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2015 College Lacrosse Preview: Loyola and Ridley

Just how good has Loyola's home field advantage been?

Lacrosse Magazine interviewed a host of opposing coaches to get their feel on the nation's best teams. Using a quote from those coaches, we're building out context to a specific thought.

The quote:

"I really admire the program, just overall."

One of the most admirable facets to Loyola's lacrosse program isn't necessarily what it puts on the field, but the field the program plays on. Opened for the 2010 season, Ridley Athletic Complex has become a unique home in lacrosse -- while not a lacrosse-specific building like Peter Barton Stadium or Arlotta Stadium, Ridley has become a lacrosse-bonkers facility. When Ridley meshes locals with a boisterous student body, the stadium holds a big time atmosphere that few other fields can match.

Somewhat oddly, though, the team hasn't had a decided home field advantage at Ridley. Doing a fairly straightforward analysis of home field advantage over the last four seasons (examining goal differential in home and road games), the only year in which the 'Hounds were decidedly stronger at Ridley than on the road was in 2014:

LOYOLA'S HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: 2011-2014
YEAR HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE N'TL RANK
2011 +0.33 46
2012 +0.06 48
2013 -0.13 46
2014 +2.71 10

Weird, right?

Interestingly, Loyola hasn't faced The World's Hardest Home ScheduleTM over the last four seasons: The average opponent adjusted Pythagorean win expectation value for home opponents since 2011 hasn't topped 60.00 percent, with two seasons hovering around the 50.00 percent mark and two seasons nosing above 55.00 percent. Comparing the team's average opponent adjusted Pythagorean win expectation values in home games for each season to the team's overall opponent adjusted Pythagorean win expectation value for an examined period, something emerges: The team's home schedule hasn't really been significantly easier or harder than its road schedules. That could help explain why Loyola hasn't been decidedly stronger at Ridley compared to non-Ridley locations: The team is seeing the same general quality of opponent both on the road and at home, at least in general proportion.

There are a few things that Loyola can do, though, to fix this "problem":

  1. Make the students work harder at the games. Arm them with tridents and give prizes away to them based on the number of opponents that are viciously impaled.
  2. Force those viciously impaled opponents to play double-headers at Ridley, assuring a certain curb-stomping in the bookend of the double dip.
  3. Petition the NCAA to have all Loyola goals count twice at Ridley because reasons.
  4. If the 'Hounds don't have the stomach to puncture the bodily person of their opponents via tridents thrown from the stands, quietly poisoning the Gatorade jugs of their opponents can lead to similar face-smashing circumstances.
  5. Blow up the earth and start anew. Civilization has lost its purposes and it must be cleansed in order to save itself.