Archive for January, 2009

Major Changes In MLL?

January 23, 2009

The rumor in Major League Lacrosse is serious shake-up of some of its teams. Moving one team to Toronto and possibly moving one team to Orlando. Neither of these cities have hosted an exhibition game. One of the teams is likely to be the nomadic Barrage franchise that did not play any home games in 2008, their last home was Philadelphia and their original home city was Bridgeport. Other teams that may be on the move could be the champion Rochester Rattlers, since they are the closest team to Toronto and use a lot of Canadians on their roster. However, I know that the New Jersey Pride and Chicago Machine are also shopping new homes due to low attendance the past few seasons. It will be interesting to see how things end up for the 2009 season.

Economy wise, you know its going to effect lacrosse. Pro lacrosse is not a big money maker, so its going to be a tough year for the MLL and NLL to get through. College lacrosse could be effected too. Unfortunately, I would be really surprised if no college programs are eliminated the next few years. Several colleges have already cut sports teams. I just hope the economy improves before drastic steps are taken.


Lacrosse Spotting: Deadspin

January 21, 2009

Sports blog Deadspin featured the Blazers vs Titans fight/hit from a while back. I must say it was an excellent hit, not cheap at all. I hate fighting in sports, so there was no reason to retaliate.

Future Final Fours Narrowed To Three

January 17, 2009

The college lacrosse championship committee has whittled its choices of future NCAA Lacrosse Championships down to three choices. Baltimore in 2010, Boston in 2011, and the Meadowlands in 2012. I agree with the committee’s decision to distribute the finals to three different locations over three years instead of putting them all in the same one or  two locations. I also like the risk in putting the championships in the Meadowlands. I might actually try to see that one just because I think they would do a good job of hosting. Plus, who doesn’t like New Jersey in May?

As for Denver getting left off the final recommendation. That makes sense with the horrible economy. There is no way that the NCAA would sponsor such a risky venture at this point in time. It is pretty unlikely that 50,000 people could travel to Denver to watch the Final Four. Though I think a lot of people already in Denver would go to the games.

Parity Does Exist in College Lacrosse

January 16, 2009

I came across some rather bold statements on Inside Lacrosse’s Final Four prediction blog. That college lacrosse only has the same handful of teams that have the capability of winning the championship. While that is certainly true considering only seven schools have ever won an NCAA championship in lacrosse since its been recognized by the NCAA in 1971, its not as bad as certain sports, such as UNC in womens soccer, Tennessee and Connecticut in womens basketball, Iowa in wrestling, and UCLA in basketball where there is just one or two schools that have dominated the championships.

The best way to look at the situation is to compare it to college football. Since 1971 there have been 20 teams that have won the DI-A championship. Not too many more teams considering that there are over twice as many DI-A/FBS schools than there are DI schools that offer lacrosse programs. While lacrosse may be stuck on just a handful of teams winning the National Championship, football has a similar problem. The past few decades there aren’t that many more football programs that have been dominant. You always think of USC, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio State, and maybe Miami.

Even then, you have to consider that college football voted on its National Champion up until 1998. Usually picking the up and coming team of the year in most cases (BYU, Clemson, Pitt). If college lacrosse picked its National Champion after the end of the regular season, there would be some banners going to UMass, Duke, Navy, Towson, and possibly Delaware, Albany, and UMBC. The team that gets votes for an AP National Championship like Utah, is the equivalent of a surprise Final Four lacrosse team, like Navy or UMass.

If there were more teams in college lacrosse, then the number of great players on the power teams like Hopkins, Syracuse, and Virginia would decrease by a few. Giving the teams that were on the cusp of winning a National Championship like Navy and Duke the trophy.

For now, its still exciting to see surprise teams get to either the championship game or the Final Four. Towson, UMass, Navy, Duke, Delaware, Georgetown and Notre Dame are all teams I was surprised to find playing in the Final Four in the past decade.

Games You Need To Watch on TV

January 15, 2009

ESPN came out with its schedule of college lacrosse games on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU. Here are all the regular season games throughout the spring, and if they are worth watching and spending the money like I do so I can get ESPNU. Rating scale is my favorite food to eat while watching sports: chicken wings.

February 20th-Siena at Johns Hopkins ESPNU 6pm EST- This will be an easy game for JHU. Two chicken wings

February 21st- Georgetown at Maryland ESPNU 1pm-  One of the better non-conference rivalry games. Eight chicken wings.

February 22nd– Towson at Loyola ESPNU 6:30pm-Games between Baltimore schools are always good. Seven chicken wings.

February 25th-Georgetown vs Maryland (women) ESPNU 4pm-Nothing wrong with womens lacrosse, still haven’t figured out the rules after 15 years. Since I have daughter, I better learn! Three chicken wings.

February 28th- Princeton vs. Hopkins Noon, Duke vs. Maryland 2:30pm, Cornell vs. Army 5pm- Three great games in one Saturday on ESPNU. 3 dozen chicken wings!

March 6th-Princeton at UMBC Midnight ESPNU. It will only be 10pm for me. I will watch this game because I think UMBC will be the better team. Seven chicken wings.

March 7th-Hofstra at Hopkins Noon, Maryland at Towson 2pm ESPNU. Hofstra will be looking for revenge for last season’s playoff loss. Maryland will destroy Towson. Five chicken wings.

March 14th-UMBC at Maryland Noon, Duke at UNC 2pm ESPNU. Two rivalry games UMBC has beaten Maryland the last two times. New look UNC takes on less impressive Duke. 10 chicken wings.

March 20th-Albany at Princeton 3pm ESPNU. No Queener? No thanks! Two chicken wings.

March 21st-UNC at Maryland 2pm, Virginia at Hopkins 8pm-Decent afternoon game. Excellent night game. 18 chicken wings.

March 24th- Hofstra at Army ESPNU 7pm- Meh. Two chicken wings.

March 28th-Maryland at Virginia Noon ESPN2, Syracuse at Loyola Noon, Hopkins at UNC 2pm, ESPNU. I would rather watch Maryland vs UVA than ‘Cuse pound Loyola. Hopkins game should be decent. Nine chicken wings.

April 4th-North Carolina vs. Virginia Noon, Syracuse vs. Princeton 2:30pm ESPNU, 2/3 of the Big City Classic. Six chicken wings.

April 11th-Army vs. Navy 11:30am, Johns Hopkins vs. Maryland 3pm ESPNU. Virginia vs. Duke 4pm ESPN2, Hofstra at Towson 10pm. If there was a rivaly weekend in college lax, this would be it. 60 chicken wings and a case of Rolling Rock!

April 17th-Northwestern at. Hopkins (women) 7pm ESPNU. NW is the 4 time NCAA champs. Four chicken wings.

April 18th-Navy at Hopkins 2pm ESPNU. Hopkins tries for 34 straight against Navy. 12 chicken wings.

April 25th-Vermont at UMBC 1pm ESPNU. Snoozer. Two chicken wings.

May 2nd-Loyola at Hopkins 1pm ESPNU-They used to play this game at night, and earlier in the year. I saw the 1999 Loyola team beat Hopkins. Since then…All Hopkins. Six chicken wings.

Doughnuts in 2009? Dr. Trudie Gives His Diagnosis

January 14, 2009

Last season there were three teams in Division I lacrosse that did not win a game. Wagner, Presbyterian, and Hartford. This is my analysis of each of these team’s posted schedule (conference tournament games are not counted yet), and my report on if you can expect anything other than a zero in the win column this season. I also included other potential 2009 doughnut teams, new program Detroit-Mercy and DII bump-up Bryant.

Wagner-The lovable losers of DI. Have not had a victory in three seasons. 2009 might be their chance. They play DII transfer Bryant on February 28th. Then they play fellow 2008 doughnut team Presbyterian a few days later on March 3rd. They also have a chance against Robert Morris on St. Patricks Day. If they haven’t had a W yet, their final chances are agains Manhattan on April 15, and VMI on April 18th. In 2008 Wagner played Manhattan, VMI and RMU. The closest game between these opponents was still a six goal loss. The closest they game to a win in 2008 was a three goal loss to Bellarmine. 2009 record: 1-11

Presbyterian-Aside for the chance to beat Wagner. Presbyterian also could be competitive against VMI on February 21st, Robert Morris on March 10th, Manhattan March 17th, Bellarmine March 21st, Detroit-Mercy on April 4th, and fellow former DII school Bryant on April 10th. However, the Blue Hose open the season at Maryland. So that could just shock them into a doughnut the rest of the season. 2009 record: 2-10

Hartford-The best of the worse. Had a one goal loss last season as well as a two goal loss and a pair of three goal losses. In 2009 they have good chances to beat fellow doughnut team Presbyterian on April 13th. Other than that…I don’t really see them beating the rest of their schedule unless they acquired some great players. 2009 record: 1-12

Detroit-Mercy-New to lacrosse this season. They play a tough schedule with games against Ohio State, North Carolina, and Denver. They do play 2008 doughnut team Presbyterian and recent expansion program Bellarmine on Valentines Day. They also play DII Wheeling Jesuit. They open their season in less than a month…February 7th! 2009 record: 2-9

Bryant-Even though they are just moving up from DII and have not only Mike Pressler as a coach, and NCAA goal leader Zack Greer on Attack, I thought it would be a disservice to the other DI schools not to give them a chance to get a doughnut. It would be tough for them since they are playing 15 games (ineligible for the playoffs anyway!). Should be able to beat Wagner on February 28th, Detroit-Mercy on March 20th, Presbyterian on April 10th, and Bellarmine on April 18th. Also play UVA, Maryland, UPenn, Loyola, Dartmouth and Army. 2009 record: 4-11

DI vs DIII Scrimmages You’d Like to See

January 13, 2009

Salisbury vs. Duke? Bryant vs. Washington and Lee? UNC vs. Lynchburg? These are actual scrimmages happening over the next month before the college lacrosse season starts. But surely there are others that do not exist or not worthy enough of promotion to mention that should happen.

Dartmouth vs. Middlebury-Two brainy New England colleges with decent lacrosse programs. Good tune up for each team. Advantage-Push

Denver vs. Colorado College-While Denver is one of the hot spots for recruits in Division I these days. Colorado College has not benefited from it. Advantage- Denver

Detroit-Mercy vs. Adrian-Both Michigan colleges have new programs. Detroit’s is in DI and Adrian is in DIII. It would be interesting to have a virtual Michigan “State Championship”. Steve Stifler would crap his pants. Advantage-Detroit-Mercy

Mount St. Mary’s vs. Goucher– I was told they had a pretty good recruiting battle going on during the late 1990s between former Goucher coach Jim Lyons and current Mount coach Tom Gravante. Both guys are from Upstate NY and brought a lot of players south. Advantage-Push

Notre Dame vs. Trine– Now that Butler does not have a lacrosse program. Notre Dame’s only in-state competition can be between Trine College. Advantage- Notre Dame

Presbyterian vs. Guilford- Former DII school versus and up and coming DIII program meeting up in the South. It might actually be a decent contest. Advantage-Push

UMBC vs Stevenson-This would be a decent match up. Both colleges are up and coming powers in their respective divisions. On a down year for UMBC, I think Stevenson could win. However…Advantage-UMBC

VMI vs. Shenandoah-VMI usually losses to DIII Virginia schools in scrimmages. Shenandoah would make it a closer contest.Advantage-VMI

Wagner vs. Vassar- Wagner has not won a game in three seasons. This might be their opportunity to know what its like to score more goals than their opponent at the end of a game. Advantage-Wagner


Trudie’s Preseason Final Four Picks

January 12, 2009

If everyone jumped off a bridge, would I? Well, Inside Lacrosse made their Final Four picks in January, so here is who I am going with for now, even though it definitely is way too premature…

#1 UVA-I’ve said it many times. UVA will be stacked at every position until the 2011 season, and will be the team to beat. Brattons, Stanwick, Clausen, Gladding etc.

#2 Maryland-The Yeatman transaction is still not set in stone. If he does play for the Terps. There is no debating that the Terps coaching staff will find a way to use him and Catalino for a huge advantage all season long.

#3 Syracuse-The Orange are almost as stacked as UVA. However, they don’t have as many players in each position to sustain success. They will replace Maryland as #2 if Yeatman doesn’t show up. They could probably beat UVA on a rainy day.

#4 Hopkins-With Rabil gone, they are no longer a power. But they are still the best program in lacrosse history and will stick around.

Dark Horse-Too early to tell. No surprise teams in the Final Four. UMBC is the only team that will make any surprises.

Best Games of 2009

January 11, 2009

If I had a million dollars to go watch these college lacrosse games, I would definitely go to these in a heartbeat:

Virginia at Hopkins-On March 21st at Homewood Field at 8pm. That would be you’re typical rockin’ night game at Homewood. I think I went to two games where UVA played at Hopkins. One was the quadruple overtime game in 2001. I think I left early because I had a game the next day. I also saw them play a good one in 2003, UVA won that one, and won the National Championship later that year against Hopkins.

Maryland at Virginia-If the home games at UVA are close to what they were in 2008, this game should be worth going to. When Duke and Hopkins visited UVA last season, there was not even standing room left at the games. Should be the same for the March 28th game at 3:30pm. Remember that Maryland upset then undefeated UVA at Byrd Stadium last year, and UVA beat Maryland in the ACC Tournament and in the NCAA’s.

Maryland at Navy-Its not Hopkins (Navy goes to Homewood), but this game should still be pretty big for Navy and lacrosse fans in Maryland. On April 3rd at 7pm.

Big City Classic-I’ve always thought that the Meadowlands was a good place to host a big lacrosse event. This triple header (Delaware vs. Hofstra, UVA vs. UNC, and Princeton vs. Syracuse) should be worth checking out. April 4th starting at Noon.

Day of Rivals-Army vs. Navy is competitive in any sport, especially lacrosse. Maryland vs. Duke should be very physical and high scoring as well. April 11th at 11:30am at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

Hopkins at Syracuse-The 2000 game included one of the biggest hits I\’ve seen in any sport. Syracuse ended up winning by one in the dome after JHU just missed making a last second goal to send it into overtime. At March 14th at 2pm.

Syracuse at Georgetown- One of the better regular season match-ups in college lacrosse. Always a close and physical game. March 7th at Noon.

UMBC at Maryland-Believe it or not…UMBC has won the last two times these teams have met on the field. Including an OT game last year, and a playoff game in 2007. March 14th at 2pm.

Holy Cross at Bryant– This will be Zack Greer’s final college game for sure since Bryant is not eligible for the NCAA Tournament for a couple years. April 22nd at Bryant.

Notre Dame at Ohio State– Played in the Horseshoe before the big intrasquad football game. April 25th at noon.

Trudie’s NOT Top Ten: Preseason 2009

January 7, 2009

Here are some perennial great teams that aren’t going to be in my Top Ten for a while:

1. Cornell-The loss in the NCAA Tournament to Ohio State made them look vulnerable. I know they got Max Seibold and a few fifth year seniors (rare for Ivy League), but I am just not convinced they can dominate the Ivy in 2009.

2. Ohio State-Lost their coach to UNC, lost several players to graduation. Will still be decent, but not the new powerhouse everyone thought they would become in 2009.

3. Notre Dame-Like Ohio State…Made an impressive playoff run in 2008, but just doesn’t have what it takes to win in 2009. Key loss: Michael Podgajny.

4. Colgate-Will not win the Patriot League in 2009. Leave that to Navy.

5. Denver-Got really lucky sneaking into the 2008 NCAA Tournament. With the final year of the GWLL this season, the Pioneers will not be going anywhere in May.

6. UPenn-Had spurts of greatness the past few seasons, but never enough to get them anywhere.

7. Albany-Disappointing 2008 season after a stellar 2007. Nobody notable returning in 2009.

8. Delaware-Just like Albany…Nobody to replace great players like Alex Smith and Jordan Hall.

9. Towson-My old summer school! Still looking for a return to greatness after the 2001 miracle season.

10. Hobart-Always upsets one of the upstate schools (‘Cuse, Cornell, etc). However, I think the DI-DIII-DI fiasco from last spring will linger this season.