OT: ohio upsets #5 Denver in Lacrosse

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on February 19th, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Game was on NBC Sports earlier. ohio beat them 10-9.

 ohio played very cheap IMO. Once they got the lead they kept passing the ball back and forth for about 75% of the 4th quarter. denver got a goal to close the gap at 1 goal with under a minute left, but their shot at the horn was blocked. There really should be a shot clock in college lacrosse because that was absolutely rediculous not to mention boring.

The game was played at EverBank Field in Jacksonville,FL. Michigan will play jacksonville and mercer there in March. Speaking of JU, the dolphins destroyed navy in the second game of the doubleheader today. JU is only in their second(?) year of NCAA Division 1 Lacrosse and it seems they're coming along nicely as a program.

Michigan gets denver on the road next weekend on Saturday. Oy. They're gonna be pissed. Hold me TomVH.

 Current ECAC Standings

Ohio 1-0 3-0
Fairfield 0-0 1-0
Loyola 0-0 1-0
Bellarmine 0-0 1-1
Hobart 0-0 0-0
Air Force 0-0 0-1
MICHIGAN 0-0 0-2
#5 Denver 0-1 0-1




February 19th, 2012 at 6:15 PM ^

like a high school basketball game same thing happens all the time. One game I remember the team help the ball almost the whole 6 minute 4th quarter and the opposing team didnt even start fouling till it was too late. Just boring and awful basketball to watch but since its aloud no one does anything to change it.


February 19th, 2012 at 6:20 PM ^

Lacrosse does have a "stalling" rule to keep the pace up and from teams just playing keep away to salt away a lead. If the ref called it (stalling is a judgement call by the ref if a team does not seem to make any attempt at attacking the goal), it would require the attacking team to keep the ball the offensive box which makes it easier for the defense to press and get the ball back. The attacking team cannot come out of the box or the ball is turned over. (ie..basketball team having to keep it inside the 3 point arc or an automatic turnover)

Pro has a shot clock (and a 2 point arc for that matter) just because it forces high scoring games. Very arena football-esque

I didnt watch the game but can imagine that Denver pressed but if Ohio was able to pass around the box and play keep away like you say, it was probably (and sadly) due to some really good passing by Ohio.


February 19th, 2012 at 7:09 PM ^

Denver is actually a top 5 team, they have to have one take away defender. Every single college team I know runs some form of a shutoff and allows that defender to go to work. Even easier behind the cage.

See UVa (multiple national titles and final fours)


A little insight. 

See UVa (multiple national titles and final fours)



February 20th, 2012 at 3:14 PM ^

I was at a tournament game last year where the losing team stood with their hands in the air in a passive 2-3 zone, applying no pressure to the ball whatsoever, and their fans booed when the other team decided to hold the ball. I turned to one of them and asked if they wanted to lose, and if they didn't why weren't they playing defense?

The answer (not his answer, but the actual reason) was that they couldn't. They were too slow and their defensive fundamentals were too poor. But it was the offense's fault for taking advantage of it....


February 19th, 2012 at 6:33 PM ^

The shot clock thing is a big debate among lacrosse fans and IME, it would be a huge, huge, HUGE mistake.

Point #1 to that effect is to take a look at the sticks.  The pocket used to be more or less triangular with a round end.  But the ball was much easier to dislodge.  Equipment companies modified the stick so the pocket is now bell-shaped, with a huge cinch.  Example here.  (And check out the very old-school sticks at the top of the page for a comparison.)

That was supposed to tilt the game toward the offense and make it more exciting.  Fewer turnovers = more scoring, as the theory went.  But the general feeling is now that it's so hard to dislodge the ball that defenses don't even try; instead they pack it in, preferring to defend the net instead of trying to create turnovers.  Which of course leads to a lot of passing back and forth instead of attacking the net.

Point is that a shot clock would have the same effect.  A change to the game that was supposed to increase the offensive excitement had the exact opposite effect.  People should take a lesson from the sticks.  If a defense knows the offense will be forced to give it up in 60 seconds, they'll just pack it in even more.  Goals will go way down because defenses will just close up around the net and wait for the offense to make a mistake.  Got to remember the unintended consequences.

Anyone mentions shot clocks around me, they're gonna get my soapboxing against it because I hate, hate, hate the idea.  A shot clock works in basketball because you can't put bodies in front of the hoop the way you can in lacrosse.  You shoot over the defense, not through it.  Basketball fans: you remember how frustrating it was to play Tony Bennett's pack-line defense?  Have you by chance checked out the average score and tempo of the average UVA game?  I love it because we're winning with it, but that's not what I want lacrosse to look like.

L'Carpetron Do…

February 19th, 2012 at 9:28 PM ^

Good points all.  A shot clock would probably result in the goal-packing but I think there needs to be some middle ground between a shot clock and what they have now.  I think after a stall call is made by the officials to keep it in the box, the offense must make some kind of aggressive move to the cage within 20 or 30 seconds or its a delay of game violation and a turnover.  Or maybe they should make the box smaller?



February 19th, 2012 at 9:43 PM ^

My thought is that on a stall warning, the opposing team's attackmen should be allowed to roam across midfield and anywhere outside the box.  They could all hang out near the line that marks the midfield area or even down the sidelines all the way to the end lines, as long as they don't go into the box itself.  That would effectively shrink the box.  The stalling team would have a great incentive to take the play away from the edges of the box - an errant pass or a ground ball could mean a fast break.  And if the stall is called with the ball outside the box, they'd be incentivized to get it in there but quick.  Only thing is: I wouldn't allow this during the two-minute auto-stall - only when a team is called for stalling by the refs. 

I wish there were a less subjective way to determine a stall, but I can't think of one I like.  It's sort of a you know it when you see it thing anyway, and besides, I can't think of too many times the refs called a stall unjustly.


February 20th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

A shot clock works in basketball because along with the clock they introduced a 3-point line to force teams to extend their defense. (Before that, it worked in the NBA because they outlawed zones altogether.) By itself it would have been a disaster.

I can't imagine a equivalent rule change that could make it work in lacrosse.


February 20th, 2012 at 4:24 PM ^

Excellent point about the 3-point line, which I hadn't thought of.  I have never heard anyone suggest there should be such a thing in lacrosse - clearly it wouldn't work because extending the defense would make the other team more likely to score from a distance, not less, unlike in hoops.  But I have heard a suggestion that a goal within a certain amount of time from getting the ball into the box (60 seconds, say) should be worth two points, as an incentive to hurry up.  Don't care for that idea either, but at least it's a solid attempt to think outside the shot-clock box.


February 19th, 2012 at 6:33 PM ^

is this something we can or should expect from Michigan since being in their first year at varsity level if they had a lead in the last period? I know the talent level is a little behind with the wolverines is this a ploy they would attempt to use to get a win?

L'Carpetron Do…

February 19th, 2012 at 8:59 PM ^

Yes, Michigan's strategy in general this year is to control the pace of the game  because they are at such a disadvantage in many respects.  JP said that they want to control the overall number of possessions in a game - keep it under 60.  This means fewer turnovers, longer possessions and less opportunities for the opponents to score.

Michigan is very likely to employ this tactic with a lead - especially if it is against a team they shouldn't be beating.  Especially because Michigan is not too proficient at faceoffs at this level.

Ohio really abused it, but Denver was way too non-chalant with letting them hold it.


February 19th, 2012 at 6:46 PM ^

is this sport win at any costs? Or is this practice frowned upon by the more elite teams? Just trying to follow lacrosse more closely and the only things I ever get to see are the final four on espn and watched a great show last night on Big Ten coaching Icons about Northwesterns girls coach who pretty much has changed the way the game is played and recruited on the female side at least.


February 19th, 2012 at 6:56 PM ^

No, to some extent every team does it.  I mean, it's no different really than just running up the middle to run out the clock in football, or trying to waste time in basketball the same way.  If you've got the ball with say a three-goal lead and about four minutes to go, frankly, you've proven to be the better team over the last 56 minutes and I think it'd be wrong to rewrite the rules to force that team not to stall.  Stalling would be a perfectly legitimate thing to do.

I didn't see the Denver-Ohio game.  I see in the boxscore that Ohio took a two-goal lead with 12 minutes to go.  That's kind of extreme - you don't usually see teams trying to stall and wind down the clock that early with only a two-goal lead.  Would Michigan do the same?  No idea.  Maybe.  Teams on the verge of a big upset obviously don't want to offer the better team a chance to get back in it.  Maybe Denver ought to have tried to force the issue a little more - if a team can stall 12 minutes off the clock against you, that's probably your own fault.


February 19th, 2012 at 8:33 PM ^

Jacksonville looked pretty darn good against Navy and noticeably better than the UDM team we lost to. That game was considered winnable, but it looks like it will be a challenge.

L'Carpetron Do…

February 19th, 2012 at 9:11 PM ^

They really did.  It's their 3rd year, right?  They didn't seem overly athletic, but the offense seemed very smart and well-coached. Their goalie seemed pretty good too.   I was hoping that would be a potential win for Michigan on the schedule but now I'm not so sure...(kind of wish Navy was on the sched - they looked terrible for the bit I saw).

I wasn't that impressed with Denver or Ohio State though.  Athletic -yes, more athletic than Michigan I imagine (haven't seen Mich play yet).  Hopefully Denver isn't as tough as we thought and it won't be a full-scale slaughter this Saturday.  On the other hand, Ohio State may be better than we thought - but Michigan has two months to get ready for them.

Amazing that 3 teams on Michigan's schedule were all on network TV today...


February 19th, 2012 at 9:55 PM ^

I tend to agree with Wahoo.  No shot clock unless they come up with a way to ensure that teams won't just pack into a zone and force outside shots.  He's absolutely right that the difference between lacrosse and basketball is the fact that you have to shoot through the defense, AND a goalie.  A shot clock would force more bad shots than anything else.

I was disappointed in Denver today.  They are obviously very talented on offense.  They are average on defense.  Regardless, they did not really do anything to force the pace when Ohio started stalling.  I have a feeling they'll be contenders in May, but they are going to see this strategy a lot this year.  You can't blame Ohio for doing what the rules allow to win.  It's not like they did anything cheap.  They did a great job getting a lead, then held it.

Michigan is going to have to slow it down in every game this year if they want to have any chance to win a game or two.  New fans out there need to be patient.  Recruiting will change this team dramatically.

Jacksonville is in their third year, but unlike Michigan they had a full year to recruit before they started D1 play.  In that sense it's like they are in their fourth year compared to us.  They also took a lot of transfers.  I don't see Michigan building it that way.

L'Carpetron Do…

February 20th, 2012 at 2:59 PM ^

In the shot-clock argument - there are some grounds for comparison between lacrosse and basketball but there are also major differences.  

As compared to a basketball court, there is so much  more space on a lacrosse field  for a player to kill time.  There are also many more rules in basketball governing the handling of the ball that can result in a turnover.  Pressure defense can force offenses into these kinds of mistakes.  Lacrosse allows the O to hold a small-sized  ball quite securely in their stick behind the cage with no intent of trying to score.  The rules don't really help the D, the way basketball rules do.  The only such rules in lacrosse are warding off (which is somewhat common), thumbing the ball in the crosse and the Jim Brown chest-clamp rule (both of which are very rare).  

The stall is usually called on a team that has the lead  - so it wouldn't really behoove the D to pack it in.  They need the ball.  If there was a shot clock, they could pack it in and wait for the shot, but then the O  could purposely fire wide and back up the shot to regain possession.

But, lacrosse has gone this long without reforming the stall rule so maybe it's not as bad as we think.  There is not really a '4 corners' problem but the rule may need a bit of tweaking because there is too much going in the offense's favor.