Archive for May, 2008

DirecTV and MLL…Better Than Chocolate and Peanut Butter!

May 31, 2008

I grew up in Arizona, there was no NCAA lacrosse to watch in person and the only games that were ever televised were the NCAA Semi-Final games on ESPN2 and the big championship game on ESPN usually starting at 8am. After spending six years in Maryland going to watch the best college and pro teams whenever I wanted in person, as well as watching the Channel 2 game of the week. I later returned to Arizona and it was tough to come back to limited lacrosse coverage, even with the addition of weekly MLL games on ESPN2. So I finally caved in this year and got DirecTV for the college season, and with the news of Major League Lacrosse allowing local markets to show games, I get to see a ridonkulous amount of lax for the summer. Just look at the line-up I have this weekend:

Saturday- Boston vs Long Island 7pm EST, Los Angeles vs San Fransisco 10pm EST

Sunday-New Jersey vs Denver 2:30pm EST, Washington vs Chicago 11pm EST

I think watching college lacrosse is better, only because the MLL rosters are different every year and its hard to find consistency. I think having local games will help expose the league more and will provide more stability for the current players. I am a big fan of the MLL though, just as much as those 10 year olds at the games who bring their sticks. Its frustrating when the MLL players have to “retire” because they can’t make enough money playing. Most of the players in the league now are younger than me and I am not even 30 yet. The MLL is eight years old, which is good compared to the other sports leagues that have come and gone over the years, so hopefully things will only continue to improve.


Tewaaraton Upset: Mike (not Kevin!) Leveille Wins!

May 30, 2008

Not that Mike Leveille isn’t deserving of a major award, but I just don’t think that he is better than either Paul Rabil or Matt Danowski. However, the Tewaaraton voters decided he was the best man in lacrosse in 2008. If the award was based on regular season only, Danowski would win because he lead Duke to a 16-1 record, while breaking the NCAA record for points. Plus he showed up on SportCenter’s Top Plays a handful of times. I know that the Tewaaraton also includes the postseason, while Leveille played an awesome game against UVA, Rabil had a much better Championship game against Syracuse in the loss. Plus Rabil helped upset Duke in the semi-finals.

Statisically, Leveille is much better than Rabil, he has over 30 more points. However, Rabil is doing his scoring from the midfield, and making great defensive plays. If we are going on statisics, Danowski has more points than Leveille, so he should get the hardware. I just don’t see the logic in having Leveille win the award. Whatever the Tewaaraton is being judged on, either Rabil or Danowski is better than Leveille in that category, except for winning the championship. Which is what the Tournament M.O.P. is for.

I am not impressed Tewaaraton voters!  

BTW…It was really early when I was writing earlier…which is why I put the wrong brother down!

2008 Tewaaraton Madness!

May 29, 2008

The winner of the 2008 Tewaaraton Award will be named in a few short hours. Here is who is in the running and who I think will win. 

Mike Leveille-Had a great post-season, consistant regular season, but doesnt have enought to get him a shiny, new trophy.

Matt Danowski- Won last year, also became the #1 all time scorer for the NCAA, but was defeated by Hopkins in the Final Four for the third time.

Ben Rubeor-Clutch attack who was good for a few OT goals in his college career, but doesn’t match up with Rabil or Danowski.

Zack Greer- Great player and goal scorer. Don’t think he can beat out his teammate Danowski or Rabil. Should play at Duke next year, he would definitely win the Tewaaraton outright in 2009.

Paul Rabil-Probably the second best middie ever behind Gary Gait. Had a great year. Like the MLL draft, he will beat out Matt Danowski for the trophy.

Trudie Reviews: 2008 MLL Draft

May 29, 2008

Who got drafted? When did they get drafted? Will they actually make a difference in Major League Lacrosse? These questions and more will be answered!

How good are the first ten picks?

1. Paul Rabil M Boston Cannons-Not sure when he will suit up for the Cannons since he was just playing in the National Championship for Hopkins game two days ago, but he is easily a future star in the MLL. The size and talent will carry him a long way.

2. Matt Danowski M/A New Jersey Pride-Former Duke attackman who can score from anywhere and will probably have to play both attack and middie to start. Definitely will be able to fit into the MLL.

3. Mike Leveille A New Jersey Pride- Good shooter and athlete, but does not stand out as much as Danowski and will have to compete against the veterans already on the Pride roster.

4. Steven Peyser M Chicago Machine- Good shooter, can do face-offs, play defense. Will be good for a bottom feeder team like Chicago who depend on young talent.

5. Kevin Buchanan M/A Los Angeles Riptide- From Ohio State, a member of the up and coming Buckeye program. Should be used to playing run and gun. May be able to take a spot from the sub-par Riptide that barely beat Chicago last week 10-9.

6. Steven Brooks M Chicago Machine- Illinois resident will bring some fans to the Machine games, plus he played for the National Champ ‘Cuse as a key player. Good pick up by Chicago, if they can make Pat Heim a star, imagine what will happen with Steven Brooks!

7. Mike Podgajny M San Fransico Dragons- While San Fransisco may have a roster full of mid-major alumni, I don’t see Mike being able to make it with the Dragons. Just my prediction.

8. Terry Kimener M Chicago Machine-Has to compete with Brooks and Peyser in Chicago. May be able to out offense Brooks, but Peyser is the man since he is multifaceted. Plus Brooks is the hometown hero.

9. Joe Cinosky D New Jersey Pride – They could use a good defenseman, he will last for a while, but not a long term starter.

10. Jordan Levine A New Jersey Pride- Not sure if he can find a spot with the current Pride attack line, who has Scott Urick, Merrick Thompson and others.

Steals- Assuming that everyone else drafted will not make a MLL roster: 

As fun as it is analyzing 50 draft picks, the reality is that most of the players drafted will never see action in the MLL, except for these lucky people…

Will Barrow M Chicago-If he doesn’t play football for UVA next year, he will follow in the footsteps of Benson Erwin as athletic d-middies who can impact the pro game.

Tony McDevitt D New Jersey-Great defensive player who will be able to last in the pros.

Dan Cocoziello D Denver- Good place for a DI All-American to play on defense.

Ben Rubeor A Long Island-Good attackman, should find a spot on LI.

Matt Bocklet D Washington-Great defenseman, should do well for the Bayhawks.

Kevin Huntley A Los Angeles- Traded from SF. Huntley is nasty and should have gone in the first round.

Nick O’Hara D Rochester- The Rattlers have a nasty Defense with Brodie Merrill, Jack Reid, and Sol Bliss, but I think O’Hara will beat out Bliss for the third spot in due time.

Joey Kemp G Los Angeles-Good back up for Mickey Jarboe, will be a good starter in the league eventually.

Bud Petit G Chicago-Not impressed with either of Chicago’s current goalies. Petit showed in 2008 that he can face the best shooters around.

Brett Queener G Rochester-Is very athletic outside the crease and can play middie if needed. Rochester is weak at the goalie position.

Of course, you never know what a fresh graduate is going to do. So some of these picks may not play in the MLL for most of the summer, But as it was said, This is probably the best class Major League Lacrosse has ever seen.

Why Its Now OK to Jump Off the Duke Lacrosse Bandwagon

May 28, 2008

After two seasons of being an ardent supporter of the Duke lacrosse program, I am officially announcing my resignation from being one of their fans. Sure you can say this is the ultimate example of being a fair weather fan, but now is the best time to quit my allegiance with the program. They had three great chances in the past four seasons to win a national championship, and came up short all three times with one goal losses to Johns Hopkins. Every time, Hopkins outsmarted Duke’s high scoring offense to control the tempo of the game and get the victory. Duke was even lucky enough to get an extra year of eligibility from their 2007 senior All-Americans Dan Loftus, Tony McDevitt, Nick O’Hara, and Matt Danowski and they still couldn’t win it all.

Next season is looking somewhat gloomy for Duke. Not only do they lose their fifth year players, but they also might lose All-Time NCAA goal scorer Zack Greer, who has openly contemplated not returning to Duke for his final season. Duke does boast some other great returning players on their roster like Max Quinzani, Ned Crotty, Steve Schoeffel, Mike Catalino, and Mike Manley, but they will lack the fire power of previous seasons. Plus they will have to play teams like Virginia and Maryland who have some of the best young players on their rosters.

As an older player, I don’t believe you need to have life long allegiance with one particular team. When I first started playing lacrosse 13 years ago, I was a Syracuse fan. Casey Powell had just won a championship as a Freshman at Syracuse, and alumni Gait Brothers were hitting the prime of their professional careers.  A few years later I became a Hopkins fan, only because my cousin graduated from there. I even wore a Terry Riordan practice jersey around which I still have. Now the only real team I feel I should support on a full-time basis is my own alma mater, Goucher College. Which should make their first Division III NCAA Tournament in the next few years.

I hope Duke does continue to have some success and hopefully they will win a national championship someday, I am just not going to get too stressed over another loss to Hopkins in the Final Four.

Lacrosse Spotting: ESPN Championship Coverage

May 27, 2008

After the phenomenal coverage of the Championship game, highlights of the Syracuse vs Hopkins battle were shown twice on the 2.5 hour SportSCenter that started at 5:30 EST. They showed Stephen Keogh awesome behind-the-back off a rebound goal. Michael Gvozden’s awesome save then Kyle Wharton’s goal off the ensuing fast break, the showed one of Paul Rabil’s six goals, and showed Syracuse goals by Dan Hardy and Mike Leveille. There was no Top Ten highlights in this edition of SportsCenter.

Later in the night, the 11pm EST edition showed the same highlights from earlier in the day, plus it had Stephen Keogh’s behind-the-back goal as #3 on Top Ten Plays.

MLL: Riptide beat Machine in Low Scoring Affair

May 27, 2008

Los Angeles Riptide beat the Chicago Machine 10-9 on a Sunday night game that I saw on a Monday night tape delay. It was surprising in general that two professional teams did not score over 20 goals, what is more surprising is that the star power that Los Angeles has, that they couldn’t manage to get more goals in the win. They do have Kyle Harrison, he was left of the score sheet. Their other big goal scorer Chazz Woodson had one goal, and veterans Michael Watson and Jesse Hubbard did not score either. The game leader in goals was former Hopkins great Terry Riordan. Chicago was not much better, they were left blank in the second quarter.

Division I Championship: Syracuse Wins 10th

May 26, 2008

Johns Hopkins came out on fire in the title game and lead in the first quarter 4-2. Syracuse came back in the second frame to get a 6-5 lead at halftime. Hopkins kept the score close in the first half thanks to stellar play by Michael Gvozden. Syracuse was too much to handle in the second half as they broke away from Hopkins tempo controlling defense to build a 10-8 lead after the third quarter, then blew off the doors to win the game 13-10. Hopkins had a great game by Paul Rabil who had 6 goals and an assist for 7 points, but he had little support from his teammates. Kevin Huntley had a pair of goals, and two other players had a goal for Hopkins. Syracuse was able to get goals from twice as many players with eight goal scorers. Their leader in the score column was Dan Hardy with a hat trick. Bottom line, if it wasn’t for Gvozden and Rabil, this game would have been a ridiculous blow out for the Orange. Syracuse was bound to figure out the Hopkins defense and a three goal win is respectable. Syracuse has its 10th NCAA title overall, the most of any school and leads the title count in direct Hopkins match ups 3-2.

On a side note, the attendance record was broken again at the Championship Game with almost 49,000. A couple hundred more from last year in Baltimore. I actually thought that more people would be at the game, so you can look at it either way. That Boston was a good choice for the tournament because they broke last years record. Or the growth is not convincing enough to show that Boston is an automatic for future championships like Baltimore, or Philly. Although if attendance is steady in either of those cities, they should work out a rotation.

Lacrosse Spotting: SportsCenter’s Top Ten Plays

May 26, 2008

The late night edition of SportsCenter on Sunday night showed highlights of the three NCAA Lacrosse Championship games earlier in the day. Men’s DIII and DII and the Women’s DI game. Here are the details:

Salisbury was shown at #10, they showed a goal from early in the game when Mike Von Kamecke scored one of their 19 goals.  


The DII two game was #5, they showed the awesome finalizer dodge by Ryan Amengual late in the game.


The DI Women’s Championship was #3. I didn’t really catch any of the names in the highlight, but it was a Northwestern goal.


Lacrosse Spotting: SportsCenter’s Top Ten Plays

May 25, 2008

On the Sunday 7pm EST edition of SportsCenter they were doing a countdown of the best plays of the week. Kevin Huntley’s behind-the-back goal was #7. That was with two plays from the championship soccer game earlier in the week, and three good baseball catches. I am sure there will be a few good plays in tommorow night’s SportsCenter featuring the JHU vs Cuse title bout.