Working Off The Weekend: Five Things to Know
1. On the Irish
Since losing at home to Penn State way back on February 26,
Notre Dame has won 10 straight games. And the Irish have climbed
the national rankings as the dominoes have fallen around them over
the last two months. The coaches’ poll voting was close this
week with undefeated UMass earning 118 votes to take first place.
Notre Dame had 116.
We know the Irish’s reputation: Great defense, balanced offense
But just how great has that defense performed this season? Some
69 goals against, or 5.75 goals per game.
The mark is on
pace to break the program-record for 6.19 goals against from the
2009 season (The Irish might not want to remember, however, that
they lost to Maryland, 7-3, in the first round of NCAA tournament
The Irish have held five opponents to five goals or
John Kemp’s save percentage. Notre Dame coach
Kevin Corrigan made a Tewaaraton Award argument for the junior
goalie after Saturday’s 8-6 win against Syracuse.
"He's the best goalie in the country. He may be the best player in
the country," Corrigan said. "I keep hearing all these people talk
about all these offensive guys for the Tewaaraton and I'm wondering
why John's not part of that conversation.”
Kemp, one of 25 Tewaaraton Award nominees, also has a 7.50 goals
against average. He’s faced 371 shots in 12 games, an average
of 30.9 per game. Critics may say he’s helped by Notre Dame
defensive system -- and of course he is, that’s why it works
-- but Kemp has actually seen more shots than some other top MD1
Tim McCormack, UMass: .627%, 6.55 GAA, 28.9 shots per game in 13
Tyler Fiorito, Princeton: .615%, 6.65 GAA, 29.4 shots per game in
Matt Poillon, Lehigh: .595%, 6.54 GAA, 27.5 shots per game in 16
Austin Kaut, Penn State: .595%, 7.57 GAA, 31.3 shots per game in
Rob Fortunato, Virginia: .576%, 8.50 GAA, 31.6 shots per game in
Niko Amato, Maryland: .570%, 6.96 GAA, 28.2 shots per game in 13
2. The Second Season
We’re at that point of the year where teams can feel as it
they have the proverbial clean slate, for better or worse. Take the
Denver and Loyola men for example.
Denver earned a much-needed win against Duke on
Friday night and now hosts the four-team ECAC tournament on
Wednesday and Friday. Winning the conference postseason would give
the Pioneers an automatic qualifying bid into the NCAA tournament.
Reaching the final would help their May Madness chances, but not
guarantee a spot. Nevertheless, the Pioneers have to feel as if
they have new lease on life in the final week of the season.
For Loyola, is its reputation still able to stand on what it
accomplished through February and March and the first three weeks
of April, before Saturday’s loss to Johns Hopkins? Or, do
the Greyhounds need to prove themselves all over again upto and
including the first round of the NCAA tournament? I lean to the
latter. That is, after all, why the season doesn’t end today
and there’s the postseason to play. It just so happens Loyola
and Denver play in the ECAC semifinals on Wednesday.
3. Conference Champions Crowned
Patriot League: Lehigh
Atlantic 10: UMass
Twelve more conference champs will be decided by Selection
MD1: America East, Big East, CAA, ECAC, Ivy, MAAC, NEC;
WD1: ALC, America East, Big East, Ivy, NLC.
4. F&M Women Cancel Season
The story we’ve been
following for about two weeks out of Lancaster, Pa., took a sharp
turn on Friday when the members of the Franklin & Marshall
women’s lacrosse team decided they would not play the rest of
On April 17, F&M announced it has suspended several players
and fired coach Lauren Paul as a result of an investigation into
what the university said was a hazing incident involving members of
the team during the 2010-11 academic year. However, Paul and
F&M’s two assistant coaches contend that they had no
knowledge or involvement in the incident in question, which
occurred in March of 2011, but also say it did not constitute
hazing. A lawyer for Paul said the school recently offered the 11
suspended players a chance to return to the team, but they all
declined. Those offers, according to a statement from Pennsylvania-based
employment attorney John A. Gallagher provided to Lacrosse Magazine
on Friday, “demonstrates to Ms. Paul and I that, in fact,
as we believed all along, no hazing took place and that she was
fired in advance of the completion of the investigation of the
school into this matter."
The coaches say the school levied its discipline while the
investigation was still ongoing and that it only finished it early
last week, after which the players were invited back to the
So, Paul and assistant coaches Caitlin Powderly and Lidia Sanza
are all considering legal action while the players have decided to
not go forward with any more games, evidently frustrated enough
that they do not want to play. The Diplomats’ originally
scheduled game Saturday against Washington College in the
Centennial Conference semifinal round was recorded as a no
5. John Grant’s New Record
You don’t see John
Grant in many lacrosse equipment or apparel commercials, but you
sure do see him scoring a lot of points on the field or floor. The
veteran pro Canadian broke the National Lacrosse League’s
single-season points mark on Saturday in the Colorado
Mammoth’s season finale against Minnesota. Grant totaled six
points to finish the season with 116, breaking the record of 115
set by John Tavares in 2001. Grant also led the NLL in goals this
season with 50. Second place? Buffalo’s ageless John Tavares
with 41. He never seems far from a record book.
The NLL semifinals are this weekend. The schedule:
East: Philadelphia at Rochester, 7:30pm
East: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.
West: Minnesota at Colorado, 7:30 p.m.
West: Edmonton at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Among those to send congratulatory messages Grant’s way
was his new Major League Lacrosse coach, Dave Cottle of the
Chesapeake Bayhawks. Cottle said he wished he had Grant with him as
the Bayhawks opened their season Saturday, but was proud of the
The MLL began its new 14-game season with three games Saturday.
Boston 15, Rochester 3 (lowest single-game output in league
Denver 21, Charlotte 12
Chesapeake 13, Long Island 11