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Saturday, April 4, 2009

All Systems Go!!!

It's going to be nice and sunny (if a little windy) today, so let's do this thing! Valley Southwoods at Noon. We may be down in the football practice fields of in one of the parking lot fields. Just look for lax sticks...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mens Collegiate Lacrosse Association Updates

About half of the MCLA season has come and gone, so I thought it would be a good time to put up a review of how our (fairly) local teams are doing this year:
The Vikings have three wins and two losses so far. They have six games left in the regular season. So far their biggest win came at the hands of Palmer Chiropractic (Davenport): 9-1. Their biggest loss came from Wheaton (IL) College: 13-7. The Vikings face Iowa tonight in Rock Island at 7:00 pm. Tomorrow they have Nebraska-Omaha at 1:00 pm and they face Palmer on Sunday at 4:00 pm. Valley Assistant Coach Tyler Nielsen is a former Viking.
The Purple Haze are winless after three games this season. St. Olaf (Minnesota) handed them their biggest defeat so far: 20-2. The Purple Haze resume play on April 18 to kick off the final 6 games of their season.
The Blue Jays are flying high this season with six big wins and only one loss. Iowa, DePaul, Harding, South Dakota, Augsburg, and Dordt have been destroyed by a combined score of 88-37. Ouch. Their one loss was to Missouri State. Creighton has eight more games scheduled, one of which is against Northwestern whose program is up in the air (see below).
The Sowers have one win under their belt after two cancelled games and three losses. The UNO Maveriks went down 7-5 last Saturday. However, the Sowers have fared far worse for the rest of the season with a 22-0 loss to Northern Colorado, a 15-1 loss to Nebraska, and a fairly close 10-7 loss against Creighton. With eight games remaining, Dordt has the potential to end the season on a high note.
Gotta hand it to the Hawkeyes, with an 1-8 record they are still going. Despite one or two goal losses to most opponents, Iowa has suffered a seven goal loss to Missouri Baptist, a six goal loss to Illinois State, and a four goal loss to St. Louis. On the bright side, they stomped Palmer 19-1. Two of their six remaining games are against Iowa State, but there's not much that can salvage this season. Luc Jacobs, Valley's man at X, plans on donning the black and gold in 2010
Three games, three huge losses. Looks like the Cyclones are caught up in their namesake. Minnesota-Duluth (7th overall) destroyed the Clones 29-1 to open the season in February. Last weekend St. Cloud State and Minnesota left Ames with 13-8 and 17-0 wins, respectively. Eight games remain which means that ISU has eight more chances for redemption. Hopefully they can fix whatever is wrong. On a side note, Valley Tigers stand out Ben Couch is considering joining the Cyclones next year; he would definitely be an asset to this team...
Kansas has split the two games (last Sunday's game has not been reported) they have played so far (Illinois State and Iowa). Both were close (One goal loss to Ill State and a two goal winner over the Hawks). With eight games ahead of them, anything can happen.
The Wildcats have lost 2/3 of their games so far in 2009. With scores all over the map (wins and losses by 9 goals) and six games ahead of them, KSU still has a chance of finishing in decent spot in the GRLC. Valley Head Coach Zach Zielonko played for the purple and silver.
Lions are the king of the beasts! Lindenwood is undefeated with some monster wins! Sitting at #10 overall with six games remaining, the Lions are looking to repeat as Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference champions for the fifth straight year. With a conference title in 2003, 2009 would be their seventh overall.
The Tigers have split their six games so far. With both a 13 point win (Rockhurst) and a 13 point loss (Lindenwood), Mizzou is pretty much hit or miss. Only five games remain for Missouri.
The Spartans own 2 wins and 3 losses including a phenomenal 16 win over instate rival Missouri S&T! Other than Lindenwood (18-3) their loses have been close. Baptist has seven games to pick it up.
The Miners have had one win (Rockhurst), three losses, and a postponement. KSU, Missouri Baptist and Pacific Luthern handed S&T 13-9, 22-6, and 21-6 defeats. The Miners have six games left this season.
The Bears are trucking right along in the GRLC Division 2 with five fairly large wins and only one loss. Impressive poundings of Stephen F Austin (25-2) and St. Edwards (19-2) show why Missouri State is owning the division. Seven games stand between the Bears and a division championship.

I've had a chance to watch the Cornhuskers play in person and understand why they are sitting comfortably with a 6-1 record. The Huskers play fairly tight and have great communication on the field. They work the ball and have great off the ball movement. Moving up to Division 1 did not seem to affect them much. Although their loss to Northern Colorado was pretty bad (20-11), the Huskers have outscored the rest of their opponents 96-39 with 6 games to go. The Mavericks may have only two wins compared to their three losses, but one of those wins was huge. UNO put down South Dakota 25-3. With only four games left, the Mavs have their work cut out for them if they hope to end the season over .500.

The Red Raiders have only had one scheduled game so far this season, but the score is not posted. With their website down, it may be safe to assume that the club is no more...

This is the Dragons inaugural year in the MCLA. So far they have managed one win in league play (3-2 over Cornell). Iowa, Aquinas, and St. Louis all beat Palmer heartily with scores of 19-1, 13-3, and 15-1, respectively. Agustana's 9-1 win seemed mild by comparison. Odds are that the Dragons won't finish their last five games with a winning record, but being the first lacrosse club at a school is a prize in itself.
Saying that the Hawks are off to a poor start is a gross understatement. The team from Kansas City is 0-7 and has been beaten by a collective score of 87-27. Four remaining games means that Rockhurst has a chance to regain some respectability.

The Coyotes are winless after playing Creighton (23-2), Augsburg (15-4), and UNO (25-3). The program has had its ups and downs (mostly downs) over the last few years and I'm not sure what the rest of the season holds. According to the schedule, USD played Rockhurst last Saturday but there is no score posted. They are also scheduled to play Northwestern two times and that program is missing in action. Conference lightweights Dordt and Cornell round out their schedule giving the Coyotes a hope for at least one win.
I don't know what a Billikin is, but they have won 2/3 of their games this season. Two games have been cancelled and one has been postponed, but St. Louis has performed well overall (except for Missouri State who beat them 12-4). Currently they sit in the middle of the GRLC Divsion 2 table with six games (plus the postponed S&T game) ahead of them.

After four games, the Bears are at .500 (last week's game against St. Louis was not posted). Six games remain for the Bears to climb their side of the GRLC Division 2 table and move up from their bottom spot.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Out Like a Lamb (Plus 4th Toss Around!!!!)

Valley came out of the Lincoln tournament with 2 wins against Nebraska varsity teams and a loss to St. Thomas Aquinas from Kansas. The team now carries a 4-1 record. A last minute change saw us play Papio LaVista rather than Blue Valley West on Sunday. Click here for the full recap.

Valley plays again on April 18 at Dodge Park in Omaha. The Tigers will have three league games starting at 1:30, 3:00, and 6:00 PM. The last game is against Lincoln's JV team; Valley beat their Varsity 7-6 on Saturday!

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Valley and the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association are both listed on Simply Lacrosse. Simply Lacrosse is a database of various lacrosse organizations and teams throughout the country.

And now, the news you have all been waiting for...
We are planning on holding our Fourth Toss Around on Saturday at 12:00 PM! Once again we will be at Valley SouthWoods so that we can have access to the goals if we want/need to. I'm not sure what the turnout will be like as many of the Valley players will be taking the ACT and the weather is showing decent temps (55) but a 40% chance of rain. Check this site before heading out on Saturday if the weather is questionable; I'll make a decision and post it as soon as I know for sure. Rest assured that if there is lightning, we definitely will not be having our Toss Around.
As always, we will do what we can to have extra sticks, but it makes life easier for all of us if you bring your own or at least let me know you are coming! Scheels is rumored to be building a lacrosse section, so check them out or just order one online.
I am also reaching out to anyone that might be interested in playing ladies' lax. I will be emailing everyone that has already contacted be about the ladies' game and inviting them to join us as well.

One more thing to keep in mind - We are tentatively planning on having the Fifth Toss Around next Saturday (4/11)!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

For the Ladies, All the Ladies

Up to this point, I have focused my energy on getting the men's game going in Des Moines. Obviously I am a guy and that is what I want to play. We have had some success at getting new guys out and preparing the Valley Tigers to play well in their league. The momentum is great and I want to keep it going.
Meanwhile, the ladies are beginning to feel left out. During out last Toss Around, Caleb brought a female friend to take part. Girls have also appeared a couple of times at Valley practices (mostly just as spectators, but one tried it once). A couple of weeks ago, the head coach of Omaha's high school girls' program contacted me to see if we had a program yet. With much regret, I told her no.
Last week, I received two emails that made me think that maybe the time could be right for a girls' program in Des Moines in addition to our surging men's program. The first came from Jean Dahlquist, who plays NCAA Division 3 varsity lacrosse at Swarthmore College. She expressed interest in an adult league during a summer internship in the metro. The second came via the latest member of the Des Moines Lacrosse League, Tara:
First, I am super excited to see this sport being brought to Iowa. It looks like there are mostly men involved so far. Have you heard of any interest from women who want to have a catch?? I played 4 years at Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus and have wanted to find some to play with since I moved to Iowa. My stick is a bit worn but I do have an extra if you know of someone interested in giving it a try before buying a stick. It's been awhile but I've coached clinics so would be interested in teaching women to play if there's interest. Let me know if you know any females who are interested or want to have a catch!
Not Tara, Image of current player Jaclyn Napoli

Of course I've tried to put the three women in touch and have forwarded the information to the Valley players and some area teachers in attempt to get more girls out. Now I am reaching out to my readers and the Internet as a whole. The best way to spread lacrosse throughout the metro (and the state) is to get programs for both men and women up and running.
While I admit that I know very little about the women's game, I am more than happy to help get it up and running in Des Moines. I do know the equipment requirements are much less: $103 for goggles and a stick versus $265 for the essential men's gear (helmet, pads, gloves, and a stick). The University of Iowa has a women's team and may be willing to join up/help out. Contact me and I can pass on your info/get you in touch with Jean and Tara.

Tribe 7