February 7, 2013

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#LMranks: Telling Numbers Ahead of 2013 Season

by Lacrosse Magazine staff | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Tewaaraton Award finalist Will Manny shot 54.3 percent last year to help UMass boast a 34.3 shooting percentage as a team.
© Matt and John Risley

Lacrosse Magazine counted down the preseason Top 20 NCAA Division I men's and women's teams throughout the month of January. The Loyola men and Florida women earned top billing.

Here's more preview content in the form of telling numbers from teams in our Division I men's and women's top 20s. Visit LaxMagazine.com/LMranks for our complete preseason coverage.

The record for the Notre Dame women in 2012 against NCAA tournament teams. In five combined games against Northwestern, Syracuse and Loyola (Md.), the Irish were outscored 73-44. Notre Dame went 13-0 against everyone else, including wins over Stanford, Vanderbilt and Georgetown.

Scoring margin for the Lehigh men, which ranked fifth highest among 61 Division I schools. That's what happens when you force so many scoring droughts on your opponent, and the Mountain Hawks did it to numerous schools in the tough Patriot League.

That's how many man-down goals the Notre Dame men surrendered over 16 games in 2012. Opposing offenses scored on just 11 percent of their extra-man chances. Ouch.

The UMass men ranked fourth in Division I in shooting percentage (34.3) last year. Part of that is a tribute to Tewaaraton Award finalist Will Manny, who shot a sizzling, 54.3 percent. Much of that is due to a well-coached offense that doesn't waste many questionable shots.

The 2012 scoring margin, goals scored minus goals allowed per game, for the Loyola men, which was second-best nationally behind only UMass. Not only did the Greyhounds win 18 games last year, they won fairly easily, including by six goals in the national title, 9-3.

Consecutive Ivy League regular-season women's titles for Penn, two shy of Harvard's record streak of seven. For the first time since 2005, they did not register double-digit wins overall, but they managed to go 6-1 in Ivy play. "We had no depth in the midfield. I'm shocked we won the Ivy League," coach Karin Brower Corbett said.

Florida's average scoring defense, an NCAA women's best in 2012. In just three seasons of varsity play, the Gators' defense has gone from 21st in the nation (9.78) in 2010, to eighth (8.95) in 2011 to first in 2012. All four starting defenders and IWLCA Goalie of the Year Mikey Meagher return in 2013.

#LMranks MD1 Preseason Rankings

No. 1 Loyola
No. 2 Maryland
No. 3 Duke
No. 4 Notre Dame
No. 5 Johns Hopkins
No. 6-No. 20: Click here
Also considered: Best of the Rest
Analysis: Top 20 Breakdown
Preseason Player of the Year:
Peter Baum

More: #LMranks Landing Page | WD1 | MD2 | WD2 | MD3 | WD3 | JuCo | MCLA | WCLA

Goals allowed per game in 2012 by the Johns Hopkins men, who consistently have one of the nation's top units. Interestingly, the Blue Jays ranked 60th nationally in saves per game, 8.25, with honorable mention All-American goalie Pierce Bassett, who stops what he sees — though he doesn't see much.

Turnovers per game committed by the Maryland men in 2012, the fewest in the country. The Terps' possession-oriented offense values responsibility and smart decision-making. "To me, it just doesn't make sense to throw the ball away for no reason," Maryland coach John Tillman said. Fifth-year senior Owen Blye quarterbacks the attack and will be asked to do more ball carrying.

Goals per game for the Princeton men through the first 12 games of 2012, a big jump from the 7.08 that contributed to a 4-8 nightmare in 2011. With five of their top six scorers back, the Tigers think they can be even better in 2013. "I don't think we can play a 6-5 game, if we wanted to, against a quality team," Princeton coach Chris Bates said. "I think we'll get up and down more."

Goals against average for the Georgetown women in 2012 — too high for a team with aspirations of winning a Big East title and going deep into the playoffs.

Days into the New Year before the Syracuse women played their first game, visiting Jacksonville on Jan. 13. The Orange won, 21-8, in the first Division I game of the 2013 season. Jacksonville then earned its first victory Feb. 3 with a 15-7 upset of Vanderbilt.

#LMranks WD1 Preseason Rankings

No. 1 Florida
No. 2 Syracuse
No. 3 Northwestern
No. 4 Maryland
No. 5 North Carolina
No. 20-No. 6: Click here
Also considered: Best of the Rest
Analysis: Top 20 Breakdown
Preseason Player of the Year:
Taylor Thornton

More: #LMranks Landing Page | MD1 | MD2 | WD2 | MD3 | WD3 | JuCo | MCLA | WCLA

Years since the North Carolina men last played on Memorial Day. In 1993, North Carolina lost to Syracuse in a 13-12 heartbreaker when the Orange capitalized on an end-to-end fast break with less than 10 seconds left to win the national championship.

Shooting percentage for the Penn State men last season, 52nd out of 61 NCAA Division I teams. If the Nittany Lions offense is going to catch up with its defense, Jack Forster, Shane Sturgis and Co. need to shoot the ball better. "It was one of the worst things we did, without question," Penn State coach Jeff Tambroni said. "At the end of the day, there's no magic formula, you've got to get out and have more repetitions."

Taylor Trimble's goal tally last season, which led the Duke women, marking the first time since 1997 that the Blue Devils did not have at least one 30-plus goal scorer. Duke had a balanced attack that produced seven 20-goal scorers but lacked a go-to scorer for late-game scenarios. They may find one this year in sophomore midfielder Trimble, junior Maddy Morrissey, or freshman Maddy Acton.

Shooting percentage for the Denver men in 2012, which ranked fifth nationally. Matt Brown's box-hybrid system takes advantage of the Canadians' ability to deftly finish in tight spaces. At least three Canucks — Jeremy Noble, Cam Flint and Wes Berg — will start for the Pioneers in 2013, while attackman Eric Law is an American kid "but plays like a Canadian," head coach Bill Tierney said.

Northwestern's draw unit, including Alyssa Leonard (2), improved in the NCAA tournament after Florida got the better of the Wildcats in the ALC final.
© Scott McCall

Northwestern's national ranking for draw controls in 2012, the first time since 2005 the Wildcats did not finish in the top 10. After getting smoked by Shannon Gilroy and ALC foe Florida in the conference final, Northwestern made adjustments to its draw unit (specialist Alyssa Leonard and wing players Taylor Thornton and Gabriella Flibotte) and outdrew its NCAA tournament opponents 52-23.

Faceoff percentage for the Syracuse men last year. By the end of the season, the Orange were forced to use long pole Brian Megill to turn the faceoff into a 50-50 ground ball. This season, junior Chris Daddio and freshman Cal Paduda likely will share clamping duties.

While the Maryland women canned half of their shots in 2012 with the sixth-best scoring average in the nation, coach Cathy Reese would like that number to go up. "We would like to do a better job finishing our shots," Reese said this preseason.

Percentage of the Virginia men's 306 points last year that came from graduated seniors Steele Stanwick, Chris Bocklet and Colin Briggs. The Cavaliers expect more balanced scoring in 2013.

The Duke men ranked 57th in extra-man offense in 2012, as they scored on only 21.8 percent of their man-up chances. Defensively, the Blue Devils ranked 51st in man-down defense, after killing just 55.3 percent of their penalties. Both of those numbers must improve.

Percentage of shots on goal opponents converted against the Loyola women in 2012 — an ominous number with a freshman projected to start at goalie.

Draw controls for 2012 Ivy League Player of the Year Sarah Plumb, who graduated from the Dartmouth women. How the Big Green replaces her school and Ivy League record total will be critical for a team that wants to take pressure off its defense. Hilary Smith, who was second on the team with 40 draw controls, also graduated.

Combined goals scored last year by Ohio State women's tri-captains, Alayna Markwordt, Gabby Capuzzi and Kirsten Donahue. All three have graduated, and sophomore attacker Jackie Ciferelli (26 goals, 32 assists) will need support from up-and-comers to keep the offense productive.

Goals, out of 196 total, scored by players no longer with the Virginia women's team. The Cavaliers especially will miss Josie Owen, who netted 42 goals. Of the seven who scored 10 goals or more last year, only Liza Blue returns.

Total points of production from the Colgate men's 2012 starting attack that returns for the 2013 season, including Peter Baum's 97, Ryan Walsh's 60 and Brendon McCann's 34. The Raiders scored 13.11 goals per game last year, second most in the country (after Robert Morris.)

The last time the Penn State women's team made a final four. Coach Missy Doherty guided the Nittany Lions to the NCAA tournament for the first time in seven years last season but now would like to take the program to the next step. "Penn State is a fantastic institution. We have so many sports competing in final fours and winning national championships, so that's what we're striving to do for women's lacrosse," Doherty said.

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