MLL Championship Weekend To Be Held In Denver

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Photo Courtesy of Dallas Rattlers/MLL                                                                                                            

On Monday morning, Major League Lacrosse (MLL) announced that Denver will host the 2019 MLL semifinals and championship games from October 4th-6th. This marks the first time that the MLL will play their championship game in Denver, known by many as the Lacrosse Capital of The West. 

The MLL semifinals will be played on October 4th at Peter Barton Stadium, sitting on the campus of the University of Denver. The MLL championship game will be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on October 6th. ESPN 2 will broadcast the 2019 MLL Championship game. 

Both Peter Barton Stadium and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park know how to put on high quality lacrosse events, and have done so in the past. Peter Barton Stadium is the home of the Denver Pioneers and hosted the Big East Tournament this past season. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is home to the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer and hosted the 2014 World Lacrosse Championships. 

In addition, this will be the first time since the 2013 season that the MLL will host the semifinals and championship on the same weekend, and will be the latest the championship has ever been played in the league’s 19-year history. 

Andy German Named Interim Head Coach At Cleveland State

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Photo Courtesy of Cleveland State Athletics                                                                                                   

Following Dylan Sheridan’s departure as the head coach, Cleveland State athletic director Scott Garrett has named Andy German as interim head coach for the Vikings. According to a press release, a national search will begin find the next head coach of the Vikings. 

News that Sheridan had stepped down at Cleveland State to take an assistant coaching position at Ohio State first surfaced late last week. Both Cleveland State and Ohio State announced the news on Monday morning. 

Andy German will take over as the interim head coach while a national search is conducted. He is also believed to be a top candidate for the head coaching position. German has been the top assistant under Sheridan since the program first started play in 2017. 

German has been apart of the Vikings growth as a program since its inception. As the defensive coordinator, German’s defenses have consistently finished inside the top 20 across DI each year at Cleveland State. 

Prior to his arrival in Cleveland, German served as an assistant at Villanova, his alma mater, from 2011-14. He served as the head coach at Saint Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia during the 2015 season.

The Pennsylvania native started his coaching career at Susquehanna and played in college at Alfred State for two seasons before finishing his career at Villanova. 

Chris Gray Has Reportedly Sent In An Application To Yale

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Photo Courtesy of Boston U. Athletics                                                                                                              

According to a report from Chip Malafronte of the New Haven Register, Yale is in the mix of schools that Chris Gray is considering, and he has already applied to the school.

This report comes a day after Chris Jastrzembski from College Crosse reported that Duke, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, and North Carolina are all in the mix for Chris Gray. 

The highly coveted attackman is in the NCAA Transfer Portal after leading the nation in points during the regular season with 111. The former Boston U. standout is one of the most coveted transfers in recent history, following the 2018 offseason which saw a similar storyline play out with faceoff man TD Ierlan who transferred from Albany to Yale. 

The 5-foot-7, 170 pound attackman is a game changer. He has knack for scoring, and can do so in many ways. Gray is the kind of player that you could honestly play at midfield for attack because of how versatile he is. In addition to his scoring ability he can be a teams primary feeder, quarterbacking the offense. 

No matter where he ends up, an impact will be made day one. While there is no definite answer as to where Gray is leaning at this time, there are a few interesting scenarios for sure. 

If he does end up transferring to Yale that would obviously be huge for the Bulldogs. It would also create a situation where Gray would start and push either Matt Gaudet, Jackson Morrill, or Matt Brandau to the second line. The Bulldogs could also move one of those three to midfield and even play four attackman with one playing a hybrid of midfield and attack, similar to how we saw Connor Kelly play at Maryland. 

Yale would instantly shoot up in terms of championship potential, which they already have after two straight trips to championship weekend, winning it all in 2018. 

 

Looking At Coaching Candidates At Stony Brook

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Photo Courtesy of Duke Athletics                                                                                                                      

Stony Brook is one of six current programs that are, or have, had coaching searches this offseason. The Seawolves have had success but that has seemed to diminish over the last few years under Jim Nagle, who parted ways with Stony Brook last month. 

This is a job where success can be, and has been attained. Restoring that glory won’t be easy but being in the lacrosse hotbed of Long Island certainly helps a lot. The Seawolves have also always had a good British Columbia pipeline going, especially back when they were at the the top of the America East.

Stony Brook is a place that can be rebuilt somewhat quickly, and success can be attained. In addition, they already have some good talent on that roster that certainly helps jumpstart this rebuild. 

One name that has been thrown around, and Stony Brook has reportedly had interest in is Duke assistant Matt Danowski. The son of Duke head coach John Danowski, he is very well known on Long Island and has many ties to the area, playing in high school at Farmingdale. Danowski’s dad also coached at Hofstra for 18 seasons before coming to Duke. 

Danowski has spent seven seasons as an assistant at Duke, working primarily with the offense. He has helped lead his alma mater to back-to-back national championships in 2013 and 2014. While Danowski is a name that many would love to see at Stony Brook it is uncertain if he would actually consider leaving his alma mater and a very good thing at Duke where he also gets to coach with his dad. 

Ohio State assistant Brad Ross is another name that has been mentioned with this Stony Brook job. He has been named in multiple other coaching searchers over the past few years, and has really helped develop Ohio State into a power. 

Ross has been able to build successful Ohio State offenses with top Canadian talent like Jesse King, Logan Schuss, and Austin Shanks. That Canadian connection looks very attractive and he could help re-establish and strengthen that pipeline at Stony Brook. Ross also helped lead Ohio State to a national championship appearance in 2016. 

After helping to lead Virginia to a national championship this past season Sean Kirwan’s name has popped up in multiple coaching searchers. The offensive guru has had success at Brown, helping to take them to a semifinals appearance in 2016 with an offense led by Tewarraton winner Dylan Molloy. 

Kirwan has now brought success to Virginia, moving to Charlottesville with Lars Tiffany. Kirwan has had a lot of success as an assistant and is viewed by many as a future head coach. The only knock is that he is still young, graduating from Tufts in 2012. 

In addition, many have mentioned Rick Sowell and Ryan Wellner as potential candidates, which would be very interesting

Sowell had much success as the head coach at Stony Brook before leaving for Navy where he was fired back in May. Sowell is known as a program builder and it would be very interesting to see him back on the Seawolves sideline, but would they do that? 

Wellner was an assistant under Sowell at Stony Brook from 2009-2011 and was an integral part of the Seawolves success. Wellner then went to Navy with Sowell and was the interim head coach for the Midshipmen until just yesterday when Navy hired Joe Amplo. 

Bringing back Wellner to Stony Brook is something that seems very logical, and Wellner seems to be one of the favorites at this point. He can certainly help reclaim that glory and re-establish the success that he saw during his time as an assistant. 

In addition to Stony Brook, Harvard, Hampton, and Marquette are searching for head coaches. Navy has hired Joe Amplo and Fairfield is reportedly going to hire Andrew Baxter

 

Fairfield Set To Hire Andrew Baxter

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Photo Courtesy of Yale Athletics                                                                                                                        

According to multiple reports, Andrew Baxter is set to be hired as the next head coach at Fairfield after serving as an assistant at Yale since 2013. Baxter’s hiring comes a little less than a month since the news broke that Andy Copelan would be stepping down as the head coach at Fairfield. 

College Crosse’s Chris Jastrzembski first broke the news Wednesday evening.

Baxter comes to Fairfield after serving as Yale’s defensive coordinator since 2013, adding the title of associate head coach to his name prior to the 2019 season. During his tenure at Yale Baxter helped lead Yale to back-to-back championship weekend appearances (2018,2019), winning the national championship in 2018. 

He started his coaching career at Colgate where he was an assistant from 2002-2003 before moving on to Drexel where he was an assistant from 2004-2008. During his time at Drexel Baxter served as the Dragons offensive coordinator for his first two seasons before moving to defensive coordinator for his last three seasons in Philadelphia. 

Baxter spent four years as the Defensive coordinator at Ohio State before coming to Yale in 2013. During Baxter’s tenure in New Haven Yale never ranked lower than 14th in Scoring Defense in Baxter’s first six seasons, including ranks of 6th in 2013, 9th in 2015, 8th in 2016, and gave up just 8.8 goals per game in 2018 as the Elis won the National Championship. 

He played at DIII Springfield college, graduating in 2001. As a player at Springfield, Baxter helped lead Pride to two DIII NCAA tournaments. 

At Fairfield Baxter will have a lot on his plate, rebuilding a program that hasn’t had a record above .500 since 2016. The Stags have only been to the NCAA tournament twice in program history (2002,2004). Fairfield went 5-9 last season, missing the CAA tournament. 

2019 CAA Tournament Preview

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Photo Courtesy of Towson Athletics                                                                                                                 

The 2019 CAA tournament will be held at UMass and kicks off on Thursday, May 2nd with the semifinals. The championship game will be played on Saturday, May 4th. 

In the semifinals, number one seed UMass will face number four seed Drexel while the number two and three seeds in Delaware and Towson will go head-to-head as well. The past few years we have seen some crazy stuff in the CAA tournament, so don’t expect anything less this year either. 

#1 UMass vs #4 Drexel – Semifinals 

Judging by the past, this matchup could be a very exciting one to say the least. In the regular season meeting UMass beat Drexel juts by one point in a 10-9 win.

The Minutemen of UMass come into this game after winning their last three to end the regular season. They are led on offense by a pair of attackmen in sophomore Chris Connolly and freshman Gabriel Procyk. Connolly has tallied 61 points (26G,35A) thus far while Procyk has a total of 39 points (34G,5A) thus far. Senior LSM Isaac Paparo isthe heart and soul of the minutemen as he does a ton for them, especially on the defensive end of the field. UMass is a scary team all over the field. 

Drexel comes into the post-season after a bumpy regular season that ended with a loss on Saturday. However, the Dragons can be a huge threat in the tournament as it is May and anything can happen. They are led by a pair of junior attackman in Matthew Varian and Reid Bowering who each have 50 plus points on the year. The Dragons also have a tough defense that is anchored by Ross Blumenthal in cage as he has 90 saves with a 49% save percentage on the year. 

#2 Delaware vs #3 Towson – Semifinals

In the second semifinal Delaware and Towson will square up with one another for what should be a fantastic game. In the regular season meeting, Towson won 14-12. 

The Blue Hens have had a little bit of an up and down season as they come into the post-season after losing their last two games of the season. Delaware’s offense is led by junior attackman Charlie Kitchen who has been lighting it up this season as he has 60 points (35G,25A) on the season thus far. Junior goalie Matt DeLuca anchors the defense in age as he has had a stellar career so far. This season DeLuca has made 188 saves with a 59% save percentage. The Blue Hens are a tough team and will bring for sure their all on Thursday. 

Towson has been the best team in the country at times, and then they haven’t been. The Tigers are led by some impressive play in the middle of the field with senior faceoff man Alex Woodall and midfielder Zach Goodrich who literally does everything. On the offensive side of the field they are led by senior attackman Brendan Sunday who has tallied 58 points (39G.19A) on the season thus far. Tyler Canto anchors that Tigers defense in cage, having made 148 saves with a 54% save percentage this season so far. 

Semifinal 1 Winner vs Semifinal 2 Winner – Championship 

The winners of each semifinal game will meet in the CAA championship game on Saturday May, 4th.


BRACKET

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2019 Big Ten Tournament Preview

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Photo Courtesy of Penn State Athletics                                                                                                            

The 2019 Big Ten tournament will get underway on Thursday, May 2nd with the semifinals and finish up with the championship game on Saturday, May 4th. The tournament will be held in Piscataway, N.J. as Rutgers plays host this season. 

In the Big Ten tournament Penn State has the top seed while Johns Hopkins earned the number two seed. Maryland will be the three seed and Rutgers got in as the fourth and final seed in the tournament. 

#1 Penn State vs #4 Rutgers – Semifinals

In the first semifinal Penn State and Rutgers will go head-to-head. This is going to be an interesting one as Rutgers has much more to play for than Penn State at this time. Penn State has been the most dominate team in the country with junior attackman Grant Ament leading the way while junior attackman Mac O’keefe puts on a show as well. The Nittany Lions defense as been scary as well with Chris Sabia headlining that close defense unit and Colby Kneese in between the pipes. 

Rutgers needs a win here as they will likely not make the NCAA tournament without at least one win in the Big Ten tournament. They will be looking for that offensive duo of Adam Charlambides and Kieran Mullins to step up and d big things as we have seen all year. On the defensive end Max Edlemann has been one of the best in between the pipes this season. This is a Rutgers team that can burn anyone in the country when they are 100% on but can also slip between the cracks. It’ll be an interesting one come Thursday.

#2 Johns Hopkins vs #3 Maryland – Semifinals

The Rivalry is brought to the post-season. These two teams just played on Saturday so it’ll be interesting to see what adjustments each makes before they meet again on Thursday. 

Johns Hopkins needs this win much more than Maryland does. The Blue Jays are coming in hot off a win against Maryland on Saturday. Johns Hopkins will be looking to play another complete game here as Joey Epstein and Kyle Marr lead that offense that has bee growing all year. On the defensive end sophomore goalie Ryan Darby has been good with a 144 saves and a 46% save percentage thus far. Robert Kuhn has been a leader on the defense as well, giving opponents trouble all season. 

Maryland has been good this year but they have had some ups and downs for sure. The Terrapins will need to be on the best this tournament. They have been led by a depth of offensive production with Jared Bernhardt, Anthony DeMaio, Logan Wisnauskas, and others. On the defensive end of the field Danny Dolan has been good in cage, making 152 saves with a 52% save percentage. Curtis Corley and other have been leading that defense out front as well. Both the offense and defense will need to step up big time in this one and they can’t have any lapses like last week. 

Semifinal 1 Winner vs Semifinal 2 Winner – Championship 

The winners of each semifinal game will meet in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday May, 4th. 


Bracket

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Tuesday Preview: Ocean State Cup, Non-Conference Matchups

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Photo Courtesy of Brown Athletics                                                                                                                   

A four game Tuesday slate is all we have in terms of midweek college lacrosse games this week. It certainly isn’t the best slate of midweek games this season, but we have lacrosse nonetheless.  

Marquee Matchups

Brown @ Providence

These two Rhode Island foes will be playing in an Ocean State Cup game, the second for Providence and first for Brown. The Ocean State Cup is given to the winner of the series which includes Brown, Providence, and Bryant. 

Brown comes into this game after taking two straight losses to Penn and Yale. The Bears will be looking to get back on track with a win on Tuesday. For Providence, they come into this game on a high not after recording their first win over Marquette in program history on Saturday. 

VMI @ Virginia

It’s an ACC vs SoCon matchup as VMI travels to take on Virginia. This game is lopsided for sure as Virginia is the more talented team. However, VMI is having a better season than usual, so this one may be more interesting than it looks at first glance.

Schedule
Date Home Away Time Watch
4/16 Sacred Heart Binghamton 3:00 PM NEC Front Row
4/16 Virginia VMI 7:00 PM ACC Network Extra
4/16 Providence Brown 7:00 PM Providence Stream
4/16 Marist St.Bonaventure 7:00 PM Marist Stream

NLL Week 12: New England’s Offense Explodes, San Diego Back On Track, Saskatchewan Defeats Calgary

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Photo Courtesy of New England Black Wolves                                                                                               

Week twelve got underway on Saturday night with three games, and continued with one game on Sunday afternoon. 

In week 12, Rochester lose their fifth straight game as they fell to Georgia, San Diego was able to get back on track, Saskatchewan evened the season series with Calgary, and New England put on an offensive clinic in their win over Colorado. 

Georgia 15, Rochester 11

This game started out pretty back-and-forth early on, but it wouldn’t stay that way at all. After a close first half with both teams trading goals and going on multiple short runs, it was a 7-7 tie. Georgia’s offense exploded in the third quarter after a Pat Sauders goal early in the third to give Rochester the 8-7 lead. Georgia’s huge run resulted in the Swarm holding a 14-8 lead heading into the fourth. Rochester never recovered as Georgia walked away victorious. 

Box Score

Saskatchewan 15, Calgary 9

After losing the first game of the series, Saskatchewan bounced back in a big way against their rival. This edition of The Battle of The Prairies featured a much better Rush defense than we had seen a few weeks prior. The defense really led the way for the offense in this game. Saskatchewan was able to get out to a 6-3 lead at the end of the first and a 10-6 lead at the half. Through it was a hard fought battle, Saskatchewan was able to stay ahead and secure the 15-9 win, behind a Jeff Shattler led offensive performance.

Box Score

San Diego 13, Vancouver 10

Just like the last contest between these two clubs, it was a battle until the end, and a very good one at that. San Diego was able to get out with a 2-0 lead to end the first and they led the entire way. Vancouver started to put it together more on offense after halftime, where they found themselves down 7-4. Eventually tying it up in the fourth, a late San Diego run proved to be too much for the Warriors as the Seals walked out 13-10 victors in this brewing west coast “rivalry.” Casey Jackson led San Diego, and Vancouver was led by Mitch Jones on offense.

Box Score

New England 17, Colorado 11

It was a good one in the Casino on Sunday afternoon. New England was able to dominate when they wanted and used a pretty big second half of scoring to help secure the win after Colorado came back and cut it to a 5-4 Black Wolves lead at the half. The Black Wolves looked good as they had an answer for just about anything Colorado did, even when they were able to pull close late in the game. That Tyler Digby and Callum Crawford led offensive attack has proved to be lethal at times and it was here today.

Box Score

 

Duke Takes on High Point in Mid-week Contest

 

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

 

The Duke Blue Devils will welcome the High Point Panthers to Durham on Wednesday as these two teams faceoff in the first mid-week game of the 2019 season. Both Duke and High Point are coming off of pretty dominating wins over the weekend. 

High Point defeated St. Bonaventure on Saturday morning at home by a score of 13-0. Duke faced Furman on the road Saturday night where they took down the Paladins 17-9 to open the season. That win also made John Danowski the first DI head coach to reach 400 wins.

The Blue Devils relied on sophomore attackman Joe Robertson who tallied 5 points (4G,1A) in Saturday’s win. Senior midfielder Jake Seau and sophomore midfielder Cameron Badour also played very well in Saturday’s win. The Blue Devils will be looking to lean on those guys again on Wednesday for offensive production. Reilly Walsh, Joey Manown, and Kevin Quigley should also be factors as well. 

Duke’s defense was very effective on Saturday, as expected, and they look to ride that wave into Wednesday’s home opener as well. The three-headed monster of JT Giles-Harris, Cade Van Raphorst, and Jack Fowler looks to come alive again in game two of the season. In game one it was Fowler that led the way, but really it could be anyone’s game on any given day. 

Turner Uppgren will be holding down the fort in cage on Wednesday after a good start against Furman on Saturday. Uppgren tallied 7 saves on Saturday to start off his senior campaign. Uppgren looks to improve here early on a the Blue Devils head into game two.


Note: There has been no update on the status of Duke senior midfielder Brad Smith who missed Saturday’s game with a foot injury. 


High Point is led by star-studded sophomore attackman Asher Nolting as he got his season off to a hot start with a hat trick against St. Bonaventure. In addition to Nolting the Panthers relied heavily on senior attackman Chris Young as the Ontario native tallied 4 goals in the Panthers opener against St. Bonaventure. Junior attackman Ben Baker also looks to make an impact against the Blue Devils as well. 

Defensively High Point leans on junior Luke Cappetto and senior Griffin Caligiuri as two of their leaders on that end of the field. They both played very well on Saturday disrupting that St. Bonaventure defense and helping to hold them scoreless. 

In cage Tim Trouter will face his first “real” test of the season, and a pretty big one, against the Blue Devils. The senior had a 100% save percentage on Saturday, obviously. He looks to step it up a notch against Duke.

The number 2 ranked Blue Devils are huge favorites in this game, but Duke has been beaten by a SoCon team in February in the past, and High Point has beaten an ACC team as well. 

In the last meeting between these two schools, in 2018, the Blue Devils dominated as they took the game 18-6. Duke has actually beaten High Point every year since 2015. The closet High Point has come to knocking off the Blue Devils was in 2016 when they only lost 16-13.

You can watch this game via ESPN + with Faceoff is set at 7:00pm ET.