Eulogizing the 2012 College Lacrosse Season: (26) Air Force

ATTENTION CASCADE: New awesome idea for a lacrosse helmet.

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: Air Force Falcons

2012 Record: 6-7 (1-5, ECAC)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -2.13 (52)

2011 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -1.91 (55)

Winning Percentage Change from 2011: 0.00%

2012 Efficiency Margin: 2.12 (26)

Efficiency Margin Change from 2011: +3.21

II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT

  • When you're rolling with lots of youth -- Air Force's top six scorers this season were either sophomores or freshmen; two-thirds of its starting defense were underclassmen -- things can go wrong in a hurry. Eric Seremet, however, managed to hold it all together in 2012 while seeing one of his freshmen -- Keith Dreyer -- turn into one of the strongest individual offensive players in the country. Dreyer finished the year ranked 34th in the country in Total Offensive Value; the Player Statistical Index ranked Dreyer 33rd among attack and 19th among freshmen in terms of impact. With a little more seasoning, Dreyer and his running mates may have the potential to become a laser show out west, giving their neighbors in Denver a run for their money in terms of launching rockets each time they possess the bean. In the overall this was a fairly average offense, but the pieces -- especially in light of their youth -- are notable.

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

  • While all of Air Force's youth is exciting and is probably considered currency in less developed lacrosse and economic areas, there was a nasty residue from all of this underclass play: The Falcons played at about a two possession deficit on a 60 minute basis and a big reason for that was the team's complete lack of ability to clear the bean out of its defensive end. Only four teams had a harder time clearing the ball than Air Force in 2010 and, given the strength toward the top of the ECAC last season, it was a pretty significant factor in the Falcons' ability to compete. Had the Falcons simply cleared at the national average, the team's possession gap falls to only one possession per game; just 14 more successful clears and Air Force puts itself in a comparable position to their opponents.

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

  • Give all those underclassmen time to come along and figure out the college game. Air Force kept pace with its record from 2011, but this fact remains: The Falcons didn't beat a team that finished the year with at least a .500 record and the aggregated record of the opponents they defeated was a mere 22-60. It was a schedule that Air Force probably needed to compete in 2012, but with increased development from the pups the Falcons are going to need to get some bigger scalps to validate the youth that is being brought along.

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