1. The GWLL was not overrated: Many thought that with three teams being represented, the GWLL, was receiving too much credit. With Notre Dame knocking off one of the hottest teams in the nation in Colgate, Ohio State blowing out higher seeded Cornell on their home field, and Denver playing Maryland tight to the very end, the GWLL is the second best conference this year, behind the ACC.
2. UMBC is the real deal: Even with an 11 game win streak to close the year there were many doubters about whether UMBC was a top-flight team. Despite 3 overtime wins and a historic 11-2 comeback for a 14-13 win over Albany in the America East Championship game (after losing top scorer Ryan Smith early in the contest to a torn ACL), the Retrievers were sent down to Charlottesville where they very nearly knocked of another higher ranked ACC team in the first round. (Last year, they defeated
3. Defense wins championships: We saw success from more conservative, half field teams like
4. Tradition: Since 2003, there have been 5 teams who have made it to the final four more than once, all of whom advanced this past weekend (
5. The travel rule needs to be amended: Given teams need to be in a given radius to still use a bus, the GWLL situation used up the first round flight limit of two. This forced Canisius to stay up to play third seeded
Net Crasher’s Note: Imagine if Loyola or UMBC actually did pull off upsets? (Both teams had opportunities throughout the game to do so) Something tells me Coaches Danowski and Starsia would be dropping lacrosse sticks in favor of pitch forks.
6. Weather Conditions: For better or worse, the weather has created some interesting games in the NCAA tournament. In 2003, a muddy M&T Bank Stadium saw an extremely sloppy championship game, as Tillman Johnson turned out a great performance.
Net Crasher Note: UVA-JHU in 2005 was one of the great sports moments of all-time. Go ahead, challenge me…I dare you.
7. Record Breakers: In recent memory, there have been few players as successful as Paul Rabil and Matt Danowski. Both are two time Tawaaraton nominees and locks to be three-time first team All-Americans, and both set meaningful records this weekend. Danowski went for 7 points against Loyola to break Joe Vasta’s career points record of 343. Rabil, with a 4 goal afternoon, got to 101 goals on his career, which broke the
8. Living (at-)Large: Of the three unseeded teams which gained at-large births (
9. Goaltending: It is very difficult to win a championship unless your goalie can play well throughout the playoffs. Often times, we see it’s a spectacular effort from the goalie that will lead teams to victory on Memorial Day. Tillman Johnson did it for
NC’s Note: Keep your eyes on Joey Kemp out of Notre Dame. He was playing like a man possessed at the end of the Colgate Game.
10. Warrior: Warrior has perhaps launched the most ridiculous advertising campaign…ever. I guess it’s a step up from seeing the K-18 commercial on repeat with Kyle Harrison doing fitness drills around
NC Note: Check out one of the commercials here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rB9jLyuhHo