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Cornell Collapse

Cornell’s attempt to win their first title since 1978 falls short. Cornell had played brilliantly for the past 175 minutes. In their wins over Princeton, and UVA, Cornell controlled play from whistle to whistle. Even in the Championship game, Cornell looked dominating until the last 3:47 of the game.

John Glynn opened up the scoring with the first two Cornell goals, as it looked like it was going to be a long day for the Syracuse faithful. Syracuse finally got on the board with 5:46 left on a play that would epitomize Syracuse’s day. Daniello shot and was stuffed by Cornell goalie Jake Myers. In the ensuing scrum for the rebound behind the net, Daniello scooped up the ball drove around the other side of the cage and scored. Cornell would win the strategic game play, but SU would win the unsettled situations.

Each team would ad one more goal, so at the end of the first quarter it was 3-2 Cornell. While time of possession is not an official stat, by my estimate it would have been 10 minutes Cornel to 5 Syracuse.

Cornell was methodical as their defense started playing a very tight zone. This kept SU from getting any good scoring chances in tight. Their offense was virtually running the clock. For all you youngsters out there, Cornell is a prime example of why backing up a shot is necessary. On almost every shot that went out, Cornell got the ball back.

The second quarter saw much of the same, as Cornell added another 3 goals and Syracuse 2, making it 6-4 Cornell at the half. Syracuse’s defense looked sluggish. They just weren’t getting it done at this point, and their man-down defense that had been so good all year was 50% as Max Seibald connected on an EMO chance in the 2nd.

The third quarter was boring. Cornell dominated the clock however, after halftime, SU’s defense seemed to wake up. Cornell only netted one goal in the third quarter and did not convert on their two EMO opportunities. While Syracuse only had 3 shots, one of them went in from Josh Amidon. At the end of the third, it was 7-5 Cornell.

All year long Syracuse scored in surges. Typically it came in the late second or third quarters. They might average 1-2 per quarter and then all of a sudden nail 4 in a short span of time.

In the fourth quarter, there seemed to be no spurt. When Roy Lang scored to put Cornell up by 3 with 5:31 remaining in the game, some even in the press box started to write Syracuse off…literally prepping their stories for how Cornell broke into the Fab4 of lacrosse. The SU faithful kept holding on for that late spurt. And then it came.

Tierney came with an over the head check on a Cornell player stripping the ball leading to a Hardy to Keogh goal. Syracuse was down by 2. Less than a minute later, Amadon found Cody Jamison for another goal. Syracuse down by 1 with 2:46 left.

The last 35 seconds of the game should be immortalized. Syracuse had the ball on offense and threw the ball away with less than 30 to go in the game. It all but sealed the fate of the game. Cornell had to clear the ball from their end line.

Max Seibald passed the ball up to defenseman Matt Moyer. Kenny Nims was all over Moyer, and in one fleeting diving check, knocked the ball loose. Somehow Keogh got the loose ball and hurled it up to anyone. Matt Abbott pulled the ball in and cheaped another pass in the general direction of the goal. The ball was tipped off of Cornell Middie Roy Lang’s stick right to Nims who gets a falling shot past Jake Myers for the game tying goal with 4 seconds left.

Sudden Death

Cornell won the faceoff and in a move I can not understand, they did not call a time out to set up a play and halt the SU momentum that had been building up. Instead Sid Smith stripped the ball giving possession to Syracuse.

Hardy drove in and looked like he wanted the take. As Cody Jamison’s defender slid to pick up Hardy, Hardy passed to Cody sitting on the side of the goal for an easy goal to win it in OT.

Syracuse won their 11th title. Cornell was denied history. Max Seibald will forever be haunted by the number 4. Max Seibald said, “Four seconds away … It seems to be a number that haunts us. When we sophomores, that was the number on the board when Duke scored on us. That makes it even tougher for us.”

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Where’s the Love for D2 and D3 Lacrosse?

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SUNY Cortland celebrates their schools 2nd National Championship

The Division 2/Division 3 Championships had less of a turnout than the D1 semis. This is nothing new. Traditionally during the D2/D3 day, many families when in Balti/Philly would find something to do on their “off” day. Historically the attendance is less than half that during semi-day. Personally I don’t understand why. Traditionally these games are closer and more exciting than the D1 games. But don’t take my word for it:

As one fan, Gary Price put it, “We just finished having a game of pick up lacrosse and mocking the Virginia defense. About the D2/D3 finals, how do you not go if you are a lacrosse fan. They are usually better than the D1 games. There is a lot less substitution and a lot less B.S. It is more pure lacrosse.” This sentiment is echoed by not only other casual fans tailgating during the games, but also lacrosse legend John Grant Jr. He told E-lacrosse, that he prefers the D2/D3 games over the D1 games.

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C.W. Post celebrates their 2nd National Championship - and first since 1996.

The D2/D3 championships are the epitome of the game. I know, the players might not be as skilled or as developed physically…however they are also not over coached. What I mean by this is that they have the freedom to play a run and gun style. There is also a lot of turnover and transition work. There is more “heart” in their play.

Since 2003, the D1 championship has been decided by 1 goal 3 times. Since 2003, the D2 championship has been decided by 1 goal 3 times, as well as the D3 championship being decided by 1 goal 3 times.

Central New York Final

Cornell face Syracuse for the National title and bragging rights for the best in Central New York.
Cornell is just about an hours drive down Interstate 81.

Lax geek fact:
The last time Cornell was in the Championship game was in 1988. Which just happened to be against Syracuse. And in 1998 as well as 2009, Cornell defeated Virginia in the tournament to get to the title game. In 1998, Cornel beat UVA 19-6 before losing to Syracuse 8-13.

If Syracuse were to win, the running joke is that they would need the ring to be a toe ring, as they already have 10. If Cornell were to win, it would be the first time in 18 years someone other than UVA/Princeton/Syracuse/Hopkins has won.

These two teams have already faced each other this year. Syracuse won that contest 15-10.
In the previous meeting, Cornell scored early and inside, which happens to be one of my biggest disappointments about Syracuse all year. Cornell stayed with ‘Cuse for the first quarter and was tied 4-4. Then the Syracuse spurt occurred in the second and third quarters. Max Siebald was held to 1 goal and 1 assist, and Jake Myers had 10 saves and 15 goals against. If I were to just look at the last time they played each other, I would feel comfortable picking Cuse by 5 or 6.

However, I have seen Cornell live the past two weeks beat Princeton, and beat UVA. They look flawless. They are not making unforced errors. They are methodical in executing THEIR game plan. I believe in the UVA game, if it weren’t for Ghitelman making like a sieve and letting everything through, Cornell still would have won, but the score would have been at least a little closer.

Syracuse’s defense had been a worry for me, especially with having Sid Smith guard Ned Crotty. Smith performed exceedingly well, as did Galloway as SU clamped down on the defensive side of the field. But as is the MO with ‘Cuse, their aim is just to score as much as possible and hope it is enough.

This game is setting up to be a classic. Cornell is a good team and is playing hot right now. Syracuse is a great team that does make some mistakes. On one hand I would like to see Cornell break the strangle hold of 4. On the other hand, I have always been a Cuse fan as watching a Gait game got me into the sport (minus the Mikey years). I think Cornell has the talent and team play. They also have the momentum. Syracuse has the swagger. They have been here before…many many times.

In this game I am going to say that Cuse with their amazing amount of offensive weaponry proves to much to handle and wins by 2.

Wahoos Lose

Cornell pulled off a huge upset as they defeated the #1 ranked University of Virginia Cavaliers.  The Big Red played flawlessly. Their game plan was possession. Just like last week Cornell controlled the tempo of the game. They couldn’t help the fact that just about everything they threw at Virginia goaltender Adam Ghitelman seemed to get sucked in like a black hole into the net. At the end of the first half he only had 2 saves, and 8 goals against.

I will say this for Ghitelman, his defense was not helping the situation. Between missed coverages, poor slides, players just not having their head on a swivel and missing the cutters, it just seemed like no one was communicating out there on defense.

UVA didn’t get the ball on offense much. Cornell baked up their shots, and Ghitelman wasn’t making any saves. When UVA did try and transition, they committed some unforced turnovers. When they did have scoring opportunities (when not completely missing the goal), Cornell goalie, Jake Myers made the necessary stops.

I called it in my preview…when UVA middies get stymied, UVA loses. Virginia’s midfield totaled 1 goal and no assists. On the flipside, Cornell had 8 players with goals.

The show-down is set for a Central New York final…the question remains…will SU get title#10, or will Max Siebald carry his team to their first title in 21 years.

Perritt Shines in SU’s win over Duke…

Thoughts from Foxboro

Pat Perritt has been a work horse for the Syracuse Orange all year. His stats (13 Goals / 13 Assists / 14 Ground Balls) might not show a huge offensive threat, or an assist machine, but his play has been consistent and hard.

After coming into Syracuse as the number 4 recruit by Inside Lacrosse, Perritt had a lot to live up to. It was the supposed best recruiting class ever as the Orange had the #2, #3, #4 recruits.

His freshman year, he helped the Orange get to the Final Four where they were stopped by Virginia. His Sophomore year, saw the Orange finish the season with one of their worst records, not even making the NCAA tournament, and faced some personal issues off the field. He worked hard, got his act back together and was readmitted. His Junior season, last year, Perritt helped Syracuse to a redemption National Championship. This year, his senior year, it is time for him to shine.

Coming into this game, Pat Perritt had put up 21 points, 8 points, 13 points in his seasons, and had 26 points this season. All season it had been about the team and winning their second national championship. Today, he stepped up to the challenge. Perritt put up 4 goals and 1 assist. Most coming when Duke was still within reach of the Orange.
Syracuse started the game with John Galloway in goal. As much as I thought Al could have started after his performance against MD last week, John proved why he is the starter. Galloway ended up with 11 saves and 7 goals against.

Syracuse also put Sid Smith on Ned Crotty. A risky call as Sid does not have the footspeed as Crotty. After the first quarter, Crotty had 2 assists (on each of Duke’s goals), but Smith completely shut him out, as Crotty did nothing the rest of the game.

Coach Danowski’s team chokes again.

Once Syracuse started to pull away it was like the floodgates opened. I don’t care if your team is losing by 8 at the start of the 4th quarter. You need to keep your your team’s head and fight in the game. . Syracuse added onto their goal total, and Duke piled up penalties in the 4th as the game slipped through their fingers.
Duke’s biggest hole this game was their defense.

The goals were coming from all over as Syracuse had seven different players score. It was the most goals allowed by Duke since 2004.

Duke’s poles were too trigger happy as four different poles tried to take it coast-to-coast and score. None of them did. Joel White the LSM for Syracuse scored on Duke though.

Syracuse looks good. If they play like this on Monday, there will be yet another banner hoisted to the rafters.

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I knew it was a leap picking Navy last week, but that was just embarrassing. Hopefully this week goes a little smoother. I think I got caught up too much in the numbers last week.

This week it is the NCAA’s version of Steel Cage Grudge Matches, as 3 of the 4 contests see rivals face each other for a second time this year. Planned? Hmmmm.

Syracuse faces Maryland Saturday 12:00 at Hofstra’s Shuart StadiumNCAA Johns Hopkins Syracuse Mens Lacrosse

Cuse by 3. There…said it. Got it out of the way. Syracuse just has too many weapons on offense. Cody Jamieson showed up big netting 3 goals and 1 assist last week against Siena…and by that I am referring to his points and not his middle.

If the emergence of Cody isn’t enough the Orange also have Kenny Nims (64pts), Steve Keogh (50), Dan Hardy (35), Pat Perritt (23), Chris Daniello (20), and more. Their offense has been held to less than 10 goals in only 2 games. Once in a weird showdown with Georgetown, and once against a typical tough Princeton defense.

On defense the Orange have Sid Smith, Matt Tierney, John Lade, Joel White (LSM), and John Galloway in goal. The defense if anything is where Syracuse needs to step it up. While statistically they only let in 7.4 goals per game, I can tell you they are still not the force they were last year. I am not saying they are bad…just not the well oiled machine that was their defense last year.
Maryland was only able to put up 7 goals against Notre Dame last week. They will need to score more than that to stay in the game against Syracuse. Surprisingly the amazing lineup of Maryland attack was held to 0 goals against the Irish. They took 8 shots (only 4 made it on goal).

Maryland has not put up more than 10 goals against any teams in the top 20 except for 1 game and that was against Duke.
Maryland’s defense won them their upset over Notre Dame. The Irish only had 3 goals. Goalie Phipps had 9 saves with 3 goals against for a save percentage of 75%.

While Yeatman is a big physical attackman, I think his presence has actually hurt the chemistry of Maryland’s attack unit. Think Jeremy Shockey of the Giants. Sure he was gifted…yet they won out the playoffs, and SuperBowl while he sat out and didn’t even go to the games.

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Cornell takes on Princeton in a rematch at 3:00pm in Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. john_glynn

Cornell won the first match 10-7. I think this game’s results will be exactly the same. Cornell by 3.
After the loss, Princeton has gon on to win its next three games albeit against Dartmouth, Brown, and UMass. Each of those three games they have let in 7 goals. In each of those three games, Princeton has only let in 1 goal in the first have, but 6 in the second half. Fairly consistent loss of focus in the 2nd half.

Cornell is kind of like Syracuse. They focus more on offense, and outscoring their opponent rather than on defense and holding an opponent from scoring.

Against Princeton previously they were able to jump out to an early 3-0 lead in part due to their sheer dominance at the face off X.

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Down at the Naval Acadamy, UVA takes on Johns Hopkins at noon.danny_glading

This is another rematch game from earlier in the season. UVA took that one 16-15. UVA will win this one by about 3. It won’t be a blowout, but Hopkins has not looked dominant especially of late.

I won’t beat a dead horse, but a National Championship team needs a goalie saving more than 51% shots, and letting in less than 9.6 goals. The Jays don’t have that. What they do have is a fiery coach that seemingly wills them to keep winning. In the past 4 games, Hopkins has gone into OT and won against Towson, Loyola, and Brown.

If I am Virginia, and this game goes to OT, I am faceguarding Brian Christopher who has gotten the game winner in each of those OT games.

Virginia has put up 10+ goals in every game except for one wretched 5 goal performance against Duke. Their average is 12.7 goals per game. Their starting attack has over 90 goals alone. On defense, Ken Clausen leads the close D unit, and Adam Ghitelman has put up decent numbers in net (55%Save, 8.1 GAA)

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Duke plays UNC in the late game (3pm) at Navycrotty

This will actually be the third meeting between Duke and UNC this year. Duke has won the other two meetings. I believe they win this one as well. Duke by 1

I don’t understand Duke. They lose to Cornell, Maryland, and Harvard, but beat UVA twice. In the second game against UVA they hold Virginia to 5 goals. 3 games later they switch focus and score 14 against one of if not THE best defense in the country. The answer to both lopsided wins was possession. When an opposing team only has 15 shots on goal, there is a good chance you’ll win. Duke also shot very well and accurately to start. Once that crack shows in a goalie’s confidence, Duke seized on it, and neither goalie was able to save much. Tommy Phelan for Navy ended up with 14 Goals Against and only 5 saves. Ghitelman fared a little better with 14 Goals against and 9 saves.

UNC needs Bitter to step up against Duke. In their first game he only had 1 Assist (0 Goals). In their 2nd game, he did better with 2G/3A. If he can play like he did against UMBC with 8 Goals and 1 Assist, UNC might be able to pull off an upset.
UNC was a team many people thought had a chance to be #1 this year

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In the first round, there are 3 games that should be very interesting.

Saturday May 9th, Brown plays Johns Hopkins at noon.hopkins

Broooown! Rob…this one’s for you buddy.
One of the mild surprises of the selection was to see Brown as a #9 seed. The Bears are 12-3 on the season. This season they have losses to #10 Hofstra (in double OT), unranked Penn (by 1), and #4 Princeton. Their ranked wins came over #15 UMass, #18 Harvard, and #7 Cornell. That one last win over Cornell was enough to get an invite to the show.

Brown’s offense is lead by Andrew Feinberg (40Goals/16Assists), Kyle Hollingsworth (20/26), Thomas Muldoon (32/11), Reade Seligmann (12/20), and Brady Williams (17/14). Their EMO offense is struggling, converting on 39% of their chances. Brown’s difficulties continue at FO where they are winning 41%. Where Brown succeeds is their goalie and defense. Their man down unit is stopping opponents 74% of the time. Their goalie is 2008 Ivy Player of the year, Jordan Burke. His Goals against average is 7.74, and his save% is at 61.7%. These two reasons (defense and Burke) are how Brown beat Cornell. Cornell scored 0 of 4 attempts on EMO. That is 0. Burke had 18 saves and only 9 goals against.

Johns Hopkins ended up the season 9-4. The Jays lost to #4 Princeton, #1 Syracuse, #5 Virginia, and #6 North Carolina. They have ranked wins over #9 UMBC, #10 Hofstrra, #13 Maryland, #12 Navy, and #14 Loyola. Aftter a 3-4 start the team won out. Hopkins has been on a trend the past couple of years. Start off poor, then finish very strong. Statistically speaking this is directly correlated to the play of their goalie Mike Gvozden (MikeyG). This is not necessarily a bad thing. Ask any NHL player and if their goalie is hot during the playoffs then that is all that matters. The regular season is a distant memory. Gvozden on the year is saving 51.2% of the shots he faces letting in an average 9.5 Goals Against. The Hopkins defense did not give Gvozden too much help in the beginning of the year (slides looked slow), but have since stepped it up. The Man down unit is stopping opponents 63% of the time.

On offense, The Jays are led by Kyle Wharton (31/9), Chris Boland (23/16), Mike Kimmel (18/21), Brian Christopher (25/11), and Steven Boyle (19/15). On offense, their EMO is scoring on 47% of their chances.

While Brown has played well at times this year, the Hopkins machine is just too much to handle. I think Brown can put up a fight, but towards the later part of the game, Hopkins depth and multiple threats pull away. The Jays take this one by 4.

Sunday May 10th, Maryland plays Notre Dame at noon.notredamefightingirish

The once highly touted then highly booted Will Yeatman faces his old team …

Anyone find it ironic that the school with the stereotypical mascot of a fighting Irishman (and let’s be honest…what other stereotype goes with an angry Irishman…think Denis Leary), levied such a strict penalty on Yeatman?

Notre Dame is 15-0. No losses. Ranked wins over #14 Loyola, #16 Penn State, #6 UNC, #17 Bucknell, and #19 Villanova. Notre Dame parallels Syracuse in the fact that both schools USED to have good football programs that are now in the tank. Actually the similarities end there…but that doesn’t mean ND is overrated.

I have heard the statements from coaches and past players that Notre Dame is undefeated yet untested…that they need to beat some good teams (Does that infer UNC is not a good team). Everyone also blames ND for poor scheduling. To these naysayers, I say that it is not Notre Dame’s fault that they are not in a top league like the ACC that has to play each other (inflating their own SOS). Nor is it their fault that on open games, teams find little incentive to travel out to Indiana.

The Fighting Irish are led by Neal Hicks (25/17), Duncan Swezey (22/20), Ryan Hoff (32/3), Grant Krebs (28/9), and Peter Christman (14/18). They don’t seem to be missing Will Who. Notre Dame has a number of threats even though they don’t have the “flair factor”.

In goal, Scott Rodgers has posted an amazing 6.08 GAA, and 66.3%. Granted he hasn’t faced stiff competition, yet against UNC, which has some very sharp shooters, Rodgers posted one of his best games ever saving 16 of 23 shots (7.0 GAA/70%save).

I also will throw in the comment that since they have not had such a ragged schedule that late season injuries/fatigue does not plague the team as much as others.

Maryland is 9-6. They had losses to unranked Georgetown, #9 UMBC, #5 UVA, #12 Navy, #8 Johns Hopkins, and #6 UNC. They have ranked wins over #3 Duke, and #6 UNC.
Maryland had a tough schedule this year, yet I am surprised they did not do better. With the amount of offensive talent this team has, they just couldn’t put together the whole package day in and day out. Wether it was a Sophomore slump or the chemistry built last year was affected as there were some changes to the chemistry.

Their special teams units faired well as a whole, as their EMO worked 50% of the time, and Mandown 70% of the time. They also won 52% of their faceoffs. The special units of MD really is like the rest of the team. Not bad, but nothing jumps out and says greatness.

The points leaders are Grant Catalino (22/21), Ryan Young (19/16), Dan Groot (19/14), Will Yeatman (13/13), Travis Reed (16/7). In cage for the Terps should be Brian Phipps. While splitting time with Carter, Phipps just puts up a better performance. (Jason Carter 7.54 GAA, 49.1%. Brian Phipps 7.63 GAA 58%)

By seedings I am not picking the underdog…by traditionalists I am. I am picking Notre Dame to win by 3. I believe MD’s defense will be surprised by the abilities of a number of ND players. ND’s offense, while not overly impressive, will put up enough goals (especially since Rodgers will be standing on his head making big saves for the Irish)

Duke/Navy is my pick for game of the week.  They meet Saturday May 9th at 7:30pm.navy

Duke ended up 13-3. They lost to #18 Harvard, and #13 Maryland. Ranked wins over #17 Bucknell, #14 Loyola, #6 UNC (twice), and #5 UVA (twice). I have no idea how they lost to Harvard and MD but in the same breath were the only team to beat UVA.

Duke’s offense is lead by Tewaaraton finalist Ned Crotty (20/45). The Blue Devils also have Max Quinzani (39/9), Zach Howell (21/16), Justin Turri (15/10), and Brad Ross (18/6).
For special teams, they are 46% on EMO, 62% on man-down, and 55% on FO.

If I had to pick one weakness, it would be in goal. Not that Schroeder is bad, but Duke’s offense is that damn good. Schroeder has a 7.69 GAA, and save% of 50.8%

Navy. What can I say. I love their defense, their physical play, their hustle attitude.

Navy is 11-4 on the year. Losses to #6 UNC (by 1), #17 Bucknell (by 1), unranked Colgate (by 1), and #8 Hopkins. Ranked wins over #13 Maryland, and #17 Bucknell.
Being an LSM, I love defense, and am really excited to hopefully see them in Foxboro. The only game they let an opponent score more than 10 goals was their loss to Hopkins. Their opponents are averaging only 7.2 goals per game. Their Man down is insane. They stop opponents EMO 85% of the time. Hell, If I were Coach Meade, I’d let my defense play man-down the whole game…leave a middie at midfield for a quick outlet pass on a save/turnover. Why? Cause they can ……and their offense needs a little help. The Navy offense is only averaging 9.1 goals per game. Their EMO is only successful 44% of the time. And they only have 2 players with 30+ points on the year. The offense is led by Brendan Connors (21/10), Tim Paul (18/13), Andy Warner (13/14), Pat Moran (20/3), and Joe Lennon (13/9).

In goal for Navy should be Tommy Phelan who has a 7.69 GAA and a save% of 63.3%.
If I were Navy, I would not waste too much time focusing on Crotty. Even in Duke’s losses he put up at least 3 assists each game. They should focus on who he is passing to. Quinzani can and has been shut down before. Navy’s defense should be able to handle Max fairly easily.
I am going with the choke factor on this one. Usually you hear about players “not being able to finish”. Coach Danowski just can’t finish. Under Dano’s tutelage, Hofstra excelled at mediocrity. Even when they had a stacked team in 2006 they failed against UMass. More recently at Duke with much of their starpower intact, they couldn’t even get to the finals in 2008.

Navy with a major upset takes a close one by 1-2.

The Princess Bracket:

Every year I look to see who the NCAA has snubbed, who they have overrated, and who they have screwed. This year, as I was looking at the teams, I was reminded of the movie the Princess Bride.

I can picture the selection committee sitting around a stone table talking to each other:
“Virginia beat the most top 10 teams, but they lost to Duke twice, so we CLEARLY can not choose UVA”.
“Duke however has lost to two lowly teams, so we clearly can not choose Duke”.
“Cuse is rated #1 by the coaches, but lost to UVA and Princeton, so we clearly can not choose Cuse”.
Of course the reporters and pundits would have to interject with “Come on…you’re just stalling now aren’t you?”

To which the committee continues unfazed, “Notre Dame is undefeated, but only beat one top 10 team, so we clearly can not choose Notre Dame.”

Pressed for time, the committee tries to distract those trying to follow, “We pick……Oh look what’s that over there? (throws dart at names on a wall)……UVA!”

OK. So maybe the selection did not proceed exactly as I have explained, but it is plausible. No one team clearly dominated the field. Aside from Notre Dame and Navy being higher seeds, I don’t have a huge problem with this year’s field. Part of me thinks Cuse should be #1, but the top 4 could all be shuffled around depending on what team you like more. I can live with a #2 seed.

Overall, I think this is one of the less controversial tournaments as far as who got in, and even seeding. However, as is the case every year, too much emphasis is put on SOS. The calculations double dip the SOS, and as we all know double dipping is not an acceptable practice.

For those whiners out there:
Georgetown was not snubbed, as they couldn’t finish. Yes they have talent, but all that matters is the W.
Harvard was not snubbed. While they beat Duke, who else did they beat? No one.

Now…time for my whining:
My complaint with Notre Dame, is that while they did not have a strong SOS, they did beat 3 top 20 teams and were undefeated. This accomplishment is more deserving than a 7 seed. Especially since the only measuring stick is their win over UNC, and UNC is higher than them. Move ND up to 5 and UNC down to 7. If ND were in UNC’s spot, they might have a shot at making it to the Final Four. Personally I would love to see at least SOME variation in the final four. I don’t mind seeing 2 or 3 stalwarts every year, but seeing the same teams year in and year out does get a little tiresome.

Navy I think should be in Maryland’s spot. Navy has 4 wins over top 20s, and less losses than MD. Also Navy thoroughly beat MD by 6. MD has only 2 top 20 wins, more losses, including Navy. I think Navy’s seeding will screw them playing Duke in the 1st round. With their current spot, Navy COULD upset Duke, but would they have enough in the tank to then beat UNC again?

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Syracuse fans are hoping a #2 seed will help them get back to championship weekend in Boston.

OK, so it doesn’t have the same ring that March Madness does. However, could a May Madness style promotion up the ante for lacrosse?

Upping the ante is exactly what has worked for basketball. Since the NCAA D1 basketball bracket gambling started, the gambling has grown, so has the following of the tournament. It is simple to fill out, simple scoring, and is socially acceptable. Everyone does it from CEOs to High School kids; soccer moms…even the President of the United States, Barack Obama shared his bracket picks this year.

Just so we are clear before I go any further. The NC$$ stance on gambling is that it is not OK. They even produced a multi-media campaign against it. Funny how I saw multiple Budweiser and pizza commercials while watching the games, yet I don’t recall any NCAA commercials telling the viewers gambling is bad…mmm-kay.

I guess when they are making over $500 Million per year, they take the Bud Selig approach with steroids.

This year, I say lets do it for lacrosse. Get a company like Dick’s or Gatorade to hold a free bracketology for lacrosse (that way no one is gambling per se). Dish out gift cards for the winners. It would need to be a non-lacrosse company. I mean we want not only lacrosse fans, but new blood entering for a chance at some free swag. By entering, they would at least have to do a little research about our sport, and be exposed to it. As we all know, once you see your first game of lacrosse, you get hooked.

Who knows. You may even see a contest here.

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Army vs. Navy (M&T Bank Stadium (MD)) (11:30 am)

This week’s Game of the week is the yearly Army/Navy game.

Army is 5-6 with no ranked wins. Key losses were to #3 Cornell by 1, #5 Hofstra by 1, #15 Colgate by 1, and #19 Bucknell by 2.
Navy is 8-3 with wins over #19 Georgetown and #12 Maryland. Key losses to North Carolina by 1, Bucknell by 1, and Colgate by 1.

Army’s EMO is a struggling this year only converting on 28% of their opportunities, while their man-down unit is only stopping their opponents 47% of the time. Army is only 46% on FO.  Jason Peyer leads the way with 38 points (26G, 12A), followed by Jeremy Boltus (20,16), Kevin LoRusso (13,6), Brooks Korvin (12,6), and Rob McCallion (9,9). After that the #6 scorer is only at 9 total points.
In net, Tom Palesky has put up a nice 63% save percent and an 8.28GAA.

Navy’s EMO is not struggling as much as Army’s converting 44% of the time. Their man-down defense is lights out one of the best in the nation if not THE best. Their opponents are only converting 13% of the time. Navy’s defense also shines in the fact they have forced 105 opponent turnovers, and are winning the ground ball war by an average of 10 more per game.  Navy’s FO unit is winning 49% of the time. Tim Paul is the points leader for Navy with 30 (17, 13). He is followed by Brendan Connors (15,6), Andy Warner (11,7), Pat Moran (13,3), and Bruce Nechanicky (10,3).

In goal it should be Tommy Phelan. This kid is on one hell of a hot streak right now. In 2 starts, he is 2-0, 6.0 GAA, and 72% save%. That is playing the full 120 minutes. That is playing against both Georgetown and Maryland. The potent MD offense was held to 4 goals against Navy.

Army/Navy is always a good match up. Even though Navy has dominated the W column over the years, Army always hangs tough and plays them close. I think Army has two real good stars with Peyer and Boltus. I think they could give Navy’s D a challenge. I have to give the W to Navy in this one, just because of the way Phelan is playing.

These two teams play lacrosse in the spirit the game was meant to be played. It is an all out war on the field. Yet after the game, there is a bond of brotherhood. With this game it is not only between fellow lacrosse players, but between fellow servicemen.

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