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Archive for May, 2019

May 31, 2019 — Friday Statwatch for games played through May 29

Hi, everyone.

You may notice a couple of changes within the ranks this week as we’ve tried to double-check the sourcing of some of our statistics. We trust the vetting of the various media companies in doing this, and some are better than others at finding errors. But we always try, at least before doing Final Statwatch, to get it (more or less) right.

Below is our weekly soup of girls’ scholastic lacrosse statistics from available sources, including MaxPreps.com, NJ Advance Media, The Harrisburg Patriot-News, The Providence Journal, The Albany Times-Union, Long Island Newsday, The Worcester Telegram, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MassLive.com, the Denver Post, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MSG Varsity, the Ann-Arbor News, and The Washington Post.

I encourage you to convince your team, your school, league, or state governing body to adopt the easy-to-use MaxPreps.com platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams to enter their information there as well as whichever is your local news site, so that we can aim for as complete a statistical picture of the country as possible.

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, SEASON
158 Brittany Sherrod, Versailles Woodford County (Ky.)
157 Bailey Gehler, San Diego Our Lady of Peace (Calif.)
154 Eliz Fino, Highland (N.Y.) Central
154 Francesca Frieri, Lockport (Ill.)
146 Madaleine Champagne, Livonia Stevenson (Mich.)
145 Katelyn Murphy, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.)
125 Madi Tare, Camp Hill Trinity (Pa.)
125 Lois Garlow, Kenmore Mount St. Mary’s (N.Y.)
122 Abbey Peterson, Versailles Woodford County (Ky.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, SEASON
108 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)
103 Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
85 Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)
83 Bailey Thomas, Dexter General Brown (N.Y.)
81 Maddi Koury, Pottstown Owen J. Roberts (Pa.)
77 Lois Garlow, Kenmore Mount St. Mary’s (N.Y.)

73 Balay Woodworth, Dallas North Paulding (Ga.)
71 Bella Mims, Clermont East Ridge (Fla.)
69 Kayla Rinaldi, Mooresville Lake Norman (N.C.)
69 Maddie Barber, Cape May Court House Middle Township (N.J.)
69 Sydney Reipl, Tinton Hall Trinity Falls (N.J.)
66 Meghan Decker, Watchung Mount St. Mary Academy (N.J.)
66 Sadie Tschider, Piedmont (Calif.)

CAREER GOALS SCORED
408 Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
371 Madi Tare, Camp Hill Trinity (Pa.)
343 Hannah McCarthy, Bedford (N.H.)
331 Cassidy Spilis, Tabernacle Seneca (N.J.)

316 Mariana Lopez-Ona, Princeton (N.J.)
316 Erin Coykendall, Spencerport (N.Y.)
290 Kira Sides, Lower Cape May Middle Township (N.J.)
250 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)
213 Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)

CAREER ASSISTS
440 Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
293 Erin Coykendall, Spencerport (N.Y.)
273 Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)
217 Maddie Barber, Lower Cape May Middle Township (N.J.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
45 Denver Colorado Academy (Colo.)

COACHING WINS
794 Kathy Jenkins, Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.)

I invite you to send us an email at TopOfTheCircle.com if you see something missing or wrong. Give us a name or a bit of documentation (a website will do) so that we can make the adjustment.

Thanks for reading our feature; see you in seven days.

BULLETIN: May 30, 2019 — Did the Tewaaraton Award committee make the wrong choice, again?

This evening, at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Tewaaraton awards were handed out to the outstanding collegiate women’s lacrosse player for the past season.

The five nominees for the award — Boston College’s Dempsey Arsenault and Sam Apuzzo, Northwestern’s Selena Lasota, and Maryland’s Jen Giles and Megan Taylor — all have pluses and minuses for their candidacies for the award.

Then again, so do about a half-dozen players who did not make the final five nominees, which, for me, skewed the final vote in favor of Taylor, the first goaltender ever to win the trophy.

Now, I’m going on some heavy “inside baseball” talk when it comes to trying to figure out Taylor’s win and why it doesn’t seem right. I have a certain perspective from seeing many goalies come through the college system, not just through the top teams. In Maryland’s illustrious history, I actually think Jamie Brodsky or Alex Kahoe may have been better than Taylor in the goaltender position. But they didn’t have a Tewaaraton trophy to win.

Second, as I posited a couple of days ago, Lasota was a transformative figure in women’s lacrosse because of her physicality and game sense. She would have had my vote, even with Northwestern not winning the NCAA title over the weekend.

Finally, despite a distinguished four-year career in the goal cage for a University of Maryland team perpetually in the top 5 just about every week she played, Taylor may not be the single best player on her own team.

Indeed, in looking back over tape of games this season, there were players on Maryland who almost certainly should have made the last five ahead of Giles and Taylor. For me, there were times when Erica Evans, the graduate student, looked like she was on automatic pilot in the attack end, scoring at will. I also thought that there were long stretches of contests this year in which Kali Hartshorn’s play in the midfield and in the attacking third drove the entire Terrapin effort like nobody since Taylor Cummings or Jen Adams.

I’ll give you this: Taylor was the kind of goalie which had you wondering — sometimes several times in the same game — how she was able to make a particular save.

However, I think the Tewaaraton committee was guilty of voting to right an historic wrong, in that only one other goalie (Mikey Meagher) was nominated for the trophy.

There’s a simple way to fix this.

Do what the Heisman Committee does for college football: allow the final vote to encompass all of collegiate women’s lacrosse, not limit voting to just five people.

Get to it, folks.

BULLETIN: May 30, 2019 — One avenue, erased

This afternoon, the Belgium women’s field hockey team beat defending Olympic champion Great Britain 4-1 in an FIH Pro League fixture in Antwerp.

With the win, Belgium moves into fourth place in the women’s Pro League table with 17 points. The win has eliminated the United States from contention from a top-four berth into the Grand Final. The States will still have a chance to qualify from World League placing as well as winning its third straight Pan American Games title.

The Americans begin to play out a difficult series of fixtures this weekend at Spooky Nook against New Zealand.

May 29, 2019 — The original “superprep” folds its tent

Last week, it was announced that Henderson (Nev.) International School would be re-opening its high school and start competing in international sports.

This means that entity that represented the school in athletics, Findlay Prep’s highly successful basketball team, is on its way out, possibly never to return.

Findlay Prep has been a successful, albeit controversial addition to the U.S. interscholastic system. It operates as a “superprep” school, where the team and its coaches choose a different level of competition from its peers.

The Pilots chose to play a national schedule featuring the best high-school teams that could be assembled, even as the schooling the students received was bare-bones. The school sent 13 players to the NBA; three more could be joining the pros when the NBA Draft is held later this summer.

Findlay never won a state championship: they didn’t have to. The school struck a deal with the powers-that-be in the state of Nevada: the team could co-exist with the school, but could not have any Nevada resident.

Not that it bothered potential recruits, who came from all over to play for the superprep team, whose lone goal was to win whatever “national championship” tournament for boys’ basketball could be organized at the end of the year.

Never mind that most of the half-million boys who play high-school basketball each year have no possible way to compete in these end-of-season tournaments — if not because of travel restrictions, then by restrictions on the number of games a team can play in one season.

That takes out many states in the union, which always made me wonder what Findlay and their peers in the “superprep” basketball world were so obsessed about if not every team was eligible to play in a “national championship.”

Especially since the National Federation of State High School Associations still, I believe, holds the trademark over the designation “National High-School Championship.”

It’s something to consider once the next “superprep” starts lording itself over a particular competition.

 

May 28, 2019 — Top 10 for the week of May 26

With about a month to go in the domestic girls’ lacrosse season, there are bound to be some great matchups, including the Long Island finals Thursday, featuring the winners of Section VIII against the winners of Section XII.

Too, you have the four New Jersey group finals on Saturday, and those should be equally intriguing.

Our honorary No. 11 Team of the Week is York College. York, which only began varsity play in 2006, has paid its dues in the tough Capital Athletic Conference. Think of this: back in 2006, York faced Mary Washington and Salisbury consecutively, and gave up 23 goals in both games. But in 2019, York beat both of its CAC rivals on the way to its first conference tournament championship, the first time that a team other than Salisbury won the tournament in 20 years.

1. Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 21-0

Season complete: The Eagles won their 10th IAAM Class A crown in 11 years, but not without receiving a major scare from Brooklandville St. Paul’s School for Girls (Md.). McDonogh was down two in the last four minutes before winning 5-4 in double overtime

2. Baldwinsville (N.Y.) 16-1

The Bees beat Rome (N.Y.) Free Academy in Section 3 Class A tournament and meet Camillus West Genesee (N.Y.) today for a berth in the state tournament

3. Rush-Henrietta (N.Y.) 15-2

The Royal Comets draw Pittsford (N.Y.) tomorrow in a fight for a state tournament berth

4. Orlando Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) 20-2

Season complete: Saved its best lacrosse for the end of the season, besting Delray American Heritage (Fla.) and then Palm Beach Benjamin School (Fla.) in the FHSAA final

5. South Huntington St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) 17-1

Season complete: Beat Hempstead Sacred Heart Academy (N.Y.) 9-7 to win CHSAA Class AA title

6. Manhasset (N.Y.) 14-2

Team continues sectional play this week against Garden City (N.Y.) Thursday for Section 8 Class B championship

7. Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) 15-2

Seahawks beat Locust Valley (N.Y.) and meet up with Wantagh this Thursday at Adelphi University for Section 8 Class C title

8. Oak Knoll (20-2)

Royals play Mountain Lakes (N.J.) today in NJSIAA Group I final

9. Severna Park (Md.) 19-1

Season complete: Falcons beat Timonium Dulaney (Md.) 10-5 to win MPSSAA Class 4A final; program’s 14th state championship

10. Brooklandville St. Paul’s School for Girls (Md.) 12-10

Season complete: It’s not often you see a 10-loss team anywhere near a Top 10 in any kind of national sports countdown. But this Gators team, part of the single toughest league in the country, put together a great run in the IAAM playoffs, knocking off Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) and Glenelg (Md.) Country to get to the final

11. York College 17-6

Spartans had all the momentum coming off its Capital Athletic Conference championship, but ran head-on into an in-form Tufts side in the Division III quarterfinals

Who’s out? Summit (N.J.) lost 11-10 to Chatham (N.J.)

May 27, 2019 — An appreciation: Selena Lasota, attack, Northwestern

One in an occasional series.

There are lacrosse players who are often called “once in a generation” by the lacrosse punditry.

Some receive that designation because of the sheer number of goals scored (or allowed), excellence on defense or draw controls, or athletic ability.

Selena Lasota, for me, fits the ultimate definition of a scorer, someone who is like a Crista Samaras, or a Megan Whittle, or a Kelly Amonte-Hiller. Watch her play for a few minutes, and it’s apparent. She carries her stick parallel to the ground and keeps her hands very still.

Until it’s time to attack the goal. It’s then when her cleats punish the turf, the stick becomes a whirling dervish, and the ball is sent into the goal cage.

Lasota was a sensation five years ago when she scored 69 goals as a freshman, but was on the shelf in 2017 because of a lower-body injury. It was feared she may lose a year of eligibility, but she did get a redshirt so that she could wreak havoc on the teams on Northwestern’s schedule.

And did she ever. She had an unheard-of shooting percentage of 53 percent for the 2018 season, and put in 79 goals in 2019, one of the nation’s leading scorers.

Lasota’s numbers are of such depth and quality that is was unimaginable that the 2019 season culminated in her first Final Four appearance.

Equally unimaginable is the fact that that first Final Four appearance was her last, as Maryland steamrolled the Wildcats in the final 19 minutes to win 25-13 in the national semifinal round.

Lasota now goes into the professional ranks, playing with the WPLL’s Philadelphia Fire. If you have a chance to see her this summer, do so.

May 26, 2019 — From one championship level to another

Jane Earley finished last year’s lacrosse season at Falmouth (Mass.) Academy with the fifth most goals scored of all time.

She had originally made a verbal commitment to Boston College, and yep, she might have been an integral part of the preseason No. 1 team that fell today to the University of Maryland.

But Earley decommitted from Boston College and decided on attending Middlebury College, which just happened to be the defending NCAA Division III champion heading into this season.

Today, in Salem, Va., Earley’s decision came up trumps, as she had four goals in the Panthers’ 14-9 win over Salisbury State. Earley also had nine draw controls in the midfield.

Middlebury, it would seem, has got another building block for future success in both Division III, but in the New England Small College athletic Conference, the toughest conference in D3.

How tough? Think of this: Middlebury’s opening match of the season, way back in February, was a loss to Bates. The Panthers ran the table the rest of the way, winning 22 straight matches to take the Division III crown.