Lacrosse events in big stadiums have done wonders for the sport. It allows vendors, fans, and newbies to watch great match-ups in impressive venues and increase awareness of the competitive nature of college lacrosse.
This afternoon in MetLife Stadium, we will get to see two big games with NCAA tournament implications. In the first game, Princeton will take on Cornell in their regular-season finale before traveling to Ithaca for the conference tournament next weekend. In the second, we will see Syracuse take on Notre Dame for the top seed in the Big East tournament.
With four talented teams competing for their postseason outlook, it should be a great event with excellent television coverage. Even if you cannot make it to the Meadowlands this afternoon, take a break from the draft and watch a little lacrosse, you will certainly be impressed.
Let's take a look at the games and make some predictions:
Princeton vs. Cornell
Two of the nation's best players will take center stage at 4 o'clock as Princeton's Tom Schreiber goes up against Cornell's Rob Pannell. Schreiber is the best midfielder in the country, with Pannell being arguably the best attack-man.
There is no doubt that stopping these two players is on the top of the defenses' to-do lists, but they are not the only players to worry about. Cornell is lethal on offense with Steve Mock recording 47 points this year, while teammate Connor Buczek has 37 of his own.
Princeton also spreads the wealth on offense. The Tigers have six players with 25 points of more, with Schreiber and sophomore Mike MacDonald surpassing the 40-point mark.
These teams seem destined to meet again next weekend in the Ivy League Tournament, so this should be a great chance for a personal scouting report for each team. I think Princeton will win one of the two match-ups and will wait until their playoff lives are on the line. Cornell wins today's game 13-12.
Syracuse vs. Notre Dame
It is the end of the regular season, which means Notre Dame is just heating up. They are ranked No. 1 in the country this week and always play well in playoff scenarios. With senior goalie John Kemp in net, the Irish have confidence on defense as they head into a big game against the Syracuse Orange.
These two teams are tied for the top spot in the Big East, so the winner will take the top seed in the upcoming conference tournament. Syracuse was on a roll before losing a shocker to Hobart a few weeks back.
With that loss in the rear-view mirror, they must prove themselves by playing consistent lacrosse down the home stretch of the season.
I am still not sold that Notre Dame is more talented than Syracuse, but the Irish defense may cause problems for Jojo Marasco and the Orange offense.
Unfortunately for Notre Dame, I think they will be the next No. 1 to lose the top spot after just one week. Syracuse wins 10-7.