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Pard4Life

Drexel

Can we move this game to Fisher?  It's #8 vs. #11.  

Drexel's only loss came at #1 Virginia 11-8 and they defeated Notre Dame in OT.  They have beaten a good number of .500 and losing teams. Any thoughts or comments on the game?  What's Drexel's style? Weapons?
Bogus Megapardus

Drexel coach Greg Bates left last summer to take over the powerhouse Princeton program when the legendary Bill Tierney left to become the new coach at Denver (don't ask).  Drexel then hired  Penn coach Brian Voelker who played at Hopkins and was an assistant under Tierney at Princeton befor he went to Penn.  Bates left the program in very good shape and Drexel's only loss this year was to undefeated and undisputed #1 Virginia, by 3 goals.  Drexel plays Villanova tonight in a game that I expect Drexel will win.

Drexel will be the the biggest, most athletic team the Pards will face all year and will be the best chance to see if they might be able to hang with the scholarship behemoths should they make it to the NCAA tournament.  The key to winning will be ball control and, consequently, the success of FO guy Cesar Munoz.  Drexel's face-off specialists Ryan West and Nick Kusturiss have not been terribly successful this year, so a big night by Munoz the Beast will go a long way.

Drexel has played only two road games, a win at at Bingo (who the Pards also beat) and over the weekend at Albany which has not played well this year.

I am hoping for, but not anticipating, a win.  The Drexel defense will be much stingier than Bucknell's.  They have a 6-3 defender who plays LSM named Tufano who can hang with our speedsters and who is capable of physically hurting people.  Drexel is much bigger and taller across the board.  They have a lot of PA kids whereas the Pards have L.I. kids who play with more finesse and speed.

We'll know more after tonight's Villanova game.
Bogus Megapardus

Re: Drexel

Pard4Life wrote:
Can we move this game to Fisher?  It's #8 vs. #11.  


Our guys are accustomed to practicing on the Astro-tundra.  I also heard a rumor (and I hope it's just that) that lacrosse parents might have been asked to pay a "facility access fee" in order to use Fisher.  Rappolt will be OK for this game; it will be on LSN and Dan Mowdy will call the game, I understand.  If it's a pleasant day I imagine there will be a crowd of 500-700 which is fine for Rappolt - unless of course students all of a sudden get a burning desire to witness what a a top 10 ranked, elite lacrosse team looks like.  Then they have to bum a ride to Metzgar.

There will be national press there, though, so the Pards had better put a good face on.  In terms of national sports rankings, this is the biggest game that has hit Pardsville in a long time.

n.b. - I watched the entire Army v. Lehigh lacrosse game last night.  Let's just say this - come the end of the season against those miserable Pigeons, I am expecting and anticipating sweet revenge, in double digits.  

Also, the Drexel/Villanova game is on all access tonight.  I'm going to try to catch part of it and I'll post some observations, if anyone's interested.
Bogus Megapardus

I thought I might throw in some thoughts about Sunday's game against Drexel.

- Pards play Drexel every year so they're nothing new.  Last year's 11-9 loss in Philly was statistically even and displayed the makings of a rapidly-improving Lafayette team.

- Pards are a veteran team but actually only three starters vs. Bucknell (phenomenal attackmen Mersky, Bauer and Perini) started vs. Drexel last year.  Others (Ahern, Djaha, Dunbar etc.) played significant minutes though.

- Drexel is starting a bunch of sophomores particularly on defense.  This includes massive, goal-stuffing, 6-2, 270 lb. Mark Manos in goal.  Manos is a two-time H.S. All-American and Delaware POY.  He played both ways as a football lineman in H.S. too.

- Drexel is a CAA member; the CAA plays lacrosse with much the same (well-earned) superiority that it has in FCS football. Towson, Hofstra, and UMass are the class of CAA lacrosse.  Drexel is the bully.  All are full scholarship.

I watched the Villanova/Drexel game online last night (10-8 Nova win), played at Villanova's football stadium.  If there were lacrosse lines and markings on the field, I could not see them.  There were about 600 fans.  The two schools are yearly rivals.  Villanova has joined the new Big East lacrosse which intends to subsume all else in the lacrosse world (which presently is ACC-dominated).  For what it's worth, here are some observations:

- Villanova was the better team, for sure.  Given Drexel's record and its lone, narrow loss to Virginia, this was surprising.  Villanova plays a ball-control, patient game much more similar to Lafayette than Drexel, which is a hard-shooting, hard-checking style.

- Drexel FO mid Ryan West took almost all of the face-offs.  He has not been all that successful this year but he had the better of Villanova for the most part.  Trouble is, Drexel committed a bunch of forced and unforced turnovers, which negated their possession advantage.

- Drexel's attack and point guys don't pass as crisply as I expected, and they had a couple of unforced turnovers out-of-bounds in scoring situations.

- Drexel is a hustle-and-shoot team that does not always rely a lot on assists.  Last night, however, I think all of Drexel's goals were off assists.  # 23 Perri seems to be their best all-around player, and will give an assist rather than shoot.  Rather than pass around and wait for the guy in space, though, Drexel always seemed to shoot too soon.  They took 29 shots to get 8 goals, and I think most of the ones that missed were unassisted.  #4 Stockel (mid) especially - he took some really poor shots.  Drexel's best scorer was #13 Ambler who had four goals (one was very late in the game) but he, too, took a whole bunch of shots to get those four.  That means they're most dangerous when they find their rhythm and are allowed to set up their schemes.

- Defensively Drexel is stout with some big, bruising poles who hit and check very hard when they can.  I loved the way Nova dealt with this, though.  Nova was very patient with the ball and goaded Drexel's poles to press.  Nova knew exactly what they were doing and would immediately find the guy in space for a clean shot as soon as Drexel charged.  You could just watch it unfold after a while, and you knew it was coming.

- Goalie Manos had an OK night.  He's enormous as he takes up most of the space between the pipes a la Hector the Rejector.  Nova was going high and to his left most of the time.

- Drexel's man down was really, really good on the penalty kills (an area where Lafayette could use a lot of improvement).  They just swarmed Nova with poles and allowed their sheer size and strength to eat the minutes.  I think all the Drexel penalties were 30s.

- Drexel looked like they became impatient when they were behind.  They quickly lost their game and fell out of sync.  They blew clears and lost turnovers, which seemed to me to add to the frustration.  And then they started with the pushes, slashes and holds, mostly in the second half.  The refs seemed pretty quick with the flag on them, which probably added to their frustration.  At least twice I saw a hold that otherwise would have directly resulted in a score.  Since Drexel kills the 30 so well, those kinds of penalties can be part of their strategy.  #10 Collins (mid) was the worst offender.  I'm not going to say that Drexel is a "dirty" team but they certainly are very physical.

Please take all of the above with a grain of salt, of course.  Ball control and patience, along with some semblance of a man down D, would be key to a Pard win here.  In that regard, a monster afternoon by Cesar the Barbarian would be sweet.  If Munoz can beat West 60-70%, I figure the Pards might have enough offensive weapons to get ahead early and stay there.  But Drexel cannot afford a loss to podunk little upstart Lafayette, thus putting them at 6-3, dropping in RPI and risking what had looked like a playoff lock for the Dragons.  Drexel will win if Manos gets hot and their defense can disrupt Lafayette's finely-choreographed offensive dance.
Bogus Megapardus

I saw a superb game of lacrosse today in as fine of an example of the sport played at its very highest level as you're likely to see.  Two nationally-ranked teams going head to head in a contest that wasn't decided until the last 15 seconds. This was blazing speed versus brute force, and brute force won out in a squeaker today by a score of 12-11.

Drexel's defense was brutally physical and punished the Leopards all afternoon, and NCAA stop leader Mark Manos seemed to ground everything the Leopard sharpshooters could hurl at him. FO guy Cesar Manoz, a stalwart for the Pards all year, was ineffective early, yielding possession advantages to Drexel before being replaced. The highlight of the game was an amazing sixty yard catch-and-slam from Goalie Vinnie DePasquale to Steve Sterling on a fast break, for which DePasquale was credited with an assist.

The Pards played extremely well.  I was surprised how well the defense held up, and I was particularly impressed with the man down.  They showed again that they are a resilient team, coming back from a four goal deficit in the 4th quarter to tie it.  There is now no doubt whatsoever in my mind that this team can compete with the top tier (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Syracuse) in the NCAA tournament.

If ever there was a reason to move these games to Fisher Stadium, today was it. No way is the Meztgar complex able to handle that volume of people and parking.  Somebody please call Drew Rosenhaus - the Leopards have "outperformed" their facility and it's time to restructure.
Lafalum

Who is Drew Rosenhaus.....looks like Friends of lacrosse will have to raise some money!!
Pard4Life

Lafalum wrote:
Who is Drew Rosenhaus.....looks like Friends of lacrosse will have to raise some money!!


Isn't he Terrell Owens' agent? He is the Boras of the NFL I believe...

Great game with an unfortunate result.  I agree that we are a top team.  We responded like champions... we did not fold and fought to the final buzzer.  It was like Princeton's comeback against Penn last week, except Drexel is much better.

Looks like you have the major points covered Bogus... face-offs in the middle portion of the game killed us and our passing was less than perfect.  That could have been due to the very aggressive pressure but we were not handling open passes cleanly.  

Also, the goalie mistake killed us that led to a 'free' Drexel goal, as did their goal with seconds left before the half.  Just a hunch but had that final pass been made in the closing seconds we would have scored.

Bill Rappolt was interviewed during halftime.  It's safe to say it was likely the largest crowd ever at the field.  Cars were parked in the little park north of the baseball field all the way down to the field service road, and in the parking lots across the street.

It would have been a great OOC win and critical if we do not win the Patriot League, but if Penn and Fairfield keep winning, we should be ok.

Oh, and Dan Weiss was at the game with the family...
Bogus Megapardus

Pard4Life wrote:
Dan Weiss was at the game with the family...


There ya go.  I can sniff JHU @Fisher Field in future seasons.  Oh my what a show that would be.

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