NCAA Preview

3/11/11 5:30 PM

NCAA Preview


A Friday night game features #12 Loyola against #15 Duke. The Loyola Greyhounds will visit the defending national champs and try to stay undefeated on the season, while the Blue Devils strive to get back into the top 10. Defense has been a strong point for Loyola with a 5.3 goals against average. They will have to get a spark on offense to compliment their solid defense. An average of 7 goals per game may not be enough to combat Dukes average of almost 10 goals per game. This could be the first win on the season for the Greyhound against a ranked opponent. Duke will look to Zach Howell and Justin Turri to create offense as the Devils look to go above .500.


Saturdays Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic kicks off with #1 ranked Syracuse against #20 Georgetown in a Big East match up. The game is set to start at 11:00 am at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD. Two Cannons draftees will look to lead their team to victory and hold on to the #1 seed. John Lade will anchor the Syracuse defense, while senior Josh Amidon leads the midfield unit with fellow seniors Jeremy Thompson and Jovan Miler. Georgetown will look to upset the Orangemen, but will have to stop attackman Tim Desko, who scored 5 goals in the exciting win over #2 Virginia. Georgetown is coming off of a one goal loss to Harvard on Tuesday and is now 2-2 on the season.


The second game of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic features #2 Virginia and the Ivy League favorite #9 Cornell. Rob Pannell of Cornell will look to pick apart the Virginia defense.

Here’s Quint Kessenich’s take from

 I asked Virginia coach Dom Starsia what a defensive focal point will be against Cornell. "How we manage the Rob Pannell matchup," he said referring to the junior attack man who averages 6.0 points per game and will be covered by Matt Lovejoy. "Do we slide or not slide? Do we press out adjacent or drop into the inside passing lanes, inviting the 14-yard step down shots?" Pannell had six assists on Wednesday in a win over Canisius. Virginia's player-of-the-year candidate Shamel Bratton has been on fire, scoring 11 goals in his last two outings. Starsia sees his star maturing, saying he's watching more film, and putting the ball on cage.


#17 ranked Johns Hopkins University will try and improve to 5-1 on the season with a win over local rival UMBC. This is the third and final game of the Face-Off Classic


Despite their geographic proximity to each other the Blue Jays and the Retrievers have only met eight times. Hopkins has won all eight matchups, including all six since the series resumed in 2005. Last year, JHU topped UMBC 16-10 at Homewood Field. A tight game through much of the third quarter, UMBC trailed 10-9 before the Blue Jays went on a 6-1 run to close out the game and seal the win.

UMBC needs to win this game to get to .500 and have a quality win against a ranked team. UMBC will have to limit the Blue Jays scoring opportunities to have a chance. Defense will be an essential aspect of the Retrievers’ game because JHU will take full advantage of UMBC’s 11.7 goals against per game and a.426 save percentage. The game can be seen on at 4pm.


Note: Rankings based on IL Nike’s poll

Players in Bold were drafted by the Boston Cannons

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