GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING, College Crosse Nation!! Thanks for making us a part of your day! Happy Friday! Let’s get to those links!
We had our final season preview podcast with special guest Joe Keegan!
What You Missed
Loyola head coach Charley Toomey is ready for Lar Tiffany’s fast-paced tempo.
Lacrosse The Nation
Swiss Army Knife Paul Carcaterra is chatting with Pat Spencer in a preview for his latest edition of reLAXin with PCARC (I would’ve gone with “Lacrosse guys in cars getting coffee”).
Time. Room. Bullseye.
Not a surprise: Syracuse defenseman Nick Mellen won’t play against Siena tomorrow afternoon.
Lars Tiffany is ready to go, notes USLaxMagazine.com’s Patrick Stevens.
“I can’t believe eight months have passed by this fast,” Tiffany said. “The first few months were a scramble with recruiting. Starting Aug. 29, which is the first day we came together as a team with practice and skill sessions, there was so much to do and so much to implement. With having more practice time than in the Ivy League, I think I assumed I would feel more prepared. I’m not sure I feel that way. I’m certainly excited, but I don’t know if you’re ever truly prepared.”
One of the Cavaliers’ biggest concerns is at goalie, where three-year starter Matt Barrett is suspended for the entire season. Junior Will Railey, who appeared in eight games last season, is a prominent contender for the job, but it is possible freshman Griffin Thompson gets a look.
But more fascinating than position battles for this year is the approach Virginia will take under its new coach. Tiffany’s success at Brown was tied to a throwback up-tempo style, something with the potential to translate well over the long haul in Charlottesville.
“I think you’ll see similarities — you’ll see a pattern, you’ll see a flow,” Tiffany said. “If you are a Brown lacrosse fan and you want to peek in, you will definitely see similarities. It won’t be identical, because we can’t re-create some spectacular players we had at Brown. It will feel very similar to what we did at Brown. The question mark is can we execute at the same high level as the last two years.”
Plenty of season previews all around!
And a Lehigh-Jacksonville game preview as well from both BOSSES.
And now to the Edward Lee portion of the Prospectus! It’ll be weird for Marc Van Arsdale to face off against Virginia tomorrow.
“I think on game day, that will seem pretty odd,” he said of reacquainting himself with Cavaliers players who are now his adversaries. “You try to keep that out of the back of your mind. I’m awfully glad that the game is here instead of Charlottesville, for the first time. It’s kind of funny because when I first left Virginia and went to Penn [for the 1997 season], one of the very first games was Penn going to play at Virginia. And now the same thing happens when I leave Virginia again. I obviously have a great affinity for the players on that sideline and close relationships, and I hope they are going to do well. But on that day, it will be all green and gray for me.”
While Van Arsdale will try to keep a tight lid on his emotions prior to the contest, sophomore midfielder John Duffy said the Greyhounds players would enjoy securing a win on Saturday for their new coach.
“But at the same time, we just see them as another nameless, faceless opponent that we need to prepare for,” he said. “It’s just another game.”
Over at UMBC, BOSS Ryan Moran is setting up a new offense for the Retrievers.
Ryan Moran had never been a head coach any level, but that inexperience did not deter UMBC athletic director Tim Hall from recommending his hiring.
"It was clear that Ryan wants to be here and that Ryan wants to build a program," Hall said. "Ryan knows that we're in this for the long view, and that there's going to be a lot of rolling up the sleeves and sweat equity here. That resonated, certainly with me and the [search] committee and other senior leadership."
Moran has wasted little time infusing the program with his philosophy and priorities. Players have commented about how meticulous practice schedules are organized, with drills changing at the exact time written by Moran. Academics have been emphasized to the point where coaches sit with players during evening study hall at least twice a week and players who consistently miss classes trigger extra conditioning exercises for either the individual or the entire team.
Senior defenseman Garrett Hasken said the players watch about 25 minutes of film before every practice and then proceed to work on specific areas highlighted in the video.
"A lot of guys are getting in the film room with him — whether it's one-on-one or an attack line or a midfield unit," he said. "I know, defensively, we're getting in with the defensive coaches and going over schemes and looking at guys' tendencies. It's definitely helped so far."
And Dave Pietramala is really Bill Belichick.
“Happy to come away on the positive end, but feel like we still have a lot of questions that are unanswered and feel like we have a lot of work to do,” he said Thursday morning. “Everyone’s going to want to look at the score, but for us, it’s about missed opportunities and being in the wrong spots and making wrong decisions. Defensively, it’s about not making the right decisions and providing our opponent with specific opportunities.
"After playing a game and being pleased with the fact that we came out on the positive end, we still feel like there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered that weren’t, and we still feel like there is a lot of work for this team to do.”
Pietramala cited a few reasons for his less-than-enthusiastic evaluation. The Midshipmen scored the first three goals of the game before Johns Hopkins responded. The faceoff unit went under 50 percent with a 12-of-26 success ratio. And the man-down defense surrendered two goals in three situations.
But the offense was as good as – and maybe even better than – advertised. Junior midfielders Joel Tinney and Patrick Fraser and senior attackman Wilkins Dismuke each scored three goals and four others players found the net. And six players registered at least one assist against a Navy defense that had ranked second in Division I a year ago.
Shoutout to these VMI players for completing the “rat line”!
17 freshman VMI Lacrosse players completed the Rat line and became 4th Class cadets in the corps.Couldn't be prouder of these men, RAHVAMIL! pic.twitter.com/5BpKoiV4tQ— CoachBirsner (@CoachBirsner) February 9, 2017
Christian Swezey for Inside Lacrosse says teams would rather start their season earlier than play in midweek games.
Another scheduling trend also was on display Tuesday night: For the Blue Jays, their 15-8 victory in the season opener for both teams marked their only scheduled midweek game.
Other programs have a similar mindset. Defending champion North Carolina has one scheduled midweek game, March 13 (a Monday) against Richmond. In 2015 the Tar Heels played three midweek games and, in 2011, they played four.
Denver has no midweek games, though it plays Cleveland State and Canisius on consecutive days later this month. The Pioneers played one midweek game for several years before not doing so last season.
Maryland has gone from four midweek games in 1981 to three in 2015 to one this season, against Saint Joseph’s on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Cornell has two midweek games this year. When it won its last national title, in 1977, the Big Red played five.
The trend clearly is moving toward having a full week of preparation for regular season games.
With nearly a perfect grade point average, Towson University men's lacrosse player Tyler Konen has found that balance. Last semester, Konen put down a 3.79 GPA, nearly matching his cumulative mark at the University. The senior chuckled as he remarked on getting a B+ in a course last semester.
Of course his cumulative GPA was bolstered by a 3.918 during the Spring 2016 semester as Konen and the Tigers reached the NCAA Quarterfinals, won a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) record sixth league tournament, set the program record for wins in a season (16) and spent the entire season ranked in the major polls.
Adding to the impressiveness of Konen's classroom accomplishments is what his major is: biology with a pre-med track. This is a light semester for the senior from Bridgewater, New Jersey, taking two classes: developmental biology and biochemistry.
With just two days of classes this semester, Konen finds time after practice a couple days a week to volunteer across Osler Drive at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays when he doesn't have classes. It's not his first stint volunteering in the area either. On the team's off days, typically Sunday last spring, Konen volunteered as a tutor at a nearby community college.
NYIT’s original five-year plan plotted to add women’s lacrosse no earlier than 2020. But within 48 hours of his conversation with [Edward] Guiliano, [Duane] Bailey drafted a proposal and received the green light to hire [Kerri] Handras, which was announced on June 6 and effective June 13. NYIT also would offer scholarships to as many Dowling players who wanted to make the 34-mile trip west with her.
Fourteen players — including top scorer Katie Meinecke and 10 other players who started games for Dowling during its 17-4 campaign — followed Handras. So did two previously signed recruits.
“We wanted to stick together because we’ve built this from the ground up and we went so far last year,” said senior goalie and captain Lauren Young, who earned first team all-conference honors in 2016. “For us to really finish it out together would be the best thing. When Coach contacted us, we all basically jumped on it.”
Upon being hired, Handras invited her Dowling team to campus to meet with Bailey, administrators and counselors to get a better understanding of the school and look into potential new majors, since NYIT didn’t offer education like Dowling.
Video of the Day
Kids react to this year’s Super Bowl commercials, which weren’t that good for the most part.
One game is on tap for today, and that’s High Point traveling to Durham to take on Duke in a Friday night showdown. More on that later in the day, along with a few other posts.
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