Conference play heats up this Saturday with three BIG EAST matchups on the schedule, including a battle between ranked teams as No. 16/NR Loyola (4-3, 0-0 BIG EAST) takes on No. 13/12 Georgetown (4-3, 1-0 BIG EAST) in Washington, D.C. The Hoyas are fresh off a win over No. 8/9 Penn on Wednesday, and have complied two of the league’s 12 wins over ranked opponents during the year. The Greyhounds, led by 2011 BIG EAST Coach of the Year Jen Adams, lead the league in goals-against average, having allowed just 9.16 goals per game.
Other games on Saturday will see No. 2/2 Syracuse (4-2, 0-0 BIG EAST) at Connecticut (6-1, 0-0 BIG EAST) and Louisville (2-5, 0-0 BIG EAST) at No. 7/6 Notre Dame (6-0, 0-0 BIG EAST). Nonconference action has Rutgers at Fairfield and Villanova hosting Manhattan.
All 16 softball teams are in action this weekend with eight beginning league play. Highlighting the BIG EAST schedule is a three-game series between No. 14/13 Louisville and Pittsburgh in Louisville, Ky. The Cardinals have opened the season with a 24-0 record and are one of only two undefeated NCAA Division I teams. In other league action, Connecticut will travel to Seton Hall, Notre Dame will play at Georgetown and USF will host Rutgers.
There are three games featuring BIG EAST teams to open the weekend on Saturday, beginning with a top-25 matchup as No. 11/10 Duke plays at No. 18/18 Georgetown (4-2) noon on ESPN3. Providence (1-4) will play at Siena at 2 p.m. and RV/RV St. John’s (4-3) will compete at Sacred Heart at 7 p.m.
Sunday features a pair of conference matchups as Rutgers (4-4) plays at No. 6/7 Notre Dame (5-1) at 1 p.m. The weekend concludes with a BIG EAST top-25 tilt as No. 15/14 Villanova (4-3) takes on No. 8/9 Syracuse (4-2) at 2 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. The game between the Orange and Wildcats will be televised on TWCS and SNY.
This weekend marks the opening weekend of BIG EAST baseball conference play, with 18 games scheduled for Friday-Sunday. Louisville has posted the best record in the league through the nonconference portion of the schedule with 15 wins and six losses (.714). Louisville looks to extend its four game winning streak when it hosts Cincinnati for a three game series. St. John’s puts its seven-game winning streak on the line when it travels to face Villanova.