Daily Archives: September 19, 2010

MCLA Men’s Lacrosse Preview: Minnesota-Duluth Men’s Lacrosse Has A New Coach But Same Tough Defense


Minnesota-Duluth (15-3, MCLA Quarterfinals)

Key Loss: Rob Graff. As the architect of the Duluth experience, Graff’s absence will undoubtedly be felt. I doubt Frank Clark, Graff’s capable replacement, would even argue that point. Fortunately, Clark has mentored under Graff long enough to have the same gravitas with the players, allowing for as smooth a transition as possible.
Key Returnee: Brandon Nispel. The heir apparent to Dan Pitzl’s role as playmaker out of the midfield, Nispel had a quiet junior season in which he racked up 27 goals and 20 assists, good for third on the team in scoring. No one player will be able to replace Pitzl this season, but Nispel appears ready to make up for a chunk of the points.
Wild Card: Defense. The Bulldogs have significant graduation losses, but the backline appears to bear the biggest brunt of the exodus. The bruising Duluth style brought by Graff from Long Island starts with a physical defense, and there are several experienced holes to be filled. There are some younger poles who earned valuable minutes at the back, but will it be enough for Duluth to navigate its non-conference schedule well enough for a decent seed?
Reality: When I spoke with Graff in Denver, he felt that Duluth would surprise some people in 2011 even with the noteworthy losses. This is certainly plausible, but with all of the moving pieces with the players and staff, it’s tough to accept this on its face. Regardless, Duluth will still be five goals better than any of the other teams in the UMLL, so the ‘Dawgs just need to be primed come tourney time.

For more:  http://www.laxmagazine.com/blogs/coyne/090810_midsummer_nights_ranking_mcla_div_one

Lacrosse In The 1950’s: “Sports Illustrated” Article (April 29,1957) Wrote Of An Epic Game Between Army Men’s Lacrosse And Princeton, Won By Princeton 5-4


“…Instead, the crowds flocked to see Army play Princeton in one of the least-played, least-understood, yet most American game in college sports—lacrosse…”

Bill Yates, a big Army defenseman, tried to fire the team. “We’re not mad enough, guys. Get mad. We can take ’em. We got to watch our passing, we got to press them. We’re just letting them bring the ball up without pressing them.”

“I don’t know what’s the matter,” he said. He gazed down at his bruised and purpling legs, red-welted from stick checks. Moon Mullins was gasping, too tired to wipe the river of sweat that trickled down his forehead into his eyes. A small stream of blood ran along his jawbone from a gash on his right cheek.

The green, sun-splashed campus at West Point crawled with tourists over Easter weekend. Saturday was one of those balmy, shirtsleeves-and-convertible days that attracted twice the normal complement of pretty girls and beaming cadets, not to mention automobile loads of citizen tourists on pilgrimage to historic ground. The enlisted men on a cleanup detail eyed the activity with a stoicism born of years of Mondays spent spearing crackerjack boxes and empty cigaret packets, and began sharpening their pointed sticks.

Despite the overflow traffic, the baseball bleachers which seat close to 3,000 were near-deserted as the Army jayvees lost to Danbury State 7-0. There was similar apathy down on the track where the Army thinclads were running a losing cause to the University of Maryland. Instead, the crowds flocked to see Army play Princeton in one of the least-played, least-understood, yet most American game in college sports—lacrosse.

West Point lost this one, too, 5-4, but the disappointment of losing somehow vanished in the thrill of the play.

“This is a sport that creeps up on you,” said Morris Touchstone, Army coach. He sat cross-legged on the players’ bench by the side of the 120-yard playing field. His hands fingered a piece of chalk, and he drew plays on the bench as he talked.

“We don’t get lacrosse players at the academy. They come to me raw, green. Most of them never saw a stick before. It is a handicap. I have to teach them to play against men who have had lacrosse sticks in their hands since they were old enough to walk. I can’t develop a ‘stick game’ in four years, so we have to play a hard-running, hard-checking game. We have to rely on conditioning to wear the other fellow down.”

At the end of the first quarter, Princeton was leading Army 1-0. A solemn Coach Touchstone joined the huddle of panting, exhausted Army players sprawled on the field. “They’re going to whip you. They’re playing to win and they’re going to whip you,” he said.

Moon Mullins, an Army mid-fielder who would score two goals before the afternoon was over, pleaded:

“Coach, you’re leaving us in too long. You got to send in a new mid-field line more often, Coach. They’re killing us when we get tired.”

Touchstone eyed Mullins coldly. “No alibis, Mullins. Princeton is outplaying you.”

Bill Yates, a big Army defenseman, tried to fire the team. “We’re not mad enough, guys. Get mad. We can take ’em. We got to watch our passing, we got to press them. We’re just letting them bring the ball up without pressing them.”

Army caught fire for a while and tied the score. Art Johnson, a defenseman who played first-string end on the West Point football team, hit Princeton‘s Cheston Morris so hard that Morris was brought up in mid-stride in midair, a dazed, surprised look on his face. Army got the ball and scored again. It was an agonizingly even game. The score went 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4. And then in the last period Princeton went ahead. Just before the Tigers got their winning score, Army called a time-out. The West Pointers lay gasping despite the fact that each man was in the peak of physical condition. Princeton‘s superior stick game had kept them running, running, running until there was very little left in any one of them. Art Johnson turned to a man next to him. “I don’t know what’s the matter,” he said. He gazed down at his bruised and purpling legs, red-welted from stick checks. Moon Mullins was gasping, too tired to wipe the river of sweat that trickled down his forehead into his eyes. A small stream of blood ran along his jawbone from a gash on his right cheek. The Army men wanted to win badly. They had won three straight and Princeton had lost four straight. But they just did not have it any more.

Johnson knew it. During one of the last time-outs he gazed off the field toward the stands and toward a young lady in a pink sweater and dark glasses. “Thirty-five days,” he said. “Thirty-five days, we’re going to be married. Three-thirty in the afternoon.” Then they went back to lacrosse.

For more:   http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1132339/2/index.htm

Lacrosse In The Inner City: CityLax Is A Non-Profit Serving New York City Youth (Video)


CityLax is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing the game of lacrosse in New York City in a public-private partnership with the Public School system and in partnerships/alliances with community-based organizations.  Using a character-based strategy of program development, we are currently focused on introducing/expanding lacrosse into New York City schools and geographies that historically have had little or no access to the game and that are predominantly comprised of populations from lower income families.

NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse: Roanoke College Men’s Lacrosse 2010 Fall Ball Freshmen Vs Upperclassmen (Video)


After a week of practice the freshmen are joined by the upperclassmen for the rest of fall ball. A yearly tradition gives the freshmen a chance to test themselves against the upperclassmen in a scrimmage. A hard fought game.