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Wilson’s Wheelhouse: Midweek Edition

LAS was all over the Big City Classic put on by InsideLacrosse and overall the event was a huge success.  The Hoftra-Delaware game was the most competitive of the three but in all of the games there was some exciting action and lots to report on.

UNC attackman, Billy Bitter, has been the man for the Heels this year along with midfielder Sean Delaney.  With Sean injured and Billy banged up, the Heels needed a superhuman effort from the rest of their team to beat UVa and while they came close and fought hard, the win just wasn’t in the stars for them.

Both teams showed off how strong their defenses were as defenseman, Ryan Flanagan, and goalie, Chris Madalon, for UNC really played top notch lax.   However, Adam Ghitelman, the goalie for UVa, and Ken Clausen, everyone’s all-american dpole, did their jobs close to perfection as well.  The result was a tight 7-5 win for UVa.

Syracuse killed Princeton 13-4, even though another big time stud on the defensive end, Chad Wiedmaier was back for the Tigers.

The Syracuse O utilized about 8-10 guys to create and score over the course of the game and the depth for the Orange is straight up scary.  Jeremy Thompson, middie for the Orange, continues to impress with his zealous play and hard work.  The fact that he’s got a great stick and can run like a gnu doesn’t hurt either.

John Galloway, the Cuse keeper and the entire Cuse D looked excellent and while these guys are all excellent individual players, the way they play together makes them that much better.  The Cuse D is a good one to watch for all the youngsters out there on how to do it right and make it fun, all at the same time.  Impressive.

In D3 NCAA lax, there was really only one huge upset this weekend and it was Middlebury getting knocked off by a suddenly resurgent Bowdoin team.  This matchup often results in a one goal game but this time Bowdoin took the Panthers out behind the woodshed and beat them like a dog, or in this case, a cat, that just won’t hunt.

I had big expectations for Bowdoin this year but due to injuries and a perceived lack of depth, the Polar Bears have struggled.  The win over Midd puts the rest of the NESCAC on notice not to sleep againt the PBears and it should make the conference playoffs that much more exciting.

There were lots of MCLA games and somehow the mighty Canadians of Simon Fraser knocked off Oregon.  I guess Canadians play better once the weather warms up a bit… even though that makes absolutely no sense.  SFU struggled big time but if they can make the MCLA tourney, they are a definite darkhorse.  In the end, I think they lack the depth to really compete at nationals.

Ok, I know you want to hear more about it… Michigan lost, to a team with an interim coach, that has been struggling this year.  This is big news.  It’s big news because they lost but not because this means they are beatable.  Of course they’re beatable.  Everyone is, it’s why we play the game.

The fact that they lost is big because when a team like this eventually loses a game and is no longer focused on some silly streak of wins or some obtuse record that spans multiple seasons, they refocus on what’s really important: winning that National Championship.

I believe this so strongly that I now like Michigan to win it all more than I did when they had won 55 straight games or whatever it was.  The fact that they went out and methodically took down Colorado State (a very good team and contender) less than 2 days after losing to Colorado also speaks volumes.

During the midweek we’re going to see some pretty good action including the Deep South Tournament kicking off in D2 NCAA action.  I have no idea who will emerge from the DSC this year but you can bet the games will be pretty good.

A huge SUNYAC conference game between Cortland and Geneseo highlights the action on Wednesday in D3 land.  The SUNYAC (State Univ. of NY Athletic Conf.) is a weak division overall as most of the teams are not very good but Cortland, and to a lesser extent, Geneseo make it something worth watching as Cortland is regarded as one of the top D3 programs of all time and Geneseo is a real up and comer in the division.

In other upstate action, RIT takes on St. John Fisher in an Empire 8 conference match up and St. JF is still undefeated.  They’ve played a really weak schedule so far so a win over RIT would be really big.  I still like RIT to pull our the W though.

On Friday night, Colorado College takes on Denison and this game has absolutely HUGE implications for the Pool B NCAA tourney selections.  Denison needs the win although they will probably make the tourney not matter what.  Colorado College REALLY needs the win as they are somewhat of a bubble team right now.  Should be a good one and CC has the sweetest Riddell helmets ever.  Although that isn’t really difficult.

In MCLA action, this is a pretty good week for in-state “rivalry” games even though there aren’t a ton of games scheduled.  On Wednesday, Utah and Utah State do a little dance (that’s legal in Utah, right?) and then on Thursday, UCSB travels to USC for a big Cali game.

On Friday, Central and Western Michigan will tango and so will Kentucky-Louisville, UC San Diego-San Diego and finally a non-in-state game between Nebraska and Iowa in the battle for corn supremacy.  Our buddy over at 412 heads up to beantown (Boston) with the rest of the Pitt team to take on a pretty decent Northeastern squad.

Should be a pretty good week (what week in the spring isn’t?) of lacrosse and I’ll be back later this week to wax poetic some more about who is hot and who is… well, not.  In the meantime, check out some pictures of the team up at Onondaga Community College and prepare to make fun of some bee-chucking hipsters.

And now two photos from Jolly old England because square goals are funny and spandex shorts do not qualify as “wearing full equipment”.


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.

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