The Mayor of Dewitt
- Aug 15, 2011
(Photo by Natalie Ledonne/Duke Athletics) You’ll be provided lots of excuses in 2021. The storyline of
You’ll be provided lots of excuses in 2021. The storyline of "who didn’t play because of COVID" will be a weekly lede. It’s everybody’s headline, but you’ll hear it conveniently used by losers, those that came up short.
On gameday, you have all you need. Adapt. Be flexible. Overcome. Enjoy.
A trio of games will be televised this weekend — 3 p.m. Friday, Denver at Duke; 4 p.m. Saturday, Towson at Virginia; and 11 a.m. Sunday, Denver at North Carolina. Networks should be ACC Network Friday and Saturday and ESPNU for Sunday. Schedules are apt to change and shift, so be cognizant.
1. Duke — The Blue Devils have a second-team attack and third midfield that would start at most schools. The offensive depth is absurd given the transfersadditions of Michael Sowers and Phil Robertson (Princeton), plus the arrival of freshmen Brennan O’Neill and Aidan Danenza, who will both be in the rotation. New goalie Mike Adler (Saint Joseph’s) should get the nod this weekend behind a defense that still has much to prove.
John Danowski and Bill Tierney square off on Friday. It’s Lombardi vs. Belichick. Two Long Island high school teachers who climbed to the top of the mountain and have given so much to the sport and their players. These two men mean so much to me, to open up the TV season with this game seems fitting. My respect for their abilities is endless. They’ve always represented their programs and the sport with nothing short of excellence while helping young men develop and grow.
Sowers’ debut will be worth watching. His spontaneity, variety of attacks, ability to play at warp speed while making it look easy — that’s why he’s one of the best of his era, and the top college player in the country by a wide margin. You never quite know what’s he’s going to do next. And it might be something ridiculous.
2. Syracuse — Otto has a newly renovated Dome and its eyes set on Memorial Day. The Orange haven’t released a schedule yet, although indications are that they’ll open with Army on Feb. 21. Midfield is a logical strength with Peter Dearth, Jamie Trimboli, Brendan Curry, Tucker Dordevic, Jacob Buttermore and Lucas Quinn.
3. Virginia — The Cavs’ defense wasn’t up to par in 2020, so that’s the critical question for the ‘defending’ champs. Cade Saustad, Kyle Kology, Quentin Matsui, Jared Conners, Scott Bower and goalie Alex Rode have the unenviable task of stopping ACC foes. The Wahoo offense is stacked. Season opener against Towson will be televised 4 p.m. Saturday on ACCN.
4. North Carolina — The Heels have waves of dangerous offensive players, including William Perry, Chris Gray, Nicky Solomon, Jacob Kelly, Brian Cameron, Justin Anderson, Connor McCarthy and Tanner Cook. Question marks on the defensive end, especially in the depth department, linger. UNC hosts Denver at 11 a.m. Sunday on ESPNU.
7. Notre Dame — The Irish should have a very good team, one that would be favored to win the Big East, SoCon, Patriot and America East. Unfortunately, they play in the ACC, so they are relegated to fifth place for the moment. Notre Dame ended 2020 on a sour note, losing three straight to Maryland, Denver and Ohio State. Defenders Jack Kielty and Arden Cohen are the program’s top players.