In the Crease: Lacrosse and Celebrity
In his regular Saturday column, lacrosse analyst Dan Fleuette discusses and comments on the latest news from the world of lacrosse. Be sure to check this space every Saturday at Breitbart Sports for incisive analysis and news of all things lacrosse.
Brown Teases Record in Hopkins Loss
For the 7th time in the last 8 meetings between these teams, Syracuse came out victorious in an exciting 12-10 win at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field.
Despite losing an astounding 21 of 25 faceoffs, being out shot 34-30, and losing the groundball battle 18-25, Syracuse defense came up big on turnovers, stops, and clears to pick up the win.
Had it not been for Ryan Brown’s career day, where he netted 8 goals, the game wouldn’t have been that close. Brown has been on a tear lately, (16 goals in his last 3 games) and his 8 goals were the second highest* by an individual in Hopkins’ storied history.
The game was punctuated by a series of runs by each team. Hopkins found themselves down by 4 two different times during the day, but managed to claw their way back into the contest, largely by the play of Ryan Brown.
Down by one with just over three minutes left to play, Hopkins got a crucial stop on a shot by Syracuse. Goalie Eric Schneider then threw a lazy pass to clear, and was intercepted by Dylan Donahue (3 goals 1 assist on the game), which he turned into another Syracuse goal in short order, and effectively ending any chance of a Hopkins comeback.
With the win, Syracuse proves their recent slide may be nothing more than early season jitters, and moved up to #6 in the Warrior Media Poll (up from #10 last week). Hopkins dropped to #8 after sitting at #3 before the game.
Hopkins’ schedule doesn’t get any easier for them, as they head into a crucial four games stretch against ranked opponents, beginning Saturday at #10 Virginia. They’ll need to get their other scorers to participate, or they could find themselves bounced out of the rankings altogether.
*In 1927 William Logan scored nine goals for JHU vs. Virginia.
The Division I record for goals in a game is 11 – which has been done three times:
Bob Scalise, Brown vs. Connecticut, May 5, 1971;
Mike Blouin, Air Force vs. Colorado Mines, April 22, 1987
Oliver Marti, Brown vs. New Hampshire, April 21, 1993
Separated at Birth?
Another Brown, Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame running back, is perhaps the best-known celebrity lacrosse player of all time. He played his collegiate career at Syracuse, where he earned All-American honors, and is considered to be one of the best lacrosse players of all time. He was enshrined in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1983, and is quoted as saying “I'd rather play lacrosse six days a week and football on the seventh."
While Brown may be one of the most recognizable celebrities to play the game, he’s far from the only celebrity to ever grab a lacrosse stick. Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl, NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, newscaster Erin Burnett, Lone Ranger sidekick Tonto, and New England head coach Bill Belichick all have ties to the game. Dave Grohl even called it “his favorite sport growing up.”
Bleacher Report has a slideshow showcasing these celebrities and more. Other celebrities to play include Geraldo Rivera and news anchor Bob Woodward (who holds the all-time scoring record at Colgate.
Tewaaraton Adds Players to Watch List
On March 1 we wrote about the Tewaaraton Watch List for the Tewaaraton Award, the yearly award given to the top male and female lacrosse players in the country.
On Thursday the Tewaaraton Foundation announced the first round of additions to their list. Topping the additions is Hopkins attack man Ryan Brown, who posted 8 goals in Hopkins’ loss to Syracuse.
Players not named to the list in this first round still have two opportunities to play their way into a spot as the season progresses.
A second round of additions will be announced on April 10. On April 24, the field will be narrowed to 25 men’s and 25 women’s nominees. Nominees can be players on the watch lists or players not on the watch lists, effectively allowing for a third round of additions for players who earn a spot.
Five men’s and five women’s finalists will be announced on May 8 and will be invited to the May 29 Ceremony in Washington.
Inside Lacrosse Expands
Inside Lacrosse, the premier stop for lacrosse fans, announced their continued expansion, with six new hires and an expanded focus on recruiting. In February, IL announced the formation of a recruiting invitational, which they call
“an opportunity for players to get seen, make a name for themselves and leave their mark. Throughout the four-day event the Inside Lacrosse team of reporters, analysts, photographers and videographers will be out in full force to chronicle the entire experience, engaging with and highlighting the top players, programs, and coaches on the summer recruiting circuit to create a first-of-its-kind event for the sport.”
The latest expansion shows that there is an increasing demand for coverage and analysis for fans, and more opportunities for young players to engage in intensive competition and skills development. With more athletes playing the game it means more players are challenging for a relative handful of roster spots on elite college teams.
From the press release:
“We couldn’t be more excited to be expanding our staff and continuing to evolve our company alongside this growing sport. The breadth of these hires — events, IT, women’s, high school and recruiting editorial — speaks to all that we have going on at Inside Lacrosse,” said IL Vice President and Editor-in-Chief John Jiloty. “We’ve brought in some talented, experienced people and they’re going to really take our brand to the next level as we especially focus on re-launching our online network and growing our Inside Lacrosse Recruiting Series with events, TV segments and print and online content.”
Quint Kessenich on Mid Term Lacrosse Grades.
As schools ready for the annual bacchanal of spring break, it’s a good time to assess the NCAA lacrosse season as trends and strengths begin to take shape. In his Baltimore Sun column, it’s no surprise that ESPN analyst Quint Kessinich has undefeated Maryland leading the rankings with an A+.
Albany with their potent and exciting offense, but 2-3 record, is a bit of a head scratcher with an A grade, unless he’s awarding points on potential. Also making the grade: Attackmen receive high marks, while #10 Virginia, who disappeared against Notre Dame on Sunday in the second half, gets an F. Read the rankings here.
This Kid Gets It
Seems like every week I find new stories of people who have been introduced lacrosse and become evangelists for the sport. These stories come from all over the nation and even other countries. Lacrosse continues to be the fastest growing sport in the nation, and its reach extends into communities that until recently, have never seen a lacrosse game, and often know little about it.
This week Bennet Lane, a student at Carlsbad High School in Carlsbad, CA published an opinion piece in his school newspaper titled Experience the Unmatched Excitement of Lacrosse.
In his piece Lane compares America’s most popular sport, football to the game of lacrosse, and finds football wanting, writing.
“If football players have a fire in their souls with an intensity that just can not wait to be released, I suggest they play lacrosse…What we remember as glory under the ‘Friday Night Lights’ is typically just a mix of loitering by the snack bar and trying to raise your voice over to band to complete an empty conversation. Lacrosse is a fast paced, high intensity sport played in a style of gameplay most similar to hockey mixed with soccer. Plus, everyone gets what are basically gladiator training swords to hit each other with.”
What’s not to like?
Game of the Week
#1 Maryland at #6 North Carolina.
Since Maryland’s big 10-6 win over then #1 Duke on March 1, which catapulted the Terps to the #1 spot in the country, they have run off three wins, and sit at 7-0 for the season. While every win is big in lacrosse, Maryland has not faced a ranked team since the Duke game. That will change as the next 4 out of 5 games are against top ten teams, beginning this weekend at North Carolina.
Maryland top scoring threat Mike Chanenchuck leads the team in points and goals, and the efficient Jay Carlson is converting shots at an impressive 54% rate. Goalie Nick Amato continues to dazzle in the net, with a save percentage slightly over 60%.
Maryland and North Carolina have split their last 10 meetings, with the Tar Heels winning the last 4 regular season games.
ESPNU will televise the game Saturday at 2:00 EST.
Other notable games (also on ESPNU)
Johns Hopkins at Virginia – Saturday, March 22 4:30 EST
Syracuse at Duke – Sunday, March 23, 12:30 EST
Games on Tap
Complete rundown here.
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