If the season ended today, who should be the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament?
If the season ended right now, I think it would be Notre Dame, and I say that because of the amount of top 20 [RPI] wins they have. They have five top 20 wins, and no other team can measure up to that standard. Their quality wins – particularly head to head – outweigh their bad losses. They’ve beaten [No. 10]
Could Notre Dame lose in the Big East tournament and still get the No. 1 seed?
I think it all depends with North Carolina, Duke and [No. 6]
Which upset was more shocking: No. 5 Syracuse's 13-12 loss to Hobart last Tuesday or Denver's 10-9 overtime loss to Fairfield last Saturday?
To be honest with you, neither. Syracuse is a team that plays extremely balanced lacrosse, and outside of [senior midfielder] JoJo Marasco, they really don’t have a superstar on offense that can change a game. They have some really good complementary players. [Redshirt sophomore midfielder] Henry Schoonmaker has had some big games. [Junior attackman] Derek Maltz is good inside. I like their attack in terms of the way they move the ball, but if Syracuse isn’t clicking on all cylinders and struggles a bit defensively, anyone on their schedule can beat them. When they’re clicking, they can beat anyone. So they’re a team that I think has very little margin for error, and I say that because they’re not strong at the faceoff X. They’ve struggled there all season long. And when they’re not moving the ball and their offense isn’t clicking, it can be contained. When they click on all cylinders, that ball moves so fast, and they’re a hard matchup. But I think they really need to play a full-team game against anyone on their schedule. I think the defense struggled in that Hobart game. [Junior attackman] Alex Love had six goals and caused fits for the Syracuse defense, and it was a unit that didn’t play their best lacrosse. But that loss didn’t really surprise me because if you look at the rest of Syracuse’s schedule, they haven’t been blowing out anyone. They struggled against
Two conference tournaments will be decided this weekend between the ACC tournament and the Patriot League tourney. Which one is more intriguing to you?
I actually think the Patriot League is, and I say that because outside of Colgate, those three other teams have played the best lacrosse of their season to date. If you look at [No. 18] Bucknell and [No. 16] Lehigh, Lehigh beat them a couple of years ago. Bucknell has made some tweaks, and you know they’re going to give their best effort in regards to the Patriot League championship. Army’s a team with [senior attackman] Garret Thul and [sophomore attackman] John Glesener. They’re one of the best 1-2 punches in the nation. You have a great playmaker in Glesener and an unbelievable shooter in Thul. They’re a matchup nightmare for any defense. Army’s a team that – if you look at their schedule – no one is blowing them out and they’re going to be in the mix. And then you go back to Bucknell and Lehigh, and these are teams that are thinking in the backs of their minds, “I need this. I need this conference tournament championship to get into the
There are two conferences too close to call with Denver and No. 8 Loyola at 5-1 and 6-1 respectively in the Eastern College Athletic Conference and Penn State and No. 15
I really like the way Penn State has played sound defense, and their offense is starting to click. They have a good balance with [freshman attackman T.J.] Sanders finishing and [junior attackman Shane] Sturgis and [redshirt senior attackman Jack] Forster demanding attention from a playmaking standpoint. I think they’re going to be a tough matchup for anyone in their conference, and [coach Jeff] Tambroni has just done a fabulous job with their overall balance in the offense and the way they give you multiple looks and the way they move defensively. And then they’ve got [junior] Austin Kaut, who – from a talent standpoint – is probably the best goalie in the nation. I like Penn State in their conference tournament, and I like Penn State in the NCAA tournament. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they made it to the Final Four. I think they’re that good and Kaut can change a game, and you’ve seen what game-changing goaltenders have done in the month of May – from [Maryland’s] Brian Dougherty in the 1990s to [
In addition to the ACC and Patriot League tournaments, there are a number of interesting games this weekend in Notre Dame versus Syracuse, Cornell versus Princeton and Loyola vs. Johns Hopkins. Which contest stands out to you?
I’m really intrigued to see Cornell versus Princeton because Cornell is a team that is ranked high in the polls and has a couple losses, but if you look at their schedule, before the year, if someone had told to you they’d have a Virginia win, you would think that would stand pretty tall. But that hasn’t worked out to the way they envisioned it. And then you have a team like Princeton that is struggling for some quality wins. Their best win right now is beating Johns Hopkins. So I think we’re going to learn a lot about Cornell and Princeton because we don’t really have a gauge nationally of how great Cornell is. They lost to Syracuse a week-and-a-half ago, and it didn’t look like a bad loss at all, but Syracuse lost to Hobart and struggled against Georgetown. So we need to learn a lot about Cornell on Saturday, and I think Princeton has the potential to get that big win that could maybe give them a little bit of a cushion going into the
Albany's Lyle Thompson recorded four goals and seven assists in last Friday's 16-10 victory over UMBC. Has the sophomore attackman moved closer to Pannell in the race for the Tewaaraton Award?