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Alecia Nicholas

Weekend One-Liners: What to Watch for in Women's Lacrosse

March 17, 2023
Beth Ann Mayer
John Strohsacker

The consensus pick for game of the year in 2022 was a no-brainer: North Carolina’s seven-goal comeback in the national semifinals against Northwestern. There were narratives aplenty, from an unlikely heroine (Sam Geiersbach) to a redemption arc for goalie Taylor Moreno.

You can read about that here if you forgot — or just want to relive that epic game at Homewood Field. But on Sunday, many of the major players will be different when No. 3 Northwestern hosts No. 1 UNC in Evanston. Geiersbach is on the sidelines, now part of the Tar Heels’ coaching staff as a graduate assistant. Moreno will be watching on ESPNU, perhaps with her Athlete’s Unlimited first-place medal she got for winning the individual title last summer.

Izzy Scane, who passionately cheered her teammates on with an iPad in hand, will be on the field this time around. A win for the Wildcats would displace the Tar Heels from the top spot they’ve held for more than a year straight. A win for UNC would only further solidify its place as the favorite to win it all once again.

Time moves slowly when you’re waiting for the game of the week. Rest assured, there are other compelling matchups to get you by.

Arizona State (1-4) at No. 19 USC (5-2), Friday, 6 p.m. (USC Live Stream)

USC is back on the West Coast after a 1-1 swing out East and will look to spurn Arizona State, the team that beat the Trojans in the Pac-12 semis.

No. 2 Syracuse (8-0) at No. 15 Duke (4-4), Saturday, 12 p.m. (ACCX)

After a heartbreakers against Clemson and Yale, Duke will have to contain an Orange offense that ranks third in Division I in goals per game (17.83) to earn its first conference win.

No. 9 Maryland (6-3) at Rutgers (4-3), Saturday, 12 p.m. (BIG+) – Maryland has Georgetown Wednesday

These two teams met in last year’s Big Ten title game but have struggled in the early going — Saturday could mark a turning point for the winner.

No. 10 Florida (5-2) at No. 8 James Madison (7-1), Saturday, 12 p.m. (ESPN+)

Let the rivalry begin.

Lehigh (6-1) at No. 12 Loyola (5-2), Saturday, 12 p.m. (ESPN+)

Lehigh’s sometimes-flashy offense must contend with a Loyola defense that has consistently ranks in the top 10 nationally (and is currently ninth at 7.80 goals allowed per game) under Jen Adams.

Upset alert: Penn State (6-2) at No. 18 Princeton (3-2), Saturday, 12 p.m. (ESPN+)

The Nittany Lions are on the cusp of the Top 20 after upending Rutgers — a win over the Tigers would speak volumes.

No. 7 Virginia (6-2) at Pitt (3-5), Saturday, 12 p.m. (ACCX)  

After a stunning overtime loss to Richmond, the Cavs have a chance to rebound at Pitt.

Cornell (5-2) at UConn (4-2), Saturday, 1 p.m. (ESPN+)

Fresh off an upset of Yale, UConn draws another Ivy League foe in Cornell.

Delaware (4-4) at No. 5 Stony Brook (4-1), Saturday, 3 p.m. (Lacrosse TV)

The Seawolves open up their inaugural CAA season with a chance to rebound after a loss to Northwestern last Friday.

Temple (5-3) at No. 19 Yale (5-2), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

The Bulldogs have already shaken up Monday’s rankings with an upset of Duke, while Temple is trying to get back in the win column after a one-goal loss to UMBC last weekend.

No. 6 Denver (8-0) vs. No. 4 Boston College (6-2), Sunday, 1 p.m. (No stream)

Unblemished Denver faces its toughest test to date in a neutral-site game in Jacksonville.

Game of the Week: No. 1 North Carolina (7-0) at No. 3 Northwestern (7-1), Sunday, 1:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Division I women’s lacrosse made like Vanessa Williams and saved this weekend’s best game for last.