ECAC Lacrosse Tournament Preview: Ohio State-Loyola

Winslow Townson

Get your face ready for Buckeyes-Greyhounds.

Every Division I tournament. Every team. College Crosse has it all on lockdown. Please send cookies and naptime. Today we're slashing to bits the ECAC Tournament.

The Buckeyes are on the cusp of having a very strong NCAA Tournament resume; a win against the Greyhounds this afternoon at Hobart would provide a nice safety net for Ohio State should the Buckeyes not earn the ECAC's automatic invitation to college's lacrosse biggest barbecue. Loyola, in its last tour of duty with the ECAC before departing for the Patriot League next season, is also making eyes at an at-large selection should the Greyhounds not earn the league's auto-bid, and a win against the Buckeyes possibly cements Loyola into a seeded position in the NCAA Tournament.

THE COMPUTING MACHINE SAYS

Log5: Ohio State (32.59%); Loyola (67.41%)

DOSSIERS

ECAC Tournament: Ohio State (3) vs. Loyola (2)
OHIO STATE BUCKEYES LOYOLA GREYHOUNDS
OPPORTUNITIES/TEMPO
Pace 65.13 (38) 65.62 (36)
Opportunities Margin +4.36 (6) +1.07 (26)
Possession Ratio 53.35% (6) 50.82% (25)
Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 32.68 (14) 32.35 (18)
Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio 94.05% (10) 97.00% (1)
Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 28.01 (10) 30.49 (31)
Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio 92.19% (32) 94.47% (55)
Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 10.64 (5) 11.50 (17)
Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio 32.55% (5) 35.54% (11)
Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 10.41 (56) 14.35 (7)
Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio 37.16% (48) 47.07% (9)
Lost Functional Opportunities Margin -0.23 (41) +2.86 (5)
Lost Functional Opportunities Margin Ratio 4.61% (17) 11.53% (3)
ADJUSTED EFFICIENCIES
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency 32.08 (17) 36.21 (9)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency 26.96 (17) 24.07 (5)
Adjusted Efficiency Margin +5.12 (19) +12.14 (3)
SHOOTING
Shots per Offensive Opportunity 0.99 (57) 1.18 (14)
Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 30.96% (13) 30.31% (20)
Shots per Defensive Opportunity 1.03 (19) 1.00 (14)
Raw Defensive Shooting Rate 26.29% (15) 24.39% (9)
ASSISTS
Offensive Assist Ratio 60.43% (16) 58.68% (26)
Offensive Assist Rate 18.50 (23) 20.99 (10)
Defensive Assist Ratio 55.14% (28) 41.82% (1)
Defensive Assist Rate 14.86 (12) 10.18 (1)
EXTRA-MAN RATES
Extra-Man Postures per 100 Offensive Opportunities 9.03 (47) 10.49 (30)
Extra-Man Posture Reliance 14.39% (14) 10.18% (48)
Extra-Man Posture Conversion Rate 48.78% (2) 34.69% (31)
Man-Down Postures per 100 Defensive Opportunities 8.82 (13) 9.96 (23)
Man-Down Posture Reliance 11.21% (29) 6.36% (4)
Man-Down Posture Conversion Rate 34.29% (36) 15.56% (2)
MISCELLANEOUS
Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Team) 4.35 (6) 5.11 (21)
Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Opponent) 5.41 (38) 5.66 (32)
Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Team) 17.63 (59) 29.87 (2)
Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Opponent) 17.84 (9) 18.63 (10)
Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team) 36.56 (5) 37.47 (6)
Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent) 42.07 (47) 50.00 (13)
Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team) 18.72 (4) 18.84 (5)
Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent) 24.43 (21) 20.13 (50)
Team "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities) 23.27 (57) 30.79 (14)
Opponent "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities) 26.91 (27) 23.50 (5)
"Run-of-Play Work Rate" Margin -3.64 (51) +7.29 (2)
GOALIE ACTIVITY
Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities 33.75 (32) 28.10 (57)
Saves per 100 Offensive Opportunities 32.16 (21) 36.40 (48)
Team Save Percentage 55.60% (16) 53.59% (24)
Opponent Save Percentage 51.23% (23) 50.45% (19)

THOUGHTS AND STUFF

Two pieces of incredibly important information about each team from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • What I like best about the Buckeyes is that they give themselves a chance to win each time they get on the field. Ohio State is a possession bloodhound, turning the margin heavily in their favor due to strong work on the whistle -- Trey Wilkes is drawing at almost 60 percent this season -- and a clearing game ranked 10th nationally. This insulates Ohio State's defense from overexposure, and in a league like the ECAC that features a host of offensively-capable teams, this pays dividends. In addition to their work at dominating possession-generation, the Buckeyes strongly value the ball: Ohio State's turnover rate -- both in limiting the opposition from causing turnovers and engaging in unforced giveaways -- is among the best in the nation. The combination of these two aspects of play -- sure hands and an ability to play more offensive possessions than the opposition -- has a very tangible residue: The team's ability to create attack box postures and the team's ability avoid turning the ball over in those situations provides Ohio State's offense -- a fairly efficient unit (but not manically destructive) -- maximized opportunities to embarrass opposing goalkeepers; these valued possessions further allows the Buckeyes to unleash The Silver Gleaming Death Machine (Logan Schuss) on the world on a consistent basis, letting Ohio State's best player (on either side of the ball) dictate the fluidity of the game. The Buckeyes aren't a top 10-type of team at the moment, but Ohio State gives itself circumstances in which they can operate like one.
  • Teams that are efficient defensively can operate in different ways. There's the Notre Dame-type approach -- mistake-free defense that puts the onus on the opposition to do something fantastic -- and there's the Villanova-type approach -- getting out on the opposition's hands and making things happen. Loyola is probably more associated with the Wildcats' side of the spectrum than the Irish's side, although there are marked differences between what the Greyhounds do and how Villanova functions. The correlation between the Wildcats and Loyola is that each (1) has a knack for killing defensive opportunities in similar ways, and (2) the ratio at which each team kills those possessions. Loyola sits among the nation's best at erasing postures in which the opposition matriculates the ball into the attack box, eliminating about 47 percent of those postures via a turnover. Much of the Greyhound's acumen at killing defensive attack box postures has to deal with how Loyola operates in creating turnovers: Cats like Scott Ratliff, Joe Fletcher, Pat Laconi, Josh Hawkins, and Reid Acton are magicians at creating turnovers. It's not just that these guys are able to put the ball on the ground on the defensive end of the field that is killing the postures, though; rather, it's the combination of that unit's ability to dislodge the ball and the entire defense's focus on corralling loose balls that ultimately end the defensive possession (and, of course, the ensuing clear). The end results are defensive possessions that often feature a deflated number of shots that the defense needs to deal with and impotent offensive efforts from the opposition. It's systemic aggression from Loyola, and it returns tangible value.
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