Warrior Weekly: College Lacrosse February Recap


WSPN’s Aiden Chitkara breaks down the biggest news from the first month of the college lacrosse season

Aiden Chitkara

The first month of this year’s college lacrosse season is in the books, and this season is shaping to feature more offense than ever. The 80 second shot clock has made for faster play and more shots. Teams with elite offenses like Penn State, Virginia and Hobart have benefited from this rule change. Only six teams went undefeated throughout February: North Carolina, Syracuse, Georgetown, Princeton, Cornell and Dartmouth. I doubt there will be more than one team that will come out of March unscathed too.

Ivy League

The Ivy league conference has never been more competitive. Currently, four Ivy league teams reside in the top 10, and each team has a legitimate shot at playing in Memorial Day weekend. The Yale Bulldogs have dominated the league, winning three of the last five Ivy League championships and finishing as the finalist in the other two seasons. The Bulldogs have translated their success to the NCAA tournament and won the national championship in 2018 as well as earning runner-up in 2019. The bulldogs return all three starting attackmen: Jackson Morrill, Matt Gaudet and Matt Brandeau. Morrill is the quarterback who learned all of his tricks from 2018 Tewerton winner, Ben Reeves. Yale also has one of the best face-off men to ever play, TD Irelan. Irelan currently has a 73% win percentage which puts him on pace to break former Denver FOGO Trevor Baptiste’s NCAA record of 70%. Yale is the favorite to win the Ivy league, but it won’t be easy with teams like Princeton, UPenn and Cornell right on their tail.

The most impressive Ivy League team, so far, has been Princeton. This year is the best Princeton team since their 1997 National Championship team. Princeton has the best player in college lacrosse: senior Michael Sowers. Sowers has been shattering records his entire career, he most recently broke the Ivy league record for points in a game (14). Sowers also holds the record for most career High School assists (402). The Tigers proved that they are more than a one trick pony with top midfielders Philip Robertson and Connor McCarthy, and strong goaltending play from Erik Peters. Princeton had their biggest win in recent memory when they traveled to Charlottesville to upset the reigning National Champions, the Virginia Cavaliers. As long as Sowers is healthy, the Tigers are contenders to win the Ivy and National Championship.

Cornell and Penn, ranked 5th and 9th in the country, also pose as great threats to take home the Ivy league. Cornell is off to a hot 4-0 start, led by former #1 recruit Jeff Teat. The Canadian has 20 points (9 goals 11 assists) through February, and is the biggest prospect in the history of the NLL (box lacrosse). Teat is paired with Massachusetts native, John Piatelli, to carry the Big Red offense. Penn is a different story. Penn is off to a slow 1-2 start, but it’s hard to blame them with their ridiculous February schedule. Penn has played the hardest schedule in college lacrosse with games against Maryland, Duke and Penn State. Penn has also been without superstar sophomore, Sam Handley, who was the only freshman to be named a first-team All-American. Handley should be back in the next couple weeks, which will give the Quakers a huge boost.


No team in the ACC has looked better than North Carolina. The Tar Heels are led by Chris Gray who transferred from Boston University after last season. Gray currently has 31 points, which ranks him 5th in the country. UNC is 5-0 and is averaging 17.8 points per game. Some have said that Carolina hasn’t been challenged so far, but the Heels have proven the haters wrong with big road wins over Johns Hopkins and Denver. UNC has played outstanding defensive, and is one of the most complete teams in the country. My only concern is if the Tar Heels have peaked too soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if their best play is still to come.

The Virginia Cavaliers are the reigning National Champions, and they returned 80% of last year’s offense. The trio of Matt Moore, Michael Kraus and Ian Laviano is an absolute nightmare for defensive coordinators. All three have the capability to take over games at will. The best teams get the best recruits, and that is exactly what happened. UVA added Canadien Payton Cormier who is a do-it-all midfielder. Cormier is a 6’2 200 pound bulldozer who comes out of the box and often gets matched up against a short stick. The freshman is third on the team in points with 18, including 10 points in his last two games. UVA has what it takes to win it all again, but it will take a full team effort to get to championship weekend.