submitted by Jason Donville
The times they are a changin – with apologies to Bob Dylan
The past week and a half have seen some wild upsets and it once again prompts the question – will 2010 be the year when the perennial powers like Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Virginia, Princeton, Cornell and Syracuse are swept aside by suddenly hot teams that include Notre Dame, Hofstra, Drexel, Stony Brook, and Robert Morris. One side of my brain reminds me that mid-season upsets are the norm and that by the time we get to the final four it will still include at least 3 of the perennial powers. However, the other side of my brain has been watching a bit of NCAA basketball this weekend and watching #12 Cornell advance to the “sweet 16” opens up the possibility that similar upsets can and will occur in lacrosse. I therefore ask, “Is this the year that a Notre Dame or Hofstra not only make it to lacrosse’s final four but goes all the way?
Roller coaster riding – Dickson, Lincoln, Crowley, Card, Moore, Matisz, Serville and Matthews continue to roll
There have been a number of exciting matches in Division I over the past ten days and from a Canadian perspective, here’s a quick recap. Curtis Dickson (Port Coquitlam) continues to lead Canadian Division I scorers with 34 goals and 10 assists in 8 games but the Blue Hens are struggling to win with three close losses over the past week to Stony Brook, Georgetown and Villanova. The Canucks at Stony Brook have had a mixed week as well, with Kevin Crowley (New Westminster) scoring 5 goals in a win over St John’s, which was followed by a tough one goal loss to Denver. Crowley managed to pick up a hat-trick in the Denver loss as did Denver’s Mark Matthews (Oshawa). Robert Morris has also had an incredibly roller-coaster “like” couple of weeks. Robert Morris started the year with 5 straight wins which culminated with a top-20 national ranking, the first that I can recall in team history. They have since lost to Mount St Mary’s and Bellarmine and will almost certainly become – an un-ranked team sometime over the next 24 hours. That said, Trevor Moore (Port Coquitlam) continues to shoot the lights out with 33 points in 7 games, and Kiel Matisz’s (Stoney Creek) 17 goals so far this year have been helpful as well. Hofstra is looking very strong with a #6 ranking and a big win over St John’s this week that saw Jay Card (Caledon) score 4 goals and 3 assists and Jaime Lincoln (St Catherines) add 3 goals and 3 assists. In Jacksonville, the Dolphins continue to impress and Ryan Serville (Toronto) remains the leading rookie point scorer among Canadians although Detroit’s Joel Matthews (St Catherines) has scored more goals. Jacksonville has won three of its last four games and continues to look more like an established lacrosse program than a start-up. Jacksonville’s next opponent will be Robert Morris and this one should be a great match-up as both teams want the next win badly. Finally, rookie Matt Cockerton (Oshawa) picked up his first ever NCAA goal for Virginia last week. The top 30 Canadian scorers so far this year in Division I are presented below.
Move over McClure, here comes O’Brien and Jones
Last year, the big scorers in Division II lacrosse were Stephan LeBlanc (Restoule), John McClure (Brampton) and David Hodgins (Windsor). However, with LeBlanc and Hodgins having graduated, a few new names have worked their way to the top of the scoring list although in fairness to McClure the season is still young and he has only fallen to third place in the scoring derby. Leading this year’s pack of scorers is McClure’s Dowling line mate Kyle O’Brien (Whitby) who has managed to score 13 goals and 11 assists in four games so far. Dowling is ranked #7 in the NCAA Division II coach’s poll. Alex Jones (St Albert) is also having a terrific season, with 16 goals and 5 assists in 21 games for Dominican College. As mentioned last week, Jones will play for the Dutch Team at this summer’s World Championships in Manchester, England. Mars Hill has the largest Canadian contingent among Division II schools and three of its players, namely Danny Farmer (Calgary), brother Ty Farmer and Eric Benesch (Bloomingdale) are each scoring close to 4 points a game. The team is coming off two tough losses to Limestone and St Leos’s respectively but remains a threat to win the championship given the team’s offensive firepower. The top freshman scorer in Division II is Bal Keegan (Coquitlam) who leads Lake Erie which is another new program (and coached by Greg Stocks who hails from Nanaimo). Keegan has scored 9 goals in four games so far this year. Other rookies putting up good numbers include James Delaney (Vancouver) at Seton Hill and Riley Loewen (Burnaby) at Limestone, while Mercyhurst freshman Kyle Lindsay (Whitby) picked up his first NCAA goal last week. The top Canadian scorers in Division II so far this year are presented below.
Bowman, Midwinter, Levick and McQuade lead the Canucks in Division III while Lachlan remains the top rookie
Keegan Bowman (New Westminster) leads all Canadian scorers in Division III. In 5 games, Bowman has notched 18 goals and added 13 assists. Bowman has also grabbed 23 ground balls along the way, suggesting that his defensive game is as strong as his scoring ability. Tyler Midwinter (Hamilton) follows closely on Bowman’s heels with 19 goals and 9 assists in 5 games. Midwinter scored 5 goals and three assists this week in a win over Guilford and Jason Crawford (Burlington) also played a quarter in net. Brad Levick (Newmarket) is having another fine year with 16 goals in four games so far in 2010. Out west (as in California), Daniel McQuade (New Westminster) has scored 23 goals in 7 games for Whittier while back in the east Matt Quinton (Elora) has scored 24 goals for Roanoke in eight games. Richard Lachlan (Port Coquitlam) leads all Canadian rookie scorers in Division III with 21 goals in eight games for Roanoke which is ranked 8th in the USILA poll. The top Canadian scorers in Division III so far this year are presented below.
For those of you who live close to the US border, there are several games worth checking out in the coming week. On Monday the 27th, Detroit hosts Presbyterian and the next day Hobart hosts Syracuse. Next weekend several games are of interest including Manhattan at Canisius, Navy at Colgate, VMI at Detroit. On the 29th, Syracuse hosts Villanova. In NLL action, Rochester hosts Buffalo on the 27th which means you could see an NCAA game in the afternoon (Navy vs. Colgate would be my pick) and then see the NLL game in the evening.
The NCAA lacrosse season is now approaching the midpoint and most of the easy games are out of the way. Wins and losses will increasingly drive momentum in the polls. The next 2 to 3 weeks will be crucial for most teams expecting to make it into the tournament and/or to obtain a high seed. The next few weeks should be fun!