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Syracuse came back from a late 3 goal deficit to defeat Cornell in overtime.

Cornell should walk off the field with their heads held high.  They had a great season and Jeff Tambroni is obviously a good coach.  But they really blew their chance.  And it was some coaching mistakes that are probably most to blame.

Late game coaching mistakes

  1. With roughly 8 minutes left in the game Cornell was trying to kill time when they were on man-up offense.  There was then a 2nd penalty and they were still content to hold the ball.  Cornell was only up 1 goal at that point.  With a man advantage and 8 minutes left, they should be trying to score, regardless of the size of the lead.  They never even attempted a shot on the 1st man advantage.  Another goal sure would have helped.
  2. Not getting a shot off when there is a delayed flag.  This is one of the most common mistakes in lacrosse these days - at any level.  Where there is a flag down and play-on situation, it’s a free shot.  Almost any shot is a good shot.  If you start paying attention you’ll notice how infrequently teams get off shots when there is a play-on penalty.  Cornell missed two free shot opportunities.  The players should be coach to recognize these situations and shoot the ball!
  3. Cornell was up 1 goal with about 1:30 left in the game.  They had the ball in Syracuse’s box and just needed to run out the clock.  Cornell’s Roy Lang (who Quint Kessenich refered to as awkward) had the ball covered by Abbott.  It was clear Abbott was working to take the ball away and that Lang was in trouble.  Cornell should have take the timeout.  Even if it meant Syracuse put a pole on the ball don’t you like any matchup with Seibald, Glynn,  or any attackman better?
  4. With roughly 25 seconds left in the game Cornell was given possession behind their goal to clear the ball.  They weren’t setup, they pushed the ball up field using a defenseman to try and dodge. Cornell should have taken a timeout and setup a clear. Or even brought Seibald down to run the ball.  This was the most obvious mistake at the end of the game.
  5. [EDIT] - The commenter made a good point which was meant to be on this list. When you get the ball in OT you call a timeout if you don’t have the best matchup on the field.  No reason to save the TO in OT.

Yes hindsight is 20/20, and being the head coach of a college lacrosse team playing on Memorial day is a monumental task. But making a different coaching decision on any of those three key 4th quarter situations likely wins the game for them.

I’m watching the D3 championship before heading out to film more of the tailgate show we do each year. Gettysburg leads Cortland 4-2. I was surprised to see Gettysburg make the final after watching them get hammered by Stevenson earlier in the year, but I really like Hank Janczyk, the Gettysburg Coach, so I am glad he’s in. I can’t root for anyone up here in the press box, but I would root for the Bullets if I did. On the other hand there’s a chance for a total run of the table by upstate New York as Syracuse plays Cornell tomorrow and LeMoyne and Cortland have opportunities to win titles today. Remember that Onondaga already won the JUCO title last week. I’m not from upstate but I wouldn’t mind seeing them take all the titles again, rewarding the blue collar style of lacrosse they play up there.

I predicted Virginia to crush Cornell, but am so glad the opposite occurred. I really think certain sacrifices were made at Virginia over the last two years in the quest for a title that were errors in my judgment. A well rounded team with lots of experience would perhaps been able to recover against Cornell, but the guys with the skills to make that comeback were on the bench as they have been all year. I have nothing against the Brattons, either of them. But, neither has the abilities to carry a team to a title. That was obvious to me years ago when they played U-19 and should not have made that team. There are much better players, in my opinion, riding pine for UVa so that the twins can learn, on the field, things these other kids have known since 8th and 9th grade. This year, I thought UVa had enough talent all around to win anyway, but obviously not. If the Tewaaraton folks were watching I also think Glading is out of the running, as is Duke’s Ned Crotty as far as I am concerned. Enter Cornell’s John Glynn, who dominated Virginia even with an elbow injury. He’s not a finalist for the Tewaaraton award, but his excellent play may end up helping teammate Max Seibald win the award.

Cornell has a history of playing Syracuse tough so that may just be a great game and may even be a Cornell championship, which would be huge for the game and it’s escape from the grasp of the elite teams we see win year in and year out. So while I love the ‘Cuse and have since I was a kid, I want Cornell to win.

A few notes from the event in general. Yesterday, we tried to interview a guy leaving the Cornell Virginia game carrying a huge stuffed bear on his back. But when we caught up with him and asked for an interview after the Cornell win, he refused. No wonder. He was wearing Virginia shorts and shirt and had obviously stolen the bear mascot and was making an elusive exit from the stadium. I am sure that some Charlottesville frat house will be the new home of the Cornell bear. Some small consolation for a loyal fan who drove 10-15 hours to see his team choke.

There’s a guy for CBS College Sports on the field carrying a 50 pound TV camera on his back as he roams the sideline and runs on the field for close ups after goals and such. He will shoot both the D2 and D3 games with that monstrosity on his back. He is my MVP of the event. He just narrowly beats the excellent and friendly staff at Gillette Stadium. For the second year in a row they have performed exceptionally. One friendly employee really helped us out in navigation the complex parking lot to get from one spot to another amidst hectic traffic. She literally drove out of her way to let us follow her to the spot we needed to find. Thanks!

The press food at the D3 championship game is, for the first time ever, better than the D2 semis. I swear the chicken is garnished with leeks. There’s a Tomato and Mozzarella salad. I thought we might wait until San Francisco hosted the games in 2034 to get such fare at a lacrosse game. The pressure is on for Baltimore next year. I am thinking Crab dip and Berger Cookies.

The Patriot Place shopping area was completed in the off-season which makes the whole area a lot more convenient to be stranded for three days. An entire shopping mall and hotel complex now surrounds the stadium and the parking area seems to have doubled.

The only real mess up, from an organizational standpoint happened today, as the Sunday ticket received by all who bought the three day ticket package had the times of today’s games as 1:30 and 4:30 while the games really started at 12:00 and 2:30. The crowd has picked up considerably for the D3 game’s second half, many missing the first as they took their time getting to the venue because of the late start time they assumed was correct. Imagine sitting in a Denny’s eating your egg and bacon skillet while your team is playing without you after 8 hour drive to see the game.

I spoke to John Grant, Jr. and legendary Cornell coach Richie Moran today and they both love the D3 and D2 games. Jr. never goes into the D1 games, preferring the tailgate scene for Saturday and Monday. But he faithfully watches the Sunday games, saying they are just more exciting to watch. Coach Moran and I agreed that it’s the flaws that teams have and the exploitation of them that makes for great lacrosse and often at the D1 level, those are far and few between. It’s like the difference between college and pro basketball. I am addicted to college hoops and hate the pro game for exactly that reason and a couple others.

Yesterday, we passed an area where what looked like a carry on sized piece of luggage had been abandoned on the main concourse of the stadium. An announcement had been made to find the owner but the security around the bag was thick and dead serious, as it should be in a 50,000 person crowd with today’s post-911 sensibilities. So today, there are bomb dogs present at the venue. It feels weird but whatever they have to do for the safety of our community here in Foxboro, is ok with me.

Looks like Cortland is going to beat Gettysburg. It’s now 9-6 with 1:08 left and I am off to start today’s tailgate show. Talk to you tomorrow!

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.

Hirbod Azmi checks in from the sideline at the 2009 Championships

Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend so far, this is my first Final four with a press/photo pass so it’s a big change and very exciting in a different perspective. I was fortunate enough to play in 2 championships and attend many final four’s through the years. Well my day started early for me, I really didn’t feel like sitting in Memorial day traffic on Friday night so I decided that I would leave at 5:30 Sat morning. About hour and half into the rainy ride I couldn’t keep my eyes open so I pulled over into one of the rest stops and took a nice 20 minute nap and then I was on my way. I got to good ol Brockton at around 9:15 and met up with John and he showed me to our wonderful room which smells like mold and smoke and for some reason we have a perfect round melted circle in our carpet.

At around 10:15 or so we meet up with Sparky & Josh Cornett and we piled in the E-lax toureg and were off to the Gillette stadium. We parked the car and were off to get our media passes and I feel like a little kid at this time, I haven’t been this excited for something in a while. I grab my pass and I’m in the stadium, I walked around a bit to check out the locker room and other goodies but I’m approached by one of the ladies in yellow and she kindly escorts me to the field and tells me that I’m not allowed to just mosey around.

As I get on the field I look around and the stadium which is starting to pack in and Syracuse and Duke are warming up so I get all my photo gear set up and I’m ready to take shots. I just got a new camera so I play around with it a bit to make sure that I know what I’m doing(some people out there may argue with that statement) and find the best spot on the field to get the best shots. I snap about 230 picks for the first half and during half time I run into Harry from the crease monkeys and spoke to him for a bit and found out where the Monkeys camp was set up, also ran into Kylor Berkman and wished him luck, lets hope he gets on a team this summer( MLL draft is this wed). I took another 200 shots for the second half and after a Syracuse win I had to sit down for a bit to relax the legs. Found a place to sit on the sideline and just watched the crowd. Watched Cornell and UVA goalies warming up and the rest of the players slowly came out and it was game time. For this game I moved around a bit and for the first time I was allowed on the same side as the bench so that was pretty cool, getting a different vantage point and I really think my foot may have been on TV……

After a big red win I followed Harry to the Monkeys tail gate, had some food and drinks and ran into some old friends. Hung around for a couple of hours and by this time it was 7:30 and it was time to head back to the Moldy Hotel. Downloaded my 800 picks and deleted about 200 so I have 600 shots to work with, hopefully Ill have 20-30 shots I can share with you guys.

Around 9 we got a call from Sparky & Josh that they were down at the sports bar in the hotel so John and I met up with them. After a couple of games of pool and some drinks I did something that I have never done or seen before and I have to ask the audience what the is correct call: If you hit the 8 ball in and scratch on the break do you win or lose the game?  Well I Lost the game but I still think I should have won……

It was around 12 by now and I was off to bed to get ready for Sunday’s game and festivities.

Here are a few photos from yesterday’s crowd and sidleines.

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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by Elizabeth Cozart

Photo from GoDuke.com

Photo from GoDuke.com

Duke rookie longstick CJ Costabile describes himself as a bit of an “oddball.” He says he’s “happy,” “spontaneous,” and “loyal.” What he doesn’t say is that he’s also friendly, polite and personable.

But put him on the field and CJ becomes somewhat less concerned about the feelings of others. As a player, he describes himself as “persistent, “versatile,” “smart,” and “hungry,” adding that what he likes most is separating an opponent from the ball.

“I like defense the most,” says the 19-year old from New Fairfield, CT, “especially taking the ball away. I’m almost starting to feel like it’s a lost art. It’s awesome to check someone and knock the ball away. It sort of demoralizes the other guy.”

CJ stops, recognizing that his last statement might be misunderstood.

“I mean that sometimes playing defense means making the most of my athleticism,” he continues. “And the way we play defense at Duke is a team defense. Everybody’s gotta be on the same page and that was instilled early on.”

From the beginning of the school year, CJ says, the Duke defense spent time together, doing things together outside of practice that will bring them closer on the field. Bowling and skeet shooting were particular favorites, he says. Video games, too. Current Duke lacrosse team choices include Halo, NHL 2009, and the UFC demo.

Teamwork and unity are clearly things that are important to CJ’s life and his game. He says that while winning the MVP trophy at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in May was a real thrill, the highlight of his rookie season was a moment in practice.

“One day I made a suggestion in practice to Coach Gabs (Duke assistant coach Chris Gabrielli) and he said ‘that works.’ That was really cool. It felt like I was learning and he was trusting me.”

CJ says that his teammates never frowned on him for being a freshman and he was sure that the squad had faith that he could get the job done.

“At the UNC game in the tournament,” he says of the final game which Duke won 15-13, largely on the strength of CJ’s explosive three-goal hat trick, “when Ned (Crotty) fed me the ball, he trusted that I could get the job done. It’s a progression. You build the trust in the other guys and they’ll believe in you, too.”

Summer camps were a big factor in his development, CJ says. He calls them “hugely important.”

“Without them I probably wouldn’t be here,” he said, referring to his spot on the Duke team. He points out that his hometown is hardly the center of the lacrosse universe.

“Coming from New Fairfield, which isn’t a hotbed of lacrosse,” he says, “no D1 coaches come and recruit. The camps are where you get seen.”

He advises young players who are interested in exposure to choose a camp that will both teach and give them plenty of opportunity to play.

“And go to the ones where you know the coaches will be,” he says. “Another great thing to do is go to camps that schools run. For example, if you want to play at Duke, go to a Duke camp so that the coaches can see you.”

CJ also got a lot of exposure at last year’s U-19 world championships, where the US won the gold medal at the games held in Coquitlan, in British Columbia. The US team has never lost a U-19 game.

“It was awesome to be able to represent the country,” he says. Again stressing the concept of teamwork, CJ tells of a story in which a player from West Point who had been injured and unable to play came to speak to the American squad.

“He talked to us about about missing the game and representing his country, the camaraderie, how he wishes he could fight side by side with his comrades, almost in service to his country. That was cool.”

Of his freshman year at Duke, CJ says that classroom demands have been one of his biggest adjustments.

“The hardest thing to deal with has been the academics at such a high level, maintaining that while still playing lacrosse,” he said.

Of the biggest influences in his life, CJ says it’s his parents. One or both of them have come to every Duke game this season and he says that “without them I wouldn’t I have been able to develop into the person I have become. They have been supportive from the start and continue to be my biggest fans”

“CJ is an extremely well balanced and even keeled young man and athlete,” said Duke head coach John Danowski. “ He loves to play and is loved by his teammates. His development has been impressive and he will continue to improve as he gains more DI experience.”

Costabile says he’d advise a young player trying to decide on a school to look past lacrosse.
“You just gotta find the right fit for you,” he said. “Look at a school, say ‘would I like to come here if I didn’t play?’ You want to put yourself where you’re going to succeed. What if you get hurt? It’s good to dream high but not everyone is going to play at Hopkins or Duke. Find the school that’s the best fit for you.”

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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.

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