Daily Archives: May 20, 2009

Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA): Exciting Championship Game And Competitive 16 Team Field Establishes Credibility


mcla_logo

There have been four previous MCLA Division I finals that were settled by one goal, including a 16-15 overtime win for Cal over BYU in 1998, but this year’s clash between Michigan and Chapman was the best – and most important – in MCLA history for three reasons.

Even the usually stoic John Paul, Michigan's head coach, could not contain a smile after the Big Blue won its second straight MCLA championship on Saturday. He should be happy, especially since he and his team were part of the most important title game in the association's history.  Ryan McKee

Even the usually stoic John Paul, Michigan's head coach, could not contain a smile after the Big Blue won its second straight MCLA championship on Saturday. He should be happy, especially since he and his team were part of the most important title game in the association's history. Ryan McKee

First, this one was televised live on a nationwide cable channel (Fox College Sports) and available streaming live on the web. From what I was told, this did not come cheap – $50,000 was the number thrown at me from a reliable source – but considering the product they manage to televise, I would deem it worth the expense. The risk was high: if the game turned into a dog along the lines of the Michigan contests against Sonoma or Colorado, airing the game might have caused more harm than good. The quality of this contest made for a big pay-off.

Second, it showed that the MCLA was not turning into a one-team league. It’s always nice to have a signature program to sell a league, but the association needs excitement now, not inevitability. As someone who covers NCAA Division III, I respect what Jim Berkman did with his Salisbury program for the past decade, but it makes for a boring spring when the outcome is essentially predetermined. While Michigan earned its just desserts, Chapman’s ability to compete well with the Wolverines keeps open the hope that UM won’t run away from the pack in the future. If one assumes comparative scores hold great significance, we can even consider Colorado State, BYU and Simon Fraser as programs at the same level.

With that being said, there is an obvious gap between the haves and have-nots in the MCLA in both divisions. It’s something that will have to be addressed sooner or later, likely in a form of a definitive set of standards for inclusion in each division to ensure everyone is operating on a near-level playing field in terms of resources and competitiveness.

Third, this game was the last confirmation that the selection committee in its inaugural season got it right. With the exception of No. 10 Florida State beating No. 7 Cal Poly in the first round of the D-I tourney, every other game where the seeding didn’t hold involved two teams ranked one seed apart – two #8-#9 upsets, one #5-#4 and one #2-#1. That’s pretty darn good for your first go around with the committee structure. There were 10 total one-goal games, but that’s more of a testament to the parity within the MCLA than any ranking malfunction.

There was a lot more riding on this game than just crowing a national champion, and pretty much all the way around, the MCLA came up aces.

http://www.laxmagazine.com/blogs/coyne/051809_mclafinal

Oregon High School Girls Lacrosse: Oregon City Girls Lacrosse To Play Lake Oswego For Oregon State Championship May 21st


Oregon City Girls Lacrosse

Top-ranked Oregon City will go for its first state title when it meets Three Rivers League rival Lake Oswego in the OGLA final at 7 p.m. Thursday at Tualatin Hills Recreation Center in Beaverton.

Since its debut in 2002, Oregon City has become one of the model programs of the Oregon Girls Lacrosse Association. But one thing is missing from the Pioneers’ résumé: a state championship.

After coming tantalizingly close the past two seasons, top-ranked Oregon City will go for its first state title when it meets Three Rivers League rival Lake Oswego in the OGLA final at 7 p.m. Thursday at Tualatin Hills Recreation Center in Beaverton.

The senior-dominated Pioneers (18-1) — ranked 13th among schools west of the Mississippi River by West Side Lacrosse — are 17-0 in Oregon, where their smallest margin of victory was four goals.

“They have a lot of fire,” coach Dara Kramer said of her players. “The last two years, they’ve gotten the taste of being so close, and they have a lot of motivation.”

They also have talent. Midfielder Natalie Harrington (79 goals) and attacker Maddie Garcia have signed with Fresno State and Colorado State, respectively. Midfielder Kaitlyn Harper (57 goals) and defender Rachel Wong have signed with Pacific University.

Even though the Pioneers beat Lake Oswego twice in league play (15-5 and 19-12), they aren’t taking anything for granted, according to Kramer.

“They have confidence, but they’ve also kept themselves a little scared of the competition,” Kramer said. “They know that if they’re overly confident, there are several teams that could make them pay for that.”

No. 2 Lake Oswego (14-3), which lost eight starters from last year’s state runner-up team and has two seniors on its roster, enters on a roll. The Lakers have won seven of eight, including a 17-14 semifinal win over Lincoln on Monday.

“We very much went into this season with a rebuilding attitude,” coach Lauren Anderson said. “We’re pleasantly surprised with how the team has come along.”

Senior midfielder Flannery Underwood and senior goalie Evan Goldsmith lead the Lakers, who won titles in 2005 and 2006. Juniors Alissa Johnston and Kendall Guthrie lead the team in scoring.

The final marks the end of the 14th season for the OGLA, which expanded from 30 to 35 varsity teams this year. Anderson, also the OGLA president, said she expects the game to attract a crowd of up to 600.

http://highschoolsports.oregonlive.com/news/article/3198086879948197343/oregon-city-lake-oswego-to-play-for-girls-lacrosse-state-title/

High School Lacrosse Participation: Popularity Continues To Increase As NCAA Men’s Division I Championship This Weekend Showcases Sport


“Lacrosse has taken off because it combines the hitting of football, the speed of basketball, and requires the endurance of soccer,” says Kyle Harrison, who led Johns Hopkins to a national championship in 2005 and who won that year’s Tewaaraton Trophy as the country’s best male player.

lacrosse participation in high school

Until recently, lacrosse — America’s other stick and ball sport — was rarely on TV and only its championship games generated much in the way of media coverage. It was mostly played on the East Coast, and it was often viewed as a game for private-school kids. Some of the game’s most electrifying athletes — Gary and Paul Gait; Casey, Ryan and Michael Powell — were little known outside core followers. The sole exception may be Jim Brown, the former Cleveland Browns running back who played lacrosse at Syracuse University.

(From Wall Street Journal Article)   These days the sport is showing serious growth. Participation in high school lacrosse has about doubled this decade, to a total of 143,946 boys and girls playing on high school lacrosse teams in the 2007-08 school year, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, which tracks participation by sport. In 2000-01, there were 74,225 high school lacrosse players.

And the fervor goes beyond high schools. A 2007 survey by the National Sporting Goods Association found an estimated 1.2 million Americans over age 7 had played lacrosse within the previous year — an increase of 40% since 1999.

Johns Hopkins is one of the 56 men’s Division 1 college lacrosse teams, based on NCAA data from the 2007-08 season. Including Divisions II and III, there are some 239 men’s college lacrosse teams nationwide with 8,900 athletes, double the number of participants two decades ago. On the women’s side, there are now more than 300 college lacrosse programs across Division I, II and III, according to the NCAA, triple the number seen two decades ago.

It’s also growing when compared to other sports. In the 2007-08 school year, 17 colleges added women’s lacrosse, more than any other sport. Meanwhile, a dozen men’s teams were added in 2007-08, far more than sports like basketball, which added three teams; football, which added two and baseball, which added just one team.

Lacrosse is a fast-paced running and shooting game created by American Indians. Migrating south from Canada in the 19th century, it won followers in the Northeast; New York University fielded the first college team in 1877.

A number of factors have contributed to the sport’s growth, including an increase in media coverage, the availability of athletic scholarships and the sport’s growing appeal at schools west of the Mississippi.

Indeed, the game has steadily migrated as former players and coaches moved West. Lacrosse Magazine says that of the 2,427 men’s lacrosse players on D-I rosters in 2009, 118 players came from five key Western states: California (55); Colorado (37); Washington (13); (Arizona (9) and Oregon (4.)

“The game has just exploded in the three years that I’ve lived in San Diego,” says Dave Herman, the varsity boys’ lacrosse coach at Francis Parker School in San Diego.

The availability of college scholarships is also a draw. Chuck Cohen, who helped launch a youth league in Orangetown, N.Y., that has grown from 70 boys in grades five through eight to more than 300 boys and girls from first to eighth grades, says, “Many of the D-1 teams are offering college scholarships, and there are tournaments and recruiting camps where college coaches can watch the kids play.”

The Web has played a crucial role, says Steve Stenersen, CEO of US Lacrosse, the sport’s governing body. “There’s tons of stuff on YouTube, as well as coverage on a variety of news and alternative sites.”

The media, specifically cable TV networks such as ESPN, have also popularized the sport. “It’s always been considered an Eastern sport, but now it’s spreading nationwide,” says Steve Herbst, executive vice president of CBS College Sports Network, which has carried the sport for six years.

Lacrosse has been welcoming to women. Forty years ago, there wasn’t a single girls high school lacrosse team; in the 2007-08 school year, there were over 1,600 high school programs with more than 60,000 players in 23 states. Undoubtedly, many will be watching Northwestern University, based in Evanston, Ill., compete this weekend for its fifth consecutive national women’s championship.

As might be expected, the states with the most popular programs are those where the sport has traditionally been popular. New York has the most, followed by New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Maryland. But next on the list is California, with 110 high school teams and over 3,000 women’s lacrosse players.

Lacrosse still trails far behind more traditional sports and it remains to be seen whether the sport will ever catch up in popularity. The number of high school lacrosse players, at about 144,000, is just a fraction of the participation seen in football, with 1.1 million high school athletes; basketball and track and field, both with just over a million players, and soccer, with 730,000, as of the 2007-08 school year.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124278087620937367.htmlWrite to Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at jeffrey.trachtenberg@wsj.com and Kelly Evans at kelly.evans@wsj.com

Los Angeles County High School Boys Lacrosse: 2009 Mission League All-Team Lacrosse Awards


Mission League Lacrosse

All-Team Awards 2009

MVP:  Nick McCormack, Senior, Midfield, Loyola

1st team

 Attack

Greg Myerson, Senior, Harvard-Westlake

Max Lightbourne, Junior, Loyola  

Zach Rodriguez, Senior, Loyola

Midfield

Andy Kurstin, Senior, Loyola

Ben Mahony, Junior, Chaminade

Conor O’Toole, Junior, Harvard-Westlake

 Longstick Midfield

JD Johnson, Senior, Loyola

 Defense

Sean Crane, Senior, Loyola

Dustin Doty, Senior, Crespi

Craig Seidenglanz, Junior, Chaminade

Goalie

Barrett Meister, Junior, Harvard-Westlake

 

 2nd team

 Attack

Joey Jacobellis, Junior, Chaminade

PJ Willets, Senior, Loyola

Cory Wizenberg, Sophomore, Harvard-Westlake

Midfield

Anthony Daniels, Junior, Chaminade

Joe Edwards, Junior, Harvard-Westlake

Justin Tabit, Senior, Loyola

 Longstick Midfield

Riley Mate, Junior, Harvard-Westlake

 

Defense

Brad Lattanzio, Junior, Crespi

Kyle Milack, Sophomore, Crespi

Bryan Ruiz, Loyola

 

Goalie

Sho Tsubakiyama, Senior, Loyola

NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Tournament: Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse And Duke Prove That Successful Programs Can Rebuild After Loss Of Top Players To Graduation


Pat Perritt of the Syracuse University men's lacrosse team fires shot past Maryland goalie Jason Carter during SU's 11-6 quarterfinal victory Saturday. Dick Blume/The Post-Standard

Pat Perritt of the Syracuse University men's lacrosse team fires shot past Maryland goalie Jason Carter during SU's 11-6 quarterfinal victory Saturday. Dick Blume/The Post-Standard

When you consider how much star power the men’s lacrosse teams at Syracuse and Duke universities lost following the 2008 season, it is amazing that each is back in the Final Four in 2009.

The Orange (14-2) bid farewell to Tewaaraton Trophy winner Mike Leveille (49 goals, 34 assists), midfielder of the year Steven Brooks (28-13), the nation’s leading faceoff specialist in Danny Brennan (.667), starting close defenders Evan Brady and Kyle Guadagnolo, midfielder Brendan Loftus (21-4) and defensive middies John Carrozza and Steve Babbles. That’s a lot of production and leadership.

 

The Blue Devils (15-3) endured similar losses. Matt Danowski (41-56), the 2007 Tewaaraton winner, graduated as the NCAA’s all-time scoring leader. Zack Greer (65-30) transferred to Bryant as the NCAA’s career goal-scoring leader. Longstick middie Nick O’Hara was a first-team All-American, goalie Dan Loftus a third-team A-A pick.

Despite the losses, each team has proven to be among the very best in the nation. They will meet at noon Saturday (ESPN2) at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro in the semifinals. Cornell and Virginia will meet in the second game, with the winners playing Monday for the title.

Of the four teams, only Duke has never won a Division I title since the NCAA began overseeing the championship in 1971. SU has won 10, Virginia four and Cornell three. SU, UVA, Johns Hopkins and Princeton have won every title since 1992. The last team other than the four to win it was North Carolina in 1991.

The Orange has gotten back into the Final Four despite the losses noted above with solid play in goal from sophomore John Galloway, a stingy defense ranked No. 4 in the nation (7.31 goals per game allowed) and a balanced offense (No. 2 in the nation at 12.88 goals per game) led by senior attackman Kenny Nims (27-41), who leads the nation at 4.25 points per game.

Right behind Nims is Duke’s Ned Crotty (23-53) a second-team All-America middie last season who moved down low to attack and is second in the nation at 4.22 points per game. Overall, Duke is No. 7 in the nation in offense (12.0 goals per game) and No. 12 in defense (7.94 goals per game allowed).

http://blog.syracuse.com/orangelacrosse/2009/05/syracuse_university_mens_lacro_39.html

California High School Lacrosse Scores For May 19


LaxPower High School Boys

CA Bishop’s School 9, Westview 4
CA Cathedral Catholic 11, Grossmont 7
CA Coronado 16, Santa Fe Christian 7
CA University City 14, Montgomery 8

High School Girls

CA Bishop’s School 6, Santa Fe Christian 4
CA Rancho Bernardo 20, Fallbrook 3
CA Westview, CA 13, Monte Vista, Spring V. 10

http://www.laxpower.com/common/scoreboard.php

College Women’s Lacrosse: Northwestern Women’s Lacrosse Has Dominated NCAA Tournament With A Plus-27 Advantage On Draws


Defense may win championships, but not when it comes to the brass of women’s lacrosse. With a

Wildcats coach Kelly Amonte Hiller has used two primary weapons on draws this season: wiry 6-foot-2 junior Danielle Spencer (pictured) and cagey 5-foot-7 freshman Alexandra Frank.

Wildcats coach Kelly Amonte Hiller has used two primary weapons on draws this season: wiry 6-foot-2 junior Danielle Spencer (pictured) and cagey 5-foot-7 freshman Alexandra Frank.

plus-27 advantage on draws this postseason, Northwestern has registered 49 more shots than its opponents.

Through two NCAA tournament games, the Wildcats (21-0) have not relented on their mission to dominate games via possession.

Entering its opening round matchup with Massachusetts, Northwestern was winning 65 percent of its draws in 2009. That number has ballooned to 75 percent in the NCAA tournament, thanks to a 23-8 advantage over the Minutewomen in the first round and a 20-7 advantage over the Tigers in the quarterfinals.

Wildcats coach Kelly Amonte Hiller has used two primary weapons on draws this season: wiry 6-foot-2 junior Danielle Spencer and cagey 5-foot-7 freshman Alexandra Frank. But Amonte Hiller said there is no formula to success on draws, beyond viewing each as an individual situation.

“We usually just try and keep an open mind with it,” Amonte Hiller said after her team’s 16-9 quarterfinal win over Princeton. “Each person that you draw against is different. Sometimes Danielle has a lot more success than Alex and vice versa. Danielle was just dominating, so no reason to change that situation.”

Defense may win championships, but not when it comes to the brass of women’s lacrosse. With a plus-27 advantage on draws this postseason, Northwestern has registered 49 more shots than its opponents.

That aggression has led to 39 goals — the most by any Wildcats team in the first two rounds since their string of national championships began in 2005.

http://www.laxmagazine.com/college_women/DI/2008-09/news/052009_northwestern