Eulogizing the 2013 College Lacrosse Season: (50) Mount St. Mary's

That redshirting thing didn't work out so well for the Mountaineers.

You spent the better part of four months meticulously dissecting the 2013 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 63 teams and their 2013 campaigns, mostly because everything needs a proper burial.

I. VITAL SIGNS

Team: Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers

2013 Record: 6-9 (2-3, NEC)

2013 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -1.55 (42)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -1.97 (49)

Winning Percentage Change from 2012: 0.00%

2013 Efficiency Margin: -6.86 (50)

Efficiency Margin Change from 2012: -2.64

II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT

  • The Mount's offense was pretty sharp in 2013: The Mountaineers' finished the season ranked 18th in adjusted offensive efficiency; the team's 30.88 raw shooting percentage ranked 15th nationally, and the Mountaineers' top four shooters -- who accounted for 64.54 percent of the teams attempts -- shot 32.10 percent as a group; The Mount was fairly open to sharing the bean, generating assists on about 20 out of every 100 offensive opportunities (20th nationally) while having just over 58 percent of their goals assisted (26th in the country); the offense made opposing goaltenders sweat fire, forcing them into only a 48.33 save percentage (12th nationally) and seeing their offensive opportunities ended with a save on only about 31 percent of their chances with the ball (14th nationally); the Mountaineers were fairly strong with the ball, committing turnovers at a rate that ranked 22nd nationally and only committing unforced turnovers at a rate than ranked seventh in the nation; and the team didn't rely on man-up postures to score, seeing only about 13 percent of their tallies coming with the personnel imbalance in their favor (21st nationally). It was a solid offense that The Mount put on the field in 2013, and a large part of that had to do with Andrew Scalley, Brett and Bryant Schmidt, and Cody Lehrer tearing opponents in half: That foursome -- all seniors (Lehrer was a redshirt senior) -- was impressively efficient and volatile. Scalley, though, was the best of the bunch: His production, based on team possessions played and point production (adjusted for competition faced), ranked in the top 10 nationally, trailing guys like Lehigh's David DiMaria and North Carolina's Marcus Holman, but stronger than Ohio State's Logan Schuss and Army's John Glesener. Mount St. Mary's put an average level of fun on the field in 2013 (the team ranked 37th in the "Fun Factor"), but the team's offense was among the better third in the nation.

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

  • It all fell apart for The Mount when it shouldn't have: Sporting a roster ripe with upper-class leadership and a redshirting scheme from head coach Tom Gravante that was intended to put the Mountaineers into the NCAA Tournament as the Northeast Conference's representative, Mount St. Mary's suffered a three-game losing streak that followed a 2-1 start to its season (including a win over Bucknell), rebounded to win its next two games against Manhattan and Georgetown, and then meandered through a five-game losing streak that effectively killed the program's chances for any postseason (conference or otherwise). It's that five-game stretch that was especially disastrous -- consecutive losses to league opponents (Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac, and Robert Morris) after defeats at the hands of Drexel and UMBC were the Mountaineers' death blow. Taking a look at log5 calculations based on year-end performance metrics, Mount St. Mary's was a notable dog in just two games -- against Drexel (only a 32.63 percent chance of victory) and against Robert Morris (a 30.25 percent of victory (and I think the log5 analysis is cockamamie relative to that prediction)); in all the other games, the predicted outcome had the Mountaineers in a decent position to win. Instead, against UMBC, Sacred Heart, and Quinnipiac (the team's most winnable games in the stretch), Mount St. Mary's went 0-3 -- in consecutive games! -- and put together an aggregate goal deficit of minus-15. That's atrocious, especially when the Mountaineers were favored against Sacred Heart and were in push situations with the other two teams. The Mount spit the bit when it was most important not to, and it cost the Mountaineers dearly.

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

  • Something needs to be done with the Mountaineers' defense. This was a problem in 2012 for the Mountaineers, and the situation didn't change much in 2013: Goalkeeping remains a concern; maturation and development of defensive depth is a priority (this is a team that is often drunk on ball watching (which isn't good considering the fact that The Mount doesn't have a prolific stopper in the net)); and the team suffers from defensive overexposure due to the Mountaineers' inability to dominate possession-generation. I don't know where, exactly, Travis Johnson takes this defense in 2014, but it's a major concern considering the depth of offensive weapons the team will lose in the offseason (creating a greater need for the defense to step forward and perform).
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