May 30, 2010

Pioneers' Cama Still at His Best at the 'X'

by Paul Ohanian | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

NCAA DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: C.W. POST 14, LE MOYNE 9

* C.W. Post Repeats Behind Second-Half Surge
* Pioneers' Cama Still at His Best at the 'X'
* NCAA Championships Blog

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Midfielder Mike Cama finished the season with just four goals and six points for C.W. Post, which captured its second straight and third overall NCAA Division II national championship Sunday with a 14-9 win over Le Moyne.

But everybody who follows the game knows that the senior’s impact goes far beyond his scoring totals. The Levittown, N.Y. product is generally recognized as the premier faceoff man in the nation, and led the country for the second straight season with a .713 win percentage.

“Mike is an absolutely fantastic face off guy,” said Le Moyne’s Corey Bulken, who spent much of Sunday’s game matched against Cama at the "X."

“It’s a lot of fun going up against a guy like that, because it’s just a battle the whole time.”

Based on the numbers, Cama won Sunday’s battle, claiming 15 of 27 draws, with 23 of those coming head-to-head against Le Moyne’s top specialist. Cama also finished with a team-high nine ground balls.

Bulken takes pride in the fact that Cama’s dominance wasn’t bigger.

“We knew that he’d get a few clean, but we figured I’d get a few clean as well,” said Bulken, who entered the championship with a .639 face off win percentage. “He started pretty hot, then I got into a bit of a rhythm.”

In recognition of his ability, Cama earned his second All-American award in 2010, in addition to being a two-time All-East Coast Conference selectee. He takes pride in being the one others measure themselves against.

“Of course, I want to be the best,” said Cama. “I know everybody is coming after me, and I’ve just got to do my job.”

On Sunday, Cama’s job also included tallying a first-quarter goal that helped the Pioneers close the opening stanza with a 5-3 lead.

“Mike is unbelievably quick,” said Bulken, who earned second team All-American honors as a specialist in 2010 in addition to first team All-Northeast-10 recognition. “He times the whistle so well. You want to do your best to be as quick or quicker than him.”

With his career now completed, Cama sees his nemesis from Le Moyne as perhaps the new top dog on faceoffs.

“He’s a pretty big guy and he’s fast,” said Cama. “Next year, he’s going to be great.”

High praise indeed from the outgoing king.


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