Daily Archives: December 5, 2010
MCLA Men’s Lacrosse: Utah Men’s Lacrosse 2011 Schedule Includes UC Santa Barbara, Arizona State, Simon Fraser, Chapman, Colorado State And BYU
Lacrosse In The 1970’s: Maryland Men’s Lacrosse Defeated Navy 20-13 To Win 1975 NCAA National Lacrosse Championship (Sports Illustrated June 9, 1975)
Supposedly, NCAA tournaments are played to determine which team is the best in the nation, but often they merely confirm the preeminence of a school that clearly had established its superiority during the regular season. Only when rankings have been hopelessly jumbled by upsets and erratic performances does a season-ending tournament serve to unscramble things once and for all. That was the case in lacrosse this year, and last week in Baltimore the University of Maryland, which almost did not qualify for the championships, resoundingly clarified which was the best team in 1975 by defeating an equally surprising Navy squad 20-13.
As always, the tournament succeeded in promoting lacrosse. The crowd at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field was a standing-room-only 10,400. Yet the championships are not overwhelmingly popular with the lacrosse community, which complains that too much of the money the event generates goes to the NCAA, not to the sport.
Furthermore, the tournament makes a shambles of year-end scheduling. Consider this season’s finalists. Maryland‘s commencement was held on May 11. The school’s lacrosse players, who otherwise would have started their summer vacations, had to hang around for three weeks for their season to end. At the Naval Academy, players took exams on the morning before their opening tournament game with Pennsylvania, then could not celebrate their 17-6 victory because they had more exams that evening. The Middies’ tests did not end until the day they traveled to Cornell for their 15-12 semifinal upset of the No. 2-ranked Big Red. What’s more, the exigencies of Navy’s athletic budget require that the annual clash with Army be scheduled for the Academy’s June Week, when it will draw a big crowd. That meant that Navy had to play the Cadets the day after the national championship.
Nor does the concept of a national tournament seem to have all that much relevance in lacrosse. In the five years the championships have been played, eight of the 10 finalists have come from Maryland. The University of Maryland has appeared in four of the five finals, and the Midshipmen and the Terps are the only two teams that have been selected for all five tournaments.
Maryland and Navy are also the best examples of how confused the lacrosse picture was this year. The Terps did not even win the Atlantic Coast Conference. The University of Virginia did. For what he calls “the good of the game,” Terp Coach Bud Beardmore schedules a number of non- NCAA games. As a result, Maryland played only six NCAA games, the minimum number required to qualify for the tournament. The Terps lost two of them, including one to Navy. On the other hand, the Middies had perhaps the roughest schedule in college lacrosse this season. They played every team that appeared in the 1974 and 1975 championship tournaments. The Middies not only lost two of those games but managed to blow two others against lesser opponents, including their season opener to an unheralded small-college team, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Coaching at the Academy has always been an uphill battle for Dick Szlasa, who has directed Navy’s lacrosse program for the past three years. As if the recruiting problems of a service academy were not burden enough, Szlasa had to succeed the legendary Bill Bilderback. In 14 seasons at Navy, Bilderback won nine national championships, including an incredible string of eight in a row from 1960 to 1967 when the title was decided by a vote.
Szlasa managed to get the Middies into the NCAA tournament in each of his first two seasons, but both times they were eliminated in the first round. With 16 of 31 lettermen gone, prospects for 1975 appeared to be bleak. When Navy lost to UMBC in the mud to open the season, it marked the lowest point of his career. “We jumped on the bus after the game and the weight of the players caused it to mire in the mud,” Szlasa says, possibly passing the buck, since he tips the scales at about 250. “It took two hours to get unstuck. That whole scene really brought us to grips with reality.”
MCLA Men’s Lacrosse: Cal State Fullerton Men’s Lacrosse 2011 Schedule Includes Nevada Las Vegas, USC, Western Washington, Utah Valley, Fort Lewis And Saint Mary’s
|Date Time Opponent Venue|
|Sat Jan 29||2:00 PM||UNLV||Cal State Fullerton|
|Sat Feb 5||2:00 PM||USC||Cal State Fullerton|
|Sun Feb 13||1:00 PM||UCLA||Cal State Fullerton|
|Fri Feb 18||7:00 PM||Western Washington||Russell Road Recreation Complex|
|Sat Feb 19||1:00 PM||Utah Valley||Russell Road Recreation Complex|
|Sat Feb 26||2:00 PM||Cal State Long Beach||Cal State Fullerton|
|Wed Mar 2||7:00 PM||UC Irvine||Cal State Fullerton|
|Fri Mar 4||7:00 PM||Marymount College||Cal State Fullerton|
|Tue Mar 8||7:00 PM||Fort Lewis||Cal State Fullerton|
|Sat Mar 12||1:00 PM||@ UC Santa Cruz||University of California at Santa Cruz|
|Sun Mar 13||1:00 PM||@ Saint Marys||St Mary’s|
|Thu Mar 24||7:00 PM||Central Washington||Cal State Fullerton|
|Sat Mar 26||2:00 PM||@ San Diego||University of San Diego|
|Fri Apr 8||7:00 PM||Concordia||Cal State Fullerton|
|Tue Apr 12||7:00 PM||@ UC San Diego||UC-San Diego|
|Fri Apr 15||7:00 PM||@ Biola||Biola|
- No Contest
MCLA Men’s Lacrosse: UC San Diego Men’s Lacrosse 2011 Schedule Features Pepperdine, Nevada-Reno, Cal State Fullerton And Saint Mary’s
UC Davis women’s lacrosse was rated as the most improved Division I program from 2009 to 2010, according to the computer rankings at LaxPower.com. The Aggies went from a 6-12 record last year to a 10-6 mark (against D-I opponents) this season, jumping from a power rating of 76.75 to 85.44 and a PR ranking of 74 to 46.
LaxPower.com, founded by Larry Feldman in 1997, generates numerous empirical ratings for high school, collegiate and professional lacrosse. The site ranks teams based on strength of schedule, RPI, “quality wins”, NCAA selection criteria and other categories. The overall computer rating resembles the more widely known Sagarin ratings for college football and basketball.
Also enjoying large improvements in rank were La Salle (75 to 53) and Villanova (72 to 52). There are 91 women’s lacrosse teams in NCAA Division I. Old Dominion suffered the largest drop, dipping from 11-5 last year to 3-12 this season for a 25-place plunge in the computer ratings.
LaxPower’s announcement arrived on the heels of the Aggies’ season banquet on Sunday. Four players received various team awards, as voted by the team:
UC Davis went 11-6 this season, posting an all-time high of 10 wins against Division I teams. The Aggies scored conference wins against California, Saint Mary’s and Fresno State to finish in a tie for third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular-season standings, then delivered a 13-11 upset of Oregon to advance in the MPSF tournament.