Three Stories Trending in Division I Lacrosse
As Lacrosse Magazine's resident idiot, I'm asked to make appearances to talk Division I men's lacrosse on The Pulse Network (think campus TV for the web), pretend I'm a radio personality (check out the latest podcast with Sheehan Stanwick Burch) and even model for select promotions. (Who is that bearded idiot in the "Keep It Reel" ad, anyway?)
With the idiot tag comes shameless self-promotion, which I'll indulge here with a video clip of my latest appearance on "The Pulse on Campus" discussing three trending points right now in Division I men's lacrosse. (If you hate the Yankees, get squeamish about Long Island accents or simply don't want to see how my ugly mug looks on Skype, scroll below the video for a synopsis.)
1. Down Goes Syracuse. Minus injured starters Tim Desko (knee) and John Lade (ankle), No. 1-ranked Syracuse took a tumble Tuesday at the Carrier Dome with an 11-6 loss to No. 5-ranked Cornell. My take: Syracuse had it coming after surviving by the skin of its teeth against Georgetown, Hopkins, Villanova, Duke and Princeton. Ultimately, this loss will be a good thing for the Orange, allowing players to refocus and get healthy in the soft part of the Big East schedule.
2. Notre Dame the new No. 1? It's likely, considering the Irish are the lone remaining undefeated team in Division I men's lacrosse. I think it speaks volumes that Notre Dame and Cornell -- two teams that were supposed to take a step back after both made it to the final four last year – have risen to the top again. It testifies to the continuity in their systems and personnel. These teams lose players -- and in Cornell's case, a head coach -- but reload every year with unheralded, but disciplined new players who buy into their systems 100 percent. A lot of teams, including preseason favorites Syracuse and Virginia, have been forced to stray from their identities. Not these two.
3. Trouble in 'Hooville. Virginia might have saved it season with a win over North Carolina overtime -- a game in which the Wahoos coughed up a three-goal lead with three minutes remaining. But you can't help but be concerned about UVA's inconsistency and injuries on defense. With Matt Loveyjoy (shoulder surgery last week) sidelined for the season, the Wahoos dropped into a zone against UNC, almost unheard of in Charlottesville. That's not to mention its off-field problems. Shamel Bratton was suspended for the team's loss to Maryland due to an unspecified violation of team rules. It was his second such suspension this year. Other seniors like goalie Adam Ghitelman and Shamel's twin brother, Rhamel, have sat out games for similar violations. You can't help but think Dom Starsia's running a tighter ship due to the spotlight the Yeardley Love murder has cast on his program. And with case against George Huguely set to go to a grand jury Monday, that spotlight is not going away anytime soon.