron (UNC), Ronan Jacoby (Wesleyan).
- Key Matchup: Depth: Both teams have shown to have many options on offense. Rutgers has options all over the field in the midfield and attack and can beat you with many different weapons. Princeton’s depth has already been discussed above, but it will be interesting to see which offense can get goals from guys outside the top 6 to carry their team to victory.
#10 Ohio State vs #9 Notre Dame:
- Ohio State suffered their first defeat of the season against Cornell last weekend in a high level top 10 matchup. The road does not get much easier as they look to rebound against the always dangerous Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Ohio State was look to get back on track starting at the faceoff X where Justin Inacio was under 50% against Cornell for one of the first times in his dominant college career.
- Notre Dame is looking at a 1-2 record through their first three games and does not want another loss to drop them to 1-3 before ACC play even starts. Their schedule is one of the toughest in the country and the whole team will need this win to get back on the right foot if they want this early season slide to halt.
- Key Matchup: Jack Meyers (OSU) vs Arden Cohen (ND): Both of these guys lost their matchups last week against strong opponents and now will be looking to get back on the right track. Both are preseason all Americans and draw a ton of attention on the field. If Meyers can pump a couple in early, or Cohen can cause a few turnovers to start the game, this game can very easily be won or lost at the hands of both these men.
#5 UPenn vs Villanova:
- All three of UPenn’s games this year have been decided by two goals or less. The Quakers are scrappy and are proving to be a legitimate threat to win the Ivy League Title. Penn will only have to travel 30 minutes to take on Villanova in a game that Villanova will be looking to steal against a top-5 team.
- Villanova has quietly compiled a 3-2 record this season and is led in points by D-3 transfer Luke Keating. This game is an excellent spot for the wildcats to bolster their postseason resume with a win against UPenn.
- Key Matchup: Experience: Nova’s top 6 scorers this year are all either seniors or graduate transfers. In a big game like this, experience can be a deciding factor in a one or two goal game, so look for the grizzled veterans on Nova to not stress under pressure as they have four years of experience behind them.
#17 Syracuse vs Johns Hopkins
- Two of the winningest teams in all of college lacrosse will square off this Sunday with a lot on the line. Former Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala is now on the Syracuse sideline as the defensive coordinator. If you don’t think Coach Pietramala will be fired up to play his former team, then you have never met the man coach before.
- Both teams are in need of a big win after slow starts to the year which has seen the orange lose to Army, Virginia and Maryland and the Blue jays dropping contests to UNC, Georgetown and Virginia as well.
- Key Matchup: Coaching: This game features some of the best coaches in the sport right now. Pete Milliman had a historic playing career at D3 Powerhouse Gettysburg and brought the Cornell program up the prestigious ranks they are at now before coming over to Johns Hopkins 2 years ago. For Syracuse, this is their first season with the dynamic Duo of Gary Gait and Dave Pietramala who are two of the greatest players to ever play the game. All three of these men have loads of knowledge and bring so much
#20 Denver vs #14 Yale
- Just a few years ago this could have been a top 5 matchup but both teams have taken early season losses and are still looking to find their identity a month into the season. Yale surprisingly lost to a Penn State team that many had already written off this year, they rebounded by just squeaking by a decent UMASS in Overtime. Matt Brandau has shown to be the quarterback of this offense, leading the team in goals and assists through 3 games
- Denver let a late lead slip away against UNC in a back and forth game that was very fun to watch. Now that the Pioneers are back home, they will need this win to stay above .500. JJ Sillstrop has shown he can score from anywhere on the field as he leads the Pios with 19 goals.
- Key Matchup: A Chris Fake (Yale) vs JJ Sillstrop (Denver): Chris Fake was a second team all American as a freshman in 2018, he then backed that up with more All-American nods in the following years before Covid canceled the next year and a half for Ivy league teams. After a year off, Fake’s name has stayed relatively under the radar this early season, but he will make headlines come postseason time once he starts blanketing Tewaaraton finalists. JJ Sillstrop will most likely be covered by the elite coverman, and be tasked with doing anything he can to get separation and contribute.
Mortal Week 4 Betting Locks:
Georgetown vs Richmond: Pick Georgetown -3.5
- Georgetown just suffered their first loss of the season against Princeton and they should rebound against Richmond. Richmond has not shown enough this season to make me think they can keep this game close. They are 0-2 against top 20 teams, losing to UNC by 4 goals and Duke just last weekend by 6. The hoyas have the advantage at the X and in the goal, and are the better team overall.
Army vs Lafayette: Pick Army -4.5
- Army is on a tear this season and just beat Syracuse at the Carrier Dome by 4 goals. Lafayette has kept games close this year but has not played a team of Army’s caliber yet. Army should dominate this game on both sides of the ball and make this a blowout
Underdog Pick of the Weekend: Air Force +2.5 vs Bryant
- I’m not sold on this Bryant team this season, and Air Force is a tough team. I see this game as a 1 goal overtime type of game. If the Falcons can score a few goals in transition this game could very well fall in their laps. Take the plus points and sprinkle a little on the moneyline.