Over the past 20 years Under Armour has gained recognition in the sports world for creating athletic apparel and equipment that empowers athletes all around the world. One of their more recent ventures has been into the sport of lacrosse, applying their knowledge of the sporting world and insight into the athlete’s world to create top of the line gear. To ensure their products will help you command every moment on the field, they have partnered with some of the nation’s top collegiate programs to not only outfit them for victory but utilize their understanding of the game to continuously improve. Now as the 2016 season has started, we’ve teamed up with the Lacrosse All Stars crew to take a closer look at these select programs and see just how they may perform this season.
Notre Dame – The Irish possess excellent athleticism, and a couple of extremely dangerous offensive weapons. Add in an experienced and tough team defense and a potentially improved face off game and you have the recipe for a potential national champion. Notre Dame has been knocking on the door the last couple of years, and 2016 just might be the season where they break on through.
Maryland – The Terps consistently do well towards the end of the season, when it counts most. A hiccup here or there seems possible, if not likely, but when the playoffs hit, Maryland seems to be able to elevate their game to another level of intensity. Good coaching alongside a feeling of family, and plenty of talent means Maryland could easily be a contender.
Loyola – The Hounds stopped running quite as much last year when you compare it to their national championship run a few years back. Injuries and depth have hurt Loyola the last couple of seasons, but 2016 looks like a potential rebound year. Loyola has some less-heralded guys ready to step up, and if they do and the system works with their skill set, we could be going back to the track where transition rules.
Navy – If you’re looking for 2016 Darkhorse, Navy is a great choice. They return their 4 top scorers, plenty of middies, an experienced D, a rock solid keeper and two successful face off guys. Academy teams, when led by strong senior classes, can come up and surprise people, and Navy might just be set for that kind of year.
Maryland – The reigning National Champions are an undeniable Dynasty and they’re poised to live up to expectations. With their traditional, textbook defensive style and effortless team offense, the Terps are a favorite for a three-peat in 2016. Team USA’s Taylor Cummings might also be up for a three-peat of her own – winning the Tewaraaton Award for the third straight year would make Cummings the first to achieve a 3-time Tewaraaton streak. She’s supported this year by players like now sophomore, Meghan Whittle and Junior Zoe Stukenberg.
Northwestern – There’s no doubt that the Wildcats will be hungry this season. The 2016 squad is the first team in 10 years without a National Champion on the roster, their last Championship being in 2012. While Northwestern was in a clear rebuild last year, often fielding up to 75% underclassmen, they’re slotted to return five of their six leading scorers from last season, including Canadian native and World Champion, Selena LaSota. Fans can expect calculated offenses and high-risk-high-reward defense from the ‘Cats this season now that the young guns have more wind under their wings.
Stay tuned to Lacrosse.com and Lacrosse All Stars this season for more insights into the college game this year and don’t forget to check out our selection of Under Armour collegiate apparel so you can support your favorite squad.