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Stevenson Roanoke Lacrosse 2011
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A Tale Of Two Halves: Stevenson Vs. Roanoke Lacrosse

The Stevenson – Roanoke DIII Men’s Lacrosse game yesterday was ridiculous!  It came down to the wire, and was really a story of two different halves.  The first was a shootout, while the second half slowed down quite a bit.  In the end though, the game more than delivered on all the hype.

I was hoping that yesterday was going to be one of my most heavy internet lacrosse watching days of the year.  But rain, poor broadcast quality and technical difficulties made this almost impossible.  The MCLA Tournament feed wasn’t working great, although I never had a problem with the audio.  The Tufts webcast was cancelled due to tech problems.  The Salisbury webcast needed some rare plug-in that my computer couldn’t even find.  But thankfully, the Stevenson – Roanoke webcast was near perfection.

Stevenson Roanoke Lacrosse 2011
Jimmy Dailey was held to 2 goals by Noke.

As 412 noted, the Stevenson webcast didn’t have instant replay.  Other than that, it’s the best non-D1 live feed I’ve seen in a long time.  And to add awesomeness on top of consistency, their game against Roanoke was one for the ages.

In the first half, both teams made mini runs and the lead exchanged hands, but never got to more than 2 or 3 goals for either squad.  When one side looked like they were ready to take a more commanding lead, the team that was then down would pump in a couple goals and all of a sudden, we had a tight game again.  After all this back and forth, Roanoke entered halftime up 10-8, and it looked like we were in for another high-scoring down to the wire game.

The game definitely went down to the wire, but not in the fashion I had suspected.

After combining to score 18 goals in the first half, both Stevenson and Roanoke only managed to score 7 goals… for the rest of the game!  Some on twitter (SwankLax) thought Stevenson’s team D was playing better, and that was the explanation for the change in scoring pace, and I can see how that would work out.  Excellent call!  Typically, Stevenson takes a lot of risks on D, and this leads to two things, transition FOR them, and GOALS against them.  In the second half, their sticks were more controlled and less takeaway checks were thrown.  Transition died down for both teams and Roanoke seemed more content to just possess.

At this point, I thought Stevenson would make a big run, force Roanoke to play catch up and walk away with a 2 or 3 goal win.  I even tweeted that Roanoke needed to keep scoring to win.  I was barely right.  When both of these teams started to settle down, the play got sloppy.  Fast, crisp passes that were finding open men in the first half were now sailing high, and both teams looked like they were being affected by the pressure of the moment.

In the end, Roanoke held on to keep it tied (even though they were outscored 4-2 until the last seconds of the game) and scored the game winner with only 6 seconds left.  The MVP of the game would have to Charles Pease, the goalie for Noke.  Pease had 22 saves, with 11 coming in each half.  He was HUGE when the Maroons needed him to be, and is one of the biggest reasons Roanoke won the game.

Salisbury - Stevenson Lacrosse CAC Final Tony Mendes
Daaaaaa Gulls. A different beast.

This weekend, when they play Salisbury, they need to have a completely new game plan, because while Salisbury can score with the best of them, their D is MUCH more disciplined than Stevenson’s was, and the backside looks on the crease will not be nearly as easy.  They rolled Dickinson last night and are looking sharp.  SU is still my choice to emerge from the South Bracket.

To watch the game, in case you missed it, here is a link to Roanoke’s Online game video.