The four-letter network is going to dominate your weekend if you can't find a way to Lincoln Financial Field. As in recent years, ESPN is planning to unleash a fairly comprehensive broadcast agenda for the most important weekend on college lacrosse's calendar, featuring the network's most experienced talent and two ways to view the national championship game.
Eamon McAnaney (former Notre Dame defenseman) will call the action analyst Quint Kessenich (former Johns Hopkins goalkeeper) and sideline reporter/analyst Paul Carcaterra (former Syracuse midfielder). Kessenich and Carcaterra both played in four NCAA Championships and each won a national title with their teams.
Anish Shroff will host ESPN’s studio coverage with analyst Ryan Flanagan (former North Carolina defenseman) for the semifinals on Saturday.
The National Championship game on Monday will also air on ESPNU with the Spider Cam feed – an alternate viewing fan experience that is who integrated into the traditional telecast.
Here's a concise broadcast matrix for the weekend:
|Saturday, May 23, 2015||1:00 ET||Semifinal I: (4) Denver v. (1) Notre Dame||Eamon McAnaney, Quint Kessenich, Paul Carcaterra||ESPN2 // WatchESPN|
|Saturday, May 23, 2015||3:30 ET||Semifinal II: Johns Hopkins v. (6) Maryland||Eamon McAnaney, Quint Kessenich, Paul Carcaterra||ESPN2 // WatchESPN|
|Monday, May 25, 2015||1:00 ET||Semifinal II v. Semifinal I Winners||Eamon McAnaney, Quint Kessenich, Paul Carcaterra||ESPN2 // WatchESPN|
|Monday, May 25, 2015||1:00 ET||Semifinal II v. Semifinal I Winners||Spider Cam||ESPNU // WatchESPN|
Some brief notes on this:
- The press release from ESPN indicates that "additional production details [will] be released later this week." Hopefully Ryan Boyle is involved in those "additional production details." Boyle has established himself as one of the sharper analysts that ESPN has on its roster, and involving the former Princeton attackman in ESPN's weekend plans -- whether in a studio capacity or otherwise -- would elevate ESPN's offerings even more. It would be awesome if ESPN could pair Boyle with someone to direct traffic in a hardcore X's and O's analysis on the Spider Cam feed, but a silent Spider Cam broadcast -- allowing for quiet reflection as nausea slowly grows from within -- isn't all that bad.
- How many Game of Thrones references will Shroff drop this weekend? All of them? All of the references? Will he dress like Johnny Cash at a Nantucket wedding again this weekend?
- You can't complain that ESPN isn't trying. There are alternate broadcasts on Memorial Monday again and the network opened up space on ESPN2. This is about as good as it gets for college lacrosse.