Welcome back to “A Lacrosse Weekend,” my weekly compilation of thoughts, ideas, history, stories, myths/truths about the great game of lacrosse! I hope you find it interesting!
Happy Cinco De Mayo! I can’t believe it’s May already! Where does the time go? It’s the last weekend of the NCAA DI regular season with selection Sunday coming up! The weather is getting nice and so is the college lacrosse. What’s better than turning on ESPNU during tournament time?!?!
Yale 21 Penn 6
Holy $&%# what a beat down that was! Did you hear the post game comments from Matt Gaudet? Something like, “We don’t like Penn.” I love it! The Hamilton, Ontario product scored 7 goals in that game. He also said, “American goalies are not used to ‘Twisters’ …. All you kids out there, learn how to shoot twisters!
What Andy Shay has done at Yale has been amazing. Arguably the best coach in Division I Lacrosse, Shay has been incredibly consistent over the past 8 years with 5 NCAA Tourney appearances, 5 Ivy Tournament Championships, an 86-37 record, and he has done this with the most stringent admissions department in the Ivy League! How about this for a stat though: Shay was 8-28 in the Ivy League in his first 6 seasons! Did Andy Shay suddenly become a much better coach in his 7th season? Of course not, Yale admissions went from stupidly hard to get kids in to reasonably hard to get kids in, he got a few more spots (7 recruits bumped up to 9 recruits) and the guy’s leadership and intelligence has taken over!
Cornell 7 Brown 4
Cornell squeaked out a 7-4 win over my alma-mater last night in an ugly game to watch. It was Friday night, college lax on TV, I’ve got my popcorn and a beer, ready to watch Jeff Teat ( Watch this Jeff Teat Video Analysis if you want to see lacrosse brilliance ) and Cornell play my Brown Bruins. Well, Brown shut off Teat with a long stick and even though it was a smart strategy (holding Cornell’s offense to 12 fewer goals than in their first meeting) it kind of ruined the game for the viewer. Interestingly, Brown ran a 5 man zone defense along with their shut off…. Don’t see that too often, but they did a great job defensively for 60 minutes. Too bad their offense was anemic.
Yale - Cornell Ivy Championship on ESPNU
This will be a great game to watch if Yale decides not to shut off Teat! Come on Andy, you can beat ’em straight up! #FreeTeat
JHU is playing the kind of defense that head coach Dave Pietramala dreams of playing! Thursday night was like Petro’s early teams with a 1 goal win and a defensive battle! Tillman’s Terps are a model of consistency: great defense, smart x’s and o’s, and a balanced offense with dodgers, shooters, and role players getting it done. Everyone talks about Connor Kelly and for good reason… he is an amazing player! Watch this video analysis. That said, I think Jared Bernhart is key to that team’s offense. Just like Pontrello 2 years ago for UNC in their title run, Bernhart can break down his guy with a combination of athleticism and skill which opens up everything else!
RIP Big Man
DIck Edell was one of the most beloved coaches ever. In my first 3 seasons as head coach at Denver, former Terp Peter Hilgartner was my assistant and I heard tons of stories about Big Man. Stories about how intense he could get, frothing at the mouth (never dropping an F-bomb), but also what a sweet person he was and how much the team loved him and played hard for him. As a coach, you really can’t hope for anything more than that.
It looks like (I hope) Bucknell, who’s NCAA tourney hopes seemed dashed with a loss to Boston in the Patriot League playoffs, may have had all the necessary things happen to get them an at large bid to the NCAA Tourney. With wins over Yale and Loyola, they have a legit resume. Frank Fedorjaka has only been to the dance one other time, in 2011 when they were robbed in O.T. by eventual champion UVA. Robbed by the refs too! Late in the 4th quarter, Virginia desperate to climb back in the game employed a 10 man ride. Bucknell clearly shot on the empty net from half field, but the refs said (actually said to coach Fed) “it wasn’t a good enough shot!” What?!?! If it was a shot it was a shot! But they gave it to UVA and Steele Stanwick lead the Hoos to the win. I was on the call that day with Joe Benninati and I felt the Bison’s pain. Hopefully they get another crack at it this year!
How to Get Recruited
This is a topic that I cover each week in “A Lacrosse Weekend” because there are SO many great kids working hard to reach their dream of playing college lacrosse, but so many parents struggle to know what to do. If you haven’t already watched, go to this link www.JM3GetRecruited.com and watch the video with your son. This video absolutely puts the entire recruiting process in perspective. I interviewed Head Coaches from Virginia, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Princeton and asked this question:
“What are you looking for in a player?”
Is there anything more important than understanding the answers to that question? If you watch the whole video you will also learn about a tool I’ve created that will be a huge help in your process.It is really cool, so check it out!
How to Get recruited in Women’s Lacrosse
I’m in the process of creating a women’s lacrosse how to get recruited video with interviews of Jenny Levy, North Carolina, Gary Gait, Syracuse, Kelly Amonte-Hiller Northwestern, and Hannah Nielson, Michigan. So far, it’s been fascinating so stay tuned!
Hidden Ball Trick
Everybody loves a good hidden ball trick and when I was at Denver, we had so many Canadians that these guys would pull them off on their own all the time.The best hidden ball trick story ever came from a wildly talented player from Ontario named Jamie Lincoln. He said one time his box team did a hidden ball trick on the defensive end, subbed the ball off the floor through the back gate, passed the ball up the line of guys, then subbed the ball back on the floor through the front gate and scored. How’s that for a hidden ball trick?!
How to Coach Youth Lacrosse
“He Knows the Game.” The famous words spoken about many a youth coach. How about, “He’s from New York, so….you know…” In youth sports, I don’t think it matters at all how much you know the game, if you played the game, or where you’re from if you don’t:
-Make it fun
-Maximize reps (literally count them!)
-Integrate “Sandlot” games
Let the game do the teaching!
That Lax Dad
Have you ever met that lax dad who just acts like he knows EVERYTHING? For me it was always frustrating because I have made lacrosse my profession and while I definitely make plenty of mistakes and don’t have all the answers, I’ve done 29 years of homework on the topic! One time this classic Lax Dad “All-ologist” (knows everything about everything) is telling me all about what offense we should run at 3d, how to get our kids recruited, you name it. Then I thought of this commercial and envisioned myself saying, “So, have you ever coached lacrosse?” to the annoying lax dad. “No” no he would reply, “But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. ”Too funny!
Strangest Thing That Ever Happened at Practice
It was an early morning practice at Denver in the Fall of 2001. I had noticed a guy and a girl sitting in the bleachers as I walked in. I kind of wondered what this Dead Head couple was doing, but I quickly shifted my focus to practice. Then during a full-field 5v4 drill everybody just stopped. I look over and the Dead Head couple was streaking across the field! They were b-lining it towards the fence at the east end of the field. Only problem was the girl couldn’t climb the fence… she wasn’t the most athletic Dead Head streaker I’d ever seen…. Finally after getting stuck on top of the fence, they scurried away. Practice resumed but it was a pretty great distraction. I came to find out later that the Dead Head streaker girl broke both of her heels jumping down off the fence! Ouch!