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Philadelphia-Area Lacrosse Rivals Meet in NCAA Div. III First Round

(Cabrini senior Joe Strain.  File photo provided)

(Cabrini senior Joe Strain. File photo provided)

RADNOR, Pa. (CBS) - It will be the “Battle of the Blue Route” on Wednesday evening as Cabrini College and Widener University battle in the first round of the Division III NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament.

Cabrini (12-5) will host its Chester, Pa. rival in Radnor.

Success is nothing new to these two programs.   Cabrini is making its tenth straight appearance in the tournament after winning its 11th straight CSAC crown, while Widener (15-2) is coming off its 13th MAC title and is headed to the tourney for the ninth time.

Cabrini head coach Steve Colfer says having experience in games like this is valuable.

“We kind of know the drill.  We know how much preparation time we have, we know that them margin for error becomes slight at this time of year, and every team you play is going to be better than the one you just played,” he says.

Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Cabrini coach Steve Colfer in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

And Widener head coach Jamie Lockard acknowledges that the Cavaliers aren’t still standing by accident.

“They have a really good defense, so I think that’s going to be a challenge for us,” he admits.  “They have some good athletes and some good close defenders there, and they have a good goalie.  So I think it’s going to be a challenge for us to score some goals.”

Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Widener coach Jamie Lockard in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

What does Colfer think his team needs to do to be successful in this one?

“We need to be sound defensively.  We need to face off well — which is always a key statistic in lacrosse.  And just finish our possessions with good scoring opportunities.  And I think that we’re going to have to find a way to slow down Widener’s offense, which looks like it is rolling pretty well.”

Meanwhile, Lockard thinks this local match-up is good for the Philadelphia lacrosse scene.

“I think it’s going to be a great crowd, a lot of local guys playing in the game, and two high-level Division III teams on a nice night, at six o’clock.  I don’t think you could ask for more than that,” he says.

These two teams have met once before in the NCAA Tournament, Cabrini capturing a 13-8 decision in the first round back in 2003.

The winner of this year’s first-round matchup faces Stevenson in the second round.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060

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