The game is tomorrow. If you don’t know what game I’m talking about, then you better ask somebody. UVA heads to the dome Friday night to take on the Orange at 6pm. The UVA seniors have only lost six games in their career together, three of them coming from the Orange. Below is a video preview of the matchup from ESPN. Moreover, Brett Hughes and Kyle Harrison have jotted down their thoughts about the 2011 season thus far.
What team has made the biggest statement so far?
Hughes: I’d say Duke (1-2), but not in a good way. What the Blue Devils are going through isn’t unheard of — I went through a little bit of this my senior year at Virginia after we won the NCAA championship. We just went cold. We had plenty of talent and a trio of amazing coaches, but our team may have gotten a bit ahead of itself. Duke looks like a team that is shocked to find out that it is hard to play with a target on its chest. What’s funny is that the Blue Devils’ stats are not horrible. They’re above 50 percent shooting, overall they have more game balls than opponents and more overall goals. But if you look a bit closer, 20 of their 30 goals came in the season-opener against Siena. Duke put up seven goals against Notre Dame (12-7 loss) in Jacksonville, Fla., and just three against Penn (7-3 loss) in Philadelphia. Zach Howell, who we all know is talented, has 10 goals and two assists — and nobody else jumps off the page at all. As good as Howell is, if he has no help, Duke won’t be a threat. That may seem harsh, but the Blue Devils are loaded with talent, so I think they just need a jolt of leadership to get back to playing the lacrosse that they have become known for.
Harrison: Ha, I’ll go the other way with it. Duke is coached too well to keep going down this path, so look for the Blue Devils to bounce back in the next few weeks and get things going. Hofstra had a big win over Princeton, Notre Dame had a big win over Duke (as did Penn), Ohio State upset North Carolina, and Syracuse and Virginia haven’t been beaten. I think Stony Brook made a statement last weekend taking UVa (without Rhamel and Shamel Bratton, I know) into overtime. In my opinion, we haven’t had any big statement games yet, but Virginia-Syracuse on Friday (ESPNU, 6 p.m. ET) will determine who is currently the best team in college lacrosse.
What’s been the most surprising result?
Hughes: See my answer above — just kidding. I would say the game that stuck out was Maryland’s drubbing of Georgetown. It showed me that the Terps are legit, but at the same time, it seems like Georgetown is falling off more and more each year. The Howas have talent coming in, but it seems to peak the first day on campus. I want to see some growth from the Hoyas over the season, or they may start to lose the recruiting battle. I think they can right the ship and I’m pulling for them to make a statement.
Harrison: The most surprising result for me thus far was definitely Duke’s loss to Penn. I know Penn has a great program and a handful of talented players as the Quakers gave us all we could handle a few years in a row at Hopkins. But I definitely didn’t see them knocking Duke off! I thought the Blue Devils would come out pissed off and ready to bounce back after the loss to Notre Dame, but that wasn’t the case. I also agree Hughey about the Georgetown-Maryland game. I watched the entire thing and thought it was going to be a fairly close game and then Grant Catalino started dropping G’s. The Terps were playing make-it/take-it for a bit there as they were dominating face-offs. I know it’s early in the season, but Maryland looked sharp. When was the last time you saw a long pole let one go low-to-high from 15 yards out? Brian Farrell is absurd in transition.