Now that we've introduced you to the teams in our lacrosse preview, let's have some fun guessing the outcome of Saturday's game between No. 1 Virginia and No. 5 Stony Brook. Several Patch staffers, all knowledgable on local teams and talent, put their heads together to try to predict the winner. Don't forget to add your own guess by logging in and adding a comment below.
, Patch.com regional editor
Jason's pick: Virginia. "Stony Brook needs to solidify its defense and this early-season test isn't the way to learn on the job. Huntington's own Shamel and Rhamel Bratton are gifted midfielders and two of the best lacrosse players in the nation. They stretch and break defenses. That should be enough for Virginia to get past the Seawolves in this NCAA quarterfinal rematch."
Jason Molinet has reported on the Long Island sports scene since 1995.
, editor of Wantagh-Seaford Patch
Andrew's pick: Virginia. "With all but two starters back from last year’s quarterfinal team, including its entire starting attack and midfield, Stony Brook is stacked in 2011 and should be a major contender to be playing during Championship Weekend in Baltimore come late May. However you couldn’t ask for a tougher season opening game than against No. 1-ranked Virginia, who will certainly not be taking Stony Brook lightly after the Seawolves nearly upset them in last year’s NCAA Quarterfinals. With Virginia already having two games under its belt, I’m taking the Cavaliers on Saturday in what should be a very close contest."
Andrew Coen is a versatile hyperlocal journalist and consummate sports fan.
, editor of Sachem Patch & regional L.I. sports editor for Patch.com
Chris's pick: Virginia. "McBride, Crowley and the boys from Stony Brook are good, just not good enough to knock off the No. 1 school in the nation on opening day."
Chris Vaccaro has been covering collegiate and high school lacrosse on Long Island for almost a decade.
, editor of Three Village Patch
Chrissy's pick: Stony Brook. "The Seawolves have a lot to prove but I feel like there is real potential for them to pull it off. They're nearly even in terms of returning starters, but the advantage may go to Stony Brook in terms of decorated players. I feel like it's in the hands of the defense here, and if they can even just match the Cavalier offense in intensity, Stony Brook will win. Either way it will be close."
Chrissy Sampson is a Hofstra graduate who spent two years covering high school and college sports from Staten Island to Long Island.
, Patch.com Contributor
Adam's pick: Virginia. "Stony Brook may have the best player in Kevin Crowley, but Virginia has the better all-around team. That begins with Adam Ghitelman in goal for the Cavaliers. Coach Sowell may have had the entire off season to plan for this game, but the Seawolves are going to have to be perfect to pull off this upset. That's a tall order for a season opener, while Virginia's already had two games to knock off the rust. Virginia wins its seventh straight road opener in a tight contest."
Adam Newman edits physics journals by day and moonlights as a sports and news reporter for several Long Island Patch sites.
, editor of West Islip Patch
A.J.'s pick: Virginia. "If this was Stony Brook's second or third game, I wouldn't hesitate to pick them at home. But since Virginia has had an opportunity to get on the field (just destroyed Mt. Saint Mary's 22-6 on Tuesday) and get their offense into rhythm, I have to go with them. Not to mention the trip to Long Island will be a homecoming for a lot of their players. I'm going with a 13-9 final."
A.J. Voelpel is a 2009 graduate of Hofstra University and has covered high school and college sports for both print and online publications.
, Patch.com regional editor
Greg’s pick: Virginia. "While I would love to go with the local team, it’s hard to pick against the depth of Virginia. Ironically, the Cavaliers are led by a host of Long Island kids including middies Shamel Bratton and Rhamel Bratton of Huntington and senior netminder Adam Ghitelman of Cold Spring Harbor. With senior Steele Stanwick and sophomore Connor English of Manhasset leading the way on attack, Stony Brook will find dealing with Virginia’s depth a challenge."
A journalist for nearly 20 years, Greg Sleter prior to joining Patch.com was editor/publisher of WestIslipTribune.com, where he covered the renowned West Islip High School lacrosse team.
End Result: Patchers pick Virginia over Stony Brook, 6 to 1. Now, we wait and see.