Welcome to On the Run. Here's what you need to know about college lacrosse in the opening 2024 weekend, plus some little things that I loved. Quick and easy to read while you're on the run!
❗The HEADLINER: week 1 drama!
The storyline that stole the show this weekend.
That was one of the more entertaining opening weekends of college lacrosse in recent memory.
I was at Ridley Athletic Complex watching Loyola take down Georgetown in front of an electric crowd. I know the Hoyas were favored, but that game didn't necessarily feel like an 'upset'.
On the other hand, I am absolutely shocked that Johns Hopkins lost to Denver. The Blue Jays are in my eyes (and a lot of others) legit national title contenders, and they did not look like it today.
Perhaps I'm not giving enough credit to Denver, because they played incredibly hard and made timely plays. JJ Sillstrop was absolutely incredible. Redshirt freshman Cody Malawsky burst onto the scene with three points. Alec Stathakis is one of the top faceoff men in the nation. AJ Mercurio is a problem in transition, and raised his PLL stock a ton this weekend.
On the other side, this felt like a game Hopkins just had to have. I know it's Game One, and I still think the Blue Jays are very capable of being the last team standing in May, but it's just a disappointing start.
Perhaps equally (and probably even more surprising) was Colgate's win over Penn State. Here's the main takeaway - the Patriot League is more wide open than we thought.
I love the favorite Army as much as the next person. I think they have Final Four potential, but Loyola looked very impressive in their 18-10 win over Georgetown. This young Colgate team looks like they have something to prove.
Again, I thought Penn State played fine, but just not enough to get the win. This turnover at the end is just brutal, but what a way to score your first career goal Liam Connor.
Time winding down, having the poise to sneak in front of the net and finish with a twister is not normal for a freshman.
LIAM CONNOR FIRST CAREER GOAL. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
I also think Ty is right on point when he says Chauvette's performance isn't a surprise, because it really isn't. Anyone who has been following high school lacrosse has known this is a next-level shooter who could have a Mac O'Keefe like trajectory in college (make an impact as freshman and score a lot of goals).
I talked about how Hunter Chauvette is going to be one of the best shooters in college very soon, but I think Mercer, who burst onto the scene late last season, will take another step forward and establish himself as an elite outside shooter too.
We know about the stars of college lacrosse - who's flying under the radar?
1. Gannon Matthews (midfield - ohio state)
Matthews was one of the many transfers the Buckeyes brought in from the portal. I was unsure what his role would be, but it was cool to see he was the go to guy on Saturday. Scoring 5 goals on 10 shots (next closest on team was 5 shots), the Cleveland State transfer has a great overhand release and seems to be able to get his right hand whenever he wants. He's still scratching the surface of his potential, a scary thought.
The shifty lefty was my favorite player from this past weekend. The sophomore was the best offensive player for the Raiders on Saturday, tallying four goals and adding an assist on a fantastic skip pass on the power play. A fearless and tough dodger, he'll be on the top of the scouting report all season in the Patriot League. I'm excited to watch him play against Syracuse.