Canadians in NCAA – Week 4 – Welcome to Painesville!!

Imagine this story. A lacrosse coach from Nanaimo moves to the US Midwest somehow convinced that he can build an NCAA contender in a small college town in Ohio. No, not in Maryland or upstate New York where there is lots of lacrosse talent but in Ohio. The college town is called Painesville. It’s the perfect name for a lacrosse town. Painesville. But it’s not a story; it’s happening. And while its only the program’s third season and we shouldn’t read too much into one big win, it’s caught our attention. “Welcome to Painesville”.

Week 4 of the NCAA lacrosse season has featured a number of exciting games and upsets. Penn State’s win over Notre Dame was the biggest or at least highest profile upset but Division II men’s lacrosse saw at least three upsets amongst ranked teams. Canadian lacrosse players fared well in weekend action with players such as Guy, Hayes, Mackendrick, Matisz, Artem, Bal, Tomkinson, Groothuis, Corbett, Palmer, Constance, Church, and Magnan enjoying particularly stellar performances in. It is also worth noting that Taylor Wray picked up his first NCAA coaching win with St Joe’s 12-4 victory over VMI.  Here’s my recap of the week that was in NCAA lacrosse.

Division I Men – Johns Hopkins looking good

The Blue Jays rattled off two quality wins this week suggesting that they once again have a legitimate shot at a National Title. In the first win, an 8 to 6 victory over Delaware, Brandon Benn (Brampton) scored 3 goals and an assist while in the second, a 9-5 win over Siena, Zach Palmer (Oshawa) scored 2 goals and 2 assists while grabbing 3 GB’s and a CT.  A couple of rookies continue to shine in Bethlehem, PA as Lehigh defeated Manhattan 13 to 0 and Patrick Corbett (Burlington) scored 3 goals and an assist while grabbing 4 GB’s and Dan Taylor (Calgary) scored a pair while picking up a GB and a CT.  Robert Church (Coquitlam) is back to his scoring ways with 5 goals and an assist in a 13 to 8 win over Albany. Kyle Bergman (Toronto) also added 4 goals for Drexel.  Robert Morris is 3 and 0 on the season and in their 17 to 14 win over Air Force Jake Hayes (Calgary) scored 7 goals and an assist while grabbing 2GB’s and a CT, while Kiel Matisz (Stoney Creek) had 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 GB’s and 2 CT’s and defensive team mate Luc Magnan (Pine Falls) had an assist to go along with 3 GB’s and 2 CTs.  Princeton rookie Mike MacDonald (Georgetown) had a great start to his NCAA career scoring a hat trick in his first college game ever in a 12-6 win over Hofstra. Finally, Aiden Genik (Toronto) scored 3 goals, 2 assists and grabbed 2 GB’s in an overtime loss to Holy Cross.

Division I Women – Katie Guy and the Nittany Lions off to a strong start

Katie Guy (Whitby) continues to perform well scoring 2 goals and grabbing 4 GB’s in Penn State’s 14 to 10 win over Lafayette.  Karli Mackendrick (Whitby) was similarly strong at the other end of the field with 4GB’s and 2 CT’s in Vermont’s 18 to 12 win over Colgate.  Janaye Dzikewich (Whitby) continues to emerge as a top defender in the NCAA as evidenced by her 3GB, 2CT performance in Louisville’s 19 to 8 win over Longwood.  Katie Donohoe (Peterborough) is getting a lot of playing time for Monmouth. In a recent 13 to 4 loss to Navy, Donohoe kept it respectable with 12 saves to go along with 3 GB’s and a CT. Jacquie Boissonneault (Brooklin) scored 2 goals and added 2 assists in Virginia Tech’s 9 to 6 loss to William and Mary.

Division II Men – It’s raining upsets

Lake Erie started its third season of NCAA lacrosse with its first win ever over a ranked opponent by defeating No. 10 ranked Pfeiffer 11- 8 on the road (so technically, the game was not actually played in Painesville but the team is from there nonetheless). Keegan Bal (Coquitlam) who has been at Lake Erie from the beginning scored 3 goals and added 3 GB’s while Trevor Tarte (Amherstburg) scored 5 goals and added a GB. Adam Bakular-Evens (Courtenay) was also huge on defense for the Lakers grabbing 6 GB’s and a CT while Reagan Harding (Saskatoon) had 4 assists to go with 2 GB’s and MacGregor Johnson (Nanaimo) scored 2 goals and grabbed a GB.  In another upset, Chestnut Hill knocked off #9 Mercy 7-6 in triple overtime. Shane Morlock (Whitby) had 3 GB’s and 3 assists in the win while Mike Melnychenko (St Catharines) scored a pair of goals. The third upset in Division II saw #11 Seton Hill knock off #4 CW Post 11 to 10. Matt Delmonico (Port Moody) had 4 goals, 1 GB and 1 CT in the win. Lindenwood also had a terrific weekend, earning a 14 to 9 win over Lees-McRae in its debut in NCAA Division II lacrosse.  Graeme Hosack (Port Perry) had 5 GB’s and 3 CT’s while Joe Roy (West Whitby) added a pair of goals and a GB.  Unranked Mars Hill continues to rack up the wins including a 14 to 6 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne. Zach Tomkinson (Barrie) had a great game, recording 3 goals, 4 GB’s and a CT while TJ Cowx (Delta) continues to score in bunches with 2 goals, 2 assists and 3 GB’s. Mercyhurst opened the season with a convincing 10 to 3 win over Wingate with Kyle Kallay (Orangeville) scoring 2 goals, 2 assists and 2 GB’s while Brady Heseltine (Elora) scored 3 goals and an assist.  Finally, Catawba won again (this time over St Leo) with Braden Artem (Acton) scoring 4 goals, while grabbing 8 GB’s and a CT and Michael Pecchia (Coquitlam) got the win making 14 saves.

Division II Women – Lindenwood picks up a pair of wins

Lindenwood is now 3-1 in their debut NCAA season with two big wins this past week. Lindenwood defeated Lake Erie 19-4 with Justiene Groothuis (Kitchener) scoring 5 goals, 2 assists, 2 GB’s and 1 CT while Lindsay Palmer (Whitby) had 2 goals and an assist. In the second win, Lindenwood defeated Colorado Mesa 21 to 4 with Jordan Constance (Calgary) scoring 3 goals and an assist while grabbing 4 GB’s and 3 CTs’. Sarah Walters (Burnaby) had a great game for Converse College which defeated Lees McRae 18 to 0 and which saw Walters grab 3 GBs and 2 CT’s. Sarah Oor (Uxbridge) continues to shine as Limestone beat St Leo 20 to 8 with Oor scoring 3 goals and an assist along with a GB. Finally, Lemoyne spanked Notre Dame (OH) 17 to 1 but Jill Dixon (Fenwick) managed to score the lone marker for the vanquished.

Division III Lacrosse – Still quiet

Most Division III programs we follow have yet to play their first game and many have yet to post their 2012 rosters. More on Division III lacrosse next week.

Games upcoming

For fans of NCAA lacrosse there are several exciting games close to the border this weekend. In Division I action, Army plays at Cornell and that rivalry is both historic and heated; it should be a great game! For those who want something closer to home, Binghamton plays at Hobart and in Division II play, Chestnut Hill visits Mercyhurst. Both of these latter games are about 2 hour’s drive from Toronto. Finally, for the ambitious Penn State plays at Ohio State which is about a seven hour drive from Toronto.

Final thoughts

We love David versus Goliath stories and so we should. Years ago, a hockey team comprised mainly of kids from small towns in the US Midwest played in a tournament in Lake Placid and on paper at least one would not have expected this team to finish any higher than 6th.  Of course they won and some have even called it a miracle. On this side of the border and from that same generation of kids came a young man from a small town in western Canada who got the crazy idea that he would run across the country for a cause that he believed in, one marathon at a time. Of course, it was a crazy idea at the time and it still is and he never made it all the way across the country anyway. But there aren’t trophy cases or hall of fames big enough to honor the way we feel about this “David”. The world of sport is full of David’s taking on Goliaths and while not all of them will perform a miracle on ice or inspire a nation, we need to be on the constant outlook for them. And this is not simply because they make us feel really good inside.  As importantly, the David’s of the world teach us and inspire us to be noble and heroic in ways that few other things can.

Long live sports teams from small college towns in places like Ohio that think they can be the best in the world! 

Yours in lacrosse – JP Donville  


1 Comment

  1. Painsville, Ohio…The Canadian connection…Lake Erie Lacrosse…Two things you neglected to mention ….LEC Womens Asst Coach is Lauren Martin (Whitby) and they have recruited Katie Holden (Whitby). Whitby seems to be the hotbed for womens lacrosse……

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