October 18, 2011

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Fan Polls: Best Game, Biggest Upset, Breakthrough of 2011

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Best of 2011 Vote: Men's Player, Coach, Performance | Women's Player, Coach, Performance

Lacrosse Magazine's annual "Best of Lacrosse" edition is set to hit US Lacrosse members' mailboxes in December. We've narrowed our categories down to four finalists each. LM is conducting a fan poll to help shape the debate from here.

What was the best game, biggest upset and biggest breakthrough of 2011?

These polls will be pulled Thursday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. Eastern. Results will be published in the December issue of LM, alongside our picks.
Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 350,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Voting has closed. Thanks for your participation and check out December's Lacrosse Magazine for the results.

BEST GAME

Boston 15, Denver 12 (MLL regular season)
A record crowd of 27,184 watched as visiting Boston knocked off the Outlaws in their annual July 4 weekend fireworks game. Both teams were 5-1 heading into the game and the top two teams in the MLL. The win set the stage for the Cannons to clinch the top seed in the MLL playoffs, and their eventual title run.

Tufts 14, Stevenson 13 (MD3 regular season)
The most anticipated game of the DIII men's regular season, the top-ranked Jumbos vs. the second-ranked Mustangs, exceeded expectations. First the game's start was bumped back four hours and changed venue to Towson because of an unplayable, flooded field at Stevenson. Then lightning delayed the start until after 9:30 p.m. The teams played an up-and-down game and took a combined 111 shots (76 by Stevenson), without a public address announcer because the noise would have kept the neighbors up. Tufts goalkeeper Steven Foglietta was the hero, making 24 saves -- including 13 in the second half and one with less than two minutes left.

Johns Hopkins 12, Maryland 11 (MD1 regular season)
A wild back-and-forth rivalry game in the rain at Byrd Stadium ended on a Kyle Wharton goal with 16 seconds left in overtime. The third-ranked Blue Jays rallied from a 7-2 halftime deficit, and the fourth-ranked Terps responded, scoring two straight to force OT. The drama continued. Before Wharton's winner in the extra period, Maryland's Joe Cummings hit a pipe with a shot that would have ended it earlier. The game also included a crazy behind the back goal by Zach Palmer.

Northwestern 11, North Carolina 10 (WD1 national semifinal)
This game had a championship feel. Shannon Smith scored her fourth goal with 18 seconds left to wipe out a late comeback for North Carolina, which trailed 10-7 with 10 minutes to play. The Tar Heels had tied it at 10 with 7:13, and neither team scored until Smith's winner. The Wildcats overcame a 30-19 shooting disadvantage and went on to win the national title against Maryland.

Voting has closed. Thanks for your participation and check out December's Lacrosse Magazine for the results.


BIGGEST UPSET

Roanoke 13, Stevenson 12 (MD3 quarterfinal)
Stevenson beat Roanoke 16-6 in the regular season, but the Maroons stunned the Mustangs on their home field in the playoffs. Sophomore attackman Richard Lachlan scored on the crease with 14 seconds left in the game to hand Stevenson just its second loss of the year.

Johns Hopkins 12, Northwestern 11 (WDI regular season)
On a rainy Saturday in mid-April, the Blue Jays won their first ALC game of the season by scoring three goals in eight minutes in the second half and forcing three turnovers in the final three minutes against then second-ranked Northwestern.

Hartford 11, Stony Brook 10 (America East men's final)
The Hawks secured their first-ever NCAA tournament berth and knocked Stony Brook out of the national postseason on Ryan Compitello's goal with one second remaining.

Bridgewater-Raritan 6, Summit 5 (New Jersey boys final)
Bridgewater-Raritan ended Summit's 68-game win streak in the New Jersey Tournament of Championship final. Bridgewater-Raritan held off a Summit comeback to win by a goal and finish the season 20-2.

Voting has closed. Thanks for your participation and check out December's Lacrosse Magazine for the results.


BIGGEST BREAKTHROUGH

Boston Cannons win first MLL title
The Cannons were the only team remaining from MLL's first season not to have won a title. They had reached nine previous playoffs without winning a championship, but got it done this year, beating Hamilton in the final.

Denver makes final four in year two of Tierney
Bill Tierney's big move West from Princeton produced a final four appearance for Denver in just his second season there.

Florida surges to No. 2 in national rankings in year two of program
There were a lot of good firsts for the Florida women this season. In going 16-4, the Gators reached a No. 2 national rank, won their first ALC title, made their first NCAA tournament and earned their first tournament win over Stanford.

Bob Hartranft leads Farmingdale (N.Y.) to first state title in 42-year career
It took 42 years and over 600 victories, but Hartranft finally won a New York state title as coach of the Farmingdale boys' team on Long Island. The Dalers beat Ithaca, 12-11, in overtime the state Class A championship game.


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