In The Crease: Historic Week for Lacrosse
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.
McDonogh Girls Lacrosse Best of All Time
On April 11, 2009, Captain Richard Phillips was recaptured by Somali pirates after an escape attempt, Susan Boyle blew up YouTube after her appearance on Britain’s Got Talent, and McDonogh High School girls lacrosse lost to Canandaigua, N.Y. They have not lost since.
On Thursday, the team broke the longest winning streak in girl’s high school lacrosse history with their 104th consecutive victory.
“There is, however, one more record to try to break — Loch Raven's 104-game undefeated streak, which included a tie. That could fall Saturday when McDonogh heads to Mount Hebron's Fight for Five Tournament at Cedar Lane Park in Howard County. At 11 a.m., the Eagles take on North Harford. If they win, they'll meet the winner of a game between No. 7 Mount Hebron and South River at 3 p.m. for the tournament title — and win No. 106.”
Current Nike / US Lacrosse National Girls High School Rankings
Not surprising that McDonogh is number one. As with the high school boys, the top 25 is dominated by mid-Atlantic schools, with a lone California representative at the last spot. With more and more programs being adopted by schools across the country, I would expect to see more schools outside the Northeast corridor to be represented in the coming years.
Sirius XM Launches New Lacrosse Program
Great news for lacrosse fans out of SiriusXM: on Tuesday Sirius XM launched its newest sports program The Lacrosse Show With Paul Rabil and Paul Carcaterra.
This unlikely pairing, with Rabil from Hopkins, and Carcaterra from Syracuse, where there is no love lost between the programs. But, Carcaterra says this, along with their different approaches to the game, creates a great complementary dynamic.
“Paul Rabil is the best lacrosse player in the world, he is a student of the game, and with his entrepreneurial spirit, has a great understanding of the both the competition side and business side of the game. I have had success on the field at Syracuse and have been following lacrosse for 30 years, and look at the game from a historical perspective.”
Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM's President and Chief Content Officer says,
“Personally, I have always been a huge fan of the sport, attending many college lacrosse games over the years as well as having a son that played lacrosse growing up and that now currently plays club lacrosse in college. Obviously, Paul Rabil and Paul Carcaterra have incredible passion for their sport and they want to share that passion with our national audience. Rabil finished his Johns Hopkins career as one of the best players to ever play collegiately and he has continued to dominate at the professional level. Carcaterra is an outstanding analyst and had a stellar career at Syracuse. Both were collegiate All-Americans with national championship rings so they obviously know what it takes to compete at the highest level. Once we found those two guys and saw they were just as excited as we were, it was a no brainer to move forward with them.”
The Lacrosse Show will be broadcast year round, an upgrade to their previous lacrosse programming, which included coverage of the NCAA tournament. Both Carcaterra and SiriusXM point to the growth of the game and its rising popularity as motivators in bringing the program together.
“We’ve had lacrosse programming on SiriusXM previously, most recently with a limited run show that ran around the NCAA tournament games last year. With the sport growing, we found there is certainly an audience for a lacrosse show, so we wanted to develop a program that would run throughout the year, giving fans a level of coverage they haven’t had before, a show that would cover the many aspects of the game. We took some time to get this right in order to provide our listeners with the best experience possible, and after reaching out and meeting with both Paul Rabil and Paul Carcaterra, we knew we had found the perfect hosts.”
Carcaterra and Greenstein see the next challenge for the growth of the game is bigger college conferences adopting lacrosse programs. Carcaterra says that once schools like Stanford, Louisville and UCLA join in, the sport will see even more growth and acceptance.
Greenstein adds, “Every year we see more and more young athletes choosing to play, and the growth at the youth level is translating to the collegiate level as schools like Michigan, Marquette, Boston University, and Furman have all formed Division I teams. Just a few years ago, looking at any lacrosse roster, you would see an overwhelming number of players from the Northeast. Now, we see rosters filled with players from all over the country. We’re seeing more games broadcast on TV. The sport is reaching unprecedented levels of popularity and we’re in a great position to serve the growing demand.
The Lacrosse Show is not strictly breakdowns of games and team analysis. Rabil says, "I'm confident that this won't be your typical 'sports' show. With our interests far beyond lacrosse, not only will we dissect the sport, but we'll talk about our business and lifestyle interests as well."
“Fans also want a forum to talk about what’s important to them. What’s the best gear to buy? How can parents and young players best navigate the recruiting process? What do the insiders think of the weekend’s games? Who better to answer these questions than Paul Rabil and Paul Carcaterra, two guys who can take their listeners inside their sport like few others can. If you are a lacrosse fan, this show really is a must-listen.”
Paul Rabil is the former standout Johns Hopkins midfielder by way of DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland. At Hopkins, he was a two-time champion and four-time All-American, and holds Hopkins’ all time points record for a midfielder.
Paul Carcaterra, a current analyst for ESPN, “was a four-year letter-winner in men's lacrosse at Syracuse University and captained the team in his senior year. Playing midfield, Carcaterra helped guide the Orange to the 1995 national title and was named a 1997 All-American. He was also a member of the New Jersey Pride, a former Major League Lacrosse team, and represented Team England in the World Lacrosse Games in 1998.”
Goucher Lacrosse Teammates Honor Player Killed in Hit and Run
At 2AM Sunday morning, Matthew Gabriel, a member of the Goucher College men’s lacrosse team in Baltimore, was struck by a hit and run driver and died a few hours later in the hospital.
On Thursday, his teammates, fans, and the local community dedicated their game to the memory of Matthew.
By all accounts, Matthew was an extraordinary person, with a great sense of humor and love of life. His coach, Brian Kelly said in an interview, “he was probably the most secure human being that I’ve ever known. He had a life that did not have any pain, or any suffering, because of how he lived.”
“Gabriel's lacrosse teammates huddled up and said a prayer before the game Thursday afternoon, wearing green "Donate Life" armbands to honor the fact that Gabriel was an organ donor. Some fans wore T-shirts with Gabriel's number, and others wore Hawaiian shirts and leis.
"It was Matt's tradition that he would wear Hawaiian shirts every Wednesday, and so as a community as a whole, we've gone out and gotten Hawaiian shirts and leis, everything just to celebrate Matt and to show how much he was really loved," said friend Sam Davis.”
Kayla Wiseman, 23, has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence and hit and run. More charges are pending the results of the on-going investigation.
Game of the Week
With conference championships set to begin next weekend, this week’s games hold major significance as teams jockey for position leading up to the NCAA tournament.
The tournament begins on May 10, and will for the first time be expanded to 18 teams, with a 16 team bracket and two “play in” games. The field will consist of 10 conference winners, and 8 at large bids.
After the conference tournaments, the at-large bids are where most of the drama will unfold, and teams with the best resume will be most likely to advance. With the ACC dominating the standings as well as out of conference winning percentage, they could lock up 5 of the 8 available slots, which leaves little room for other conferences.
With that in mind, Penn at Dartmouth is a game to watch. Penn has a win against #3 Denver, and has played well against strong teams, and just upended Harvard (3-1 in Ivy League) but needs to finish out the season with a flourish in order to qualify for the NCAA’s, should they flop in the Ivy League tournament.
In the ACC, Notre Dame has the most to lose in their matchup against Maryland. Should the Fighting Irish slip up, they would likely find themselves as a bubble team come NCAA selection time, and may be the lone ACC team to watch from the couch.
Maryland at Notre Dame will be broadcast on ESPNU at 12:00 EST.
Games on Tap
Complete list here
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PHOTO: Goucher College