The Weekend in Stick is exactly what it sounds like -- a recap of all the important things that happened in the universe while you were enjoying two days of not-work. Part I features thoughts on the big stories from the weekend.
Raise your hand if you're an insane person and predicted this at the start of the season:
|SEED||TEAM||LIKELIHOOD TO WIN TOURNAMENT|
|1.||Navy (6-2)||No damn clue|
|2.||Colgate (6-2)||Who the hell knows|
|3.||Bucknell (5-3)||Alien lacrosse makes sense, too|
|4.||Loyola (5-3)||There are no guarantees when it rains blood|
|6.||Lehigh (3-5)||The Hawks lost six in a row at one point this year|
The heightened drama in the league this past weekend dealt with how Lehigh slipped into the field as the tournament's final seed: Needing Boston University to fall to Holy Cross, the Terriers were not able to dispatch an underdog Holy Cross team and that result combined with the Hawks' defeat of archrival Lafayette propelled Lehigh into a position to challenge for a conference title. This, of course, makes sense because the Patriot League broke reality a few weeks back and left shards of consciousness glittering in the sun.
Goal of the Weekend
Ruston Souder Scores a 100-Yard Goal
Goalies usually score one of two ways: (1) They wander forward on an ambitious clearing run and find themselves reaching back to blow the bean past their mirror; or (2) They take advantage of a 10-man ride and bounce the ball home from 60. Very rarely does a goalie find twine from 100 yards on a last second heave. That, however, is exactly what Ruston Souder did against Massachusetts-Lowell:
Souder is tied for ninth among UMBC goal scorers this season with one. His 50 percent raw shooting rate ranks third on the team among players with at least one shot.
Some brief notes on these games:
- Siena -- a participant in the last six MAAC championship games -- is on the verge of missing the MAAC Tournament for the first time since 2008. The Saints are stuck at 2-3 in conference play, running with the same record as Monmouth and Canisius (Siena has already lost to the Hawks and Griffs this season, each defeat of the one-goal variety for the Saints). Anything short of a victory against Marist this coming weekend assures Siena of an early completion date of its 2015 campaign, and the Saints also need Manhattan to upset Monmouth and Detroit to beat Canisius to move on to the show in Poughkeepsie. This is a big deal for a conference that has had its profile heavily influenced by Siena's ability to rampage through the league, and a year without the Saints' presence in the MAAC's postseason event could offer a glimpse into fancy new things that have existed on a different level in prior seasons.
- Many lives will be lost attempting to determine whether Evan Connell should have received a two-minute non-releasable penalty for attempting to de-cleat Matt Kavanagh on the doorstep. As much as the penalty influenced the result -- the Irish reeled off three straight extra-man goals in just over a minute to turn a two-goal deficit into a one-goal lead with seven seconds left in regulation -- it's not like North Carolina didn't have opportunities to stop Notre Dame's push: The Tar Heels lost consecutive faceoffs to the Irish during the extended extra-man scenario and were unable to bag an man-down kill despite getting out of around 70 percent of their man-down postures going into the game. Get a stop -- just one! -- and there isn't much of a discussion around whether Connell applied a legal hit. North Carolina still had an opportunity to protect a lead in danger, but was out-executed in a pressure-filled spot by a competent opponent.
- Brown's victory against Cornell threw a lit stick of dynamite in an already lit nuclear fire: Princeton, Cornell, or Brown are in contention to host the Ivy League Tournament; it's possible that there's an outright champion, a co-championship, a three-way championship, or four-way championship; and five teams are in the conversation to make the tournament with Brown potentially finishing anywhere from the event's host and top seed to not participating in the tournament at all. The only thing that is certain at this point is that Harvard and Dartmouth are dead, two fools that can finish with no better than two wins in the Ivy League. And it's all thanks to Brown unloaded on the Red in Providence.