It’s January so that means time to get buckled in and ready for NCAA lacrosse. I wanted to give you my predictions for top 5 teams to keep and eye on.
Denver Pioneers- Obviously after that great championship run last May, you have to believe that Coach Tierney has his sights set on another one this year. One of the keys to this is returning face off man, Trevor Baptiste. As we all know possession equals goals. Also with a powerhouse like Cannizzaro returning you can’t question this offense. Cannizzaro had a 90 point season last year and we can only expect more out of him. At the midfield you have Zach Miller who was third on the team in goals and first in assists. The defense is returning multiples players but the question is at goal. Who will step in?
Maryland- After a little bit of a drought in the NCAA tournament the Terps came on strong last season. Returning top scorer Matt Rambo will be looking lead them back to championship weekend. Two questionable areas for the Terps this season are at the X and between the pipes. Coach Tillman is a great recruiter and I’m sure has depth on his roster. One person I’m sure the Terps are happy to have again is Isaiah Davis-Allen who has been a vital part of the transition game playing as a short stick D-middie. He has fast footwork and gobbles up ground balls.
Duke- You can’t talk about NCAA lacrosse and not mention the Blue Devils. Coming off of a season that I’m sure was a disappointment to them, Coach Danowski will be ready to get rolling this spring. If Myles Jones can have another monster season this year then there is no reason we won’t see them back in the Final Four. Danowski is a players coach and knows how to make sure a team over comes any early season slumps. This roster with names like Deemer Class, Case Matheis, and Jake Seau is just so full of talent no way to count them out.
Notre Dame- Some would say the west was won last year with Denver. But I’m sure Coach Corrigan of the Fighting Irish will tell you the west has been strong for years. You can never talk “May lacrosse” with out Notre Dame in the mix. Matt Kavanaugh is one of the scrappiest players in the sport. Sergio Perkovic has such a crazy outside shot that not too many can stop it. Matt Landis can take your top attackman out of a game. This is another roster chalked full of talent ready to show the doubters.
Johns Hopkins- The Blue Jays are coming off of a season where they rallied after a tough emotional blow early in the season, to make a run to the NCAAs. Coach Peitramala is one of the best in the business and will be looking to pick up right where he left off. Brown, Stanwick and Reed are just a few names ready to roll this spring. The Blue Jays always have a tough defense and will be looking to take home the prize this season after falling a little short last year.
Other teams to lookout for are Syracuse, Bryant, Penn State, Princeton, Ohio, UNC and Cornell. With so many talented players, spring can’t get here soon enough!