Getting you ready for the 2012 college lacrosse season. What, the season already started? Drats.
Last year, this is what I wrote about the Ivy League just before it faced-off its conference tournament:
[The Ivy League is] kind of like one of those tennis clubs that Ivy graduates love to populate. You've got all the wealthy males out on the courts, playing a stupid game of "hit the rubber ball to each other until it's time to stop wearing stupid looking shorts." The real action, though, is in the club quarters where all the Chatty Cathy wives (and girlfriends that the wives don't know about) gossip all the way to deteriorated friendships until one woman stands clear as queen bee/bitch.
That woman, with respect to Ivy League lacrosse, is Cornell. The Big Red stand atop the Ivy mountain with an unblemished record (much like Kitty, the tennis club's social chair and bon vivant of all things privilege). The rest of the league shakes out as follows:
- Pennsylvania: That old bag that's always hanging around in that tired cashmere sweater. She's nothing pretty to look at, but cross her and you'll not only look for a new tennis club to frequent, but also a new private golf club to get blitzed at.
- Yale: Some of the nonsense that comes out of her mouth makes you question her Emily Post, but she married well. She's living fat off of Daddy's investment portfolio despite being a bit of a vacuous vehicle. Her appearance is sublime, but there isn't much substance.
- Harvard: She's got the dirt on everyone but tries to hide the shit from her stink. Also has a cocaine habit that would put second-rate rock stars to shame. Is probably screwing the gardener, too.
- Princeton: Her husband just got collared by the police for running a Ponzi scheme. A truly tragic scene. She hasn't come around the club lately.
- Brown/Dartmouth: The help.
The 2012 Ivy League season looks to be somewhat similar to the 2011 iteration: Cornell has enough to run the table, placements two through five look to be a dogfight, and Brown and Dartmouth will probably get smacked in the mouth in conference play. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though; it's what makes THUNDERDOME! great, even if the Ivy does it in Vineyard Vines ascots and topsiders.
Here are a few quick shots as to each team and what it means to the Ivy League race:
- Cornell: Rob Pannell (the Highlander and Tewaaraton candidate), Roy Lang, Connor English, and Steve Mock form one of the most dangerous offensive units in the country. They shoot pellet guns loaded with plutonium bullets. With Mike Bronzino anchoring the defense, the only question for the Big Red is what they'll get game-in and game-out from keeper A.J. Fiore. Andrew West could steal Fiore's spot if the streaky goalie can't summon some sorcery.
- Pennsylvania: Corey Winkoff and Al Kohart are gone, but the defense -- and the "kill the living" system -- remains. Maxx Meyer and his "one 'x' short of a super sexy name" anchors one of the nastiest and disciplined defensive units in the country. Will Koshansky smells blood and goalie Brian Feeney picks at the remains. This is a pack of wild dogs, but do the Quakers have any offense to squeeze out wins?
- Princeton: I know three things about Princeton: (1) They're going to play slow; (2) The defense, with Tyler Fiorito and Chad Wiedmaier as the anchors, should be pretty good; (3) Tom Schreiber is a player but, if he has to do it all by himself again this year, Princeton may be screwed. 2011 was a nuclear disaster for the Tigers, but they have as much talent as anyone in the gooey middle of the Ivy League. It shouldn't take too long to find out if Princeton is any good: The only stinker they have on the schedule before a trip to Brown at the end of March is a late-February date with Manhattan. Otherwise, it's all marquee teams with the capability of dismantling the Tigers.
- Yale: The Bulldogs fell off the face of the planet last year after chewing on cud for most of the season. Season-ending losses to Harvard and Cornell sealed Yale's fate despite being one of the last teams to lose in 2011. 2012 should be an improvement for the Elis with the maturation of Mangan and McCarthy on the close attack, but with questions in net -- is Peter Spaulding anything but someone that wants a hamburger; no, a cheeseburger?!? -- Yale's ceiling may be somewhat limited. The close defense returns, which is good, and may buoy the Bulldogs to a shot at an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
- Harvard: Nobody will question the offense, but with all the defense in the Ivy this season, will it be enough? The attack -- with Cohen, Eipp, and Walker -- is sustainable as is the midfield -- Vaughan, Stevens, and the White brothers. The Crimson went to the Ivy final last year against Cornell and has the potential to do the same in 2012, but it needs to avoid the somewhat shaky losses it endured during 2011 (Dartmouth, Albany, and Hofstra) if it wants to be counted among the nation's best.
- Dartmouth/Brown: They're both a game back in the 2013 Ivy League standings.
What do you knuckleheads think? How do you see the Ivy ending up in 2012?