Before I get into the preview of the four games, a side note.
We’ll give a separate review of the Bracket Challenge but I want to note that NO ONE picked Oxbridge and a lot of the brackets had SA going all the way . . . Michigan State on steroids . . . and if you go strictly with my first thought I did not pick Oxbridge either.
First, a recap of the games I picked:
“Logic tells us that CM is more ready for the playoffs but while the home field should make some difference I have to go with Cardinal Mooney getting past Bishop Verot by about 3-4 goals.”
Cardinal Mooney with the comfortable win 12-4
“I just don’t see how GC makes up the difference this year; BC to win by 5-6 goals.”
Right winner but a lot closer as BC wins 12-11
“There’s nothing I can see in the results that makes me think Viera can fully turn the first result around although it likely will be closer this time around. MCC over Viera by 4-5 goals”
Actually it was a lot worse this time . . . MCC 21-7
“But the Benjamin team I saw against Jupiter is a team that Jensen will not be able to beat. Teams that can get to double digits are very difficult for Jensen and I don’t see Benjamin not getting to 10 goals. The game will be closer but Benjamin will win this one by 4-6 goals.”
Benjamin’s defense really shut JB down with the final being 15-5
“I think that the way this plays out will depend a lot on where we are in the first 4 minutes of the third period. SA has handled Oxbridge easily the last three meetings, including last year’s Sweet 16 match where SA jumped out early and broke OA’s spirit. Belief will go a long way and that will be known at that point. If SA has jumped to a 4-5 goal lead by then I don’t think they have the firepower to pull SA back in but if we are in a one goal game at that point this game might well be epic.
I have to go with SA on this one by about 4-5 goals but it could also mimic previous results if SA jumps out in front early. But a one goal game late might actually favor Oxbridge.”
Not really sure how to grade this one. “F” for the team, “A” for the winning scenario for Oxbridge.
“Stoneman will be competitive but I see STA pulling away in the second half and I see STA winning by about 6 goals.”
Pretty much exactly as thought.
“I just don’t see Cypress being able to turn this around and look to Belen to win this matchup going away.”
The 10-2 Belen win is pretty much as expected.
“But tomorrow Gulliver will win by double digits even if the first team is sitting on the sidelines the whole second half.”
Gulliver 18-2, nothing needs to be said.
This Week’s Matchups
Right now we are scheduled for two games today and two games tomorrow
Barron Collier versus Cardinal Mooney
Barron Collier hosts Cardinal Mooney at 5:00pm today. (LaxPower has it as a CM home game but the FHSAA web site lists BC as the host)
They met in the regular season and Barron was able to pull out the 12-10 road win.
Frankly it seems to be a similar game to the BC-Gulf Coast game but sometimes playoffs have a way of playing with predictions but I have to go with Barron Collier as the home team in this one, with BC winning by 4-5 goals as the home field advantage makes a difference.
#20 Belen Jesuit versus #13 Gulliver Prep
Belen Jesuit hosts Gulliver at 4:30pm today.
In the regular season Gulliver won this game at Belen 12-9, later in the season.
Neither of these teams has a lot of FHSAA playoff experience on their squads so there’s no real difference there.
When they met Belen was healthier but for the most part everyone is ready to go in the one.
Belen has had a terrific season to date but the ability of Gulliver to already win at Belen this year takes away a big possibility of home field advantage so I am going with Gulliver to pull out a narrow win in the rematch.
#10 Benjamin versus Melbourne Central Catholic
Both teams won road games in the first round and MCC will host on Wednesday at 7:00pm
Right now Benjamin is playing better than their final #10 ranking and MCC is also playing at a higher level
Unfortunately for MCC they are running into a team they will have trouble matching up with and a big step up from even an Oak Hall team they were able to defeat earlier.
In this one I see Benjamin playing a similar game to last night and pulling away from MCC comfortably as MCC’s terrific season comes to an end.
#2 St. Thomas Aquinas versus #4 Oxbridge
One of the two Top 10 matchups of the second round finds STA hosting Oxbridge Wednesday at 7:00pm
They met early in the regular season as STA pulled away in the fourth quarter at home for the 15-8 win.
One thing is Oxbridge’s favor in the rematch is that they already have played on the STA field this season; I also think Oxbridge caught a break with the extra day, which I think helps them more than STA, but that is not a deciding factor at all.
Anyone who thinks this is going to play out in another STA 7-goal win is kidding themselves.
I have no real feel either way on this one and wouldn’t be surprised to see a multiple OT game.
Another factor is going to be a tough decision for Coach Ross as both goalies are healthy and which one do you play?
No matter who I predict I will take some ribbing from the other side.
STA is undefeated and Oxbridge has not lost since February 27th.
Both teams are senior focused
As far as a winner is concerned I am going to go with a gut feeling on this one and that Oxbridge finds a way to win it in OT
But I am not putting anything of worth up to back that thought . . .
If you are in that area tomorrow and don’t go because you chose not to you are NOT a lacrosse fan . . .