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College Crosse Prospectus: Conry’s New Family Culture

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UM Photography, E. Bronson/Michigan Athletics

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING, College Crosse Nation!! Thanks for making us a part of your day! Here are your links for February 12, 2018.

Site Announcement

We’re thrilled to be adding new writers for the 2018 season! We haven’t added anybody new since the end of the 2016 season when Safe was just wrapping up his first year as manager of the site.

  • Skyler Gilbert will be joining us writing all things women’s lacrosse, which has been something we’ve wanted to get into for quite some time. He currently attends school at Stony Brook, which has a really good lacrosse team and a Tewaaraton favorite in Kylie Ohlmiller. He’s also a Washington Capitals fan, which should make Jake happy.
  • Dan Arestia will also join the team writing on the men’s game as our weekend wrap up man. His first post should come out later this week. He’s located in Connecticut and writes for the Darien Times and was a former assistant lacrosse at Darien High School, which has been a national power for some time.

What You Missed

It was a big opening weekend in the women’s game, and Skyler breaks it all down.

Notre Dame almost lost to Detroit Mercy, while UMass Lowell edged Quinnipiac in overtime.

North Carolina and Virginia were other ACC teams that had tight games on Saturday.

Lacrosse The Nation

18 Stripes recaps Notre Dame’s tough win over Detroit Mercy:

Very sloppy play for nearly three quarters, with an unacceptable amount of turnovers. This derailed any effort at establishing momentum. The Detroit defensive plan was to pound on the attackmen, and [Ryder] Garnsey, [Mikey] Wynne and [Connor] Morin took a beating. Garnsey even seemed to get the People’s Elbow behind a play. It was effective in that this group contributed 12 turnovers.

With the attack getting so much attention, the midfield got some nice looks and they took advantage of them. Costabile was simply on fire.

The defense was solid throughout, and went well into the 3rd quarter before giving up a goal on the 6-on-6. Sloppy clears early contributed to Detroit scoring, including a mess with 2 seconds left in the half. With a freshman goalie and defensemen playing their first game, and both defensive midfield all-Americans out of the game, this is perhaps not unexpected. However, things improved dramatically as the game progressed, and this is good.

Matthew Schmidt was as advertised: a premier stopper.

Kevin Santo for The Michigan Daily writes on how new Wolverines head coach Kevin Conry is changing the Michigan culture for the better:

Last Friday, Conry had the freshman class and his senior captains over for dinner.

[Brent] Noseworthy says he thinks the plan is to make sure every class goes over at least once, and that in the first iteration, the team spent time meeting Conry’s family. The assistant coaches brought their kids over too.

The food wasn’t bad either, complete with a spread of flank steaks, chicken, pasta and mac and cheese.

“I think we want to foster more of a family environment,” Conry says. “I want them to know my kids and watch my kids kind of grow up around this program. … But I want to build a championship culture, and everything that’s entitled to it. Part of it is the family orientation, but it’s also just excelling at the smallest details in every department.”

The Towson Tigers might have unveiled more questions about their offense after a big loss to Johns Hopkins on Saturday, notes Edward Lee of The Baltimore Sun:

The offense committed at least three of the team’s five turnovers in the first quarter and did not force Johns Hopkins senior goalkeeper Brock Turnbaugh to make a save until about two minutes were left in the opening period. By that time, the Blue Jays had opened a 4-0 lead, and the rout was underway.

Towson’s offensive woes surprised head coach Shawn Nadelen.

“You hope you don’t struggle as much as we did,” he said. “I don’t know if we just had jitters. I don’t know how many possessions we had in the first quarter, but we looked down there, and the ball was just sailing over guys’ heads. I’m not going to say it was inexperience or anything like that. It was just us not doing a good job of executing. Obviously, we’ve got to figure it out quickly – chemistry more so.

“I feel like we need to do a much better job of building that and being able to connect the dots. We didn’t really attack the game plan that [associate head] coach [Anthony] Gilardi had in the way that we expected to. We allowed them to do what they wanted to do without really forcing them to get out of their comfort zone. When you turn the ball over a lot like in that first quarter, it’s hard to get into a rhythm. But we’ve got good players on the offensive end. We’ve just got to figure out why this happened and how we move forward.”

Bubba Fairman and other Maryland Terrapins freshmen delivered big results in their win over Navy after a large crop of seniors graduated last year, pens Scott Gelman of The Diamondback:

Usually, [John] Tillman is hesitant to make younger players like Fairman key components of his starting lineup. As a freshman last year, attackman Jared Bernhardt often deferred to [Colin] Heacock and [Matt] Rambo, picking up 28 points as a complementary piece.

But Fairman, whom Inside Lacrosse ranked the No. 2 recruit in the class of 2017, isn’t a typical freshman. After all, he developed rare maturity for his age before arriving in College Park.

The Sandy, Utah, native spent his junior year of high school at The Calverton School in Huntingtown. Then, he attended Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts for a postgrad season. Tillman said the fact that Fairman has lived away from home made his transition to College Park easier.

Still, Tillman’s default approach is to provide older players with the opportunity to win starting jobs in the spring. So while he knew Fairman likely possessed the attributes to earn a spot right away, he wanted the freshman to play himself into a starting role.

Rushing young players into prominent roles “is not good for your team dynamic,” Tillman said.

Despite not being an NCAA Division I team, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have started to become a very strong lacrosse team in the MCLA, writes Harsha Sridhar of The Technique:

Finding those new additions for his program is where [Ken] Lovic and the men’s lacrosse team set themselves apart. For most clubs on campus, FASET is the first chance for these organizations to begin evaluating incoming freshmen, passing out applications and offering them new information. The vibrancy of the activities fair, replete with flyers, trinkets and colorful posters (not to mention strategic positioning of previously-won trophies) is indeed difficult to forget. For lacrosse, that search starts earlier. Lovic and his staff are in contact with promising high school players across the country, extolling the virtues of a Tech education and allowing them to envision themselves playing the sport there. “We don’t even have to look on campus,” he says. “We know who’s coming here.”

Once those students decide to attend Tech, they face the same reality most every incoming freshman does: occasional sleep deprivation, a more rigorous course load than they tackled in high school and the predictable struggles of living independently for the first time. Add in a demanding practice schedule (two hours on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, plus another two-hour Saturday midday practice) and it is clear that peer support is absolutely essential to guide these athletes through their first year.

That is where the team’s veteran leaders come in, players from a variety of backgrounds. For some, like fourth-years CJ Norrell and Quinten Ziegler, the game was a natural second option after their fit with baseball eroded (Norrell gave up the bat and glove in his freshman year of high school; Ziegler turned away from the pastime in middle school). Juniors Tim Peterson and Brian Duffy have also assumed significant roles on the team. With 19 freshmen on the team, their expertise is needed, both in the field and competition and in learning the ropes away from the practice field.

“It’s important for [the freshmen] to get a lot of reps on the field and with the older guys,” Duffy said. “We’ve been here awhile, and we have a little more knowledge of what our coach wants to do with our offense and defense, so we kind of impart that wisdom on them.”

Here’s some more men’s wrap ups from the weekend:

Not a lot of change in the new US Lacrosse Magazine top 20.

There are 48 teams participating in the FIL World Lacrosse Championships, and 12 of them are new after not playing in 2014.

Here’s a number of women’s wrap ups from this past weekend:

In the Colorado-Florida game, the two teams honored the life of former Buffs player Julia Sarcona, who died in a car crash last month.

A lacrosse tournament in Binghamton raised money for heart awareness. Tyler Brown of WBNG has details:

The 12th annual ‘John Mack Southern Tier Shootout’ was held at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex on Saturday and Sunday.

The two-day tournament is named in honor of 17 year-old John Mack, who died of cardiac arrest while playing lacrosse for Binghamton High School in 2006.

”The Mack family has been in the lacrosse world for over 40 years in Binghamton,” said Ronald Mack, John’s Uncle.

Now the ‘John Mack Southern Tier Shootout’ continues to bring teams from all across the country together.

“Lacrosse is the number one growing sport in the country. It’s growing because the kids have a blast,” said Aaron Caporuscio, the coach for the women’s “Volts Lacrosse Club” in northeast Pennsylvania.

Philly Jawns

Matthew McConaughey bought a full-page ad congratulating Nick Foles.

World News

Snapchat’s Snap Map is coming to the web in an embeddable form.

Video of the Day

An organ made of Furbies. I’m terrified.

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