What Could Have Been For Mercer in 2020?

(Photo Courtesy of Mercer Athletics)

The Mercer Bears were one of the most improved teams in 2020. They went from being one of worst teams in the country last season with a 1-12 record, their worst since going 1-13 in their second season as a program (2013), to starting with a 6-1 record, which is good for their best start in program history most wins in a season since 2014 when they went 8-6. And they certainly could have added onto to that in SoCon play, which was supposed to open last Saturday before the season got cancelled. Continue reading “What Could Have Been For Mercer in 2020?”

2020 Schedule Preview: Richmond Spiders

(Photo Courtesy of Richmond Athletics)

The Richmond Spiders are the 55th DI program to announce their 2020 men’s lacrosse schedule. The Spiders come into 2020 following a 2019 campaign in which they went 10-7 overall and 5-2 in the SoCon. Richmond defeated High Point to claim their second consecutive SoCon championship and lost to Duke in first round of the NCAA tournament.  Continue reading “2020 Schedule Preview: Richmond Spiders”

2020 Schedule Preview: Bellarmine Knights

(Photo Courtesy of Bellarmine Athletics)

The Bellarmine Knights are the 47th DI team to announce their 2020 men’s lacrosse schedule. The Knights come into the 2020 season following a 2019 campaign in which they went 3-10 overall, 3-4 in SoCon play, and missed the SoCon tournament for the third consecutive season. Bellarmine had a coach change over the summer as Jim Mitchell stepped down following just one year. Andy Whitley was hired as the fifth head coach in Bellarmine lacrosse history.  Continue reading “2020 Schedule Preview: Bellarmine Knights”

2020 Schedule Preview: Furman Paladins

(Photo Courtesy of Furman Paladins)

The Furman Paladins are the 43rd DI team in our schedule preview series. The Paladins come into the 2020 season following a 2019 campaign which saw them go 4-10 overall and 2-5 in the SoCon. Furman missed the SoCon tournament for the first time since 2017. Additionally, the Paladins won two non-conference games for the first time in program history last season.  Continue reading “2020 Schedule Preview: Furman Paladins”

Early Contenders: SoCon

(Photo Courtesy of Jacksonville Athletics)

As the calendar turns to November it marks the end of fall ball and the beginning of, essentially, the pre-season for NCAA lacrosse. While it is still early and there is only so much you can take from fall ball scrimmages, let’s take a look at who some of the early contenders in each conference are. Continue reading “Early Contenders: SoCon”

John Galloway Inks 5-Year Contract to Stay With Dolphins

Photo Credit: Jacksonville University

Jacksonville head coach John Galloway keeps the Duval Mission alive as he has inked a 5-year contract to stay with the Dolphins. This comes after Galloway’s second season at Jacksonville as the head coach. He has compiled a record of 11-18 in his first two seasons. Galloway has lead the Dolphins to the SoCon tournament two consecutive times, and took them to the SoCon championship game in 2018 where they would fall to Richmond.

John Galloway’s statement from press release

“My dream when I started coaching was to work at a university that was committed to the growth of lacrosse and would support my vision of building a program that was focused on the student-athlete experience rather than just wins and losses. Jacksonville University gave our staff that opportunity, and I am thrilled to continue our mission here in Duval for many years to come,”
“I want to specifically thank our Athletic Director Alex Ricker Gilbert and President Cost for trusting our staff in times of trial and triumph. We have been given every tool to help compete and recruit nationally, and now it is on us to get the job done. Our players and recruits can now come to campus with the full confidence that our staff will be here waiting and ready to go to work.”

The Hiring of John Galloway as the head coach at Jacksonville brought much buzz and attention to this program. Galloway has seemed to revive a low lying program and has turned them into a power in their respective conference, the SoCon. Jacksonville is in the process of building an all new $1.8 million dollar lacrosse facility that the men’s and women’s programs will share. Now, with Galloway’s new contract the future looks even brighter in Duval County.

Bellarmine and Head Coach Kevin Burns Part Ways

Photo Credit: Courier Journal

   Bellarmine University is the first DI head coach opening of this year. The University parted ways with head coach Kevin Burns and offensive coordinator Bill Tully. They were initially put on administrative leave the week of the Knights game against Mercer, a game they would eventually win.
Defensive coordinator Jay Sothorn was named the interim for the rest of the season. A few weeks later the University would announce that head coach Kevin Burns and offensive coordinator Bill Tully were no longer with the program. Bellarmine would go on to finish the season with a record of 4-9, winning 2-1 of their games with Sothorn as the interim. The Knights finished 5th in the SoCon and missed the SoCon tournament for the second year in a row.

   The reasoning behind this decision has many different sides and stories that I really don’t want to get into because I honestly don’t know what is true or false at the moment. The only thing that is certain is that the Bellarmine Knights are now searching for a new head Men’s Lacrosse coach.

   This decision comes during Burns seventh season with the Knights. In his tenure he helped build the Bellarmine program into what it is today. He saw one of the biggest changes the program has had as they moved from the ECAC to the SoCon. Also, Burns lead the Knights went to the SoCon tournament in 2016. That was the first time Bellarmine had ever made the postseason.

   Although the Kevin Burns era was a bumpy one for Bellarmine fans, parents, alumni, and players I want to thank Coach Burns for everything he has done at Bellarmine during his tenure and wish him the best of luck as he and his family move forward.

Official press release from the University

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–Bellarmine University Athletic Director Scott Wiegandt has announced that men’s lacrosse head coach Kevin Burns and assistant coach William Tully are no longer with the university. Jay Sothoron will coach the team for the remainder of the season.
 
Burns was in his seventh season at Bellarmine, where he compiled a career record of 35-54. Tully was in his second year with the Knights lacrosse program. The university will conduct a national search for a new head coach for the Bellarmine Knights’ NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse team.

   Now, who will Bellarmine get as there next head coach? That is the question that every person is asking. I know that many alumni want Jim Mitchell to be the next head man for the Knights. Mitchell is the offensive coordinator at Rutgers and was an assistant at Bellarmine before going to Rutgers. I think this could be a good fit because many people in and around the program liked him, plus he knows the community and school to an extent.

   There are many different ways that Bellarmine can go about this coaching search. They could go get a high level assistant, like Jim Mitchell, or they could get a high level DII or DIII head coach. I think those would be the two best options for the Knights. Also, they could get an assistant from a DI mid-major school as well. So, there are many different ways that the University could go about this.

SoCon Report: Week 12

Photo Credit: Jacksonville Athletics

   The second to last week of the regular season was diffidently an exciting one. We had plenty of really good and tight games. Also, there is more craziness and that bottom spot for the SoCon tournament appears to still be up for grabs. 

Furman 11, Jacksonville 12

   This game started out pretty slow as we saw each team have some pretty long possessions, especially Jacksonville. Furman held just a 2-1 lead heading into the second quarter. Jacksonville came out fast in the second quarter as they controlled possession early and reclaimed a 4-2 lead pretty fast. Furman would finally answer with 9:08 in the second as they cut it to a one goal 4-3 Dolphin lead.  The rest of the second would be pretty slow until Jacksonville got hot again as they were able to get a 6-3 lead heading into halftime. Furman got the scoring started in the second half as they cut the Jacksonville lead to 6-4. Jacksonville would answer midway through the third quarter with a two goal run to push their lead to 8-4. The rest of the third would be pretty back and fourth, but Jacksonville would hold a clear advantage as they held a 10-6 lead heading into the fourth. The fourth saw both teams start out with quick goals that made it an 11-7 Dolphin lead. Furman was able to take control of the momentum as they just kept cutting into that Jacksonville lead. With 3:50 in the game the Paladins would cut the Dolphins lead to just one goal, 11-10. Jacksonville would extend their lead to 12-10 with 53 seconds in the fourth, but Furman would quickly answer making it 12-11. The Dolphins would get the ball off the faceoff and hold it for the last few ticks of the game and secure the win.

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Air Force 6,  High Point 7

   This game started off snowy and slow. The first quarter saw neither team score at all. In the second quarter Air Force started to pick up the pace, but High Point was a step behind. The Falcons would hold a 2-1 lead at the half. In the third quarter Air Force started off strong, but High Point was able to fight back late. The Panthers would tie the game up at 4 with less than a minute in the third and would make it 4-4 heading into the fourth. High Point would take their first lead of the game, 5-4, after a goal by freshman sensation Asher Nolting with 11:32 in the fourth. The ball would change hands a few times before Air Force would tie the game up at 5 all with 7:13 in the fourth. High Point would take the 6-5 lead with just 2:35 in the fourth, but Air Force would answer on their next possession to tie it at 6 with 1:04 to go. Asher Nolting would make another great play as he put High Point up 7-6 with 19 seconds left. High Point would win the faceoff and run the clock out to get the 7-7 win. 
Game Winning Goal

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VMI 7, Bellarmine 10

   This was a very tight game pretty much the whole way. Bellarmine was leading 2-1 at the end of the first quarter, but VMI went on a three goal run to start the second. That run would help VMI gain some energy and hold a 6-4 lead going into the half. Belarmine would go on a 3-0 run in the third which gave them a good push and a 7-6 lead heading into the fourth. The Keydets would start off the scoring in the fourth, but the Knights would finish the game with a three goal run to secure the win. With that win Bellarmine stays in contention for the SoCon tournament. Also, that is the Knight’s second win with interim head coach Jay Sothoron at the helm.

Mercer 8, Richmond 9 

   This game started slow and close as the score at the end of the first was 1-1. The game started to speed up in the second quarter, especially for Richmond. The Spiders went on a three goal run late in the second quarter, but Mercer got the last score as it was 7-4 Richmond heading into the half. The second half saw Richmond start the scoring off, but them they didn’t do much more as the game was slower again. Richmond scored the last goal of the third and them Mercer had a fourth quarter rally. That ended up not being enough as the Spiders were able to walk out of Macon with a 9-8 one goal win. 

SoCon Standings   

No.
Team
Conf. Record
Overall Record
Streak
1
Richmond
5-1
8-5
W3
2
High Point
5-1
5-7
W4
3
Jacksonville
4-2
6-6
W1
4
Air Force
3-3
5-9
L1
5
Furman
3-3
3-9
L3
6
Bellarmine
2-4
4-8
W2
7
Mercer
2-4
4-9
L2
8
VMI
0-6
2-9
L3