March Madness may be a more recognized term, but in the world of lacrosse, the madness takes place in May. The regular season is coming to a close and teams all over the country are fighting to keep their seasons alive. Conference championships are taking place and 756sports has the Ivy League and NESCAC Previews for you:
The Ivy League Tournament:
#1 seed Cornell hosts the tournament at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, NY
Game 1: #3 Harvard vs. #2 Penn at 5pm on ESPN3.com
Penn has had one of their best seasons in recent memory are the favorite to pull off the upset against #1 Cornell. Earlier this year, they made a furious comeback to turn a 7-2 halftime deficit into an OT Thriller. Cornell managed to sneak a way with the win on a Roy Lang rip, but on their second trip down to Ithaca this year, Penn is hungry to seek revenge. Before they earn a re-match opportunity with the Big Red, they will have to get-by the pesky Harvard Crimson who on Senior Day beat a very strong Yale team to obtain a berth into the tourney. When these two teams played earlier this year, Harvard lost in double overtime to Penn 7-6. In fact, in Penn’s meetings with the Ivy league tourney members, none of them ended in regulation: Cornell 12-13 in OT, Harvard 7-6 2 OT and Yale 10-9 in 3 OT. The battle-tested Penn Quakers will use their experience in close games to sneak by Sam Steyer and the Harvard Crimson.
Game 2: #1 Cornell vs. #4 Yale
Although Yale has an impressive record this year at 10-3, it may be misleading. The Bulldogs do not have a single significant win this year and lost all the previous meetings with the Ivy League Tourney contenders. To make matters worse, the Bulldogs may have to start freshman Jack Meyer in net after Jonathan Falcone left the game last week with an apparent injury. Against Harvard, Falcone kept the Bulldogs in the game early, but once he left, the floodgates opened and seven of the next ten Crimson shots found the back of the net. If Falcone is unable to go, the Eli’s have to hope that Meyer can learn from the game experience last week and refuse to intimidated by the ferocious Cornell attack led by David Lau, Roy Lang and Tewaarton finalist Rob Pannell.
Finals Prediction: Cornell will hold serve and win yet another Ivy League title this Sunday on ESPNU. They have faced a brutal schedule, yet seem unfazed by having to face national powerhouses week in, week out. The Big Red have continued to make huge improvements over the season look for them to make an emphatic statement before they go into the NCAA tournament.