This week’s preview show is going to start with some recaps from Sunday’s and Tuesday’s games. There was some Big Ten action on Sunday that we have to talk about as well as Georgetown beating up on Loyola last night. Once we get done with those three recaps we’ll dive into previews and will talk about all of the big games being played between Friday and Saturday this weekend.

#5 Penn State – 11
#15 Michigan – 9

Through three quarters, Michigan outplayed Penn State. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was working. Michigan took a 9-6 lead with just 15 seconds left in the third quarter after Josh Zawada got left all alone on the right wing and Bryce Clay found him.  Easy step down score for Zawada.

But then the wheels came off for Michigan because Jack Traynor is an absolute freak.  His first goal of the game winning run came off a dish Kyle Aldridge just 52 seconds into the fourth quarter.  Fast break goal where Aldridge held the ball out top long enough to free Traynor up just off crease. 9-7 Michigan.

The next two Jack Traynor goals were both dished by Ethan Long on extra man opportunities.  The first was a rip from the right wing that beat Carr stick-side high with 13:21 left in the fourth quarter, top left corner, nice rip with a defender doing his best to get out to him.  9-8 Michigan.

His second consecutive extra man goal (3rd consecutive of the run) came with 6:36 left in the game, same feeder and location, this time he sent it off-stick low, bottom right, beautifully placed shot.  Tied up at 9’s.

TJ Malone was stupid selfish and decided to break up Traynor’s goal scoring party.  Jake Morin got the assist.  Forget that Malone was alone on the crease and Morin did a great job finding him.  This could have been an even better story with Traynor scoring 5 unanswered.  But alas…10-9 Penn State.

Then Traynor decided he’d score the dagger, this time a long dodge from the top middle that saw him approach the alley, but he stepped back and ripped a running jumper that beat Shane Carr high.  An absolutely filthy take.  It was his 4th goal of the quarter, 5th goal in the second half and 6th goal of the game.

Jack Fracyon was a monster in cage for Penn State making 17 saves on the day.  13 of those saves came over the course of the second and third quarters.  Without his efforts, this is a big fat L for the Nittany Lions.

Michigan won 8 of the first 12 faceoffs over the first half, but Penn State cleaned that up and went even over the course of the second half, 6 to 6, BUT IMPORTANT, they went 4 of 6 over the fourth quarter as they made their run.  They lost 10-of-24 on the day, but that 4th quarter saved their asses.  Chase Mullins was only 10 of 23 on the day, but he chose a solid time to pick up his game.

Penn State was 3 or 5 on man up opportunities to Michigan’s 0-2.  Those two Traynor man-up goals were huge juice goals for the Nittany Lions and came at terrible times for Michigan.

In the end, Michigan outplayed Penn State for 3 quarters and Traynor and company did just enough in the final quarter to eek out the win.

#4 Maryland – 11
#9 Rutgers – 8

Rutgers 16-game win streak at home was broken by Maryland on Sunday, mostly because Rutgers had a stupid hard time matching up with Maryland players off-ball.

The first three goals of the game were all dished by freshman Braden Erksa, the first coming at the 8:51 mark in the first quarter, Erksa got a step at X, came up the right side and drew a slide, found Siracusa get lost by the defense on the high crease and hit him. Siracusa did the rest.

Erksa’s second helper came with 5:03 left in the first, Erksa ended up with the ball at X, his man hung up and he waited patiently until Jack Koras got open to his left, perfect pass, easy finish.

Erksa’s third consecutive assist came with 3:56 left in the first, this time finding Zach Whittier, quick exchange, Erksa was dodging up past GLE into the 5×5 region and found Whittier cutting down from the high crease. 3-0 Maryland.

After that it was Daniel Maltz sniping a step down on a dish from Jack Brennan with 2:44 left in the first. He had just enough time and room to get everything behind it and beat Kyle Mullin.

Jack Koras would strike again, nice little two man game from X with Kyle Long that resulted in Koras’ being wide open up the right side at GLE, long hit him and Koras finished. 5-0 Maryland.

Rutgers would answer a bit, but Maryland kept their foot on the gas, taking a 10-4 lead with 7:46 left in the third quarter, another assisted goal, this time Zach Whittier finding Daniel Kelly on the crease.

Rutgers off-ball woes resulted in the Terps scoring 8 of their 11 goals off feeds with Erksa putting up 3 helpers and Koras, Spanos, Whittier, Long and Brennan all putting up a single dish.

Luke Wierman was his usual self winning 14-of-21 at the faceoff dot but only picked up 5 gbs, so credit the Maryland wings for getting in on the action and helping Wierman out. Dugenio did a good job of scrapping on the initial draw forcing all six guys to get in on the action and the Terps wings held up.

Brian Ruppel outplayed Kyle Millin in cage.  Ruppel stopped 12 of the 20 shots he faced in net for the Terps while Mullin saw a bit more action and couldn’t quite keep up stopping 12 of the 23 shots he faced.

Credit the Maryland defense for making Rutgers life difficult all over the field.  Rutgers committed 9 first half turnovers, and most of them weren’t forced, but the product of Rutgers just not quite getting in sync.  You could say they played off, but I think the Terps defense played into that a bit, winning 1v1 matchups which resulted in the Scarlet Knights taking poor care of the ball, forcing odd feeds to the crease and so on.  Rutgers took much better care of the ball in the second half, but by that point it was too late, Maryland had built a big enough lead that time ran out on Rutgers.

#9 Georgetown – 23
Loyola – 7

This was an absolute bloodbath that I didn’t see coming.  From the very beginning of this game it was clear that one team was playing fast, clean lacrosse and one team wasn’t.  The Hoyas came out rolling with transfers scoring 6 of the Hoya’s first 9 goals of the game.

The first two goals of the game were scored by Syracuse transfer Tucker Dordevic.  His first came less than 3 minutes into the game, a dodge to the middle, he got a step or two on Cam Wyers and buried it on the run.

His second was a bit more dramatic, a feed from UNC transfer Jacob Kelly that Dordevic fired off backhand past Luke Staudt about 28 seconds after his first.

After Loyola evened things up at 2 each, the Hoyas went back to work. Colgate transfer Brian Minicus juked the shit out of his defender and stuck one top left cheese from the left wing.  That goal started an eight goal run for the Hoyas.

Then Graham Bundy Jr. got jelly, said “Hey, remember me?” and deposited a rocket into the bottom left corner, had all day to step down and let this one rip.  Dished by Brian Minicus.  Now the score is 4-2 Hoyas.

Next possession, Bundy Jr. was dodging from the top middle down into the right alley when he found Minicus on the other side of the field on the right wing, hit him and Minicus beat Staudt top right this time.

Nicky Solomon was up next, scored unassisted with 4:40 left in the first quarter, a shot from deep that took an odd bounce and at this stage, Staudt was having a really bad day.  6-2 Georgetown.

At this stage, Luke Staudt got sat down for the second week in a row after giving up 6 goals to start a game.  Last week he gave up 6 goals without making a save.  Last night he had one save vs 6 goals.  Rough look for a kid that looked like one of the best keepers in the land over the first half of the season.

The ensuing faceoff, James Reilly who had a monster day at the dot won the draw forward, took it to the house and scored, 7-2 Hoyas.  What a way to welcome the new goaltender.  Win the draw and beat him within his first 5 to 7 seconds of action.

Dordevic would get another, Jordan Wray would score as well and the run would be capped by Graham Bundy Jr. just a minute and a half into the second quarter, he beat his man from the left wing, got underneath and easily scored as he approached the crease.  10-2 Georgetown and that was all she wrote.

James Reilly dominated the dot which resulted in a ton of make-it-take-it lacrosse for Gtown.  He won 16-of-22 draws, picked up 10 groundballs, scored a goal and picked up an assist.  Huge day for Reilly.

Danny Hincks got the start in cage for the Hoyas and stopped 8 of the 14 shots he faced.  Solid outing after being demoted to a backup roll for the middle stretch of this season after the Hoyas started 0-3.

I can’t stress enough how good Georgetown looked all over the field.  Offensively they played as clean and crisp as you could ask your team to play over the first half of action.  Every dodge was fast and aggressive and into open space, every pass was fired off clean and hit it’s mark.  Loyola was chasing dodgers all over the field and had no answer to any of the individual matchups.  They lost all over the field.

Defensively Georgetown was always where they needed to be making it very difficult for Loyola to get any clean shots off.  Dodgers weren’t getting steps, passes were high, low and off the mark.  It was actually hard to tell if it was Loyola playing like crap or if the Hoyas defense really was everywhere all at once.  So I’ll give Gtown credit for playing big instead of cutting Loyola down.

So after losing their first three games, the Hoyas are now on an 8-game winning streak and looking pretty damn good.  They have wins over solid teams like Princeton, Richmond, Lehigh, Denver and now Loyola.  No huge marquee wins or anything, but their 3 losses are to quality opponents and they have handled everyone they’ve taken on since then.

They finish the season with St. Johns and Villanova whereas Loyola has no choice but to make the Patriot League tournament AND WIN as their shot at an at large is probably toast at this stage.  They do have two really solid wins over Maryland and Hopkins (their first two games of the season), but they haven’t beaten a good team since then and have losses to Navy and Boston U. that don’t look great on their resume.

Listen to the audio version…

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