Monday Notebook: NCAA Division II
- Good coaching hires can make athletic directors look like geniuses. Lynn Tubman is resembling Albert Einstein today. After hiring Brian Dougherty to take over the second-year men's lacrosse program, she has seen the program play competitively with some of the best teams in the country and on Sunday, she witnessed the Griffins upset the No. 2 team in the country. Behind 13 saves from Dakota Maurer and three goals from Mark Winkelspecht, Chestnut Hill took down second-ranked Mercyhurst in an 8-7 overtime thriller.
It's not like Tubman took a shot in the dark. Dougherty's playing résumé is second to very few and he has an extensive coaching background, as well. But she was the one who lured the World Team hero to the North Side of Philadelphia, and deserves the accolades. She should enjoy them while they are coming. While Chestnut Hill might turn out to be the perfect spot for Dougherty, he's going to be a hot coaching commodity on his current trajectory, so all Griffin fans should enjoy the Doc era.
- Mercyhurst has to be feeling very queasy feeling right now. Not only did the Lakers lose to a second-year program that they beat, 18-2, last year, but they finished 15-1 last year and were left out of the NCAA tournament. 'Hurst knows more than any team the costliness of one regular season loss. What makes this one more unnerving is the Lakers have the bulk of the ECC schedule ahead of them, including No. 10 Mercy, No. 4 Dowling and No. 1 C.W. Post along with always-dangerous NYIT. Throw in a late-April non-conference tilt against No. 3 Limestone, and there might be a couple of sleepless nights ahead for Chris Ryan and company.
- You can bet that Le Moyne and Merrimack took note of C.W. Post's 6-3 victory over Bentley on Saturday. The Falcons were trailing just 4-3 to the defending champs with 6:54 remaining before Post tacked on two to put the game away. The fact that Bentley and its relatively young team can travel to Brookville and make the Pioneers earn it says that the Falcons will be a tough out during the regular season and a terrible draw in the NE-10 tournament.
- Take a picture, because Assumption is currently on top of the Northeast-10. It may not last long...Pfeiffer has won five straight since losing to Catawba in the second game of the season. No. 6 Merrimack will have to contend with the Falcons in 10 days...we'll have to see how he does against the teeth of the ECC, but Dowling's Vito Demola is a First Team All-American right now. He potted another hat trick against Seton Hill...I understand some teams struggle to fill out their schedules, but in a perfect world, Southern N.H. should not be playing Thomas.