Eulogizing the 2012 College Lacrosse Season: (52) Canisius

You spent the better part of four months meticulously dissecting the 2012 college lacrosse season. You shouldn't stop now because cold turkey is a bad way to go through life, man. College Crosse is providing decompression snapshots of all 61 teams and their 2012 campaigns, mostly because everything needs a proper burial.

I. VITAL SIGNS

Team: Canisius Golden Griffins

2012 Record: 6-8 (3-3, MAAC)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -0.13 (37)

2011 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): 0.13 (27)

Winning Percentage Change from 2011: +17.86%

2012 Efficiency Margin: -8.37

Efficiency Margin Change from 2011: -0.06

II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT

  • So, Canisius suffers through a brutal four-game losing streak that stretches from the end of March through mid-April -- including a 14-2 trouncing at the hands of Siena -- and somehow manages to pull off three consecutive two-goal victories (including a 12-10 defeat of Detroit in the MAAC semifinals) to draw Siena in the league final with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line. What does Canisius do? No, they don't get their brains beaten through their ass and then flushed to New Jersey for "processing"; instead, the Griffins scream out on the Saints (a team that had hammered the league all season) in the championship to hold on to a 10-9 win. I just . . . I don't . . . where's the booze?

III. "YOU'RE GROUNDED UNTIL YOU QUALIFY FOR THE AARP!" FACT

  • Here are two important things: (1) Canisius had Simon Giourmetakis, a superb attack that rated among the 30 most-productive players in Division I in 2012; (2) As a team, the Griffins held a raw shooting percentage of around 31 percent, good for 17th nationally. Which begs the question: How in the hell did Canisius end the season with an adjusted offensive efficiency value that ranked only 49th in the country? Giving the ball away on about 56 percent of the team's offensive opportunities tends to do the trick (and it wasn't even due to a horrendous clearing game). The lost chances pushed the Griffins into the bottom two nationally in shots per offensive opportunity, which is just dastardly when you hold the two things noted previously. (To be fair, Canisius' defense wasn't all that hot this season either (save when it counted in the MAAC Tournament), but it's not like that unit had a top-end talent like Giourmetakis that can really shape the game.)

IV. MR. FIX-IT HAS A ONE-FIX ENGAGEMENT, AND IT'S . . .

  • This is the second season in a row that the Golden Griffins have had a turnover rate that has exceeded 53 percent. When you're playing decent schedules against teams that are capable of exploiting sloppy play, you're going to absorb some mortal wounds. Clean it up and there's a strong likelihood that the defensive performance improves -- simply by limiting an opponent's additional opportunities to expose it -- as well as offensive efficiency. A return to and focus on the fundamentals might just be a beautiful thing.

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