submitted by Jason Donville
Does March Madness Foreshadow Mayhem in May?
It is now roughly midseason in the NCAA lacrosse season and if any team needs inspiration for just how much upside their respective team could have if they can squeeze into a year-end tournament then look no farther than the NCAA basketball tournament. This weekend we will see a basketball final four with no number 1 seeds remaining and two teams which can best be described as extreme long-shots. Imagine if the NCAA had a 64 team lacrosse tournament that included Div I, Div II and Div III teams? Could you live with the thought of Dowling upsetting Notre Dame or Limestone trouncing Army or even RIT beating Duke in overtime? While basketball has taken center stage for the past few weeks there have been plenty of upsets in the lacrosse world which hopefully foreshadow a similarly upsetting NCAA lacrosse tournament which will occur in less than two months time. With teams such as Villanova, Denver, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Siena and Yale suddenly on an upswing and teams such as Stony Brook, Hofstra and Virginia losing momentum, anything is possible. This is a special two-week edition of the “Canadian Laxer” with emphasis on mid-season scoring numbers. That said, the past two weeks have seen some outstanding individual performances by the likes of Matthews, McMichael, Noble, Neufeld, Bender, Loewen, Jackson, Pecchia, Kallay, Kiekebelt, Crawford, Oosting, Quinn and Daley. Here is my recap of the past two weeks of NCAA lacrosse from a Canadian perspective.
Men’s Div I – Cold weather over Long Island
The past two weeks have not been particularly kind to Stony Brook or Hofstra. The Seawolves have fallen from a #5 ranking in the USILA polls to 15th on the back of losses to Towson and Cornell, while Hofstra has fallen from 4th to 10th following a one goal loss to Delaware (Hofstra has since won twice). At the same time, Villanova is playing superb lacrosse and has the most upward momentum of any NCAA lacrosse team at midseason with respect to the polls. The Denver Pioneers have also put together a nice three-game win streak including a 14 to 7 victory over Air Force on Saturday that saw Mark Matthews (Oshawa) score 3 goals and an assist while Jeremy Noble (Orangeville) added a goal, an assist and 5 GB’s, and Cam Flint (Georgetown) added a goal, an assist and 4 GB’s. Cornell is another team that is on a roll with recent wins over Stony Brook, Yale and Penn that have moved Cornell to a #7 ranking in the USILA polls. In last week’s games Cornell defeated Stony Brook 17 to 9 with Mitch McMichael (Port Perry) grabbing 8 GB’s and 2 CT’s and Jason Noble (Orangeville) scooping 6 GB’s and two CT’s. Noble followed up this performance by grabbing 8 GB’s and winning 8 of 10 face-offs in a 13-12 OT victory over Penn. Siena has now won six in a row and Bryan Neufeld (Virgil) is continuing to find the back of the net. Last week Siena beat Binghamton 10-3 with Neufeld scoring 3 goals, an assist and 4 GB’s and then adding a hat-trick in a 9-8 win over Providence a few days later. Hartford is also having a pretty good run of late thanks in part to the efforts of Carter Bender (Caledon). Last week, Hartford beat Sacred Heart 14 to 8 with Bender scoring 4 goals and 2 assists and a couple of days later Hartford defeated Wagner 13 to 6 with Bender scoring twice and adding 4 assists. Robert Morris has now won 4 games in a row, led by Trevor Moore (Port Coquitlam) who scored 2 goals, while grabbing 2 GB’s and a CT in crucial win over then #17 ranked Bucknell. Canadian Division I scoring leaders as of Sunday are presented below (see pdf attachment).
Men’s Div II – Limestone is on top of the world
Perennial Div II powerhouse Limestone is now the #1 ranked team in the latest Div II USILA polls and several Canucks are having big seasons with Shayne Jackson (Bowmanville) and Riley Loewen (Burnaby) leading the Div II pack in scoring. Limestone remains undefeated and last week hammered St Leos 21 to 5 with Riley Loewen scoring 6 goals and 2 assists, Shayne Jackson adding 1 goal and 6 assists and Tyler Baker (Peterborough) scoring on 4 occasions while adding an assist. Mercyhurst continues to play well with two important wins last week. In the first, an 11 to 4 triumph over Lake Erie, Kyle Kallay (Orangeville) scored 4 goals and added 2 GB’s and a CT while in the second game, a 10 -9 win over feisty Seton Hill, Kallay scored 6 goals while adding 2 GB’s. Catawba continues to be the beneficiary of outstanding goaltending as Michael Pecchia (Coquitlam) made 17 saves while grabbing 4 GB’s and a CT in a 12 to 11 win over Merrimack. Mars Hill appears to be back on track with a couple of wins last week. In the first, Mars Hill beat Lees-McRae 14 – 6 with Ty Farmer (Calgary) scoring 3 goals, 2 assists while grabbing 7 GB’s and a CT. In the second game, Mars Hill beat Catawba 12 – 5 and Eric Benesch (Bloomingdale) scored 7 goals while adding 3 GB’s. Dominican College finally got in the win column last week and in fact did it twice. In the first game, Dominican defeated American International 14 to 6 with Chris Delaney (Port Coquitlam) and Jesse Peterson (Saskatoon) each scoring 3 goals and an assist. Dominican College then went on to defeat Chestnut Hill 10 to 9 with Alex Jones (St. Albert) scoring 3 goals, 2 assist and adding 3 GB’s and Paterson adding 3 goals, an assist and 3 GB’s. Mike Melnychenko (St Catharines) added 4 goals and 2 GB’s for Chestnut Hill in defeat. A summary of Canadian scoring leaders in Division II is presented below )see pdf attachment).
Men’s Div III – Kiekebelt continues to shine as RIT moves to #5
RIT had another strong outing this past week with a 14-5 win over Hartwick leaving the team undefeated and with a #5 ranking in the latest USILA poll. In the win over Hartwick, MJ Kiekebelt (Caledon) grabbed 8 GB’s and 3 CT’s and went 11 for 15 in the face-off circle while Jordan Macintosh (Oakville) added 2 goals and 3 GB’s in the win. Roanoke and Randolph Macon had a heck of a game on the weekend with Roanoke coming out on top 12-11. Richard Lachlan (Port Coquitlam) scored a hat-trick and added an assist and a GB in victory while TY Midwinter (Hamilton) had 3 goals, 2 assists, and a GB and Jason Crawford (Burlington) made 21 saves and grabbed 8 GB’s in defeat. Trinity is still undefeated and now ranked #15 in the latest USILA poll. On the weekend Trinity defeated Colby 6-5 with Jeff Hebert (Cornwall) scoring a goal and an assist in the win. Danny Dahms (Calgary) continues to light it up for Concordia – Wisconsin scoring 3 goals and an assist while snagging 3 GB’s in a 10-6 win over Albion. Finally, Whittier got back in the win column with a 9 to 5 victory over Greensboro with Daniel McQuade (New Westminster) scoring a goal, and assist and adding 4 GB’s in the win. Canadian Division III scorers are summarized below (see pdf attachment).
Women’s Div I – Daley makes 15 saves in win over Duquesne
Canisius is playing well of late with two important wins last week. In the first game Canisius defeated Connecticut 18 to 13 with Megan Oosting (Lakefield) scoring 5 goals while grabbing 7 GB’s and 5 CT’s while teammate Carly Quinn (Orangeville) scored 4 goals and 4 assists to go with 1 GB. In the second game Canisius defeated Duquesne 8-7 with Oosting scoring a goal, 3 assists and adding 2 GB’s and 2 CT’s while Allison Daley (Peterborough) was stellar in net making 15 saves. Penn State defeated William and Mary 17 to 8 with Katie Guy (Whitby) scoring twice in the victory. Finally, Detroit lost a pair in Virginia last week with Emily Boissonneault (Brooklin) scoring twice in a loss to Liberty and Boissonneault and Corina Mahorn (Whitby) each scoring a pair in a loss to Longwood. Canadian Women’s Div I scoring is summarized below (see pdf attachment).
Women’s Div II and III
The past few weeks have been quite uneventful for most Canadian women playing in Division II and III. Rachel Johnston (St Catharines) continues to score in bunches for Adrian, scoring 4 goals and adding 2 assists in a lopsided win over Concordia while scoring a pair in a similarly big win over North Central Illinois. Olivia Duncan (Orangeville) had 2 goals and an assist in the victory as well. Division II and Division III scoring data is presented below (see pdf attachment).
MCLA – Simon Fraser Plays at Oregon
This past weekend saw SFU defeat Idaho 31 – 8 and then hammer Gonzaga 32-5. Next weekend, SFU plays Oregon and Cal Poly in Eugene, Oregon. SFU is currently ranked #18 in the MCLA First Division and plays its next home game on the 24th of April against the Montana Grizzlies.
Games upcoming – Denver at Hobart and Dowling at Mercyhurst are your best bets
There are several important NCAA lacrosse games being played this weekend with several in reach of the border. Denver plays at Hobart on Saturday and there should be a good Canadian crowd for this one. Dartmouth plays at Cornell and Army plays at Colgate, both on Saturday afternoon. In Division II play, Dowling plays at Mercyhurst, which should be a great game and is roughly a 2 hour drive from Toronto. In women’s play, Princeton plays at Cornell this weekend.
Most NCAA lacrosse teams are now in the midst of conference play and therefore there are no easy games left. Indeed, for teams that are ranked outside of the top ten in their respective Division polls, a strong conference finish is the only way to make the final tournament. February and March are about experimentation with systems and personnel whereas April is when lacrosse becomes really intense – it should be fun!.
Yours in lacrosse – JP Donville.
Please note that the chart information provided by Jason was cut off on this site. To download a complete pdf copy of this article, please Click Here