Holy Cross is quietly taking care of its business this season. The Crusaders currently sit above .500 at 4-3, but what is more impressive is that Holy Cross has been playing as a nationally-average team: With an adjusted efficiency margin (adjusted offensive efficiency less adjusted defensive efficiency) ranked 34th in the country, the Crusaders are hanging out in an area that they aren't used to visiting. Holy Cross has its warts and the Crusaders haven't exactly played a schedule that features only West-German-All-Stars-on-all-the-performance-enhancing-drugs (the slate of seven opponents that Holy Cross has faced ranks, in the aggregate, only 51st in opponent adjusted efficiency margin and 50th in opponent Pythagorean win expectation), but that's not really important; what's important is that the Crusaders are winning games and relatively holding it together in their losses.
In short, the Crusaders may not be able to keep up the pace that they're on for the rest of 2013, but the team's overall play is significantly improved from a season ago (which is the most important thing).
The nation got its first look at Jim Morrissey's renovated Holy Cross program this past weekend at the Metropolitan Classic. The Crusaders finished the day with a 7-5 victory over Navy, the first win ever for Holy Cross over the Midshipmen. Someone from Holy Cross brought along a camera to document the day, and that means only one thing: It's time to break down some video. Let's go!
0:01: Behold the majesty of Flushing, Queens! Home to culture (chop shops), fantastic cuisine ("The fact that the inspection grade on this restaurant is a 'B' is more a recommendation than a warning"), and a unique and varied people (they have knives and guns)!
0:28: Aren't the Mets already six games back in the 2014 N.L. East?
0:34: "Guys, a lot of people here to watch you play." So smile big and, as always, jazz hands, jazz hands, jazz hands!
0:50: Holy Cross has entered The Matrix, allowing them to walk at double-speed while the rest of existence slowly attempts to function. This is likely an NCAA violation as warping reality is well outside the bounds of acceptable behavior.
1:12: Behold! This is holy ground, the place where Jason Bay would scratch himself.
1:50: Please tell me those Holy Cross shooting shirts were airbrushed by a starving artist in Ozone Park.
2:02: "Let the game come to you." Yes, lacrosse is like attempting to date on OKCupid: If you're too eager, you end up on a two-hour nightmare cruise with a lady with a lazy eye, a thing for collecting every dreamcatcher she can find, and a look that says, "I may smell like cat urine, but you're going to eventually love me." So, yeah. Patience is a virtue.
2:24: ENGAGE SUPER WALKING SPEED
3:40: I like how there's a backup goal in the bullpen. "Yeah, get the righty goal up and warm. This goal is just about done. It's already at 30 shots."
4:00: James Kennedy can really play. This past weekend was his formal debut to established lacrosse society, but he has really been a solid contributor to the Crusaders in his career. His left arm is also just a lacrosse stick fused to his elbow, so he has a bit of an advantage on the field.