Lax Stats - 2010 - It's SOG scored and SOG allowed that win championships

NCAA Tournament - I thought the goalie tournament play was disappointing and that defenses that kept the ball off the goalie won (fewest shots on goal or in ND case, low angle shots on Rogers).   This year, although Galloway at Syracuse is, and deserves, the 1st team All-American honors, there was only one really standout goalie in the NCAA Division 1 Championships; 

Scott Rogers, Notre Dame - In four games he made 54 saves and except for the Finals, that was enough so that the patient ND offense won.  With 76 shots on goal (SOG) he had a 70% save percentage and was aggressive to the ball.  A purist might say he got hit and can improve by keeping his hands up and tracking the ball better, but at 70% saves he was very effective for ND. Galloway and Rogers were the only keepers with 16 saves in a game and he had two games at 16.

Overall Analysis - BUT, each year I do an analysis of the goaltending and team play. The trend of defenses (and long/efficient offensive possessions) winning ball games was more dramatic this year than in prior years.  I analyzed all of the NCAA Division I tournament games and the Division III championship (16 games overall) and found that the teams were statistically closer than in previous years (see 2006 numbers): fewer shots/gm, closer SOG differential, lower save %-age (no D1 keeper over 60% for the season - take note D1 teams are looking for high performance keepers)

2010 Winning teams averaged (16 gms)

  • 35.6 shots / 23 shots on goal

  • 11.7 goals for

  • 10.9 saves / 59% for

  • 34.4 shots against / 18.4 on goal

  • 4.6 shots on goal (SOG) difference

  • 7.4 goals against

  • 4.3 goals difference

  • 11.3 saves / 50% saves against

   2006 Winning teams averaged

  • 40.1 shots / 24.9 shots on goal

  • 12.9 goals for

  • 10.4 saves / 57% for

  • 33.8 shots against / 18.3 on goal

  • 6.6 shots on goal (SOG) difference

  • 7.8 goals against

  • 5.1 goals difference

  • 12 saves / 48% against

Look at the number of saves - LOSERS HAVE MORE SAVES.  Then look at the shots for and against. Conclusion: WINNERS keep the ball off their goalie via better defense and longer offensive possessions to wins.   And as shown by the differences between 2010 and 2006 the differences between winners and losers even the champion and the vanquished is narrowing (six of 16 one goal games in 2010 and four in 2006)

2010 NCAA D1 champ Duke averaged (4 gms):

  • 35.5 shots /23,8 shots on goal/gm

  • 13.8 goals/gm

  • 39% shooting (goals per shot taken)

  • 6.3 saves / gm

  • 44% save percentage

  • 30.3 shots against / 14.3 on goal

  • 9.5 SOG difference

  • 8.0 goals/gm by opponents

  • 27% opponent shooting %-age

  • 10 opponent saves / gm

  • 43% save for opponent

  • 5.8 goals difference/gm

2006 NCAA D1 Champ Virginia averaged:

  • 48.5 shots / 31.3 shots on goal/gm

  • 16.5 goals/gm

  • 34% shooting %-age

  • 10.0 saves

  • 53% save percentage for UVA

  • 37.0 shots against / 18.8 on goal

  • 12.5 SOG difference

  • 8.8 goals/gm by opponents

  • 18% opponent shooting %-age

  • 14.8 opponent saves / gm

  • 47% save for opponent

  • 7.5 goals difference/gm

Duke was at its best at finishing the ball: 68 % of their shots were on goal and 57% of the SOGs were scored.  Further, Duke has fewer possessions than opponents but scored on 45% of their possession - that is efficient offense. Duke was also best at keeping the opponents shots off their goalie (low SOG allowed). This low SOG means that goalie effectiveness has a minimum effect on game outcome.  With Dan Wigrizer, playing at 44% save percentage for the tournament, holding the opponent to a low SOG total was critical to Duke's success.

This is understandable when one looks at two tables below regarding college lacrosse statistics; the first table shows the effect of save percentage on SOGs.  The colored areas show goals allowed where blue is good, green ok trying to keep opposition to under 10 goals, yellow not so good, red bad and purple an almost certain loss at any level. So a lower save percentage can be tolerated when there are fewer SOGs, but a higher save percentage is required when more shots are on goal (because if you give up 15 goals you lose and over 12 you almost always lose in HS/college).

The second table shows the relationship between shots on goal and goals depending on how either accurate/good the shooting is.  From a shooting point of view the objective is to get at 10+ goals.  Inversely holding a team to low shot count and low shooting percentage makes it possible to hold them to 8 or fewer goals where most games are won.  It seems that good defense has a better chance of keeping the SOG down and the shooting percentage down by playing effective team defense inside 11 yards from the goal and letting the goalie make the outside saves.  These two tables are the same - one with a defensive color scheme and one with an offensive one.

                                                    Goals Allowed

Shots

SOG

Save Percentage against all shots on goal

Allowed

Allowed

30%

35%

40%

45%

50%

55%

60%

65%

70%

25

15

10.5

9.8

9.0

8.3

7.5

6.8

6.0

5.3

4.5

33

20

14.0

13.0

12.0

11.0

10.0

9.0

8.0

7.0

6.0

42

25

17.5

16.3

15.0

13.8

12.5

11.3

10.0

8.8

7.5

50

30

21.0

19.5

18.0

16.5

15.0

13.5

12.0

10.5

9.0

58

35

 

22.8

21.0

19.3

17.5

15.8

14.0

12.3

10.5

67

40

 

 

 

22.0

20.0

18.0

16.0

14.0

12.0

 

 

   Goals Made

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shooting Percentage (goals/all shots) 

 

 

18%

21%

24%

27%

30%

33%

36%

39%

42%

Shots

SOG

Shooting Percentage (goals/shots on goal)

Allowed

Allowed

30%

35%

40%

45%

50%

55%

60%

65%

70%

25

15

4.5

5.3

6.0

6.8

7.5

8.3

9.0

9.8

10.5

33

20

6.0

7.0

8.0

9.0

10.0

11.0

12.0

13.0

14.0

42

25

7.5

8.8

10.0

11.3

12.5

13.8

15.0

16.3

17.5

50

30

9.0

10.5

12.0

13.5

15.0

16.5

18.0

19.5

21.0

58

35

10.5

12.3

14.0

15.8

17.5

19.3

21.0

22.8

 

67

40

12.0

14.0

16.0

18.0

20.0

22.0

 

 

 

It may seems subtle but keeping the shots off goal and keeping the SOG count low is important. What this also says us is that even though the emotional lift a team gets from a big save at the right time is good, it is consistent goalie play (above 55-60%) and team defense (low SOG w/mostly outside shots) that wins - as coaches we need to make that the environment for our team so that wins come and stay.

Copyright Weston Lacrosse 2010