College lacrosse games of the week

March 03, 2011|By Edward Lee and Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

No. 2 Virginia (4-0) vs. No. 1 Syracuse (2-0)

Friday, 6 p.m.

For Virginia: The Cavaliers have overcome early-season tests with victories over No. 5 Stony Brook and No. 17 Drexel, but face their toughest challenge when they travel north to the Carrier Dome. The offense's starting attack of juniors Steele Stanwick and Chris Bocklet and sophomore Connor English has combined for 31 goals and 15 assists, which account for 45.1 percent of the team's point totals. Virginia's 16-goal rout of the Virginia Military Institute helped senior Adam Ghitelman pass Kip Turner as the program's all-time leader in goalie wins with 41.

For Syracuse: Like the Cavaliers, the Orange has beaten a pair of ranked opponents in No. 13 Army and No. 18 Denver. Unlike Virginia, the offense has gotten diversified production as all six starters on attack and midfield have scored at least two goals and posted at least three points. The offense has been buoyed by a faceoff unit that has won 66 percent (31-for-47). Senior Jeremy Thompson has won 75 percent (15-for-20) of his faceoffs.

Outlook: The Carrier Dome has been an intimidating venue for opponents, but the Cavaliers have won their last three trips to Syracuse, last losing in 2001. Expect an explosive outburst from both sides, which have battled to one-goal outcomes in their last four meetings.

No. 2 Northwestern (3-0) at No. 5 Georgetown (0-0)

Saturday, noon

About Northwestern: Five-time national champions before Maryland dethroned them last May, the Wildcats return nine starters but graduated three key offensive cogs.

About Georgetown: The defending Big East champions graduated half of their starting lineup but return a lot of players with experience. The only question is in the goal, where the Hoyas are breaking in a new keeper.

Outlook: The Hoyas are 0-4 in the series and this is their season opener, so they may not look as sharp as the Wildcats. Northwestern still has a lot of firepower, returning more than 200 goals, and that could be a problem for a rookie starting goalie.

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