The first few weekends of the season always offer an extra layer of intrigue as line-ups are unveiled and preseason expectations are put to the test. This weekend was no exception, featuring several close matches and a few upsets according to the preseason rankings.
The most exciting day of the weekend might have been Friday, which delivered on the promise of its scheduled matches. The No. 25 Bowdoin men secured the biggest upset of the weekend, taking out local rival No. 21 Bates 5-4 at home. It was the first time Bowdoin had beaten Bates since 2002.
Also looking for home court advantage on Friday night were Hobart and William Smith Colleges, who welcomed St. Lawrence. No. 27 William Smith earned the upset victory they were looking for with a 5-4 win over the visiting No. 25 Saints, but No. 27 Hobart fell just short of its upset bid.
Not to be outdone, No. 15 Western Ontario traveled to Ithaca to take on the No. 13 Cornell men and emerged victorious by a convincing 7-2 scoreline. All of this without even mentioning the No. 8-versus-9 match-up between the George Washington and Virginia men which grabbed the headlines prior to the match. The Cavaliers earned the upset victory over the Colonials, matching Western’s 7-2 score.
The rest of the weekend unfolded mostly true to form up and down the Northeast Corridor with a few extra notable exceptions. The University of Pennsylvania teams swept the informal Pennsylvania state tournament in Philadelphia, although it took a few comebacks and a tight 5-4 victory for the women over higher-ranked Drexel to secure the wins.
Next season, they should consider inviting their neighbors from the other side of the state, as relative newcomers Chatham University continued their winning ways. The Cougars pushed their season-opening win streak to eight with three more wins over the weekend.
Other teams to go undefeated with more than three victories over the course of the weekend included the women’s teams from Georgetown University and Northeastern University and the men’s teams from Western Ontario and University of California-Berkeley. Georgetown won their matches at home, while Northeastern and Cal triumphed in road round robins at Bard College and Fordham University, respectively.
In the only other Top-10 match-up of the weekend, No. 4 Princeton men won a hard fought 7-2 match against No. 8 George Washington.