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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.

So if I worked in Vegas, I would definitely not be a handicapper per se.  Picking the games straight up was not a problem as I went 5/6.  I went on a limb with Mt Ida and that limb was definitely cut off.   Hey everyone loves the underdog.

I was stunned to see a couple of the scores in the first round of D3 action.  W&L 6-5 over FDU in OT!  I took a double take on that one.  Mt Ida who I mentioned earlier got a major beat down by Springfield, 21-4.

Here are the rest of the 1st Rd scores if you hadn’t seen them:

Cabrini 17 vs Montclair State 3
Denison 12 vs Ohio Wesleyan 2
Saint Lawrence 14 vs Nazareth 7
Springfield 21 vs Mount Ida 4
Eastern Connecticut 10 vs Us Merchant Marine 9 (OT)!
Washington And Lee 6 vs    Fdu-florham 5 (OT)!!

So the play in games are done and we are now down to business.  Stay tuned for the Round 2 match ups later this week!

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?

syrfans

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

20080527_final-four-135

Welcome all to playoff time! Luckily for us here in D3land, we have an extra round of games mid week.  Here is a plain and simple pick’em for these first round games.  We have some really great match ups for the first round as most teams have faced similar opponents and in two cases each other during the regular season.   It’s going to get real tricky to pick these games as the playoffs go on.  In my mind there are 6-7 teams that could easily take the crown this season!   But first they’ll have to make it to Foxboro where I will take the trophy from the winning team and parade around the parking lots like I just won myself!

–North–

Springfield (11-6) vs Mount Ida (13-6)

Both teams are lead by strong offensive units.  They both beat Babson, however Mount Ida only won 8-7 where Springfield topped them 22-6.  And they both lost to Amherst but Springfields was just a wee bit closer.  Mount Ida has an offense that can put up huge numbers in a run and gun game.  If Springfield isn’t sharp this one could be the shocker of the D3 playoffs.

Prediction:  Mount Ida - 13-12 OT

St. Lawrence (12-3) vs Nazareth (11-6)
Earlier this season, St. Lawrence topped Naz 15-10.  Both teams beat Oswego handidly yet lost by large margins to Cortland.  Naz seems to have a better offense from the numbers and the tilt moves to St. Lawrence on the defensive side. It should be a battle to see who moves on to the next round.  The game against each other was pretty early on and both teams have gotten better along the way.  It should come down to coaching.

Prediction:  St. Lawrence - 12-10

US Merchant Marine 11-5 vs Eastern Conn. St. (14-3)
No common opponents played in 2009.  UMM has played 3 playoff teams going 1-2 (beat FDU-Florham 7-6 and lost to Wesleyan and W&L).  ECS has faced 3 playoff teams also going 1-2 (Win over Mt Ida 14-7 and losses to Salisbury and Montclair St).  ECS has just a tad more fire power and will cruise to the win.

Prediction:  Eastern Conn. St. - 13-8

–South–

Cabrini (14-3) vs Montclair St. (13-4)
Both teams dominated in weak conferences but made up for it with tough out of conference schedules.  No opponents in common.  Monclair St. has faced two playoff teams with losses to both Cortland and Wesleyan.  Cabrini has faced 4 playoff teams going 2-2 (Wins over Haverford and FDU-Florham and losses to Gettysburg and Roanoke).  Look for Cabrini’s strong offense to run away with this one.

Prediction:  Cabrini - 16-8

Denision (12-2) vs OWU (10-4)
Due to travel, OWU and Denison get to meet for a 2nd time this season after a Denison TKO in the 1st meeting.  Common opponents; OWU lost to Lynchburg who Denison crushed, both defeated Oberlin, Adrian, Colorado College, Kenyon, Wooster, Wittenburg and Mount St Joseph.  Denison seems to be the better squad this season out in Ohio.

Preditcion:  Denison 15-10

W&L (15-3) vs FDU-Florham (13-4)
The Generals are coming out of the South’s toughest division in 2009.  Common opponents faced; US Merchant Marines beat FDU and lost to W&L, both beat Desales.  FDU is 0-3 against playoff teams (Cabrini, US Merchant Marines and Haverford).  W&L has played 4 playoff team games and are 2-2 with wins over US Merchant Marines and Roanoke in the ODAC finals and losses to Roanoke and Middlebury.  This will be a warm-up for W&L for the following weekend where they will see Gettysburg.

Prediction: W&L 15-6

Here’s what the 2nd RD games would look like based on my 1st Rd picks.  I will update these after the first round of games if any of my picks are in correct.

–NORTH–
*Cortland St. (15-2) vs Mount Ida (13-6)
Tufts (13-4) vs WNE. (16-2)
*Middlebury (13-2) vs St. Lawrence (12-3)
*Wesleyan (CT) (14-3) vs Eastern Conn. St. (14-3)

–SOUTH–
*Stevenson (15-1) vs Cabrini (14-3)
*Haverford (13-3) vs Salisbury (15-3)
*Roanoke (17-1) vs Denison (12-2)
*Gettysburg (13-3) vs W&L (15-3)

20080527_final-four-017

The brackets for the 2009 NCAA Division 1, 2, and 3 tournaments have been announced. In division one the top seeds went to #1 Virginia, #2 Syracuse, #3 Duke, and #4 Princeton.

Division 1 Men - Division 2 Men - Division 3 Men

Division 1 Women - Division 2 Women - Division 3 Women

e-Lacrosse Tournament Pick’em Contest

We’re running a tournament pick’em contest for Division 1 and 3 . Head on over to the e-Lacrosse Forums to make your picks.  If you’re not yet registered for our Forums (or Lax Spot) it only takes a minute and is free obviously.

Make your tournament picks now

Entry Deadline: D1 - May 9th 11:59 AM Eastern Time.  D3 - May 6th 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

Prize: STX K18 or G22 complete stick.


St. Marys College Vs. Salisbury University- 2009 Division 3 action - Photos by Barry Morihlatko

I’m a week or so removed from the D3 scene.  Sorry for the absence but it’s make it or break it for some teams starting now. Conference tournaments are underway and will be finished real soon.  I believe that the NCAA Selection show is this Sunday 5/3.

Thanks to all for positive and or critical feedback on the All-Decade team.  Kreiger was a definite miss on my part and deserves a nod.  If I can create a user poll for this team I think I will do that so you all can vote on the Position Players of the Decade and then on a Player of the Decade.

So back to D3land and the big show. I’m a fan of the AQ as it makes conference play that more important.  We saw that first hand this year in the CAC as Stevenson and St. Mary’s defeated Salisbury and almost had them sitting at home while everyone went to the dance.

We have one lock in Salisbury for pounding #1 at the time Stevenson two weeks ago.  No need to worry, the Mustangs will get invited and should be the #2 in the South behind undefeated Roanoke…assuming they win the ODAC.

This week, we have some match ups that will include some fierce inter-conference rivalries.  At stake, a ticket to the dance!

FRIDAY:ncaa_2009-logo
Centennial Semis @ Haverford
Washington College @ #6 Gettysburg 4:00
McDaniel @ #8 Haverford 1:30

Empire 8 Semis
Nazareth @ #3 Ithaca 4:00
Saint John Fisher @ #20 Stevens Tech 4:00

Liberty Semis
Union @ #18 Saint Lawrence 4:00
Clarkson @ Skidmore 4:00

SATURDAY
SUNYAC Finals
#7 Cortland State @ #9 Geneseo State 1:00

NESCAC Semis @ Middlebury
#17 Wesleyan @ #2 Middlebury 12:00
#19 Bowdoin @ #13 Tufts 3:00

Commonweatlth Coast Finals
#16 Endicott @ #12 Western New England 3:00

Middle Atlantic Finals
Widener @ Fdu-florham 1:00

Colonial Finals
Marywood @ #14 Cabrini 1:00

North Atlantic Finals
Mount Ida @ Castleton State 1:00

Skyline Finals
Kean @ Montclair State 1:00

Pilgrim Finals
Wheaton @ Springfield 1:00

Landmark Finals
Scranton @ Us Merchant Marine 1:00

SUNDAY
ODAC Finals
#10 Washington And Lee @ #1 Roanoke

Cornell at Syracuse 2009 - Photos by Chris Beavers

Johns Hopkins at Syracuse 09 - Photos by Chris Beavers

St. Marys College Vs. Wesley College - 2009 Division 3 action -  Photos by Barry Morihlatko

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