NESCAC 2012

Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby yeahdatsright on Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:15 am

A couple of days to go and no banter within the NESCAC site. After an amazing 2011, so many questions to be answered...

Will Tuft's be able to reload, re-balance or replace a DJ Hessler and continue in their winning ways?
Was 2011 a new beginning for Trinity and will the momentum they garnished continue in 2012 and make them a true contender?
Who's going to emerge from Maine (if anyone?)
Will Hamilton blend into the NESCAC and contend or will they be a friendly stop on the schedule for the elite?
Wesleyan, hmmm..... for years the Wesleyan faithful and their zone defense would typically be blazing this site and thumping their chests with visions of a successful season ahead but we've heard little......
Perennial conference contender Middlebury loosing so much of it's scoring, will they be able to reload as they always seem to do, never mind the graduation of a wonderful net minder?
Conn College, due to bounce back after what must have been such a disappointing 2011 (following an amazing 2010 when everything seemed to go their way)..... will they rise again?
Amherst - I think it's safe to say that they won't catch anyone by surprise this year....
And Williams, I've got a funny feeling about Williams this year - there's always one team that seems to sneak up on you - could it be Williams?

So I say to the NESCAC faithful, let's go....2012 is here upon us.....LET THE BANTER BEGIN!!

Okay, so I'm a little bored at work, Swank, help a guy out will ya?
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby fat_middie on Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:53 pm

dank_lax wrote:Middlebury - How will this team live up to the hype without Hild, McGoldrick, Conner and possibly even Rayner?

It seems that Midd has always had a go-to player(s): Cabrera, Stone, Smith, Hild, and Connor. It’s hard to see any of the returners morphing into the typical Middlebury stud. Yet Giordano (A) was tied for 8th in scoring and Cahill (A) was 16th. Pfeffer was the 2nd leading midfielder in scoring for Middlebury. They are all good players. Offense this year will have to be a collaborative effort where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Add a couple of developing sophs or juniors and a frosh ready for prime-time, and the offense is likely to be better than the dire forecasts. But not better than last year, as Middlebury trailed only Tufts in scoring last year.

A reduced offensive output may not matter that much with a healthy defense. With Rayner, they may have the most athletic defense in the conference. With significant young talent at LSM and experienced close defensemen, Middlebury will probably crank up their defensive pressure even more to create easy transition goals to help a pedestrian offense. Gaudio will replace Deane at goalie, and is the biggest question mark. The word is that everyone is confident he can replace the AA goalie. He may not see a ton of shots, but when the pressure defense breaks down, it usually results in a high percentage shot. Deane, although he did not have a particularly high save pct, often had shooters on his doorstep.

In the end, Middlebury may drop a few early games until the offense and Rayner can get healthy. Then they walk what seems to be their annual tightrope on their push for the NESCAC and NCAA titles. They have a critical 3 week stretch in early April when they play Bowdoin, Tufts, Trinity, Amherst, Skidmore, and Colby. While Campbell has successfully guided his teams into the NCAA’s and the upper echelon of the NESCAC, this season may be his most challenging as a coach.

dank_lax wrote:Trinity - Can the offensive output from last year be sustained, or will Trinity be last years Conn and disappoint?


Trinity’s offense should be even better as they return their key offensive players: Shaheen, Manning, Herbert, and Nogueras. I really liked their balance, off-ball movement, and their unselfish style of play last year. Offense should be fine with the development of others like Rautiola. Perhaps depth may be an issue.

The key question is on defense with the loss of 3 senior poles. Phillips (LSM) and Naughton (D) do return, but it is not clear who the other starters will be (where are the Trinity posters?). Especially early in the season, the lack of experience will make Trinity vulnerable. Johnson will be asked to anchor the defense again. Johnson won first-team honors more for his clutch play and his ability to stop high quality shots than just pure save percentage. He was a difference maker.
Trinity was very efficient last year as their goal differential was 0 (gf=ga), yet they went 6-3 in the conference and lost by 1 goal to Middlebury in the conference semi-finals. To match or exceed last year’s success, the Bantams will need to squeeze more goals out of their offense while they retool their defense. And, like last year, they will lean heavily on Johnson to make the big saves to pull out the close games.

They don't start their conference schedule until a bit later than others, an advantage for them. By then they should have the defense in good shape, assuming there is the underlying talent available. While I don't think Trinity will match last year's record, I do expect them to be fighting for a home playoff game.

dank_lax wrote:Colby - Can a talented junior class carry this team, which is basically devoid of senior talent?


In retrospect, Colby accomplished a lot when you consider they had the worst (.453) save pct in the league and had 3 one goal losses to Amherst, Wesleyan, and Trinity. Instead of finishing 4-5, they could have been 7-2.

Despite, a lack of proven seniors, they do return many key players. The biggest loss of course is AA fogo Bunker who helped limit opposing possessions, protecting subpar goalie play. The graduation of Squiccarino and the tragic death of Flahive hurts the offense. But they do return Deveau (M), who should be first-team All NESCAC, Jennings (A), and McKillop (A). The offense has a chance to be even better this year as Deveau and Jennings become upperclassmen and attract even more defensive attention.

The main losses on defense are Bunker and Healy, but there is still a solid defensive core of returners. The key question in my mind is goalie play. Can Reiley significantly elevate his game? Or will it be frosh Tyler Will? If Colby can improve in the cage (Reiley's only a soph) and not suffer too big a fall-off at the X, they have the ability to surprise and finish in the top 6. If they don’t, they are likely to be fighting for their play-off lives.

dank_lax wrote:Bates - Lots of questions, but who will pull the load on offense with the loss of 2 of the top 3 scorers?


Bates never seems to get better. There are flashes, but then they often self-destruct. But they will jump up and bite someone – Wesleyan lost to them last year.

I’m not sure who will score goals this year, but its been encouraging so far this year with clutch goals against Keene State, and 10 goals against Skidmore in a losing cause.

They do return entire close defense and goalies – on the other hand let up the most goals in the NESCAC last year. Helm (D) leads the defenders. Kazarian – soph goalie - was a bright spot last year with a .630 save pct as Bates lost to Bowdoin, Trinity, and Colby by a combined 5 goals. They lost the other 6 games by 24 goals. Senior co-captain Adam Scharf is starting in net this year. He had a nice game against Keene State, but a clunker against Skidmore. Bates and Skidmore were tied 7-7 at the half before losing 14-10. Scharf had only 1 save in the second half and finished with a .333 save pct. If Bates is to stay out of the basement, fight off Hamilton, and make a push for the 8th spot in the conference, they need much better goalie play on a consistent basis. Does anyone have any information on the Kazarian?


dank_lax wrote:Williams - What lies ahead after a dismal '11 campaign? Is there any hope for this squad?


It is difficult to see much improvement for Williams. They lost their leading scorer, an All-NESCAC fogo, and both of their experienced goalies. They don’t seem to get the football player that also plays lacrosse anymore. While players like Hargrove, Ryan, and Stewart are competent and may provide leadership, Williams seems to be lacking in overall talent, and I see hard times ahead again, especially if they are installing a new offensive system.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby fat_middie on Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:34 am

Predictions, anyone?

Bates@Middlebury - Probably no Rayner but it does it make a difference? Bates must get good goaltending to compete. Midd's pressure will spark the offense with transition goals and the offense will find its rhythm as the game goes on. Midd outclasses Bates 9-4

Bowdoin@Conn - Polar Bears are notoriously slow starters, but they are an experienced group this year. Conn has had a nice spring so far. Conn's defense matches up well vs Bowdoin and Bowdoin starts a rookie goalie. Conn upsets Bowdoin 8-5.

Colby@Amherst - Amherst begins the season with greater expectations and the bullseye on their back. Preseason results suggest Colby has not solved their issue in goal. Amherst pulls away from a competitive Colby squad 11-6.

Tufts@Hamilton - Hamilton returns almost everyone, but are they ready? Tufts may not be an offensive powerhouse this year, but they are an excellent defensive and transition team. Tufts gives a confident Hamilton team a rough welcome to NESCAC play by winning 11-4 (I guess I am a NESCAC bigot, Laxweforget).

Skidmore@Trinity - Shapes up to be a very fun game to watch with lots of action and scoring. Skidmore has 3 games under its belt to its advantage. But Trinity has Peter Johnson in goal. Johnson and the Bantams seal the deal late and win 14-11 over Skidmore.

Wesleyan@Williams - A Little 3 match-up with little fan-fare. It is hard to imagine William's new offense doing well against the Wes zone (they played some in their last scrimmage) or man. Wesleyan's offense will have plenty of possessions to test the new Williams goalie. Wesleyan wins easily 9-3.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby wheniwasakid... on Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:34 pm

almost nailed the Wesleyan Williams score, Fat_middie. Opening the season with a little 3 game is still bizarre to me, but I'll take the rivalry win!

Hamilton gave a better fight than expected with the Jumbos and it was close at the half. Still a tough way to open up though. Their game with Wesleyan tomorrow could be good.

Colby Amherst in a tight game to open the season? Not shocked. The Thompson move still motivates I guess, but Colby clearly has some talent.

I guess Midd's D is legit and their keeper is fine! Their O does seem a little thin though.
D-III, mind enlightening me on the talent Midd has hidden in the depths of their roster? Without giving too much away of course.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby Bucket on Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:36 pm

Middlebury has no problem with Bates, running away from the Bobcats, 7-1.

As mentioned here, scoring was a question mark for the Panthers entering the season with the graduation of Hild and Conner. Four of the seven goals today were tallied by freshmen and sophomores, a great early season sign for Midd. Giordano picked up where he left off last year, assisting on three of the scores.

Guadio looked sound in the cage and and was particularly adept on clears, while the Midd D was very impressive playing without Rayner and Henry Clark. Billy Chapman, in particular seemed to be all over the field, gobbling up ground balls.

Good start for Midd.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby youngred on Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:01 pm

27 saves for Moccia in a losing effort vs. Bowdoin??? That's pretty amazing for the kid from Pa.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby vernpt on Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:05 pm

Looks like Tufts offense is pretty solid this year. Put up 15 without Kierwan playing. Anyone know why he did not play? Did anyone see the Amherst game? Is Colby that good this year? Did not expect them to play such a close game with Amherst.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby fat_middie on Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:09 pm

youngred wrote:27 saves for Moccia in a losing effort vs. Bowdoin??? That's pretty amazing for the kid from Pa.


Moccia played quite well. Many of the shots were from the outside and he was a stone wall. He did stuff a few shooters from in close also.

Bowdoin dominated in time of possession, probably 3 to 1. Conn had far too many unforced turnovers and violations, as the defense was on the field all day, the main reason for the shot discrepancy. There were quite a few freshmen and first-timers out there for Conn, and it showed.

Bowdoin earned the victory by taking better care of the ball, winning at the X (67%), riding better, and winning the ground ball battle (+10).

Of note, Williamson, who filled in for McCampbell in 2010 and was not on the team last year, was the starting goalie for Bowdoin.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby Hamlax13 on Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:18 pm

Tough way for Hamilton to open NESCAC play vs Tufts and Wesleyan. It looks like they can compete and should win their fair share of games. Must get better on the face off and play more disciplined on Defense.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby vernpt on Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:57 pm

Hamlax,

I watched the first half of the Tufts game yesterday and Hamilton looked like they will be very competitive this year. They have some really good players and a well balanced team. I think that Tufts has so many weapons making it hard for many teams to shut down their offense for 4 quarters. Hamilton demonstrated that they can compete with the country's elite based on what they did in the first half I thought they were in trouble when Tufts scored 2 within the first minute and a half but then scored a few quick ones and held their offense in check. Not sure what changes were made at halftime. In any case, Hamilton demonstrated that they can compete in DIVIII most balanced league. Hamilton should make the NESCAC even more competitive then it already is. A good addition in lacrosse for sure. Good Luck the rest of the season.

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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby gatornation8 on Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:43 pm

Bucket wrote:Middlebury has no problem with Bates, running away from the Bobcats, 7-1.


It was 3-1 going into the fourth...
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby ncaalax91 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:34 am

Initial thoughts on the Trinity Skidmore game... Trinity came out looking like a team playing its first game of the season while Skidmore, who had three games under its belt, took advantage of this and jumped to a quick 5-2 lead.

After a big hit on a Skidmore attackmen and delayed game due to a resulting injury Trinity was able to regroup and showed some flashes of why they were so successful last year starting in the cage from Johnson and working up through this rejuvenated offense under Coach Higgins.

The game was a back and forth battle from there that saw Trinity leading the game 10-9 with under 2 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. At this point after a whistle in Trinity's defensive zone there was some confusion at the stoppage. Trinitys goalie, Peter Johnson, was out of his cage on the right hashmark talking to one referee trying to get clarification on the call resulting in a whistle and failed clearing attempt. At this same time, still while Johnson was about 5 yards out of the goal, the ref on the other side of the field blew the play live. The Skidmore player at the top of the key with the ball saw the open net without a goalie and fired for an easy uncontested goal and a tie game with just over a minute to play. There was a lot of confusion on the field after Skidmore's tying goal as to why the whistle was ever blown to begin in the first place with the goalie out of the net and if this should have even counted. After a convention of the minds where all of the refs went over the play for a few minutes and hearing debates from both teams they ruled it was a good goal. In my mind this was completely unjust and a real shame. Granted I am a Trinity fan, but in the spirit of competition and a great game to that point, it is really too bad that such a monumental call had to dictate the result of the game. Perhaps Johnson should've been in his net to begin with, but at 10-9 with under 2 minutes left and the goalie out of his cage, the ref should NEVER have blown the whistle to resume play. The goalie was seeking counsel from one of the other officials and it would be unheard of if he was being used as a defender with the specific circumstances of the game at that point.

The game finished regulation with a 10-10 draw and after some clutch saves on Johnson's part, Skidmore beat him on a screen for the win. Now it was a good lacrosse game with two gritty teams going back and forth all afternoon. It is really too bad that their efforts have to be overshadowed by such a bonehead call. As a ref I would have to think you go into a game with the mentality to not want to have a role in dictating the outcome and to make sure it is a clean fair fight. It is unfortunate what happened in Hartford and how this officiating crew took a deserved W away from Trinity. Credit goes to the Skidmore team who played a strong game, however that game should've ended with a 10-9 victory for the Bantams.

Some final comments on Trinity's play....
Concerns: Biggest glaring hole was from the faceoff X. Skidmore controlled possession for most of the game because of Trinity's inability to win a draw. The box score showed Skidmore won the battle 19 to 6. The Bantams need to figure out something here if they want to be successful. Also it was a bit worrisome on the lack of the defenses ability to adapt to Skidmore's strength. Perlow had 6 goals and it was clear from the get go he was going to be a dodging middie looking to shoot from his right. It was only after 4 goals of his that Trinity put a pole or shut off man on him. That should've been done after his second goal.
Positives: As expected this team will live and die with its horse in goal in Johnson. He finished with 19 saves and came up big when his team needed him the most making some brilliant saves in the final minutes of play and in OT. The defense also showed hope after graduating a successful senior class and they have some promise if they find a way to gel together. Lastly, the offense looked good and looked to pick up where they left off last year. Freshman Matthew Hauck looked very impressive on attack and with a little better shot selection this unit should be a strength of this team. Apologies for the essay but hope this is a helpful look into the Bantams after week 1.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby wheniwasakid... on Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:08 pm

great recap Ncaalax91! Thanks for providing that.

However, I think the refs may have gotten it right, at least from your description of the events.

Even if Johnson is a captain, he is not granted time to consult with an official. It is his job to play, theirs to ref. Players really have little recourse to discuss calls on the field in general.
From the Rule book:
Captains
SECTION 3. Each team shall designate a captain, who shall act as that team’s sole representative on the field of play during the game. The captain’s privilege does not grant a captain the right to enter into an argument with or criticize any decision of an official.

as for the "quick" restart... did 5 seconds pass?
From the Rule book:
SECTION 24. Once the referee has signaled that the ball is ready for play, the official shall resume play within five seconds. Play may be resumed immediately after the ball is signaled ready for play if a player of the team awarded the ball is at the spot of the ball and the officials are in position to officiate the restart.

As far as I can tell, via the rules the goalie being "out of his cage on the right hashmark talking to one referee trying to get clarification on the call resulting in a whistle and failed clearing attempt." is not an exception allowed for in the rules.

Would love to hear more if this isn't the case or something different happened.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby trinlaxiwouldicould on Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:12 pm

Wasn't at the game myself but I was watching the Trinity vs. Skidmore webcast. Officials obviously have the right to blow the whistle whenever they want. But they usually check with goal-keeper and alert him of where ball is on the field and to make sure that he is ready for play to resume. They also do this at the beginning of the game before the initial face-off is taken. The ruling obviously hurt Trinity and cost them the game... also hurts Skidmore in the long-run... would have been a great opportunity to see how your team handles a situation with the ball down 1 goal with under 2 minutes left.

Tough loss for Trinity but will motivate this team moving forward. Thought Johnson looked great in the cage, Alex Gotsch played terrific at Close D and the offense moved the ball well. Offense needs to continue to play up-tempo but not force the ball when the play isn't there. Great to see some Freshman have an impact.. hasn't usually been the case atTrinity.

How did Amherst look this week? For some reason I am not buying the hype on this team... very curious how they will stack up in the coming weeks.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby LaxForNow on Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:19 pm

The goalie was seeking counsel from one of the other officials and it would be unheard of if he was being used as a defender with the specific circumstances of the game at that point.


Is there a replay of this somewhere, would be interested to see the position of his hands, were they palms up?
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby trinlaxiwouldicould on Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:19 pm

Clips of the Trinity vs Skidmore can be seen here:
http://www.trincoll.tv/play/index.cfm?f ... dsplvl=brd

Play in question starts at around 1:33:30.. Trinity is man-down at the time. Interesting looking back. Neither official on the screen looks like they are even watching the play. Sounds like whistle comes from 3rd official off of the screen. Terrible Call. Amazed the officials didn't reverse this.

Really, really, poorly done... maybe one of the single worst call I have seen in 12 years of watching lacrosse. Seems like Trinity should have gotten the ball off of the initial call. There is a very-clean hit on a Skidmore playing in the middle of the field. Ball was on the ground and the play is whistled dead for no apparent reason...the the ball is awarded to Skidmore.. even there attackmen are running back to get ready to start their RIDE once the play is blown dead and seem surprised when they are given the ball... not to mention the restart with the goalie out of the goal and neither official watching the game... Weird stuff going on in Hartford.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby yeahdatsright on Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:40 pm

Thanks for producing that - wow, that is a head scratcher for sure. The officials looked very confused and when the goal was scored the whistle blew 3 times - which to me is indicating stop and reset. Typically, when a goal is scored, the official blows the whistle once, runs to the crease and indicates goal. That never happened. I do question the goalie walking around so much - regardless if he's a Captain or not - but that seems to be his style I guess (I noticed that in earlier play as I was anticipating the goal.) Never the less, simply put, Trinity got jobbed on that play. And I agree, just score more goals and don't blame the officials but the lack of control and unity by an officiating crew is a bit concerning at this level?
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby ADHD Goalie on Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:42 pm

Unreal call... I thought the NESCAC could afford better refs. :dance:
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby ctmom on Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:22 pm

wheniwasakid... wrote:great recap Ncaalax91! Thanks for providing that.

However, I think the refs may have gotten it right, at least from your description of the events.

Even if Johnson is a captain, he is not granted time to consult with an official. It is his job to play, theirs to ref. Players really have little recourse to discuss calls on the field in general.
From the Rule book:
Captains
SECTION 3. Each team shall designate a captain, who shall act as that team’s sole representative on the field of play during the game. The captain’s privilege does not grant a captain the right to enter into an argument with or criticize any decision of an official.

as for the "quick" restart... did 5 seconds pass?
From the Rule book:
SECTION 24. Once the referee has signaled that the ball is ready for play, the official shall resume play within five seconds. Play may be resumed immediately after the ball is signaled ready for play if a player of the team awarded the ball is at the spot of the ball and the officials are in position to officiate the restart.

As far as I can tell, via the rules the goalie being "out of his cage on the right hashmark talking to one referee trying to get clarification on the call resulting in a whistle and failed clearing attempt." is not an exception allowed for in the rules.

Would love to hear more if this isn't the case or something different happened.




Section 24 indicates that 'the officials are in a position to officiate the restart' . One of the officials was talking to the goalie and the other one was talking to Coach Higgins...There was confusion among the officials as to who got possession. It never should have been allowed. Letting the goal stand showed either an egregious lack of understanding of the rules or officials without the backbone to overturn it.
On the restart, ALL parties on the field - the players and officials- should know who has the ball, and where the play will restart.
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Re: NESCAC 2012

New postby vernpt on Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:43 pm

Perhaps we need replay in lacrosse.
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