Santa Barbara Shootout Stacks WDIA Field
by David Ely | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online
The 2010 US Lacrosse WDIA season might just be a little over a week old, but most of the nation’s top lacrosse squads are about to face some of their toughest competition of the season.
The 22nd-annual Santa Barbara Shootout kicks off Friday, and it promises to be one of the most talent-rich weekends the WDIA offers this year. More than half of Lacrosse Magazine’s preseason top 20-ranked teams will play in multiple games during the Shootout, and plenty of other schools will get a chance to see where their squads stand.
We recently caught up with UC Santa Barbara head coach (and the event’s planner) Paul Ramsey, and here’s a list of some of the top storylines that will headline the Santa Barbara Shootout.
1. Talent, talent, talent.
Nine of Lacrosse Magazine’s top 10 preseason-ranked WDIA teams will take the field this weekend, with No. 1 Virginia Tech Club as the lone exception. In all, 14 of the top 20 will be in attendance. Other than Nationals, this will be the only time during the season that so many of the nation’s elite teams will play in the same event.
2. Scintillating matchups.
With so many good teams in the Shootout, there’s no shortage of high-profile contests. The best matchup of the weekend figures to be No. 2 UCSB vs. No. 3 Colorado on Sunday. But if that’s not enough, the Buffaloes square off against No. 5 Michigan on Saturday in another top-5 game. There are 10 games pitting two top-10 squads against each other in the Shootout.
3. Postseason impact.
A couple of wins against top-notch foes will look nice on a resume for Nationals. “Going to tournaments like the Shootout helps teams put themselves in position for the at-large bids to Nationals,” Ramsey said in an e-mail. “It can also help with getting a better seed if you get the automatic bid from a weaker conference.” For a number of teams, this Shootout offers their toughest competition of the entire season. So it’s the perfect opportunity for playoff posturing.
4. History will be made.
The Shootout isn’t all about the WDIA. On Friday at 6:30 p.m., Santa Barbara City College and Marymount College of Palos Verdes will play in the first game between community colleges west of the Mississippi. This game could be the first of plenty more to come as Ramsey believes that “it’s only a matter of time that we get more community colleges” in California because of the growth of high school lacrosse in the area.
5. Krista Shaw.
Santa Clara’s Shaw is the LM's preseason WDIA Player of the Year. Shaw posted 65 goals to go along with 11 assists in 2009, and she leads a Broncos team that returns 10 of 12 starters from last year’s team. This Shootout is the perfect opportunity for Shaw to prove that she’s worthy of her preseason accolade.
6. The size of the field.
The Shootout features 48 teams, including 30 from the WDIA. The size of the field, coupled with the fact that teams will travel from all across the country, means that schools will get to play against schools they normally wouldn’t see under normal circumstances. For example, Georgia plays Cal Poly SLO, and Michigan plays UCLA.
News & Notes
The West Coast and Southeast regions began play last weekend, as teams saw action for the first time in 2010. The SWLL, the TWLL, the WCLL’s Divisions I and II, the WWLL’s North I and II and the WWLL's South I and II were the only conferences that had teams in play.... The weekend featured no upsets. Nearly all of the top teams in action went the week without being truly challenged. Lindenwood smoked Tennessee Wesleyan, 17-3. Santa Clara won its two games by a combined count of 34-10. UC Santa Barbara blanked UC San Diego 18-0.... Perhaps one of the most impressive performances of the week came from the Florida Club team. The Gators won three SWLL games (defeats of Auburn, Miami and Florida State), and they scored more than 17 goals in each contest.
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