clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Eulogizing the 2013 College Lacrosse Season: (53) Lafayette

It's was Jim Rogalski's first season in Easton. What went right, wrong, and mauled by a bear?

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.


Team: Lafayette Leopards

2013 Record: 3-10 (0-6, Patriot)

2013 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -1.90 (47)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -1.82 (47)

Winning Percentage Change from 2012: 0.00%

2013 Efficiency Margin: -9.62 (53)

Efficiency Margin Change from 2012: -2.72


  • There was a feeling that Georgetown had the potential to bust some skulls in 2013. Entering the season with a new head coach (Kevin Warne, formerly an assistant at Maryland) and Matt Rewkowski (formerly of Cornell) leading the offense, the Hoyas -- with a heavily upperclass feel to the roster -- had some juice on the program as a team that could surprise. Lafayette, however, made everyone pump the brakes on the Hoyas: The Leopards, fresh off a 3-10 campaign in 2012 and under the guidance of new head coach Jim Rogalski, pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season, dropping Georgetown 11-10 in overtime. The Leopards were resilient and defiant in their season opener, eroding two four-goal deficits in the first 30 minutes of play and, after falling being 8-3 at the half, rallied to score eight of the game's final 10 tallies over the last 30 minutes of play. The Leopards' second half and overtime charge -- one that saw them play with one fewer possession than Georgetown -- was especially notable: The team scored on 10 of its approximately 17 offensive opportunities, including the overtime possession earned through a Greg Rau faceoff win and Matt Evans groundball; Lafayette's defense stuffed a Hoyas offense that had scored on eight of its approximately 19 first half offensive opportunities; and the Leopards survived circumstances and a pace that favored Georgetown's preferred style of play to their own. Lafayette wouldn't earn a win of this magnitude through the rest of the season -- the team's two other wins came against Wagner and High Point (in overtime) -- but the Leopards' victory over the Hoyas remains one of the season's most interesting showings: LaxPower ranks the upset as the 10th most dramatic of the season and a log5 analysis (based on each team's season-ending performance profiles) shows Lafayette as having a 43 percent chance of victory against the Hoyas.


  • Lafayette finished the season ranked 43rd in adjusted offensive efficiency, generating tallies on only around 28 out of every 100 offensive opportunities. That's . . . that's not good, exacerbated by the fact that the Leopards played with about a two possession deficit compared to their opponents. A team that requires volume opportunities to score and has fewer offensive opportunities than its competitors has one supervillain that it fears meeting in a dark alley: Turnovers. Unfortunately, the Leopards had more than their fair share of run-ins with that dastardly antagonist: Lafayette finished dead last nationally in turnovers per 100 offensive opportunities (61.21), unforced turnovers per 100 offensive opportunities (32.75), and clearing percentage (74.19 percent); the team trailed only two teams -- VMI and Manhattan -- in rate of opponent caused turnovers per 100 offensive opportunities (28.46). This is a prodigious level of giveaways; all of these lost opportunities -- approximately 77 percent of which were in non-clearing situations (in the attack box; after a faceoff win; etc.) -- crushed an offense that needed to maximize its opportunities and take pressure off a defense that was overexposed and finished the season ranked 56th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Bad things happen when turnovers exist all over the place, and the Leopards suffered that fate: Lafayette played four games (Stony Brook, Delaware, Navy, and Holy Cross) where the final outcome was two goals or less; the Leopards never won the turnover war in any of those games (even against Stony Brook; minus-three against Delaware; minus-four against Navy; and minus-seven against Holy Cross). In at least two of those games (against the Midshipmen and Crusaders), if Lafayette had played at an even turnover rate to their opponents, the Leopards arguably could have won -- a somewhat noisy hypothetical calculation shows Lafayette scoring about one-and-a-third more goals against Navy (the Leopards ultimately lost, 12-11); the same calculation shows Lafayette scoring about two-and-a-quarter more goals against Holy Cross (the Leopards ultimately lost, 11-10). Turnovers matter, and Lafayette felt that directly in 2013.


  • Rogalski has a lot of work to do in Easton -- despite a surprising 8-6 effort in 2010, the Leopards don't have a notably distinguished lacrosse history -- and the effort likely starts with continuing to develop the basics. Lafayette is looking at a stacked Patriot League; challenging for the league crown -- or even overcoming the growth that Holy Cross has experienced under Jim Morrissey -- isn't as important as developing a roster that featured 23 underclassmen in 2013 and erasing the ickiness from the team's play. Valuing the ball is a big part of that. The stronger the foundation that Rogalski is able to build at Lafayette -- the culture of the program; execution expectations; stylistic aptitude; etc. -- the better the program will look in the future.