Early Season College Observations - Many times it is the offense or the defense that is crucial to a win either by getting more shots on goal or preventing shots on goal (SOG).  And, on the best teams that should be a goal - to win the SOG battle - more times than not that is the determining statistics (almost above the score which is clearly the king of stats).  A sample of spring of Feb 28, 2009 Division I games shows just how important save percentage is in tight games.  The winning goalie had > 50% save percentage in 8 of 11 and in the others the loosing team lost the SOG differential.  Further with the exception of USMA and SJU these goalie save percentages were not great.  Part of that is because goalie are blocking too many shots that yield rebounds where the offense sticks that loose ball in. I would even say that some goalies lost there games (or at least the combination of keepers and defenses did) - JHU, Duke, Colgate and Navy.  Maybe solid goalie play is as important aa face-offs after all.  Goal tending without rebounds is a key factor also.  So keep working with your keeper on the keys to getting that save percentage up (watching the ball, not the shooter; being ready early, going (hands and feet) to every shot) and to minimizing rebounds (wrists to the back of the shaft and elbows bent a bit throughout the save).

Teams & Score

Saves

Comment

Towson 11, Air Force 8 Wheeler (TU) 14, Sanders (AF) 10 Goalie the difference maker
St Johns 10, G'town 9 St Johns 15, G'town 14 SJU Goalie a big factor
UVA 13, 'Cuse 12 UVA 10, Galloway (SU) 13 SU gave up too many SOG
UNC 14, Lehigh 6 UNC 7, Lehigh 11 LU goalie needed offensive help
Princeton 14, JHU 8 Gvozden (JHU) 9, Fiorito (PU) 11 JHU goalie sub-par
UMD 11, Duke 8 Phipps (UMD) 13, Schroeder (DU) 8 Goalie play the big difference
UMBC 13, Colgate 9 Blevins(UMBC) 13 Harringto(CU) 10 Goalie a difference maker
Bucknell 8, Navy 7 Sciubba (BU) 13, Wickham(UNA) 6 Goalie a difference maker
Hofstra 11, Brown 10 Hofstra 9, Burke (BU) 15 BU needed more SOG
Loyola 8, Penn St 7 Hagelin (LU) 10, Adams(PSU) 12 PSU needed more SOG
Cornell 9, Army 8 Harer(CU) 12, Paleskey (USMA) 22 USMA needed more SOG

 

Equipment - Recently I have noticed that a lot of younger players are playing with the helmets mis-aligned.  The cross bar is in front of their eyes.  That makes it tough to watch the ball.  So adjust it so they see out the top holes in the face mask when they are in their proper stance.  Other equipment tips; use shin guards and light sweat pants if the keeper has been hit (and is healing) or is shy in stepping to low shots.  If your keeper is slow stepping or false stepping (resetting a foot backward before coming forward) check for flat feet.  If they have fallen arches, try Spenco Arch Supports 3/4 Orthotics (www.spenco.com, available on Amazon.com for about $20).  I use them (after recommendation from a seasoned sports trainer) and they have helped my arch and helped turn my slew-footed-ness back to toes forward for walking and playing.  Further, we have had other goalies use them successfully. A big improvement for getting to the ball on each shot.

Copyright Weston Lacrosse 3/1/09