D1 women's lacrosse preview

By: Christian Frazier

Staff Writer

For 116 NCAA Division One women's lacrosse teams, the official season begins February 8. This will mark the start of the 37th season of D1 women's lacrosse. This weekend will be jam packed with action.

Friday

Opening weekend will kick off with 11 games, four of which start at 3:00 p.m. The most notable game in this block will be a matchup between last years Big East runner-up Marquette, as they take on the Notre Dame. Notre Dame has a young midfield who can score at will and are going to be tested early on against Marquette’s defense.

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The next set of games will be played between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and will feature an experienced UC Davis team who are looking to build off of last year’s late-season success as they face a weak UMass Lowell squad and should win easily.  The Aggies of UC Davis will look to use their experience in attack to handle this game swiftly. This will be a good test for the Aggies attack before they face Michigan on Saturday.

One of four evening games will see Michigan make their 2019 season debut at 8:00 p.m. against the California Golden Bears. Michigan, who finished 7-10 last season, return a wealth of experience in their defense and midfield which could see this team have a record-setting year within the program. California returns equal talent in their defense but lacks experience in their midfield, which is comprised mostly of underclassmen. This will be an easy target for an experienced Michigan midfield to pick apart.

The Northwestern Wildcats also start their 2019 campaign at 8:00 as they face off against the Louisville Cardinals. The Wildcats look to continue their dominance from last year as they return all but three players from their 2018 squad. The Wildcats presence will be most apparent in the attack, as senior Selena Lasota returns as their leading scorer in her final season. Lasota ranked twelfth last season in the NCAA for goals scored with 70.

Saturday

The action will continue on Saturday, starting at noon. Many of the games powerhouses will be showcased as Maryland, Boston College, and defending champions James Madison are looking to start their season undefeated. If you are a fan of lacrosse these are must-see teams.

To kick off Saturday’s action, Boston College will take on cross-town rivals Boston University in a battle for Boston. The last time these two programs played each other, BC dominated the match 18-6. Live statistics will be provided by Sidearm Sports for this game.

Colorado will go toe-to-toe with Florida at noon in a rematch of last year’s second-round playoff game that Florida won 13-9. Florida returns a veteran midfield that provides quality support allowing the attackers to crank out goals. Last year their attacking trio scored a combined 164 goals. Colorado should be able to keep this game close as they return a well-rounded squad with an experienced netminder in Julia Lisella. Lisella only allowed 9.34 goals per game average and will cause problems for Florida attackers. Statistics will be provided for the game by Sidearm Sports, and there is no live broadcast for the game.

At 1:00 p.m. Navy and Virginia will face eachother for the first time since April 2017. In their 2017 matchup a young Maggie Jackson scored six goals for Virginia, winning by a score of 13-10. Jackson lead her team in assists (32), ground balls (52), and draw controls (97) during the 2018 season and will look to start strong saturday against an aging Navy team.

In a rematch of last year’s semi-final, James Madison will take on North Carolina. In last years matchup, James Madison only allowed four first half goals, the least amount of offense produced for North Carolina all season. James Madison plays a controlled but aggressive style and are not afraid to play in the face of their opponent. This style of play only allowed 213 goals en route to a national title. North Carolina relies on their attack to win games and return a duo of powerful attackers in sophomore Jamie Ortega and junior Katie Hoeg. Defensively, NC is young which is what caused them to lose last years semi-final and could be the reason they lose on Saturday.  Coverage of this game is provide by the ACC Network and will start at 3:00pm eastern.


Sunday

The Drexel Dragons will be making their first appearance under new head coach Jill Batcheller, the former head coach of Bryant University. During her tenure at Bryant, she led the Bulldogs to multiple conference titles and looks to repeat her success at Drexel. Batchellar is known for having high powered attacks and will be useful against an exciting John Hopkins team. A live video feed will start at noon eastern provided by Drexel University and can be found on the dragons athletics page.

Predictions

Stetson vs Quinnipiac - Quinnipiac 15-12

Marquette vs Louisville - Marquette 18-7

Drexel vs Johns Hopkins - Johns Hopkins 20-14

Duquesne vs Longwood - Duquesne 16-14

Winthrop vs Davidson - Winthrop 14-13 (OT)

East Carolina vs Gardner-Webb - Gardner-Webb 13-8

Cincinnati vs Kent State - Cincinnati 15-10

Saint Bonaventure vs Lafayette - Saint Bonaventure 15-9

California vs Denver - Denver 20-7

Notre Dame vs Canisius - Notre Dame 18-13

Vanderbilt vs Wagner - Vanderbilt 12-9

Ohio State vs Detroit Mercy - Ohio State 18-8

Fresno State vs Umass Lowell - Fresno State 19-7