Monthly Archives: May 2011

NCAA Women’s Lacrosse: The “Importance Of Defense In Women’s Lacrosse” Is Highlighted In Northwestern’s 8-7 Victory Over Maryland

There’s really some subtlety to playing great defense in lacrosse, especially on the women’s side of the sport. It’s more about anticipation, foot speed, reflexes, instinct and cutting off angles than sheer physicality … although the latter isn’t totally eliminated. That’s where the subtlety comes in.

For Northwestern freshman Kerri Harrington, her basketball background is also handy on the lacrosse field. That was especially the case Sunday in Stony Brook, N.Y., as the expected favorites, No. 1 seed Maryland and No. 2 Northwestern, met for the national championship. Defense prevailed in a mild upset, as the Wildcats won 8-7.

“I had experience with face-guarding; I did it in high school,” Harrington, one of Northwestern’s defensive standouts Sunday, said of both her prep lacrosse and hoops careers.

The Terps, who were seeking their 11th NCAA title, had lost just once previously this year — a double-overtime defeat at Dartmouth to end the regular season. That had ended a 28-match winning streak for Maryland, which included last year’s championship-game victory over Northwestern.

Maryland’s long-standing Aussie connection has continued with attacker Sarah Mollison, who comes from a lacrosse-playing family in Melbourne. She was targeted by Northwestern as the lynchpin to Maryland’s attack, and Harrington was assigned the task of doing everything she could to thwart Mollison.

It was a freshman versus a senior, but Harrington figured one advantage she had was that she is used to trying to defend dynamic-scoring teammate Shannon Smith in practice. Another plus was that Harrington is 5-foot-10 but very nimble, and she uses the combination of height and speed to frustrate attackers.

“I figured I had a lot of preparation going against Shannon,” Harrington said. “So my teammates kept saying, ‘You got this. You can do this. Just look [Mollison] in the eye and don’t let her get the ball.’ If she did get it, I knew how to play one-on-one defense.”

It was Harrington’s first start this season, but she’s got quite a pedigree. Her older sister, Sara, played for the Wildcats. The Harrington sisters are among several alums of Westwood High in Massachusetts who are playing now, or previously did, for Northwestern.

Once the game began, the coaching chess match was on. And it had a kinship to last November’s field hockey national championship. That showdown between perennial powers Maryland and North Carolina pitted two coaches who’ve been going against each other for decades. The Terps and Missy Meharg prevailed over the Tar Heels and Karen Shelton, 3-2 in double overtime, for the field hockey title.

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NCAA Lacrosse: Virginia Men’s Lacrosse Defeated Maryland 9-7 To Win The 2011 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championship On May 30

Colin Briggs scored five goals and was named the Most Outstanding Player as the No. 7 seed Virginia Cavaliers (13-5) put their stamp on the program’s fifth NCAA National Championship with a 9-7 triumph over the unseeded Maryland Terrapins (13-5) on Monday afternoon, in front of 35,661 fans inside M&T Bank Stadium.

Virginia Men's Lacrosse defeated Maryland 9-7 to win the 2011 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship on May 30.

Virginia became the lowest seed (No. 7) and first five-loss team to win a men’s lacrosse national championship. The ACC now has 12 all-time NCAA titles, the most of any conference. Virginia now has won NCAA titles in 1972, 1999, 2003, 2006 and 2011.

“The fact that we are here right now is a credit to the team and my family and the people at Virginia,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “We had to reconfigure ourselves midway through the season – they had to decide that it was important enough to pick themselves up and get going again. The game today epitomized the kind of season that we’ve had – that we have started out well – put some goals in the second quarter when we got ahead a little bit and gave us some confidence going into the locker room. I am very proud of these guys and what they have done.”

UVa goalie Adam Ghitelman concludes his career with 50 career wins in between the pipes and No. 3 all-time among NCAA Division I goalies. Ghitelman finishes his career with 586 career saves, good for No. 2 all-time in the UVa annals.

The game started off at a stand still as Maryland held a 1-0 lead after one quarter of play on a Grant Catalino score. It was the lowest combined goal total all-time in a NCAA Championship game. It was the first time a team had been shutout in the first period of the National Championship game since 2003 when UVa shutout Johns Hopkins (4-0).

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NCAA Lacrosse: Video Highlights Of Northwestern Women’s Lacrosse 8-7 Victory Over Maryland In 2011 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse National Championship Game On May 29

The Northwestern Wildcats win their 6th NCAA national championship in women’s lacrosse in the last 7 years with an 8-7 victory over the #1 ranked Maryland Terrapins.

NCAA Lacrosse: Mercyhurst College (PA) Men’s Lacrosse Defeated Adelphi 9-8 On May 29 To Win The “2011 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Div II National Championship”

The third-ranked Mercyhurst College men’s lacrosse team captured its first NCAA National Championship in program history by defeating No. 5 Adelphi, 9-8, Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.

Mercyhurst College Men's Lacrosse defeated Adelphi 9-8 to win the 2011 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Div II National Championship on May 29

Junior Ian Wild scored four goals, including the game-winner, to earn the game’s most outstanding player award. Sophomore Brian Scheetz scored once and dished out three assists, and junior Kyle Kallay tacked on a pair of goals.

Playing in their second national championship game in program history, the Lakers (14-2) went toe-to-toe with the Panthers at the home stadium of the National Football League’s Baltimore Ravens.

Both teams traded three goals aside in the first quarter, with Adelphi beginning the scoring just 22 seconds in. Danny Blau broke the ice when he drove from the right wing and let a shot loose from about five yards out at 13:38. Mercyhurst would answer back shortly after as Wild ran along the top of the box and found the back of the net from dead center to even the slate at the 13:00 mark.

After nearly a five-minute scoring draught, Joe Vitale got the offense going again when he took a pass at the point, drove down the slot and beat senior Zach Nash with a knuckleball that trickled over the line, giving the visitors a 2-1 advantage with 7:17 to play. The lead would be short-lived though as Wild tied the game at two on a play that saw him beat his man from behind the cage before sending a shot over the netminder’s head at 4:21.

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NCAA Lacrosse: Salisbury Men’s Lacrosse Defeated Tufts 19-7 On May 29 To Capture The “2011 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Div III National Championship”

The Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team claimed the program’s ninth national championship with a 19-7 victory over Tufts University in the 2011 Division III men’s lacrosse national championship game in front of 18,086 in attendance on Sunday evening at M&T Bank Stadium.

Salisbury University Men's Lacrosse defeated Tufts 19-7 to win the 2011 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Div III National Championship.

The 12-goal margin of victory is the most significant in any of the Sea Gulls’ nine national championship wins. All nine national championships have come under the reign of 23rd year head coach Jim Berkman. Tonight’s game was a rematch of the 2010 national championship game, which the Jumbos (18-3) won 9-6 to claim their first national championship.

“I have been waiting three years for this moment,” said junior midfielder Sam Bradman on winning the national championship game en route to being named the game’s Most Outstanding Player; the Canton, N.Y., native posted a game-high eight points on seven goals and one assist. The seven goals scored is a new single-game record for a Salisbury University player in the national championship game, as Bradman surpassed former Sea Gull Sean Radebaugh’s (1995) six markers. Bradman fell just one point shy of matching Radebaugh’s nine points that he set in the 1995 national championship game against Nazareth College.

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Washington High School Lacrosse: Mercer Island Boys Lacrosse Defeated Bainbridge 5-3 On May 28 To Win Washington State Div I Boys Lacrosse Championship

Mercer Island goaltender Brian Bernstein stopped 14 shots as the Islanders powered to Division I state lacrosse championship with a 5-3 defeat of Bainbridge Saturday night before 2,250 at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium.

Mercer Island goaltender Brian Bernstein stopped 14 shots as the Islanders powered to Division I state lacrosse championship with a 5-3 defeat of Bainbridge Saturday night before 2,250 at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium.

It was the Islanders’ fifth overall state championship. Their last one came in 2006.

Matthew Shields and Zac Stickney each scored two goals and Doug Mahoney had one for the Islanders (21-2-0). Bainbridge finished 18-3-0.

“Our defense won this game for us,” said Islanders coach Ian O’Hearn, who notched his fourth state title at the helm of the program. “Bernstein was a brick wall for us.”

After sophomore Jacob Knostman put Bainbridge ahead 1-0, Stickney tied it a minute later. Shields converted a Doug Mahony pass to take the lead, then put Mercer Island ahead 3-1 just 44 seconds later.

Another goal with 1:43 left in the first half gave the Islanders a 4 -1 lead at halftime.

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NCAA Lacrosse: Northwestern Women’s Lacrosse Defeated Maryland 8-7 To Win 2011 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship And Sixth Title In 7 Years

Northwestern brought home its sixth NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship in the last seven years Sunday with a gut-wrenching 8-7 victory over top-seeded Maryland, and did so with its most complete team effort of the 2011 season.

NU shut down the nation’s fourth-leading offense, keeping Maryland to two second-half goals, while also coming back from an early 4-1 deficit thanks to four goals by tournament MVP Shannon Smith.

In a back-and-forth first half, Maryland scored four goals in a span of 1:34 but was held in check to the tune of only one goal in the remaining 28:26 of the first 30 minutes as the game went to halftime tied at five. But unlike the 2010 title game matchup between these teams, NU overwhelmingly controlled the pace of the game in the second half, taking the lead for good at the 15:23 mark and controlling possession for the final quarter of the game.

“This was a culmination of a lot of hard work, a lot of evaluating of ourselves, from our lowest moment, to our loss to Johns Hopkins and at Florida midseason to just gutting it out and winning games from small amounts all season,” said head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. “It prepared us for this moment and our girls could not have played more focused or more poised.”

Smith took home MVP honors thanks to her 18 goals in four games, second all-time for a single tournament behind only Katrina Dowd’s 22 in 2009. Earning All-Tournament team honors for the Wildcats were Erin Fitzgerald, Taylor Thornton, Colleen Magarity and Brianne LoManto.

Northwestern’s defensive effort was due in part to the play of freshman Kerri Harrington, who made her first career start and was tasked with shutting down Maryland Tewaaraton finalist Sarah Mollison. Harrington hounded the Terp senior all game and caused Mollison to break her streak of 67 consecutive games with a point come to an end.

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Northern California High School Lacrosse: Monte Vista Boys Lacrosse Defeats De LaSalle 10-7 On May 27 To Win CIF-North Coast Section Div I Lacrosse Championship (Video)

NCAA Lacrosse: Virginia Men’s Lacrosse And Maryland To Play For 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Championship On May 30 In An “All ACC Final” As “Intensity Of Competition” Amongst Four ACC Lacrosse Teams Produces Best League (Video)

“I would say the ACC is definitely more intense because everything happens so much faster,” said Tillman, a former head coach at Harvard. “In the Ivy League, every player is recruited by the same schools. They know you and you know them. They scheme because they have really smart kids and they take away a lot of your strengths. You’re always trying to adjust and everyone is well prepared.

“Here, so many plays are spontaneous plays. When the ball is on the ground, you never know what is going to happen because the players and the game are so much faster.”

All season long they kept saying the ACC was over-rated and that the four teams in the league were only average. Some even suggested that the ACC wasn’t a legitimate conference because there were only four teams.

But when the final four began Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium, three of the teams were Maryland, Duke and Virginia. The last time we checked, those schools were affiliated with the ACC.

Some took the ACC lightly this season because there wasn’t a super team, no Syracuse of the late 1980s or Princeton of the 1990s.That certainly proved to be true, but the same could be said about all of lacrosse. But if the ACC isn’t the best league, name one that is better.

The Big East? That conference has Syracuse and Notre Dame, but that’s about it. Both got knocked out of the postseason by ACC teams.

The Ivy League has Cornell, but Penn and Harvard would get chewed up in the ACC. Maryland coach John Tillman agreed.

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Lacrosse Commercials: Hofstra Men’s Lacrosse And MLL Long Island Lizards Attacker Jay Card Is Featured By Tyson L. W. Geick In “Concept Commercial” (Video)

A commercial put together back in 2008 with highlights from Jay Card’s freshman year at Hofstra University. Card is now a part of the Long Island Lizards in the Major Lacrosse League. It is hoped that this concept for a commercial will be picked up by a major company, like STX, Warrior or Under Armour. Music (Shinedown – Devour) belongs to the artist. This video was not for profit. Produced, Directed and Edited by TysonLW.