NCAA Men's Lacrosse: Predicting Friday's Division I Match-Ups
It is almost the weekend, which means a steady stream of division I men's lacrosse as the season nears the home-stretch. With tons of upset opportunities on the horizon, the polls could look very different when they are released on Monday.
Let's take a look at the first few games of the weekend, predicting all of the action that we will see on Friday across the country.
Maryland @ Navy
Maryland is back at No. 1 in all of the major polls this week. The Terrapins are having an outstanding season, scarred by a tough loss at the hands of a hot North Carolina squad. Led by a stellar first-line midfield unit, the Terps will look to continue to play at a high level as they face in-state rival Navy.
Navy, a name familiar to those who remember the glory days earlier this century, are having a tough year. They are 3-7 so far, and have lost some nail-biters to tough opponents. The midshipmen have the ability to keep it close, but Maryland is the better team and should pull away in the fourth quarter.
Maryland wins 14-8.
Albany @ Johns Hopkins
A national TV game, this matchup will be one to watch Friday night. With Albany's Lyle Thompson leading the nation in scoring, it provides the opportunity for the Great Danes to make a statement against a talented-but-inconsistent Johns Hopkins team.
Albany is 6-3 on the year, including a big 16-15 victory over Syracuse to start the year. Since then, the competition has been rather weak, and it is about time for Albany to be tested.
Hopkins is also 6-3, featuring a terrific offense and midfielders that can create by dodging from up top. I can't wait to see Lyle Thompson show off his skills, but I do not think it will be enough to stop Dave Pietremala's team at home.
Hopkins takes this one 13-11.
High Point @ Duke
High Point is in its first year of Division-I lacrosse and has a tough task as it travels down the road to Durham.
Duke, at 8-4, has big wins on its résumé and seems to be playing great lacrosse at the moment. Blue Devils attacker Jordan Wolf is a quick offensive player who is a tough matchup for any one player. Wolf's 48 points in 2013 are impressive, and High Point will have a tough time containing he and his teammates.
Duke wins in a rout, 15-3.
Marquette @ Denver
Marquette, another first-year program, is testing itself against a tough schedule. Friday, the Golden Eagles will visit one of the most talented teams in the country as they take on coach Bill Tierney's Denver Pioneers.
The Pioneers are 7-2 this year and preparing to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament. Although Marquette has played tough in all of its games this year, Denver is just too much for the inexperienced Golden Eagles to handle. Look for Denver's Eric Law to continue his hot streak and put up a ton of points. That is, until Tierney empties the bench to preserve the energy of his top-tier players.
Denver wins big, 14-6.
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