Hey lacrosse fans, the big weekend is finally here, as the DI, DII and DIII national championships and women's DI national championship will be decided, all in the next few days.IL's staff is here to answer any questions you have about any of these things or anything else lax, so fire away and we'll do our best to answer as many as we can.
Jumbos. Best mascot ever?
While the Tufts Jumbos are a pretty excellent mascot, I feel like it's pretty standard (just look at the Oakland Athletics, who have had an elephant on their uniform since the days of Connie Mack - though at one point their owner Charles Finley actually had a live mule travel with the team as a mascot... go figure).In terms of mascots, I have to go back to my newspaper roots and call out the Key School, a tiny private school outside of Annapolis. Their mascot is the Obezag.What's an Obezag, you ask? It's Gazebo, spelled backwards. One year a kid actually made a gazebo costume and wore it to their school's IAAM C Conference soccer final in Baltimore. It was pretty excellent.
Sure. Why not.
Do you think any players from the MCLA have a shot at being drafted into the MLL?
With only six teams and obviously a ton of talent coming out of the NCAA, it will be difficult for an MCLA player to have a shot. There is definitely a difference in athleticism between the MCLA and Division I athletes. The only MCLA player I know of who seems to be taking a shot at the MLL seriously right now is Connor Martin from Chapman. If there is anyone who has a shot at it, he's the one you'll want to keep your eye on.
Could you break down the Final Four goalkeepers? How important is each to his team's success over the weekend?
I think Scott Rodgers is definitely the goalie most important to his team's success this week. Not to jump on the bandwagon of folks knocking Notre Dame's offense, but that team is at its best, offensively and defensively, when it knows it only needs to score eight goals to win. Up next is Duke. Whether its Dan Wigrizer (who I expect to see) or Mike Rock, even an average game from the Blue Devils' goalie potentially puts Duke in a position to blow Virginia out (according to a few coaches I've spoken to). Next up is Adam Ghitelman. A huge game out of him may not be necessary to give the Hoos an edge over Duke, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Finally, AJ Fiore is getting better, but his consistency is his strongest attribute - Cornell knows what they'll get from him and they're not going to put him in a position where he'll have to win the game. Good question Joe from Jersey.
Slower pace: Cornell-ND or this chat?
Probably this chat. But don't count out the Big Red and Irish.
Where will lacrosse be in 10 years?
Wisconsin? (check a map...)
(Kidding).It's tough to say - obviously the game has experienced a tremendous amount of growth in the past few years, with more and more kids in different areas picking up the game. Since I graduated HS ('99) things are completely different. Now that the game has shown such growth, it's on TV more and you see it edging into the mainstream (things like 90210 featuring lacrosse players - didn't happen before). I think in large part that's going to continue, because the kids that are 10 and picking up the game now are going to be 20 in ten years, and hopefully continuing to be a part of the game after their college days are over (increasing crowds everywhere). Plus, hopefully even more kids will be picking up the game, and maybe those Warrior 2025 commercials will be right (without, hopefully, Snider walking around without pants).
Last weeks UVA/Stony Brook game game was intense. Who do you think wins the tourney and why? UVA/Duke to me looks like the toughest matchup.
I would agree UVA/Duke is the toughest match-up, but no game is easy to win when so much is on the line and if they're still playing, they're a good team.UVA is the favorite based on talent, I definitely think if the best team wins it would be UVA, but that's not always the case. I like Cornell right now, they have a lot to fuel their fire with last year's loss and they're playing good ball. If they can get by ND, they could get a tired UVA or Duke team.
Does the Cornell/ND winner have what it takes to beat the Duke/UVA winner? I'm worried Monday's game could be a snoozefest. (The last couple years have me jaded...)
I don't think you can count any team out if they get to this point. You can ask Loyola, Army, Princeton and Maryland if they'd give Cornell and Notre Dame a shot this weekend.
After going 2-11, is Glenn Theil on the hot seat at Penn State?
Chris, I hate to break this to you, but you should probably know that coach Theil retired a couple weeks ago...
Duke vs Cornell in the finals Duke wins 13-8
Good to know... I guess Virginia and Notre Dame should just save on travel costs at this point and watch it on ESPN. Gotta love that high def.
How happy is Terry Foy that his boy Michael Kimmel got 1st team AA? I mean he CLEARLY deserved it over Brian Carroll, Sean Delaney and Jeremy Thomson right? RIGHT?!
He celebrated. A lot. Obviously.Really, what can you say about the All America teams. Depending on personal beliefs, you or I could certainly make an All-America list that would be defensible but completely different from what the USILA puts out. I'd say Kimmel had a solid if unspectacular season and if it were my list, he'd probably still make it but not on first team. (I've played against the guy in summer league. He's good) - and I think Quinzani at Duke should probably be a first-team attackman over Billy Bitter, but really, what team a guy winds up on is a distant second to me than the fact that they're on the list at all.
What is it about Duke that gives UVA such a difficult time year in and year out?
I think 100% its their athleticism. Virginia, for all their merits schematically and their ability to make plays because of having good sticks, still win mostly on the strength of being - man-for-man - faster than opponents between the lines, quicker and stronger in the six-on-six and fresher in the fourth quarter. Virginia beats most teams (Maryland, Hopkins, Cornell) by simply overpowering them. For Duke, that isn't the case.
How concerned should UVa be about their faceoff issues last weekend?
Face-offs are definitely a concern, but keep in mind that this was a VERY good face-off group at Stony Brook that was so dominant.
Look at it this way: In their regular season 13-9 loss to Duke, the Blue Devils held a 17-8 advantage at the X (and 10-2 in the second half).In the 16-12 win in the ACC tournament, Virgina had a 22-10 advantage at the X (and 10-4 in the second half).SO obviously it's a concern to do well, but not in the sense that Duke has a clearly better group out there.
We've already seen two openings on the coaching carousel at PSU and UMD. Who are the leading candidates for these positions? are there any candidates that both programs are going after? Do you think we will see any more coaching vacancies in D1?
For PSU, the only person we know of that has interviewed is former PSU assistant and current Brown head coach Lars Tiffany. That job could be a great one because with the right type of coach, that team could flourish. I think you have to look at high profile assistants as well as some smaller program head coaches looking to advance in their career aiming for that job. It also wouldn't shock anybody to see the Nittany Lions go ahead and hire Dave Cottle, since he's on the market for a new gig...
As far as Maryland goes, that's a job that would be extremely big for all but a handful of coaches in the game. The names we've heard the most buzz on include Jeff Tambroni of Cornell, Lelan Rogers at Syracuse and Gary Gait of the Cuse women. But really, anybody could be in play for that one and we probably won't know more until the season is over, since obviously coach Tambroni wouldn't ever talk about this while his team is still in the tournament - nor should he.
As far as the 'other jobs' part of your question, really, it depends a great deal on who gets hired for the positions at Maryland and Penn State. If (hypothetically speaking of course) Cottle was hired at PSU and Jamie Munro (former Denver coach) at Maryland, you might not see a lot of other movement this summer. But if a Tambroni switched or Rick Sowell of Stony Brook or any other head coach, then THAT job is open, and then who knows. Last summer, Bill Tierney leaving Princeton for Denver set off a chain reaction that saw several schools get new coaches in the span of a couple months. That could definitely happen again.SHould be a fun off-season.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching college lacrosse in Stony Brook on Sunday because Long Island is such a hotbed for the sport and because I felt so close to the action. Despite the stadium's small capacity (8,500 plus lots of SRO), do you think it will get another chance to host a quarterfinal? Should it and what would you change if anything? Let's Gooooo RED!
I think Stony Brook found itself in the perfect setting for hosting, as they had good weather and a home crowd to help fill the stands. It would be difficult to call that afternoon anything but an unequivocal success for the school's chances for hosting another QF down the road. Obviously it's tough to count on the Seawolves making it to the quarterfinals on any given season where they would bid to host, but they were very successful with this one, so why not give them another chance if they wanted it.
Don't you think the Duke/UVA game will basically decide the champion, and the championship game will be a blowout?
Obviously the Wahoos and Blue Devils are the top two remaining seeds - and as two of the top three in Face-Off Yearbook, we thought they would be in the mix with their talent and veteran leadership - but Cornell and Notre Dame made it this far because they can win games. Never count anything out on Memorial Day.
How about Notre Dame coming out of the Big East in 4th place to make it to the Final Four? I bet GTown and 'Nova fans aren't so thrilled right now...
I think it's safe to say that Georgetown fans haven't been thrilled since the tournament field came out. Villanova was bubble all the way but Georgetown has a pretty legit gripe about being left out in favor of a team they beat head-to-head. BUT, Notre Dame has made the most out of their bid, so we certainly can't hold anything against them.
I won't what?
What is your number one bar suggestion for a group of strapping 20-somethings in Baltimore? How will will Cornell or ND be able to hang with the high-powered offenses of UVA or Duke? Is it bad to wear a UVA hat that I just got from the $5 random hat giveaway at LaxWorld if I'm a Cuse fan?
We've got a guide to Baltimore up over on InsideLacrosse.com - there's a lot of cool restaurant and bar suggestions around the stadium. My personal favorite is Cross Street Market in Federal Hill - great sushi and lively crowd to hang out with. Cornell has a great attack of its own and Notre Dame's defense has been lights out this tournament. I don't know - I wouldn't wear a UVa hat if I were a Cuse fan, but it's your call...
Alright folks - that about wraps it up for this week's chat, so thanks again for participating and hopefully we'll see you all in Baltimore. If you can't make it in person, remember, we'll be covering everything wall-to-wall over on InsideLacrosse.com and you can catch the Division I semifinals at 4 and 6:30PM on Saturday in HD on ESPN2, with the finals kicking off Memorial Day afternoon at 3PM on ESPN.