Press Release

Posted by Rachel Margolis on February 6, 2014

ESPNU Lacrosse Analysts Talk Top Storylines, Players and Teams for 2014 Season

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Network Schedule Begins Sunday, Feb. 9

ESPN college lacrosse analysts Paul Carcaterra, Mark Dixon, Ryan Flanagan and Quint Kessenich offer their thoughts on the top storylines, players and teams as the start of the 2014 season approaches. ESPNU and ESPN3’s Old Spice College Lacrosse schedule – 29 men’s games – begins Sunday, Feb. 9, pitting No. 9 Ohio State vs. No. 13 Johns Hopkins at 11:30 a.m. on ESPNU. The announcing team of Eamon McAnaney, Kessenich and Carcaterra has the call of the game.

Top Storylines
Carcaterra

  • Notre Dame and Syracuse move to the ACC, adding two top-five teams to an already SEC football-like lacrosse league.
  • Albany and its top-rated offense return the Thompson trio (two brothers and a cousin) and all but 12 percent of team scoring from last year.
  • New Division I programs in Furman, Boston University, Richmond and Monmouth.
  • Cornell – which played in Championship Weekend in 2013 – has coach Ben Deluca controversially replaced by Matt Kerwick.
  • NCAA Championship play-in games.

Dixon

  • NCAA Championship expansion – going from 16 to 18 with the play-in games featuring lowest ranked automatic qualifiers.
  • A Super-conference in the ACC with the addition of Notre Dame and Syracuse.
  • Duke repeat matching what Syracuse did in 2008 and 2009.
  • Johns Hopkins and Virginia rebound after not qualifying for the NCAA Championship in 2013.
  • The four new programs in Boston University, Furman, Monmouth and Richmond.

Flanagan

  • As athletes become bigger, faster and stronger in lacrosse, injuries are playing more of a role. Will Nicky Galasso be able to finally play for Syracuse and, if so, how does he impact team chemistry? Can Jordan Wolf stay healthy at Duke?
  • Which offense will be clicking on all cylinders this year? Duke has shown the impact chemistry can have on a team. Once they started to gel offensively last year, they never looked back. The chemistry of the Thompson trio at Albany helped the offense put up record numbers.
  • Maryland brought in a loaded freshman class and will need to lean on the young guys to have success. Will they deliver?
  • North Carolina coach Joe Breschi enters his sixth season. Will he finally crack into Championship Weekend play? His recruits are on campus and the team is loaded at attack and midfield. They have a solid young goaltender in Kieran Burke.
  • School administration has less tolerance for poor behavior by lacrosse programs than ever before. Coupled with today’s heightened media presence, too many off the field issues have been tarnishing the sport’s reputation.  It is time for team leaders across the country to hold teammates accountable for behavior on-and-off the field. Clean up the image of the sport and represent the game the right way this season.

Kessenich

  • Four new programs join the fray with Furman, Boston University, Monmouth and Richmond bringing the men’s Division I total to 67 schools.
  • Cornell releases highly-successful coach Ben DeLuca in the fall and names Matt Kerwick interim coach.
  • The ACC dominance with Syracuse and Notre Dame joining the league – the conference is loaded like the SEC in college football. ACC teams comprise six of the top seven spots in the preseason poll.
  • Rules changes instituted in 2013 sped up the game with more shots, scoring and less down time for substitutions. Referees clamped down on stalling with their modified 30-second shot clock.

Top Projected Players
Carcaterra

Lyle Thompson, Albany
Jordan Wolf, Duke
Thomas Schreiber, Princeton
Kieran McArdle, St. Johns
Wes Berg, Denver

Dixon
Thomas Schreiber, Princeton
Lyle Thompson, Albany
Jordan Wolf, Duke
Kieran McArdle, St. Johns
Joe Fletcher, Loyola

Flanagan
Lyle Thompson, Albany
Thomas Schreiber, Princeton
Jordan Wolf, Duke
Joe Sankey, North Carolina
Joe Fletcher, Loyola

Kessenich
Lyle Thompson, Albany
Tom Schreiber, Princeton
Jordan Wolf, Duke
Kieran McArdle, St. John’s
Wesley Berg, Denver

Top Projected Teams
Carcaterra

Syracuse
North Carolina
Duke
Denver
Notre Dame

Dixon
Duke
Syracuse
Denver
North Carolina
Princeton

Flanagan
Duke
Syracuse
North Carolina
Notre Dame
Virginia

Kessenich
Syracuse
North Carolina
Denver
Albany
Princeton

Teams Playing in Championship Weekend
Carcaterra

Denver
North Carolina
Syracuse
Duke

Dixon
Duke
Syracuse
North Carolina
Princeton

Flanagan
Syracuse
North Carolina
Virginia
Notre Dame

Kessenich
Syracuse and North Carolina are a step ahead of the rest and strong favorites to win the NCAA title in Baltimore over Memorial Day weekend. Close behind are the usual suspects of Duke, Denver, Virginia, Princeton and Albany.

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