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College Crosse Prospectus: Towson’s Jitters; Denver’s Improving Defense

All the lacrosse news you can handle and plenty more!!

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING, College Crosse Nation!! Thanks for making us a part of your day! Here are your links for May 24, 2017.

What You Missed

Who could Maryland’s players possibly face off against and why Connor Kelly could be a bigger threat on offense than Matt Rambo?

Ohio State head coach Nick Myers is looking to win his first National Championship as a head coach after his predecessor, Joe Breschi, did it last year at North Carolina.

A long time Maryland fan growing up, John Tillman now has the chance to lead the Terps to their first National Championship in 42 years.

An overall look at the Maryland Terrapins and how they got to another Championship Weekend.

Netanya, Israel will host the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships.

The Denver Pioneers had their local media day before heading back east to Foxborough.

Lacrosse The Nation

It’s coming!

Let’s see what the Final Four teams are doing. First up: the Towson Tigers.

SHAWN NADELEN USED TO REP PHILLY!

Edward Lee of The Baltimore Sun writes about Joe Seider’s filthy corner stinger against Syracuse on Sunday.

Seider agreed. “That’s what every kid wants to do, just put it right in that spot," he said. "So to do that in that game was a pretty amazing feeling.”

Seider, who joked that he called the upper left corner before firing the shot, has been one of Towson’s most prolific scorers with 124 career goals, which ranks third all-time. He also has taken a school-record 475 shots.

Coach Shawn Nadelen smiled when asked about Seider’s highlight-reel goal.

“Joe was feeling it on Sunday, and that’s a dangerous thing and a nice thing for our program and our guys,” he said. “He was very confident. You could just see that when he got the goals early. Just really aggressive and very confident. When he gets his hands free and he can let it rip, it’s hard to get in front of it. He put that in a great spot.”

He also wrote about the jitters that both Towson and Ohio State will have come Saturday at noon.

Let’s stay in the state and move to the Terps.

Can I get that donut though?

Out west to Denver, Matt Kinnear of Inside Lacrosse asks if their defense is getting better with experience.

It’s not a surprise that a [Bill] Tierney-coached defense, with John Orsen as the defensive coordinator, is getting better. Health has a lot to do with it, too. The starting trio at the beginning of the season was senior Christian Burgdorf, with sophomores Dylan Gaines and Dylan Johnson. Burgdorf has been a starter since Day 1 of his freshman year at Denver. Johnson and Gaines went down with injury in mid-March against Ohio State. That inserted Jake Nolan and Matt Jones, and the Pioneers kept winning but had a stretch in which they gave up the most goals they had throughout the season (Towson 12-11; Georgetown 20-11; Villanova 16-11; St. John’s 18-12).

“You’re playing with the fourth and fifth guy,” Tierney said about the injuries then. “With Matt and Jake, now we have five who can really play. Jake has stayed in the starting lineup.”

In the NCAA First Round, Gaines returned as a starter, giving the team the crew it has now of him, Burgdorf and Jones. Johnson has also returned and moved up to longstick middie, where the Pios have been playing without starter Sean Mayle. The negative of the injuries has turned into a positive of playing experience and increased depth for the Pioneers — the fruits of which were seen against Notre Dame in the Quarterfinals.

“As much as it hurt in the middle of the year to have those guys out, we’re experienced, solid because of that,” Tierney said. “The key to a Final Four, besides winning Saturday, is having enough depth to win on Monday.”

Lee also spoke with Matt Ward about the quarterfinals.

Based on how well Ohio State played in nearly all facets of that game, are the Buckeyes the most complete team left in the tournament?

What I love about Ohio State is they’re a team that has shown that they can win the high-scoring games and the low-scoring games, which is critically important to make a run to the national championship. With that said, I think you have to look at Denver. Aside from [Ohio State redshirt senior] Tom Carey against [Denver sophomore] Alex Ready in the cage, I like Denver. Ohio State defensively is very good, their midfield unit is young but very good, and they have the ultimate X-factor in Carey. While [senior faceoff specialist] Jake Withers is good for Ohio State, Trevor Baptiste is on another world at this point. I know that Ohio State was able to beat Denver in the regular season pretty handily [16-7 on March 19], but Denver to me looks like it’s playing its best lacrosse. I watched Ohio State play and thought, ‘Teams better be shaking in their boots based on that performance.’ And then I watched Denver play, and I thought, ‘Man, I don’t know. Teams better be shaking in their boots about Denver.’ And then watching Towson play, they were awesome, and what Maryland did was incredible. All of these teams have to feel pretty good about what’s to come. While I thought we were going to have really good matchups in the quarterfinals, I’m very positive that we’re going to have more competitive games this weekend because the four best teams are in the Final Four.

Did you view Towson’s 10-7 win against No. 2 seed Syracuse as an upset?

Candidly, I had Towson winning that game. Towson is clicking on all cylinders. The defense is very good, and while Syracuse had a great regular season, they were a team where almost every game came down to one goal. So you knew their delta between their skills and the competitions’ skills was pretty similar. They just had some senior experience that led to game-winning goals during the regular season. If you continue to play that way, you’re going to get burned at some point. I thought Towson from the whistle was the more complete team. Physically dominating defensively, and then offensively, they were able to generate the high-quality shots, and getting a couple man-ups early certainly helped. They’re playing great lacrosse, and they’re a tough out for anybody given that they can play such solid defense. While Syracuse deserved to be the No. 2 seed and maybe even the No. 1 seed going into the tournament, if you had asked me which of the top seeds is more likely to lose, they were at the top of that list because they played so many teams so closely that they were never able to win games easily.

The USILA All-American list has been released. We’ll have a full reaction story on that later today (because there’s definitely some hot takes).

Introducing this year’s National Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductees:

The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame announces the addition of nine new inductees as the Class of 2017, following approval by the US Lacrosse Board of Directors. The newest members will be officially inducted in a ceremony on Saturday, September 23, at The Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, Md.

The 2017 inductees are: Doug Knight (Virginia), Leslie Blankin Lane (Hollins), Jim McDonald (coach & administrator), Laurette Payette (referee), Casey Powell (Syracuse & current Jacksonville coach), Jill Johnson Redfern (Ursinus & current Lehigh coach), Brooks Sweet (SUNY Farmingdale & UMass), Robyn Nye Wood (Virginia), and Don Zimmerman (Johns Hopkins & UMBC coach).

Speaking of Powell:

The USILA released their North/South rosters for the D1 & D2 games, as well as the D3 game.

The ECAC released their All-ECAC selections:

Beth Maiman for NCAA.com has a great feature on Cleveland State’s first year as a program:

First Practice

On September 8, 2016, the Vikings held their first official practice, about five months before their first regular-season game.

Noah Gleeson, midfield: I know in the first practice, it was kind of interesting because we were all freshmen and a bunch of us had not gone through this before. We had no idea what was going to happen. We were all super nervous. Coach came to the field, he was intense, but he was also kind of reassuring that we all made the right decision to come to Cleveland State. That eased our nerves and everybody got after it the rest of the year.

Caleb Espinoza, goalkeeper: I knew we had a tough schedule and we had plenty of top 10 teams on our schedule, but I knew it was rare to have a great opportunity like that. So we might as well go out there and give it 110 percent each game.

Meanwhile at Navy, a good view:

In the Division II championship, Merrimack will be playing in the title game for the first time in school history, and in their backyard. Matt Kinnear from Inside Lacrosse wrote about their season thus far.

Philly Jawns

The 2017 edition of Wawa Welcome America has so many events!

World News

Jon Stewart and HBO have cancelled their plans for an animated shorts project.

Video of the Day

What if Theme Parks were honest? And when was the last time you went to one?

That’s it for today!! I’ll see you out there!! Make sure you follow us on social media!

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Managing Editors: Safe Fekadu, Chris Jastrzembski, Ryan McDonnell.