A lot has been going on in both the lacrosse and the general sporting worlds over the past week or two so I’m going to try to get you caught up quickly in case you’ve been studying or working like crazy lately. And yes, some of us really do work.
UNC is 2-0 and it is an ugly 2-0. They beat first year program Jacksonville (which has a good coach in Matt Kerwick, good team speed and a couple of Canadian scorers) by 5 or 6 and then barely squeaked by second year D1 squad, Bryant.
Bryant is coached by Pressler, had Zack Greer on the team last year and the school has made a concerted effort to improve their lax team and overall athletic program quickly. Their goalie, Jameson Love (real name), also had a big day with 20 saves.
Is UNC a lost cause? Of course not, but their perceived lack of depth leaves us with a lot of questions. When their other attackmen (other than Bitter who has 3 points in 2 games) come back from injury, I think UNC will be better off but they will remain 2-3 injuries away from disaster. Sean Delaney is coming up big for them at the midfield position. Funny, I think we know him.
Now, Duke was looking good against Team USA. Of course it helped that the US didn’t shoot very well on Duke’s questionable keepers and that Duke players had practiced with the US Team leading up to the game and knew their offensive packages but I digress.
Duke did not look so good against Bucknell and Bucknell didn’t really shoot the lights out either! Freshman Duke keeper, Wigrizer, had 17 saves which is a great sign but we are talking about Bucknell here, not Cuse. Bucknell has 2 main guys that can put up points in Brandau and Winter and both managed to do just that as Brandau went 4-0 and Winter went 1-3. It is a definite concern for Duke’s D that they only had to stop 2 guys and struggled to do that. Winter scored on1/2 of his SOG and Brandau scored on 4/6 SOG. That means 14 saves came against “less talented” players, which Duke won’t see much of come April/May.
Duke’s O will shine through as the season progresses and they have a great group of poles but they still have a lot of work to do and I just can’t see how anyone could rank them over Cuse right now.
Umass struggled with Sacred Heart and only won by 3. Navy smoked VMI. Ohio State beat Villanova by 2 and Bellarmine beat Detroit 12-8. Michigan could probably beat 4 of the 8 teams I just mentioned and still give a team like Nova a good game… so in that vein I’ll talk about some MCLA teams!
The BYU-Chapman game was awesome. Not just because it was on a TV station that I actually get but because it was a pretty good game of lax. BYU LSM Britt Cone was the best player on the field although some of his contributions were a little quieter than other players.
#11 for BYU, Arias is highly rated, did well 1 on 1 with Martin but really struggled in the team phase. He missed second slides, ball-watched and slid early or ineffectively too much. As he gels with the team more, I don’t expect this to be a problem but right now he may be getting bitten by the “I come from D1 lax so I can dominate at the MCLA level” mindset. He’s trying to do too much and needs to remember lacrosse is a team game at all levels.
Connor Martin didn’t push the ball too much and got his teammates involved yet still scored when the opportunity was there. Chapman’s Small can straight up dodge from the midfield and needs to draw the pole more. Grow can do it all but should do it all more on O. Let the gigantic Houghtons clear the ball but BYU desperately needs a leader on O right now to settle them down and control the pace.
Hilton looked good in net although he was inconsistent early on. He needs to have a big season is BYU wants to contend. BYU needs a fogo. That is all.
In the battle over the color maroon, UC Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount had a little play day and LMU came out on top 15-8. They may have lost but UCSC looks like kind of a sweet place to play and they have decent uniforms so that’s something.
In the first NCAA battle for Florida (the MCLA battles have been going on for years so it’s ridiculous to call this the first college lacrosse game between two FL teams but whatever), Rory Whipple’s Florida Southern bested Rollins College out of Orlando, 12-7. FSC won the game and Rollins has 10x better uniforms and helmets. Fair.
For full-size pictures of both Rollins and Florida Southern College you can just click here. Nice job, Jim Hogue! Some really good shots in there!
In D3 NCAA action, Roanoke and Salisbury both CRUSHED early opponents so… no real news here. Virginia Wesleyan and Mary Washington battled to a one goal game with VW eking out the 6-5 win but neither of these teams is a top 20 squad so very few people took much notice.
On an extremely important note, the NESCAC (Feb 15th) has finally started so every NCAA lax team is now playing together and since the NESCAC season has started, all of the other lacrosse conferences can start trying (and failing) to match up. I’m biased but whatever. I only want to drive a NESCACillac.
I’m 9-0 in my 412 weekly game predictions. The rest of the LAS crew (including 412 himself) is 7-2. The season is young. Stay hungry.
Reader beware: This next segment has nothing to do with lax but read it anyway because what else do you have to do, watch the Olympics? If so, definitely read the rest because now it’s relevant.
Lots of people are taking notice about the Olympics and specifically, NBC’s coverage of the Games. And most of the commentary… well, it’s been bad.
I’m not only talking about the commentary on TV, which has been AWFUL, but also the commentary online. “Worst Olympics Ever”, “all NBC’s fault”, etc etc etc are all over the line comments coming from people who just want to hear themselves scream since the first couple days at the Olympics usually suck and that’s just the way it is.
I mean, hockey didn’t even start until today (and I’m only talking about the hockey where real checking is allowed)! I also don’t have a big problem with tape delay… that’s fine and since I work I think it’s great that I can go home and see the best that the day has to offer but there is a problem with this… they show Al Michaels and some Rick Reilly/Mike Lupica combo wannabe (as if RR and ML weren’t painful enough alone!) WAY too much. Honestly, I don’t care what these guys think. Zey know nozzing, Lebowski. I also don’t care what that 6’6″ average (at best) tennis player, Mary Carillo, thinks about polar bears.
And I REALLY don’t understand what an animated film has to do with ANYTHING. I want to see sports. Sure, I also want to see Americans, which NBC delivers on, but I also want to see CHAMPIONS and in a lot of these sports, that ain’t us! So what, NBC? Show me all the champions and let’s get over ourselves.
And the commercials. How can NBC be losing $200M by covering the Olympics when they spend half the time showing commercials? I’ll tell you one way they could reverse that… by showing more of the actual events and less Bob Costas! Why? Because then people might actually watch!
The Olympics are great but NBC is really doing their best to ruin the events by basically not showing them at all. NO live broadcast of Bode Miller winning Bronze (they did show hours of live X-country skiing though!) because it can only be shown at night on tape delay. LAME! I actually want to see skiing. Isn’t that like THE Winter Olympic sport after all?
And snowboard-cross? Really? NBC, you do know that’s not an actual sport, right? Sure the guys and girls are great athletes but there are more than enough snow events without needing to add rally board racing to the Olympics.
Let’s stick to the halfpipe and downhill racing against the clock, all right fellas? We can leave snowboard-cross to the X-Games on ESPN tyvm.
Also, no matter how many times you try to make me care, Lindsay Jacobellis is just not star material. She has accomplished very little in a joke of a sport and we’re supposed to think she’s the next Shaun White? She’s not even the next Johnny Weir! Homey don’t play that. Props to JW for a pretty solid short program and the best figure skating outfit ever. Yes, it was an outfit.
Speaking of ESPN, on Feb 16th ESPN2 did a season preview for lacrosse and I had no idea it was going to be on. So shame on me for not knowing about it and then not telling you about it. See? We don’t only shame everyone else, but we get in on the shame ourselves. I promise we’ll try to be better.
About the Author: Connor is a pretty average lacrosse player at this point who doesn’t know when to give up on the game. He played and coached in the NESCAC and still plays for the Southampton LC in NYC. Connor lives with his fiance in Brooklyn and thanks her for allowing him to keep the dream alive.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.