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Feb. 25, 2019 — A great Final Third non-broadcast

Because of a throat infection I picked up last week, I didn’t go forward with a Final Third broadcast for the third week of the regular season in NCAA women’s lacrosse.

It’s a shame, because three absolute doozies played themselves out in front of our screens. Both of our chosen Division I matches — Maryland-UNC, and Northwestern-Syracuse — went into overtime. And so did our Division III game, Catholic-Salisbury.

And our fourth, featuring past Division II champions Florida Southern and Adelphi, wound up with a two-goal margin.

Yep, I know how to pick good games.

Here are a few notes from this quartet of matches:

  1. Though North Carolina is in the midst of a rich seam of form when it comes to recruits, the team is still a work in progress. I got the distinct feeling that the team was waiting for Marie McCool to walk out of the locker room to help them.
  2. Maryland, as is its wont, got off to a hot start, scoring the first three goals against UNC. But, as often happens when Maryland gets on a starting run, the opposition finds a way to come back.
  3. Northwestern is a fun, fun team to watch on the offensive end. They have all the tools necessary to make a serious run at a national title.
  4. Syracuse seems to have its issues in the draw circle together, with a platoon system that doesn’t rely on just one player.
  5. Florida Southern, which has made the last three NCAA Division II championship games, is no fluke. They are an effective and hard-working lacrosse team that came up against a good Adelphi defense.
  6. Catholic went up four goals early on Salisbury, and had a chance at a fifth straight off a half-field breakaway. How different might the outcome have been if that bounce shot had gone in?
  7. Twice in these contests, our least favorite lacrosse call came up: the dangerous shot. In both cases, the interpretation of the rule appeared to me to be towards the lower end of ridiculous. In one instance, a Syracuse shot hit a Northwestern defender who wasn’t in the goal frame when the shot was attempted, but the defender scooted from post to post and, frankly, “ate” the ball deliberately. In the other, a Maryland’s shot attempt hit the back of a UNC player who was outside the goal frame — outside of shooting space. The way I see it, this new emphasis is leading to some unjustifiable judgments.

 

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