By Paul Carcaterra Class of '93 for CSTV
An analyst for CSTV, Paul was All-American on Syracuse's '95 title team. He is president of No Limit Lacrosse Camps, and developer for Maverik Lacrosse.
Virginia vs. Duke
Duke's defensive midfield of Nick O'Hara, Ed Douglas and Mike Ward was just outstanding. They all make plays from restraining line to restraining line, and they're as good a defensive midfielder group as I've seen in a long time. Both goalies were tremendous as well. On the flip side, the Virginia midfield was equally good. The game could have gone either way, but the big difference was Duke's ability to dominate face-offs and the groundball battle. The reason I really love lacrosse is the fact that you can have a 4,000-seat capacity stadium and put 6,000-7,000 people in there and it really creates an incredible atmosphere. And with the weather being 65 and sunny, it was just an awesome day for lacrosse.
Offensive Player of the Week
Junior midfielder Brad Ross was outstanding in Duke's win over Virginia Saturday. He had three goals, two of them coming on dodges, and the last one, his game-winning overtime goal off a feed from Matt Danowski, was one of the craftiest shots I've seen all season. He caught a ball across his face and went around the world and did a variation of a behind-the-back shot to seal the win on Homecoming. It was a great way for Ross and the Blue Devils to end the ACC regular season. The Blue Devils haven't had a ton of production from their midfield this year, so it was big for Duke that another midfielder stepped up against Virginia.
Defensive Player of the Week
It's tough to give the award to a player from a losing team, but Virginia goalie Kip Turner stood on his head Saturday. Duke had plenty of opportunities and Turner was tremendous, making save after save on difficult shots from the Blue Devils. He also had an assist in the game, going coast to coast and making a feed to Ben Rubeor for a goal. Turner is a goalie that I believe doesn't get enough credit. Virginia is often times highlighted by its offense, and that puts Turner in a tough spot. When you play a style like Virginia, you put tremendous pressure on your goalie. Turner, though, has answered the call, week in and week out. He is putting together an unbelievable career and winning percentage.
Over three years ago, senior defender Ethan Vedder CLASS OF '03 and his Cornell teammates set up the "Mario St. George Boiardi Memorial Literacy Corporation," which they now call "The Run 21," in memory of their fallen teammate. The foundation has been quite successful, with over 900 members enrolled in the last two years and $25,000 earned. Vedder serves as the President for the group, which donates all its proceeds to the Family Reading Partnership in Ithaca, N.Y. The team runs the entire foundation, with freshmen and sophomores also playing a role in the fundraising, while former Big Red players like Mike Pisco, Joe Boulukos, David Bush and Cam Marchant have all helped to make The Run 21 what it has grown to be today.
On The Rise
Last month I saw Notre Dame play Dartmouth with the Irish looking very vulnerable in some key areas. They really weren't clicking and playing the team defensive game. As much as I thought Joey Kemp, who's an All-American goaltender, wasn't standing out this season, everything changed when I saw him play Sunday in person against Denver. Kemp was awesome in the cage, making all the saves he needed to but also coming out with some great one-on-one saves and making it look rather easy too. A lot of that has to do with his poise and temperament. Offensively, Notre Dame did a nice job clicking from the inside and outside because of their outside shooters in Brian Hubschmann, Lucius Polk and Michael Podgajny really doing damage in the game. It opened up the inside with Ryan Hoff, who I'm impressed with as a crease man. He finds those seams and has that uncanny ability to read a defense and that inside area. The more opportunities he gets are a result of the outside play of the midfielders who are starting to step up. I certainly think Notre Dame is favored to win the Great Western Lacrosse League, but the Irish can actually go farther. They're a team to be reckoned with in the NCAA tournament.
My Top 10
7) Johns Hopkins
10) North Carolina