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Archive for May 2, 2017

BULLETIN: May 2, 2017 — One fell swoop takes out two coaches in Ann Arbor

A couple of days ago, the brackets for both the Big Ten men’s and women’s lacrosse postseason tournaments were released. Today, a school that missed out on both tournaments — the University of Michigan — suffered the firing of both of its head coaches.

It was a grand experiment when the Maize and Blue took up lacrosse sticks in full varsity competition, making the transition from club lacrosse. For the men, especially, the experiment was just starting to build momentum. The Wolverines finished with an 8-6 record, but over the last six seasons, the men were 2-24 in conference play.

The women had taken to the pitch four years ago with all sorts of optimism. The original Team One had been a good group of recruits including members of top national programs. But Michigan has had a tough go of it, only winning its first conference game this year.

I don’t know which coach has the greater sense of disappointment as offices are packed and computers are turned in. Men’s coach John Paul had served the university for 14 seasons as coach of the Michigan Lacrosse Club, as well as putting in time in the athletic development office.

Jennifer Uhlela, a fine coach who learned at the elbow of Princeton’s Chris Sailer, has to be equally disappointed. As much of that first “Team One” has remained intact (this year’s team has 14 seniors), the art of building a college team is sometimes allowing attrition of a large class to allow more talent to filter in the younger classes.

But as much lacrosse knowledge, recruitment IQ, and training a coach may have, results matter. And you knew the writing had to be on the wall for this team when they dropped an early-season game to San Diego State, a team which is in its sixth varsity season. Further losses to High Point and Canisius closed out a tough winter. But just a couple of days before the start of spring, the Michigan women won their inaugural conference game, a 12-11 overtime victory over Ohio State.

Both Paul and Uhlela were fighting not only the teams on their schedule, but were also fighting the pressure of having to represent the Michigan athletics program.

Excellence was expected from both teams, but there simply was not enough of it in the end product.

Today’s double-firing is likely to put doubts in the heart of those ambitious enough to seek to apply for either Michigan coaching position.

But it also represents opportunity for the right candidates. Let’s see what happens next.

May 2, 2017 — Top 10 for the week of Apr. 30

Welp, here we go again.

Five of last week’s Top 10 suffered losses last week, which only goes to now difficult it is to pick girls’ lacrosse matches this season as well as to how competitive teams are this season. A number of important regular seasons end this week including those in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM), where No. 1 McDonogh and No. 9 Notre Dame Prep play.

Our honorary No. 11 Team of the Week is the Illinois Institute of Technology, which finished tied for the top of the Midwest Women’s Lacrosse Conference (MWLC) league table. However, since the school is only a provisional member of NCAA Division III, the Scarlet Hawks are ineligible for the postseason. But you know this is a team that bears watching, given its close proximity to Northwestern.

1. Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 17-0

Eagles have only Bel Air John Carroll (Md.) and Sykesville Century (Md.) before the IAAM Tournament begins

2. Ridgewood (N.J.) 11-0

Had a statement win Saturday against Moorestown (N.J.)

3. Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) 11-0

Panthers had a match against a good Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) team yesterday

4. Glenelg (Md.) 12-0

Gladiators finish this week with Columbia Atholton (Md.) and Fulton Reservoir (Md.)

5. East Setauket Ward Melville (N.Y.) 12-0

Patriots visit West Islip (N.Y.) today then host Lindenhurst (N.Y.) Thursday

6. Mount Sinai (N.Y.) 8-2

Mustangs host Port Jefferson (N.Y.) tomorrow

7. San Diego Torrey Pines (Calif.) 16-0

Athletic side likely to get top seed in CIF Open Division Tournament

8. Brighton (N.Y.) 8-0

Bested Pittsford (N.Y.) last week in an enormous result

9. Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) 14-2

Blazers acquitted themselves well but couldn’t retain enough possession to beat McDonogh

10. Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) 17-1

Saints have three ISL opponents before traveling to Rosemont Agnes Irwin (Pa.) on Saturday

11. Illinois Tech 15-2

The Hawks were an outstanding 9-0 on the road this season

Who’s out: Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) 10-9 loss to Eastport-South Manor (N.Y.); Moorestown (N.J.) 11-1 loss to Ridgewood (N.J.); Franklin (Mass.) 14-4 loss to Hingham Notre Dame (Mass.)

And bear in mind: Darien (Conn.) 7-2, Orlando Bishop Moore (Fla.) 20-4, Milton (Ga.) 14-4, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 9-3, Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.) 10-2, Newfield Middle Country (N.Y.) 9-1, Garden City (N.Y.) 13-1, Apex (N.C.) 15-0, Massilon Jackson (Ohio) 13-0, Radnor Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) 10-0, Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.) 14-1, Wilson West Lawn (Pa.) 13-1, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.) 13-5