The Division 3 NCAA Lacrosse season is still relatively young, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton to talk about. There is. So let’s dive right in and get started. D3 Lax is here, even though the fields in Maine are still covered with snow.
There are a ton of undefeated teams right now. A TON. Stevenson and Salisbury both sit at 6-0 while Stevens, St. John Fisher, Carthage and Dickinson are all 5-0. Some of these teams have even played a couple of pretty good games, so it’s not like they’re just running over nobodies. Except for Carthage. They haven’t (and don’t) really play anyone that great. Unless you count Adrian as a good team. Nothing against Adrian, but they are definitely not a Top 20 caliber team.
And while Colorado College is only 2-0, they’ve played their toughest two games (against Swarthmore and Goucher which they won by 1 and 2 goals respectively on their East Coast trip) already and could easily be headed for an undefeated regular season assuming they don’t slip up and lose to Wooster or Whittier. If they do go unbeatean, it will be interesting to see where they figure in to the NCAA tournament seeding.
Photo courtesy InsideLacrosse.com and Jonathan Reiss (GREAT pictures, Jon!)
Cortland is 4-0 with wins over Widener, Gettysburg, Union and Montclair State. So far, they are averaging 12 goals a game on O, which isn’t that impressive. But they are also only giving up 2.5 goals per game, so there’s that. This is the BEST defense in Division III right now, and will most likely continue to be all year. They pitched a shut out in game 1 and have never given up more than 4 goals in a game so far in 2011. Very impressive.
If you want a comprehensive list of games to look out for today (Wednesday, March 16th), check out Jac Coyne’s “The Morning Jac” (is that really the best name for an article? I mean, really?) over at Lacrosse Magazine Online. Jac does an exhaustive amount of work on DIII lax and is a great resource of opinion and fact.
Thankfully, the NESCAC is in motion now, so everyone (well, almost everyone. I’m looking at you Rivier! No games til 3/26? wow.) is competing and rankings and power ratings will start to make more sense.
Photo courtesy Tufts Daily
I’ve got some teams to watch out for this year and I’m not talking about the obvious choices of Tufts, Stevenson, Salisbury, Cortland, etc. I’m talking about a team like Amherst that recently lost to Tufts 13-9 in both teams’ opener, and then went on to beat Endicott a couple of days later. They’ve got scoring and some athletes and they now have Coaching Jesus (as he’s affectionately known on the Laxpower NESCAC thread), John Thompson.
Trinity is another NESCAC team that has a new coach, a new style of play and a whole new look on life. They suffered from Hopkins inspired boring-ball lacrosse under Finlay but are now pushing the ball in transition, using their athletes and actually competing instead of just trying to keep it close. Having a netminder like Peter Johnson doesn’t hurt either.
Ithaca is another team that people should be looking out for as well. They had a down year in 2010 but look to be getting back to business in 2011. They are controlling games and winning. Nothing flashy. Coach Jeff Long knows how to get a team pumping on all cylinders so look for the Bombers to potentially make a splash in the Empire 8 this year. The E8 is looking really tough with Stevens, RIT, St. John Fisher and Nazareth all playing really good lax right now.
Photo courtesy Bombers.Ithaca.edu