By Kate Gilliam
College lacrosse season is a very exciting time for the world of lacrosse. So far, for both men’s and women’s teams, there has been a lot of excitement with some unexpected upsets, which have led to a very competitive season. In the past, some games were very predictable; this season is a whole different ball game with surprising upsets nearly every weekend!
Big NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Upsets (so far)
Hofstra vs. UNC
The Hofstra Men’s lacrosse team was down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for their first game of the season. According to insidelacrosse.com, Hofstra wasn’t voted into the Top 20 men’s teams during the preseason, whereas UNC was voted as number eight in the league. This was going to be a tough game for Hofstra. As a result Hofstra beat UNC 10-5 for one of the biggest upsets of the year. Sam Llinares, a senior on the Hofstra men’s lacrosse team scored 5 goals, and a new player for the Pride, Josh Byrne (junior), tallied four goals and two assists to bring home a huge victory for the Hofstra Pride!
Harvard vs. Duke
The Harvard and Duke men’s lacrosse teams battled it out on March 5, 2016 at Hofstra University. Prior to the season, Duke was ranked number three in the country and Harvard was ranked number sixteen. Both teams started off their seasons strong, Duke had a record of 4-1 and Harvard had a record of 3-0. Duke was predicted to win this game based last season’s play, and valuable player such as Miles Jones and Deemer Class. Although some predicted this, Duke needed to play their best to pull off a fifth win for the season. Harvard’s style of play is very fundamentally sound and they generally move the ball a lot; whereas Duke tends to score their goals off of fast breaks and quick movement.
During the game, Duke scored their first three goals off fast breaks, and quick opportunities, while Harvard scored their first three off of strong ball movement. In the end, Harvard took home the win. They did this by face-guarding
Miles Jones, a very strong player on Duke. Duke had trouble coming through without Miles Jones in an easier position which allowed Harvard to really come through. This is just another example of unexpected upsets in the first few months of the college lacrosse season!
Big NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Upsets (so far)
Elon vs. Duke
Duke and Elon competed on February 25, 2016. Elon is a fairly new program and they have not been ranked in the top 20 recently whereas Duke was ranked number five in the preseason. During the game, it was pretty back and forth. With seconds remaining the score was tied at 6-6, in fact it looked like the game was going into overtime; but with seconds left Sloane Kessler (Elon) passed the ball to Shelby Scanlin who was located by the left side of the net, who then scored the game winning goal! This was a huge upset in the women’s lacrosse world, and also a great win for the Elon Phoenix.
Boston College vs. Syracuse
Boston College and Syracuse played each other on March 19, 2016. Prior to this game, Syracuse was ranked number 2 in the country and Boston College was voted to number 15 in the country. Everyone knew this would be a great game, but with Kayla Treanor leading the Orange, Boston College had a big challenge ahead of them.
During the game, Sarah Mannelly (BC) started off strong with the first goal of the game, but after that the teams rallied back and forth until the half time mark. With around three minutes left before half, captain of Boston College Tess Chandler, got the ball right off the draw to have an unassisted goal. This got the Eagles momentum going, and they never trailed again throughout the game. Although both teams played really well, Boston College went home with a win. Zoe Ochoa had ten saves (0.556%) to contribute to the win; whereas orange goalie Allie Murray, had five saves (0.278%). Both teams played well, but overall Boston College took over the game in the second half.
A lot of people just assume who is going to win an athletic event based on ranking, or prior seasons; but what people don’t know is the amount of upsets go on during regular seasons! College lacrosse season is not coming to an end any time soon, and there will probably be more surprising upsets, so stay tuned in!