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Archive for May 3, 2021

May 3, 2021 — A few “hot takes” on the Division III women’s lacrosse bracket

The Division III women’s lacrosse bracket is very much a lottery, since the 37 teams selected represent a somewhat broad brush as to the reach of the sport in recent years. We’ve had, in recent history, teams from as far away as California and Colorado make the tournament.

This year, we have the some of the usual powers making the field, such as The College of New Jersey, Salisbury, Franklin & Marshall, Ithaca, and Cortland. But the last two title-holders, Gettysburg and Middlebury, aren’t in the field this year.

Instead, the Division III women’s lacrosse bracket is a chance for debutante programs to make a mark in this season like no other.

I think the survivor of the lower half of the Washington & Lee bubble is going to be a major, major contender this year. In this quarter of the national tournament are the following:

Salisbury State (15-0)
SUNY-Morrisville (7-2)

Washington & Jefferson (10-0)
SUNY-Farmingdale (8-0)

Ithaca College (12-1)
College of Notre Dame, Md. (7-0)

Washington & Lee (13-0)
FDU-Florham (16-0)

That’s six undefeated teams in what we call the “Quarter of Death.”

In the upper portion of that bracket, you will find a pair of Wisconsin teams, in UW-River Falls and Carroll College, as well as two from Illinois, Aurora and the University of Chicago.

In the Colby College bubble, there is a brilliant potential quarterfinal matchup if The College of New Jersey and top-ranked Tufts are able to get through their first- and second-round matchups.

In the other half of that bracket, you have 13 teams, including five play-in contests on May 8th. A potential May 15th octofinal between Franklin & Marshall and Catholic University could very well determine who makes the Final Four from this half of the bracket. But you get the feeling that SUNY-Cortland and Messiah will have an answer for whoever comes out of the F&M quarter of the Colby bubble.

It should be an unpredictable and most memorable championship. Stay tuned.

May 3, 2021 — An elegy for Stanford field hockey (with a nod to Walt Whitman)

O Leland! my Leland! their fearful trip is done,
The team has weather’d every game, the prize they sought not won,
The end is here, the bells I hear, supporters not acclaiming,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
  But what was a beating heart
  With cardinal blood of red
  With the team representing Leland
  Is left instead for dead.

O Leland! my Leland! the team still hears the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag was flung—for you the bugle trilled,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the pitch a-crowding,
For you they called, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
  Here Leland! dear founder!
  The team for which they bled
  Has now become a dream that on the deck,
  And fallen cold and dead.

My Leland does not answer, the Board is stone and still,
The Board does not feel her; they have no pulse nor will,
The team is moored safe and sound, its voyage had its cost,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in, but object lost;
  While others on the farm will ring the bells,
  The players slowly tread,
  Walk the green, while the team lies,
  Fallen cold and dead.