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Wilson’s Wheelhouse: Tournament Edition

Most of the college-level national lacrosse tournaments are either currently underway or will begin shortly.  Only one National Champ has already been decided (in the NJCAA), but we’ll get to that later in this post.

The MCLA Division 1 and 2 Tourneys are in full swing out in Denver, CO, although they are experiencing some delays due to the ultra awful May weather of snow storms and freezing rain.  Unfortunately for yours truly, this has not resulted in some of my upset picks (Boston College, for example) winning.  Awesome.

Now 412‘s lead in the CBC will only get bigger.  Sometimes you eat the bar, sometimes the bar eats you.

UF and FSU are excited for snow? In May? Probably not.

Evidently, it was just too hot and the weather was too unpredictable in Texas so the tourney moved to Denver where the weather was perfect… last year.  In 2010, it’s snowing and people are freaking out about it.

My initial reaction is that everyone just needs to sack up and deal with it and that this late season snow is an anomaly worth marveling at and not crying about.  On the other hand, if the tourney were to move to San Diego in 2012, I would actually attend it, if for no other reason than to get a sweet spring tan.  Also, if your players are paying to travel, let them travel somewhere nice.

I won’t go into the action any further because our coverage of the MCLA tournaments continues on LAS in other posts, as well as on, so make sure you check it all out!

In the D1 NCAA lax world, Johns Hopkins made the NCAAs and people are divided on the issue along pretty much the exact same lines as people who love/hate the Hop.  If you hate them, they didn’t deserve the invite.  If you love them, you’re fooling yourself with SOS arguments.  The real question to the gripers is, who would you put in their place? Georgetown, Drexel, Brown, Navy or Bucknell?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Should Gtown be dancing? No, probably not.

I agree that Hop didn’t really deserve to get in… but then again, neither did any of the above teams so that kind of brings us back to square 1.  The fact is, Hopkins has more history and importance to the college game than any other program and that will always help them.  If the selection committee can put them in, they will.  Now that we all know that, can we move on?  Such is life.

You want someone to blame for the Hop inclusion? Try Loyola. All they had to do was win and Hop was out. Or drop the sour grapes. Either works.

I like Syracuse to take it all and think they are pretty much a LOCK to get to the Finals because of the draw they got.  Just to bring up some ridiculous, looking-ahead conjecture, if Cuse wins this year, they have to be the favorites to win next year because the majority of their team returns.  If they then won next year, they would be 4 year repeat champs in D1 Men’s Lax.  Unheard of in the modern era.

Jeremy Thompson's flow is better than yours. Deal with it.

Virginia also has a good draw and should easily make the Semis although the recent events in Charlottesville pretty much mean all bets are off.  When one of the players on your team is accused of murder and is sitting in a jail cell, it can have an effect on the team.  That is just reality.  For this reason, I like Duke or UNC to be the other Finals team.

The NCAA D3 Tournament kicks off on the afternoon of the 12th and THREE teams from both the NESCAC (Middlebury, Conn College and Tufts) and Centennial (Gettysburg, Haverford and Dickinson) made the dance.

Three teams from the NCAC also made the dance but they all got Pool B bids and this is simply not that impressive.  Why, you may ask?  Well, along with the 6 teams in the NCAC, only Colorado College, Whittier and maybe Greensboro are really competing for those 3 bids so if the NCAC doesn’t send 3 teams, the year was a huge dissappointment.

One of these Pool B bids needs to be taken away because Denison and OWU are pretty much locks every year and they rarely make a push in the tourney, although Denison did ok last year.  The teams below them are basically sacrificial lambs who get rocked in their first game.

I like Cortland and Tufts to square off in the Northern Final, although Tufts (who will have to beat Endicott to move on) may have to face Middlebury again to do so (assuming Midd takes down RPI like they did in the regular season and Cortland will probably have to get through a good Conn College zone defense to make it back.  Of course, Conn has to actually beat RIT to even get the chance to play Cortland and one should never count out the Tigers.

On Wednesday the 12th, the following Northern bracket games took place:  Keene State took down Castleton State 21-7 and Middlebury knocked out Goucher 10-6 up in Vermont.  In somewhat of a surprise result, Endicott (MA) took out Montclair State from NJ.

Conn has sweet uniforms, a stifling D and a stud attackman in Daschille.

In the Southern half, the competitition is considerably stiffer.  Salisbury has a good shot at the South Semifinals but they’ll have to get past Dickinson or Haverford to do so.  Gettysburg, Roanoke, Stevenson and Denison will all fight it out just to see who gets to the other South Semifinal… wowzas.  That’s some seriously concentrated talent!

Also on Wednesday, Denison managed to lose to Cabrini 10-7, while Dickinson knocked off OWU 7-3.  Springfield (in W. Mass) knocked off Widener 7-1.  The two first games speak to the weakness of the NCAC and Springfield’s win proves the North really isn’t that far behind the South, if at all.  Adding to the strength of my anti-Pool B arguments, Roanoke straight up destroyed Wittenberg, 15-4.

In NCAA D2 action, only 4 teams make the playoffs.  CW Post and Dowling make up one Semi and Limestone and LeMoyne make up the other.  Both of these games will be played on May 22nd and it looks like I might be doing the color commentary for the online broadcast of the CW Post-Dowling game.  I’ll keep you all posted on that!

I’d love to see Post’s fogo, Mike Cama, in action.  After all, he’s currently winning about 72% of his face offs.  I’d also like to see LeMoyne play as they epitomize the blue collar upstate lacrosse mentality to me.  Plus their mascot is a Dolphin and to train ze Dolphin, you must get in ze Dolphin’s head.  You must be ze Dolphin.

Now at the beggining of this post, I mentioned that a National Champ had already been decided in the National Junior College Athletic Association and the winner was… Onondaga Community College!  Which also means… LAS has their first National Champ contributor of 2010!

Special congrats go out to Daniel Shields, a freshman attackman for the Lazers, who taught us the Upstate Top String and was an early Fireside Chatter.

OCC hoists the hardware again in 2010!

Now I’m going to move seemlessly from College Lacrosse to Club and International Lacrosse by simply showing you some pictures.

These are 2 heads I dyed up for Glenn Morley, a sporadic LAS contributor, who is playing for Australia in the ILF World Games this summer.  The first has 7 stripes (one for each state in Australia) as well as the Southern Cross, which can be found on their National Flag and in the lyrics of songs by David Crosby.

It's like the Aussie version of Stars and Bars. Except Upside DownUnder.

The second head features some fading techniques, lettering and tight dye lines.  The colors came out very well and are even brighter in person.

Simple fade with stripes. Anyone can do it!

I’ve also included some pictures of a 4 diamond traditional string job I did in pink because this summer I’ll be balling with the Woozles out in Tahoe, and they love pink.  Plus I wanted to do a traddy rig and it’s literally been years since I went basic traditional.  I throws like a dream already and I think Jeremy Thompson, Syracuse middie, would be jealous… the set up is pretty similar to his.

Wide pink diamonds are a Bro's best friend.
And... FIN.

About the Author:
Connor is a life-long lacrosse player who doesn’t know when to give up on the game.  He played and coached at Wesleyan University and now 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