Daily Archives: April 22, 2013
NCAA Lacrosse: Cornell Men’s Lacrosse Takes 2013 Ivy League Regular Season Title With 13-7 Win Over Brown; Hosts Tournament On May 3,5
Major League Lacrosse: YouTube & The Lacrosse Network To Air 15 MLL Games In HD Beginning With Boston Cannons Vs New York Lizards On April 28
MCLA Div II Lacrosse: Western Oregon Men’s Lacrosse (9-4) Look To Capture Sixth-Straight PNCLL Title, But Deeper Push In 2013 MCLA Championship Tournament Is Team’s Goal
Justin Eckenroad, the head coach at Western Oregon, isn’t afraid to put his Wolves through all kinds of trials (a 36-hour bus ride, one-way), whether on the field or off, to make sure the team is ready to make an impact at nationals. Making the lengthy sojourn to play No. 1 St. Thomas, No. 3 St. John’s and No. 11 North Dakota State is just part of the process.
“The trip was great as far as a learning experience,” said Eckenroad. “We have a pretty young team and this was a good chance to see that kind of competition early in the season before we see them again down in South Carolina. We played pretty well. A couple of bounces didn’t go our way, and the 36-hour bus ride really didn’t help us. But when we showed up, we were ready to play.”
The Wolves finished up with an 0-3 mark on the trip, but there were plenty of positives. WOU spotted NDSU a 5-2 halftime lead before bowing 9-7. They hung around with defending champion St. Thomas for a little while before getting their doors blown off, 21-11. Western actually held a 6-4 lead over St. John’s at the half before its 28-man roster ran out of gas.
“All in all, it was just a great learning experience for the guys playing great competition, playing out of conference, playing on the road and playing three games within four days,” Eckenroad said. “It’s just a great preparation for nationals.”
It’s not like WOU will be neophytes when they get to Greenville, which they undoubtedly will as the automatic qualifier out of the PNCLL. They’ve won the conference championship in the past five seasons, and made St. Thomas sweat last year in the first round before bowing, 11-6. The Wolves have plenty of polished players, such as junior middie Jacob Bohince (31g, 14a), but they like to make their impact in a more martial manner.
“We laid a lot of big hits,” said Eckenroad of his Minnesota visit. “During the whole trip we had a lot of big hits, and we played a physical game. I think that really helps our guys when we play teams with a little more sticks skill and a little more lacrosse nature. When we come down there and play more physical, it helps us out.”
Eckenroad’s talk might lead some to believe that the Wolves are simply a goon squad, but that would be a dangerous assumption. WOU has skill all over the field. It starts with Bohince, and follows with Tyler Preston, who is one of the premier draw men in the division, recently setting the program record for single-season faceoff wins. Tyler Bolton (16g, 28a) and Taylor Dougan (34g, 10a) brace Bohince for one of the best midfield lines in the country and WOU has three capable goalies, anchored by Ronnie Rothstein (59.7 sv%). Close defender Logan Marks, who always draws the toughest assignments, is an All-American candidate.
The big hits and long trips will only go far. Western Oregon has to win the PNCLL, a conference that boasts far more contenders in years past. Portland, Gonzaga and even Western Washington are still threats to the Wolves hegemony, but nothing seems to worry Western.
NCAA Lacrosse: Latest USILA Coaches Poll Ranks North Carolina Men’s Lacrosse #1 Followed By Norte Dame, Maryland, Denver And Duke
WCLA Lacrosse: Cal Poly Women’s Lacrosse (13-5) Captures 2013 WWLL Conference Championship With 20-7 Win Over USC Club On April 21
Both UCSB and Santa Clara now await word on an at-large selection to the U.S. Lacrosse WCLA National Championship Tournament. Eight conferences receive automatic qualifier spots and there are eight at-large spots to award. The Gauchos are 13-7 overall and hold head to head quality wins over Brigham Young and USC to hang their hat on with the committee. The Trojans have the advancement to the WWLL Championship game in their favor but the Gauchos are rated 8th nationally for Strength of Schedule while the Trojans are 32nd.
UCSB and top seeded Santa Clara University battled it out in the WWLL Championship Tournament third place game and it took two extra periods to settle it. Both teams scored a goal apiece in the regulation overtime. UCSB freshman midfielder Claudia Hammerschmidt (Armonk, NY) scored unassisted 56 seconds into the period. Then with 9 seconds left Santa Clara senior midfielder Maggie Burke (Lake Forest, IL) was fouled in the 8 meter arc. Burke, the WWLL Division One Player of the Year, netted her free position to tie it 13-13 with 6 seconds remaining to send everyone into the golden goal period and keep the fans on the edge of their seats just a little bit longer.
Except for the heroics of UCSB senior goalie Megan Hughes (Santa Ana, CA) Santa Clara might have won it in the regulation overtime. Hughes had 3 saves on the 4 shots against her in crunch time. The Broncos peppered her on three straight shots in one possession but were denied by an elbow save of an off-hip shot, a stick save and then a hug the pipe body save by Hughes. The fourth of the four shots (Burke’s free position goal at 6 seconds) was the only one to get by her in the first overtime. Ultimately Santa Clara got the golden goal 18 seconds into the second overtime. Burke scored unassisted on a solo fastbreak after advancing the ball downfield herself after getting her own overtime draw control.