Saturday, October 27, 2012

Uncommon for now....

A feed from one California guy to another California guy for the finish. Bang,bang...assist and goal. That's an uncommon occurrence in NCAA DI lacrosse. But not for long at the pace our guys are getting recruited.

More and more, California guys aren't lone rangers when they go back East. Next year, for example, it will be Jack McCormack of DLS and Wiley Osborne of Menlo School heading off to Dartmouth. Middie Mike Hernandez of Piedmont and Attack Brendan Gaughan of La Costa Canyon are Frosh who are both attending Michigan. At Penn State, Two Freshmen from the same school have enrolled at Happy Valley. Close D Jordan LaTendresse and M Jordan Weiss, both from San Ramon Valley, will be playing for Coach Tambroni!  At Notre Dame, former SI Attack, Bobby Gray, joins former Corona Del Mar standout Attack, Ryan Mix. This year's Yale Freshman class has another pair of SI/CDM guys – JW McGovern, an Attack from St. Ignatius and Mike Keasey, a Middie from Corona Del Mar.

Here, Yale takes on UMass in a Fall Ball game. Both Yale and UMass made the NCAA tournament last season and new guys are always competing for playing time. In this video from, #10 Keasey brings the ball up the field and spots #4 McGovern sneaking around the crease from X. Feed and finish in the blink of an eye! From 3:16 to 3:24 in the vid.

By the way, the same thing is happening at top NCAA DIII programs. We've got former Foothill Goalie Patrick Shevelson and former SI Middie Phil Aliman who headed off to Kenyon this Fall where they'll join Phil's older brother Nick. Similarly, Close D Matt Corbin of De La Salle joins D Somer Stein of Marin Academy and A Jack Bodine of St. Ignatius at Haverford. It's absolutely explosive growth, folks, and you're watching it happen!

Friday, October 26, 2012


The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) is one of the nation's finest Lacrosse Conferences. All the schools are academic powerhouses, they are all elite Liberal Arts schools, and they play a wicked brand of NCAA DIII lacrosse. It's no surprise that a large number of NorCal laxers accept invitations to play for NESCAC schools. For those who have never seen NESCAC campuses, herewith a sample. I've added to each school a few of the NorCal guys who play – or are committed to play – NESCAC lacrosse. Enjoy viewing the good life!

Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut:
Brendan McDermott

Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont::
Mani Ghiasi, Will Ernst

Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts:
Duncan Cummings, Austin Shea, David Lee

Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts:
Johnno Gibbons

Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts:
Ryan Le
Colby College, Waterville, Maine:

Alex Rutan, Riley Burke

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Michael Tags – US Lacrosse write-up

Michael Tagliaferri

It's always nice to read about Michael Tagliaferri, whether it's coming from his 2X AA San Ramon Valley days, his exploits on the USA U-19 team, or his upcoming performances with UNC. Lacrosse Magazine, the official publication of US Lacrosse has just published another article on Mike. This one reveals more details about his family, and also gives a tutorial on his dodging techniques.

For those of you who are members of US Lacrosse, you can read this story in the current issue. Non-members will have to wait a month or so until it shows up on the website. Ah, the privileges of membership!

The dodging tutorial is terrific. Be sure to see the pix and read the details. Key quote from the tutorial: "Watch the defenseman's front hip. If he opens his hip, split dodge the other way. If it stays closed, run past him."

Monday, October 22, 2012

OSU v Lehigh at Kezar – the local story

Will McKee (photo by Doug Ko)

Lehigh defeated the Ohio State University at Kezar Stadium Sunday, 15-13. It's always fun to watch Lacrosse, even Fall Ball games, but for me the story was the return to San Francisco of Lehigh FO/M Will McKee, who plays DI Lacrosse for Lehigh. Will has played in Kezar Stadium many times – in both Football and Lacrosse – but this time had a different vibe. He was a Lehigh MountainHawk and kids in the stands asked for his autograph after the game. San Fran Preps did a story about Will's return, which you can read at:

Will took a few face-offs, played some midfield, and his team won, so he had a great time at his homecoming. He even got a plateful of his favorite cookies from a fan (Barefoot Contessa Chocolate Chunks for those in the know).

Both Ohio State and Lehigh practiced at St. Ignatius' turf field on Saturday, so that was yet another familiar field for Will. He was a High School All-American at SI and he'll develop into a fine college player. Way to go Will!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Landmark event for California lacrosse

The St. Ignatius College Prep Boy's Lacrosse team will take the field in 2013 with at least eleven NCAA recruits on the roster. I believe this is a high water mark for any team in California Boy's lacrosse history, Only teams like Garden City on Long Island or the best MIAA A Division teams in Baltimore produce numbers like this. Quite an accomplishment for SI.  Northern California's approach to Boy's lacrosse was to create a solid Youth Lacrosse program – the NCJLA – and have the talent "bubble up" to High School programs. This differs from most other non-hotbeds, which put most of their effort into High School programs – taking good athletes and teaching them the basics of lacrosse. I have long contended that the Northern California approach to building a strong Boy's Youth lacrosse infrastructure would prove superior to any other approach. Mission accomplished.

That same Youth lacrosse excellence will allow more High School teams to reach this "every starter an NCAA recruit" landmark. Don't have any idea which team comes next, but I'd be surprised if that team didn't have initials like BCP, DLS, MC, MV or SRV,.

Here's the rundown for SI 2013:

David Fleming Fairfield 2013 DI
Joe Lang Harvard 2014 DI
Moore Harris Washington & Lee 2013 DIII

Chad Bell Boston University 2013 DI
Matt Emery Virginia 2013 DI
Spencer Evans Harvard 2013 DI
Brendan McDermott Trinity College 2013 DIII

Riley Burke Colby College 2013 DIII
Charlie Ford (LSM) Georgetown 2013 DI
Jack McGovern Holy Cross 2013 DI

Cyrus Scott* Colgate 2014 DI
*I had earlier heard from a goalie on the recruiting trail at the Ivies that Cyrus committed to UPenn, but have subsequently confirmed with the Scotts that Cyrus committed very recently to Colgate. Congratulations to this fine lacrosse player with strong academics!

11/12/2012 UPDATE: A/M Moore Harris Washington & Lee 2013 DIII, has recently committed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cyrus Scott to Colgate

While on the East Coast this past week  – taking in 5 DI Fall Ball games in two different states – I met a  goalie who was visiting an Ivy League school. Just an accidental brush, but in our chat, I asked if he knew Cyrus Scott (SI's fine Junior goalie) and got the response, "Sure do. He recently committed to Penn." Now I don't know if this is factual, but goalies in the hunt for DI slots always seem to keep their eyes and an ears open to what their competition is doing. So, if this is true, congrats to Cyrus! Penn is getting a very good goalie.

UPDATE: I recently talked with a member of the Scott family who told me that Cyrus has very recently committed to DI Colgate. Cyrus is a very talented goalie with strong academics. I am not surprised that he had a number of opportunities to play NCAA lacrosse

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Organized Lacrosse in Oakland Public Schools

Lacrosse has had its ups and downs in Oakland, with early efforts to launch the game going back more than twenty years. Despite great effort and dedicated coaches most of those early efforts failed. But efforts continued and it may be that Oakland's large school population may be on a path to critical mass. Here is a terrific story about the Oakland Lacrosse Club and Kevin Kelley, who are organizing a major effort to expose Oakland boys and girls to our sport. I wish them the very best of luck:

Kevin played Division I lacrosse at Providence College, where he graduated in 2000. After graduation he moved to the Bay Area and helped start the Piedmont high program. He was assistant coach in 2002 and 2003 and head coach from 2004-2009, compiling a 73-42 record and three straight NCS appearances (2006-2008).

Oakland Lacrosse Club

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

NCAA rule changes for 2013 and their impact

Every year, the NCAA makes rules changes  – some years fewer, some year more. Those rules have a way of flowing down to High School and Youth Lacrosse. The MLL has its rules, but in our sport, the NCAA is "King of the Hill." This year, the NCAA made, in my opinion, dramatic changes to the rules of the game. Below, I list the key changes the NCAA has made and provide the perspective of an NCAA DI player whose Fall practices and Fall Ball activities provide a "real world" commentary on the NCAA's changes.

NCAA Rules changes discussed herein:
• eliminate the horn on dead ball out-of-bounds situations
• Institute a 30 second shot clock after a stall warning has been issued
•  extend the length of the substitution box
• change the shape of "shooting strings" within NCAA legal heads

First, here's an article featuring the opinions on the rules changes:

I asked an NCAA DI player who is working with these rules in Fall Ball what his opinions of the following rule changes are:

• No dead ball horn
• Longer substitution box
• 30 seconds to shoot after stall warning
• Defenders 5 yards off the ball carrier. Is this true?
• Stringing changes

He responded as follows:

The no dead ball horn makes the game a track race. In practice, we are getting up and down the field with almost no breaks in the scrimmage. The longer substitution box doesn't play a huge role, except in the clearing game the middies try to get little advantages to maybe get a fast break or get open. The stringing rule has had no effect whatsoever and is a pretty pointless change as far as I'm concerned. I'm a fan of the 30 second shot clock: it's really plenty of time to get a quality shot, and it doesn't restrict the offensive strategy by being forced to keep it in the box. 

2013 will see big changes in the pace of the game. Looking forward to the season!

Mike Tagliaferri to undergo shoulder surgery

NorCal's Mike Tagliaferri will undergo shoulder surgery at UNC soon. The USA U19 team's storied midfielder is expected to play this Spring, but awaits results and recovery from his surgery. You can read an article about Mike's injury at: