It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Weekend at Mason
Short of Homecoming, you can’t get a bigger weekend for Mason Athletics than this one.
Let’s start with the obvious. Tonight is Mason Madness, when fans get their first look at the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Doors open at 9 p.m., activities begin at 9:30 p.m. The GoMason Blog is hyped for the dunk contest. Can’t WAIT to see what Ryan Pearson, Mike Morrison and Andre Cornelius pull out this season. In case you don’t remember, last year, along with Kevin Foster (who has since transferred), they were Green Lantern, Batman and Spiderman.
Check out 2:15 into this clip.
Check out GoMason.com as well as GoMason Blog tomorrow for highlights and interviews from Mason Madness.
Now on to competitions that actually COUNT in the standings.
The women’s volleyball team hosts a pair of matches this weekend, first taking on William & Mary tonight and then hosting VCU on Saturday (both matches at 7 p.m.). The Patriots are 5-0 on the year while William & Mary is 2-3 and VCU is 3-2. Saturday is a very big match as not only is it the Dig Pink match, it’s also the first time these teams have faced since Mason ripped the hopes of a CAA title out of VCU’s hands. The Rams hosted the conference tournament last year as the No. 1 seed and had beaten Mason during the regular season. The Patriots promptly crushed their dreams to earn the conference’s at-large berth into the CAA Tournament.
The cross country teams head north this weekend as the men’s team competes at Penn State while the women are running at Princeton. The swimming and diving teams will take on both James Madison and Delaware in a tri-meet in Newark, Del.
Tomorrow night the men’s soccer team will host James Madison looking to build off the momentum from Wednesday’s win at Towson. It was a dramatic victory for the Patriots who hadn’t beaten the Tigers since 2004. The Patriots are just four points out of fourth place right now with six matches to play. Mason has already played three of the top five teams in the current conference standings, so things should get a little easier from here on out. Of course that is all relative, as six CAA teams are ranked in the top 41 in the RPI, including the Dukes.
But of all the events this weekend, few are as important as the women’s soccer matches against UNC Wilmington and Georgia State. The Patriots host those schools and they can smell the CAA Tournament. First off, let’s all agree that it’s highly unlikely the CAA Tournament won’t go through Hofstra. The Pride have won 12 straight and are 6-0 n the conference. That leaves three spots left in the tournament and seven teams have legitimate shots at making it. In second place is Georgia State. The Patriots will host the Panthers (4-1-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m as part of Senior Day. Before they get to GSU, Mason will take on UNCW tonight at 6 p.m. The Seahawks and Patriots are both 4-2-0 in the conference, tied for third, just one point behind GSU. James Madison is tied with Mason and UNCW while William & Mary (3-2-1), Northeastern (2-3-1) and Towson (2-3-1) lurk behind. Come Sunday afternoon, the CAA postseason picture could become a lot more clear, or a lot more murky.
“One player who would love to end her Mason career with a trip to the CAA Tournament is Capricia Alston. As a freshman, she went to the tournament when Mason traveled to James Madison and lost in the opening round, 2-1. She is one of three current Mason women’s soccer players to taste the postseason. Here is her blog entry on this weekend as the Patriots say farewell to their seniors.
“This weekend is probably one of the biggest weekends for our team thus far. We play UNCW, tied for third place with us and JMU, and Georgia State, ranked second. This weekend is not only a strong indicator for what teams will continue into the conference tournament, but more importantly it will also test our character. Recently suffering a 5-0 loss against a Hofstra team that was undefeated in conference, we left Long Island with our heads hung low. We are aware that when we bring our full potential we are a tremendous threat, and when we don’t, that kind of score is the result. The hanging question for us now is can we pull it together and consistently bring that potential to our last five games, starting with Friday. I think we can, and I know I am not alone.
“For four of us (Omolyn Davis, Evan Feldman, Kimmy Moss and myself), this weekend holds an even more special place in our hearts. As seniors, these are our last home games EVER, and with family members and coaches coming from locations as far as Jamaica and California, I am positive that we want nothing more than to leave our beloved field with a bang. After a hard week of competitive practices and shooting drills, I think the entire team feels that way as well. We all realize how important these two games are for our season, and we are determined to prove this one game at a time.
“Last year we disappointedly fell short against both teams, with both matches resulting in ties. We were disappointed with not only the results, but also our performance. Knowing this, we do not intend on letting this occur again. It is coming down to crunch time and I believe that we are capable of taking on the challenge. We are out for blood, and what better time to go hunting than our last couple of opportunities in our own territory?
“We just have to remember one thing, and it’s this – “we’re gonna bring that blood and pain,” and we’re going to bring it TOGETHER starting Friday!”