There are a few times each season that you look at a boxscore and instantly think that Beaker -- eyeballs bulging, hair raised through a lifetime of serving as an electrical circuit conduit, and a look of sheer terror relative to the known and unknown universe -- is potentially on the verge of actually becoming an ex-Muppet:
Lacrosse's laboratory creates these moments, and these incidents of magnificent discovery makes Division I lacrosse an effort in both confirming the possible and blowing things up in a tremendous display of "I DIDN'T KNOW THAT GASOLINE REACTED THAT WHEN WHEN POURED ON A NUCLEAR WASTE FIRE!" Albany-Harvard was the latest iteration in breaking science.
Stuff: Albany at Harvard
Boxscore: Albany 21, Harvard 18
- Lyle Thompson -- remember him? he's the guy that wrecks faces and feels no compassion -- went for 12 points on nine goals and three assists. His effort fell perilously short of meeting the all-time NCAA record for points in a game (Bill Woolford pumped in 16 points for Air Force against Colorado State in 1975) and he almost meet the standard for goals in a game (three players have scored 11 goals in a game, the most recent being Oliver Marti who pounded in almost a dozen goals for Brown against New Hampshire in 1993). Lyle took 24 shots -- !!!!!!!! -- to generate his nine tallies. To put this into context: Duke scored only seven goals against Syracuse this past weekend and created 10 points against the Orange on 35 shots. Basically, Lyle Thompson was more destructive and efficient against Harvard than the entire Duke team against Syracuse. Lyle had the output of an entire lacrosse team against the Crimson; that's what happens when you're half man, half machine designed to crush souls.
- On an estimated basis, Harvard and Albany combined for 89 offensive opportunities. Eighty-nine. The Danes had an estimated five-possession advantage in their favor and converted buckets on around 45 percent of their offensive opportunities. The Crimson weren't far behind the Great Danes in their offensive efficiency, canning the bean on around 43 percent of their estimated 42 offensive opportunities. POW! POW! POW! POW! POW! A breakneck pace -- the teams averaged about a possession and a half per minute when you ballpark out the rate -- combined with highly efficient offenses and defenses rendered only as mannequins designed to fill space and provide feng shui results in a ridiculously entertaining show that exists as a Jason Statham movie devoid of anger-inducing plot.
- The first 11 goals of the game were unassisted, including a man-down goal from Tim Edmonds that capped the odd opening scoring posture of the game.
- Albany somehow corralled 57 groundballs against Harvard with 29 of them coming in the run of play. When's the last time that you saw a team scoop 29 groundballs in non-faceoff situations in a single game? Harvard collected 17 loosies against the Danes, leading to a run of play groundball differential of plus-12 for Albany. That's almost two games worth of groundballs for most teams, and Harvard and Albany accomplished that in one game (with 89 freakin' possessions).
- Harvard committed 22 turnovers, a high rate of turnovers based on the estimated number of offensive opportunities that the Crimson generated. Scouring through the play by play, Albany scored seven goals directly off of Crimson turnovers with Lyle converting two turnovers that he scored into goals that came out of his stick. That's kind of nuts -- a third of the Danes' markers came directly from Harvard turnovers. Interestingly, Albany scored nine goals on possessions directly generated from a faceoff victory, tallies accruing on about 38 percent of the Great Danes' 24 faceoff victories. That's important (and ties to all kinds of words written on this site about the value of faceoff percentages in a vacuum) -- Albany got almost as much pop out of the Crimson failing to value the ball as the team did from winning draws and making the scoreboard blink on possessions directly derived from a faceoff victory.
- Albany committed 18 turnovers, a manageable rate of turnovers based on the estimated number of offensive opportunities that the Danes generated. Scouring through the play by play, Harvard scored five goals directly off of Albany turnovers (three of the goals were from unforced Albany giveaways), those buckets accounting for about 28 percent of the Crimson's thunder. Not only did Harvard lose the turnover battle, but the Crimson lost the goals-off-turnovers battle. That's not good. Harvard scored seven goals on possessions directly generated from a faceoff victory, goals accounting for about 39 percent of the team's total scores and coming on about 39 percent of the team's total faceoff victories.
- Here's the most insane stat in the entire boxscore: Bryan Moore held a 52.27 save percentage despite yielding 21 goals. This is probably one of the few times in the history of history that a goalkeeper gave up three touchdowns and was still about 50 percent in save percentage. Take that man to an all-you-can-eat ice cream buffet.