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rampageripster


Member since 06 May 2011 | Blog

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Comment 22 Apr 2017

I really believe this team could win it all. There is no clear cut favorite and we have an awesome face off man. 

THIS.  There is no elite team and we can dominate the X against just about anyone (Denver did better at the X... but no where else).  This team could be dangerous in May

Comment 15 Apr 2017

So this sets up a big game next week at home against Maryland.  I stated earlier in the season that if we can win our home games (JHU/UMD) and beat Michigan we would be in good shape.  They are 2/3rds of the way there.  Beating Maryland will put us at 3-1 in conference, which gets us over that 3 win threshold that is usually the cutoff to the B1G tournament. Plus it would set up a chance to win the whole damn conference the next week at RU.  That would be something else.

Comment 10 Apr 2017

Consider the boat righted.  If you had told me we would go 3-2 on this hellish stretch of Towson/Denver/ND/PSU/JHU I would have taken it in a heartbeat...

Now we HAVE to beat Michigan to set up a GIANT clash against Maryland at home.  That's gonna be the game of the season for us.  Win it and our ticket to the B1G tournament is punched with a solid chance at the #1 seed and a high seed in the NCAAs regardless of what happens at Rutgers the next week.

Comment 09 Apr 2017

My keys to the game tonight:

1) Carey return to form: I think the ND game shook his confidence, cause he didn't play his best at PSU.  They were like 3/5 at one point... which is not a Sav% you should aim for.  I don't think he played POORLY, just that he wasn't at his best.  That worked against Bellmarine, but won't against ND/PSU/Hop/UMd/RU/the rest of our schedule.

2) Lower the turnovers... especially on the clear:  We couldn't clear our zone the past two weeks and it showed.  Add in the number of turnovers we had and there were a ton of lost possessions, especially in that fatal 3rd quarter.  Hops in one of the top turnover-creating team in the country.  Have to limit the wasted possessions on mindless drives into double teams and turnover situations.

3) Smarter shots: We started 1/11 against PSU.  That is terrible.  We aren't hitting the cage and when we are, we aren't making the keepers work.  The difference in glove space between Denver and ND/PSU is night and day.  We are a grinding offense, let it grind.  Take the smart shots and make them count.

4) Keep the yellow off the field:  Hops makes it's offensive living on EMO (something like 37%.... really damn good).  Gotta cut out the silly holds and slashes we've picked up recently.  Stay even and I think we are the better team.

Comment 06 Apr 2017

About as much of a must-win as you can have at this point in the season against Hops this weekend.  Cannot afford to fall to 0-2 and lose one of those valuable home conference games (we only get 2 this year).  The goal is to make the B1G tournament and you gotta go AT LEAST 2-3 to have a shot, and really 3-2 is the line we should aim for.

Comment 02 Apr 2017

We are outshooting them, dominating the faceoff X... and losing.  Really disappointed in our performance so far.  Losing in the hustle stats.

Comment 02 Apr 2017

Oh, and after this Saturday, consider this conference race WIDE THE HELL OPEN... Maryland beat Michgian handidly (expected... Wolverines are still the bottom-feeders)... but JHop took the Knights to the woodshed in a BAD way.  That is a really interesting wrinkle to the conference race.  Whoever is that 5th place team and gets left out of the B1G tournament will have a really nervous few weeks to see if they can get an at-large.  I think a MD or us could do it with at least one GOOD win (non-UM) during conference play... PSU and RU possibly with their OOC win percentage.  Hops played a brutal schedule but don't have a ton to show for it.

Comment 02 Apr 2017

Penn State has been simply outscoring their rather weak schedule to date.  Their defense is near bottom in any and all advanced metrics.  Our offense should feast.  We need to limit transition goals and get more push from our close defenders (felt they were too in-their-shell against ND).  VERY winnable game, even on the road.

Comment 28 Mar 2017

Denver being ranked above us after the slobberknocking we gave them is absurd... I don't care if they beat the ND team we just lost to...

But #5 is a dream and the results OOC is the best I've ever seen out of a Buckeye Lax team.

Game of the week on a national level (again) for the Buckeyes on the road.  Would love a result, but the reality is that we need to win at home (UMD, Hops) and beat Michigan.  Win those games and we will definitely be seeded in the NCAA tournament (get a home match) and set ourselves up well going into the B1G tournament (which is in Columbus).

Comment 26 Mar 2017

I am trying my hardest to not comment about the officiating (damn NILOA social media policy...)

We lost far and square, but the final score does NOT represent the game.

Comment 25 Mar 2017

Huge match, and IMO, toughest test to date going on the road to #2 Notre Dame.  Now... ND just lost to Denver like two weeks ago, but we can't read too much into our clobbering last week.  That was Denver's first road game of the season and we just swarmed them early and never took the foot off the gas.  That happens in lacrosse, and blowouts between relatively equal teams is not unusual... that being said, here is what I am looking for today:

1) Stability between the pipes: Carey put together his best match to date last week.  We need that consistency to deal with he ND offense.

2) EMO: We were pretty much lethal man-up against Denver.  ND is better defensively, so we need to continue to get goals when we are presented with the advantage.

3) Faceoff X domination: Denver's FoGo is probably the best we will see all year and we actually did an admiral job against him.  I loved the blueprint the coaches drew up to prevent Denver from winning face-offs and creating chances in transition.  Totally shut that aspect of the Pioneers' game down.  ND does not have the same dominance at the X, so Withers may be able to create additional possessions, which are crucial to our grinding offensive style.  He put out such a performance against Towson, and it would be nice to see it again.

4) Growth from our young guns: Last week was a coming out party for not only the program, but for some really talented young slingers.  That will do a  ton for their confidence going on the road and playing in a really tough environment in South Bend.  I hope to (regardless of score) see that move forward.

Lastly: This may be the biggest game in recent memory for the Buckeyes because a win here could very well crown them as the #1 team in the country.  That is a big deal.  It also will pretty much guarantee a spot in the tournament (Wins over Towson/Denver/ND and 10 wins overall... no brainer) as long as we don't just totally collapse in B1G play.  Go get 'em Bucks!

Comment 21 Mar 2017

It's really hard to have a school defund a team and then re-fund them.  It's pretty rare.  They really have to show that they are worth the investment to the school.

Most of the B1G has an MCLA team (except Wisconsin... but that is a special scenario that as a college official in the Upper Midwest I will refrain from soap-boxing about).  It is all about who will benefit from it.  Michigan made the jump not only because of success and a large angel donor (a big piece of the puzzle) but because the state of Michigan was pretty empty of D1 options at the NCAA level.  Detroit-Mercy noticed that as well, which is why they made the jump.  Marquette made the jump as well noticing similar about not only Wisconsin, but the Chicago-land in general.  Marquette pulls a lot of their students from that area, and now they are the highest profile lacrosse team in the region.

With that in mind, you are looking for the big schools that have the history at MCLA, empty footprint to fill, and the possibility of an angel investor.  I think Minnesota, Northwestern, and Illinois fit that bill.  Lacrosse in Minnesota has boomed over the past decade and the state already hosts the majority of the top 10 in MCLA DII lacrosse (St Thomas, St Johns, UMD, NDSU is in the footprint and recruits from the TC). Northwestern and Illinois should be able to capitalize on the booming Chicago-land lacrosse scene and NW already has a top-notch women's program.

Teams I do not expect to make the jump are Iowa (no local lacrosse scene to booster program), Nebraska (same as Iowa), Purdue (not enough investment in athletics), Indiana (don't think the support is there either), Wisconsin (ugh... really shouldn't be on this list but... ugh), and Michigan St (see above).  But all it takes is an angel investor who wants to see NCAA D1 lacrosse at their school and BOOM (Case in Point: Penn State hockey).

Comment 21 Mar 2017

It was always for Women's, but this is the first year that the Men's side has stepped up.  Maryland and Hopkins are obviously historical powerhouses, but Rutgers, Penn St, and Ohio St are all programs that have been around for quite a while with nothing to show for it and Michigan is only in it's 5th season (or 6th... can't remember when they made the jump from MCLA) as a varsity squad following it's transition from a club sport (which is what initiated B1G sponsoring the sport).  This year, those three long time middle-of-the-road squads have really stepped their game up and Michigan has put together their best start since moving to NCAA (a lot of that has to do with a softer than charmin schedule, but there is definite improvement in Ann Arbor).  We will see if that momentum carries through the conference schedule and into the NCAA tournament and beyond.  Would be a BIG (pun intended) development for the conference to ascend to the top of the heap... may even encourage some other schools to take a more serious look at the sport (COUGH Minnesota, Northwestern, and Illinois COUGH).

Comment 21 Mar 2017

I was the Director of Volleyball for two years with Block O and basically built that student section (with my close friend, and predecessor, the founder of the section).  I would say that I know more about college volleyball than 99% of the people I know... it's kinda a niche fandom, especially on the Men's side.  That 2011 National Championship in Happy Valley was the greatest sports moment of my life (Yes, bigger than both of the Football championships, one I was at).  Mostly cause I knew the whole team... man I've got some stories about that night...

Comment 21 Mar 2017

Something has to break in the B1G season.  All six teams are ranked, and 3 in the top 5.  That won't last as we all beat up on each other.  I expect Hop to fall out, and probably Michigan too (they are a paper tiger... still a few years away from contention).  There's a chance that a team that misses the B1G tournament (we only take the top 4) has a real chance at an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament... that is NUTS.

From what I've seen so far this year, I think that I'd rank the teams:

1) Rutgers

2) Ohio St

3) Maryland

4) Penn St (more hype than anything... imo)

5) Michigan

6) Hopkins

I think the season ends up somewhere around these rankings, though Hopkins and Michigan probably flip.

Comment 21 Mar 2017

Something has to break in the B1G season.  All six teams are ranked, and 3 in the top 5.  That won't last as we all beat up on each other.  I expect Hop to fall out, and probably Michigan too (they are a paper tiger... still a few years away from contention).  There's a chance that a team that misses the B1G tournament (we only take the top 4) has a real chance at an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament... that is NUTS.

From what I've seen so far this year, I think that I'd rank the teams:

1) Rutgers

2) Ohio St

3) Maryland

4) Penn St (more hype than anything... imo)

5) Michigan

6) Hopkins

I think the season ends up somewhere around these rankings, though Hopkins and Michigan probably flip.

Comment 20 Mar 2017

Here's a better way of thinking about volleyball MPSF:Volleyball::SEC:Football... Until we opened the floodgates for the MIVA in 2011, no MIVA team had legitimately (Loyola won one with illegal players) won a title and Penn St was the only team east of Provo that had either (and they had 1).  The MPSF owned the sport.  Then we crashed the party in 2011 (thanks to a plucky UCSB team that gave us a #3 seed and let us avoid USC... plus just a killer squad) and then what followed was a MIVA domination coinciding with our second title last year.  Now, the men's volleyball world had been turned upside down, and it's starting to settle again.  Ohio State is still VERY good, but Lewis and Loyola (the two other MIVA bellcows) are not nearly as good as they've been the past 5 years or so.  The MPSF is the dominant conference.  I knew that as soon as we dropped a match (ESPECIALLY to a MPSF team) we would lose the #1 spot.  I just hope the committee isn't dumb and gives us the #1 seed we deserve come tournament time if we take care of business (almost didn't against Lewis.. woof)

Comment 20 Mar 2017

Big win.  Really impressed by the way we pressured their excellent FoGo immediately with 10-man rides.  Denver got few break opportunities off the X.  We were able to get our hands free on mid-range rips at a remarkable rate.  Cleanest shooting half I've ever seen against quality opponents.  A tad disappointed that we took our foot off the gas late and let Denver get some garbage goals.  I'm sure that will be a point of emphasis this week in practice, learning moment for a team on the rise.

Moving from 17 to 4 is UNHEARD OF in lacrosse polls.  But it makes total sense.  Until this week we had been playing total fluff and only half-dominating it.  Then we go to Towson and beat them at their game and DEMOLISH Denver... boom, top 5.  Of course now we have to go play AT #2 and #3 in back to back weeks.  If we win those two games, we will see Ohio State as the #1 team in men's lacrosse... kinda surreal.

Comment 16 Jan 2017

For those not paying attention, the Men's Volleyball team may be the second most currently dominant program on campus (following Rowing... who are just unreal).  They are unanimously #1 after winning the national championship with ease last year.  Oh, and they won it in 2011 as well.  They have the defending national player of the year (who will probably win it again) and are just killing people right now.  Hanson has built a bit of a juggernaut in the Midwest.  

Comment 14 Mar 2016

Totally fell apart at the end of the season... Going into the Minnesota game they were destined to be a #2 seed and the B1G champs... three disasters later and they have 0 titles and are a #3.  Maybe it's a nice lesson, but this team better get their house back in order.