It's Friday, which means we are about to be hit with a ton of college lacrosse action. Heading down the home stretch of the regular season, this week provides great rivalries and must-win games for teams in the tournament hunt.
Here is a quick preview and score prediction for every game we will see on Saturday and Sunday:
Colgate @ Lehigh
Two talented Patriot League teams meet in a must-win for both squads. With Bucknell playing well, both of these teams need to keep pace down the stretch. Peter Baum is one of the most talented players in the country for Colgate, and will be too much for the Lehigh defense.
Colgate takes it, 9-7.
Jacksonville @ VMI
Two teams that have struggled for years will look to get an elusive win in this matchup. VMI should probably not be playing against Division I competition, and it seems that they are clearly the worst team in the nation. Jacksonville may not be far ahead of them, but they have enough talent to surely win this game.
Jacksonville wins, 10-3.
Bucknell @ Army
Will Army upset Bucknell?
Another big Patriot League match-up Saturday as Garrett Thul and Army host Bucknell. Bucknell was in the Top-10 two weeks ago, but a bad loss to Penn State had them drop dramatically. Army is playing better lacrosse, and an improved offense will lead them to the win against the Bison.
Black Knights win at home, 13-12.
Michigan @ Delaware
Michigan, a first year program, has played tough in all of their games this year. They certainly have talent, and Delaware is struggling. I'm going to go out on a limb and call a big upset win for the Wolverines.
Michigan in a stunner, 10-9.
Hobart @ Ohio State
Hobart will make the trip to Columbus to take on an incredibly talented Ohio State squad. The Buckeyes have already beaten UVA this year, and look to keep pace in a tough ECAC conference. This is a must win for OSU, and they will get the W.
Buckeyes win, 11-5.
Mount St. Mary's @ Quinnipiac
This is a tough one to call. Neither team is that good, but neither is that bad. Unfortunately, neither team is making much noise as far as a tournament run goes, so the effort might not be there this weekend. Mount St. Mary's should score a lot of goals, so look for them to win this one.
"The Mount" wins, 11-9.
Manhattan @ Detroit
Manhattan will face Detroit in a battle between two teams desperate for a win. Having seen Manhattan in person this year, I think their goaltending and defense should be enough to win this one on the road.
Manhattan prevails, 13-6.
UMass @ Towson
Towson has played a lot of teams tough this year, but unfortunately for them, have come out on the losing end of quite a few. UMass started the year well, but have since proven to be pretenders as far as tournament contention is concerned. This could be an overtime game.
UMass wins, 13-12.
Holy Cross @ Lafayette
If not for a really good Patriot League this year, Holy Cross could have a much better record. They are an under-respected team who has the ability to pull off the upset. This program is definitely headed in the right direction, while Lafayette has struggled this year. Look for Tanner Powers and the Holy Cross defense to stymie the Leopards.
Holy Cross wins, 9-3.
Hofstra @ St. Joseph's
Hofstra has been inconsistent at best this year. They were a Top-10 team before suffering losses that clearly showed they were not who we thought they were. Regardless, this trip to Philadelphia should be a nice opportunity for Seth Tierney's team to get a win away from home.
Hofstra wins, 11-4.
Sacred Heart @ Wagner
Both teams enter this game at 1-8, and both believe that this is a game that they can win. It is not often that these teams have felt that way. For this one, I'm going with home-field advantage.
Wagner wins, 6-4.
Cornell @ Harvard
Harvard played Duke tough, but has struggled against strong competition this year. Cornell is rolling, and would be the top team in the nation if it were not for a fluke loss to Bucknell. Rob Pannell and Steve Mock are dangerous on offense and should have no trouble putting away the Crimson early.
Cornell wins to stay atop the Ivy, 17-7.
Drexel @ Penn State
This could be one of the best games this weekend. These are two very talented teams that very few people talk about. Penn State had a huge win over Bucknell a few weeks back, and have crawled back into the rankings. Drexel is also ranked, and a win here would be huge for either program.
Drexel wins a close one on the road, 13-12.
Vermont @ UMBC
Vermont will have a tough time as they hit the road for Baltimore this weekend. UMBC is never a true contender, but you know that the roster is packed with Baltimore-area talent that can run with anyone. The Terriers have lost some close games this year, but should win this one easily.
Terriers win, 12-4.
Siena @ Canisius
Canisius, at 1-7, is desperate for a win. Siena has three wins this season, and have proven they can score goals. This one won't necessarily be exciting, but should be a hard fought battle between two teams who look to rebuild for the future.
Siena will out-score Canisius, 12-9.
Georgetown @ St. John's
Keenan McCardle is a legitimate threat to win Player of the Year for St. John's. He lead the Red Storm to an upset win over Notre Dame, and should have no trouble against a Georgetown defense that could not stop Villanova earlier this week. Georgetown may be looking to hire another new head coach soon.
St John's wins at home, 14-10.
Robert Morris @ Bryant
Robert Morris is 5-4 and enjoying a winning season for a program that has seen success rarely at the Division I level. Bryant only has two wins, and will not match up to Robert Morris' intensity as they look to stay above .500 on the year.
Robert Morris wins a low scoring game, 6-3.
Air Force @ Mercer
Air Force is a tough team that has fought hard in their games and lost some nail-biters to quality opponents. Mercer is not that talented, and certainly cannot match-up in this one. Air Force should cruise, or should I say fly, to a big victory here.
Air Force wins, 14-3.
Dartmouth @ Yale
Dartmouth has tested itself against tough competition this year, and has not looked good doing it. They have struggled to put up points and, along with Harvard, have been easy prey for the contenders in the Ivy League. Brandon Mangan and the Yale offense will shine.
Bulldogs win, 15-7.
Fairfield @ Loyola
Loyola may not be the front-runner for the national championship right now, but they will crush Fairfield on Saturday. Loyola's schedule has been weak, so perhaps they began with a slow start but do not let that fool you.
Loyola wins easily, 13-5.
Penn @ Brown
After losing in OT to Yale last week, the match-up with Brown is a must-win for the Penn Quakers. Maxx Meyer is one of the best defenders in the nation, but he and his teammates will have trouble stopping Henry Blynn and a goal-happy Brown offense. Brown looked vulnerable against Princeton last week, but have proven that they can play tough against anyone.
Penn wins a tight one, 9-8.
North Carolina @ Virginia
UNC is firing on all cylinders right now, while UVA finds themselves on the outside of the brackets looking in. After losing their senior captain, Virginia has been reeling. UNC would like to win the ACC crown, and must win this one to keep pace with Maryland. Davey Emala and Jimmy Bitter go wild in this one.
UNC beats UVA, 14-10.
Binghamton @ Stony Brook
Stony Brook has fallen off since the glory days of two years ago. These rivals will face-off as both look forward to 2014. Stony Brook is talented and plays well at home.
Stony Brook wins, 9-7.
Syracuse @ Princeton
In one of the biggest games of the weekend, two top-ten teams will duke in out in search of a quality win for their resume. Princeton is led by all-american Tom Schreiber, a match-up nightmare, who can create off the dodge better than anyone in the country. Syracuse will bring a talented offense led by Jojo Morasco as they look to put up points against an inexperienced Princeton defense.
If Matt O'Conner can make some saves for Princeton, and Justin Murphy can win face-offs, then Princeton's talent will prevail.
Tigers win at home, 15-12.
Rutgers @ Villanova
The Wildcats are a much better team than their three win record right now. They have an aggressive defense, senior leadership on offense, and the best freshman you have never heard of. Rookie John Kluh may be a small guy on the field, but he plays big. With three goals and an assist against Georgetown on Wednesday, he is growing right before our eyes. He will have a big day against the Rutgers defense, and Villanova should take this one.
Wildcats win, 12-7.
Notre Dame @ Providence
Who will win the Syracuse-Princeton game?
Providence is much improved and had a great early-season record. They can score goals and play tough defense, but Notre Dame poses a problem for the Friars. Notre Dame's defense is top-notch, and after losing to St. John's, they should not have let guard down at all. Notre Dame will stop the Providence offense, this one might not be close.
Notre Dame takes this one, 14-6.
Hartford @ Albany
Albany will have played a big game against Hopkins Friday night before heading back to the field at home against Hartford. Depending on the fatigue factor, this could be a tight one for three quarters. In the end, Lyle Thompson dominates for Albany and guides them to the win.
Albany wins, 13-8.
Bellarmine @ Denver:
Bellarmine has one of the most talented goalkeepers in the country in Dillon Ward, but even he will have trouble with Eric Law and the rest of the Denver offense. Denver is too quick for almost anyone to match-up with, and Bellarmine certainly does not have the defensive presence to stop them.
Denver wins big, 15-6.