North Carolina Tar Heels at Johns Hopkins Blue Jays
4 p.m. Friday, ESPNU
No. 14 Johns Hopkins started the season right after it beat a strong Towson team in a dominant performance, but in its last game, it lost to a Loyola squad that was hungry for a victory. In their last game, the Blue Jays (1-1) started out well but fell apart in the second half as the Greyhounds outscored them 7-1. The Blue Jays have had some production from senior attackman Shack Stanwick, but he still has to score as much as he did last season. He has made only two goals, and while he has provided many assists for the Blue Jays, they are going to need help with goals from him. These same kinds of struggles are also present for No. 12 North Carolina. Although the Tar Heels are 2-0, they have gone into overtime with Furham and Lehigh, both of which they should’ve beaten easily. Both of UNC’s early games showed it had some major cracks on defense. The Tar Heels have struggled with defensive communication, and that has often led to leaving an opposing player wide open for an easy goal. UNC can easily correct many of these errors, but it won’t be able to get away with those mistakes against a strong Johns Hopkins offense. The Blue Jays and Tar Heels have made mistakes in their last couple of games, but this game could change how they’re going.
Princeton Tigers at Virginia Cavaliers
The No.6 Cavaliers have been off to a fiery start this season. Their offense has shined in their first couple of games. Many of their new additions have provided production they needed last year. Virginia (3-0) has received the most production from freshman attackman Ian Laviano. He already has nine goals this season and has shown his ability to get into the right position to get goals. He will be a crucial factor in this game as he will have to score on No. 18 Princeton’s keeper Tyler Blaisdell, who is a force to be reckoned with in goal. Princeton (1-0) has started the season well, as it won its first game against Monmouth in overtime. Sophomore attack Phillip Robertson finished the last game with a hat trick, and Princeton will need him more to put the pressure on the Virginia defense. Princeton and Virginia have been off to great starts, and each has the ability to continue this form with a victory.
Army Black Knights at Syracuse Orange
1 p.m. Saturday
No. 16 Syracuse had a rough second game this season, as the high-powered Albany offense dismantled the Orange at home. It showed the Syracuse offense is quite lacking to what it was last year. The Orange struggled to get anything going, but this is its chance to prove it can survive without key players from last year. Syracuse (1-1) needs their players such as Nate Solomon to play up to where they were last season to bring back incredible offense. No. 9 Army grabbed its first big victory of the year against a strong Rutgers team. Army has received big production from Matt Manown. Manown, a sophomore midfielder, ended the last game with a career-high five goals and added two assists. Army (3-0) needs him to step up again to make sure that it can secure a big victory on the road. Syracuse and Army still have a lot to prove for this season, and this is their game to show they can perform.