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Friday, June 4, 2010

Des Moines Is Not Boring

One of the adult players on Team Lightning Wear wrote a post about our fledgling league for Des Moines Is Not Boring. The website is dedicated to all of the exciting things happening in our community and was among the first to comment honestly on the Chops situation as it went down hill last summer. Current posts run the gamut from The Principal Charity Classic to dining out to economic development. It is definitely worth checking out.
Thanks for the props Shawn!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

CILA Summer League - Week 1 Results

After months of planning and weeks of cramming, the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association officially kicked off its summer season last night. Our brand new reversibles may not have arrived, but nearly everybody showed up ready to play. A few tweaks may be made here and there, but all-in-all, I would rate opening night as a success.
Game 1 - Wellspring Parable 13, Mi Casa Rustic Furniture 2
The opening game pit a fairly familiar group of young players against a team of older guys meeting for the first time. Organized by Valley coaches Zielonko and Nielsen, WP was warming up with line drills before the game while MC was getting to know each other (and I was fighting traffic). The results showed on the field.
The combination of warm ups, familiarity, fitness, and age worked in WP's favor. Scoring opportunities arose for many of their players and the next found the back of the goal nine times in the first half. MC had trouble maintaining possession and kept missing slides on defense. Complicating matters was my horrible face offs in the first half.
After hydrating at half time, we came back out with greater determination. My face offs improved and Paul "Utah" Miska grabbed a goal. Our defense was tighter and only allowed two, one of which was on a double man down situation (my fault on one - slash). The fourth quarter was similar to the third with MC grabbing another goal (Johnston, I think) and WP grabbing two.
Not a great start for my team, but there is definite potential. Another couple of games and a practice or two might make all the difference...
Game 2 - Clark Physical Therapy 4, Lightning Wear 7
Roughly half of the CPT team did not show up last night - literally. One player is in the process of moving and a few more had obligations out of town, so Zielonko and a few others from our game served as substitutes. LW showed up with a stacked roster.
Since both teams featured a core built around familiar teammates, the ball movement was strong and the communication great. Both warmed up and were ready by the time our game finished. In what started as a back-and-forth game, both teams played hard and had great possession.
Over the course of the game, LW began to build a slight lead. The final score does justice to the close game played by both teams. Although it was painfully obvious just how stacked the LW roster is. Considerations may be made to correct this...

USA Men World Cup Schedule

I know, I know... This is not lax. But I love soccer too and have been involved with the sport in some capacity since I was a wee lad. With this being a World Cup year (and a Lax World Championships year) I am super excited.
Without further ado, here is the TV schedule for the USMNT

June 5, 2010*
U.S. Men vs. Australia
8:30 a.m. ET
Ruimsig StadiumRoodepoort, South Africa
Live on ESPN2

June 12, 2010
U.S. Men vs. England
2:30 p.m. ET
Royal Bafokeng StadiumRustenburg, South Africa

June 18, 2010
U.S. Men vs. Slovenia
10 a.m. ET
Ellis ParkJohannesburg, South Africa

June 23, 2010
U.S. Men vs. Algeria
10 a.m. ET
Loftus VersfeldTshwane/Pretoria, South Africa

Aug. 10, 2010*
U.S. Men vs. Brazil
8 p.m. ET
New Meadowlands StadiumE. Rutherford, N.J.
Live on ESPN2

*The June 5 and August 10 games are not World Cup games. In the event that the USMNT advances, I will try to post those game times when they become available.

As a Bonus, here is the upcoming women's schedule:

July 13, 2010
U.S. Women vs. Sweden Women
8 p.m. CT
Morrison StadiumOmaha, Neb.
Live on ESPN2

July 14, 2010
U.S. Under-20 Women vs. Ghana Under-20 Women
12 p.m. ET
Rudolf-Harbig StadiumDresden, Germany

July 17, 2010
U.S. Under-20 Women vs. Switzerland Under-20 Women
12 p.m. ET
Rudolf-Harbig StadiumDresden, Germany

July 17, 2010
U.S. Women vs. Sweden Women
7:30 p.m. ET
Rentschler FieldEast Hartford, Conn.
Fox Soccer Channel

July 21, 2010
U.S. Under-20 Women vs. Korea Republic Under-20 Women
12 p.m. ET
FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup StadiumAugsburg, Germany

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

2010 Summer League Preview

Wellspring Parable
Key Players: Zach Zielonko, Tyler Nielsen, Benny Arends, Ted Crites
Goal: Graham Taylor, Will Tornberg
Report: With Valley JV goalie Taylor sharing netminding duties with JV LSM Will Tornberg, Wellspring is relying on the big backline of Dirk Arends, Kurt Sunderman, and varsity starter Jamie Tornberg to keep the crease clean. Both Zielonko and Nielsen have the ability to take over the game and will lead the young team from the midfield. The duo of Benny Arends and Crites up front have already shown that they can score at will when in close; this should provide a nice preview of the 2011 Valley season. Varsity face off man Harrington is expected to take most of the draws and is quite formidable at the X. The team is rounded out by several of the 2010 JV players and new comer Gardener. Despite their youth, this is a very talented team that should adapt to each other and function as a cohesive unit in no time.
Prediction: 4-5
Clark Physical Therapy
Key Players: Luc Jacobs, Ben Shoff
Goal: Brandon Fitch
Report: Other than Jacobs, Elliot, Lozada, and Shoff, I know very little about the players on this team. Quite a few are Drake players, but I honestly do not know enough about them to make an accurate call. Shoff and Lozada are hard nosed d-poles that know how to keep a crease clear and call out slides. Fitch might be rusty in net; he had to order new pads to play. Jacobs is a leader from X and racked up more assists last year than anyone on the Valley roster in 2010. Elliot has strong stick skills and can find the back of the net when needed. After breathing the thin Colorado air for the last year, he should be able to outlast many others.
Prediction: 3-6
Mi Casa Rustic Furniture
Key Players: Bryan Johnston, Paul Miska, Taylor Aukes, Jake Van Dyke
Goal: Jim Burk
Report: Johnston, Edgington, Kayser, Von Ahsen, and Burk were all members of the 2009 Demons box team. Johnston is an at-will scorer at attack and Burk is a solid net minder. Miska, Aukes, and Van Dyke all come with MCLA experience - Utah, Mankato, and ISU, respectively. Van Dyke also played for Valley in 2009. The back line consists of JV poles Cafferata and Cook and is anchored by Stewart. Newcomers Steele, Strachan, and Thompson have varying experience levels, but all are relative unknowns.
Prediction: 5-4
Lightning Wear
Key Players:
Ben Couch, Dylan Griess, Cam Bostwick, Tanner McDougal
Goal: Hunter Couch
Report: With a roster comprised mainly of Valley players past and present, Lightning Wear knows how to play together. McDougal is an extremely tough LSM, Dylan Griess and Bostwick lead the Nebraska League in scoring this year, Ben Couch is a consistent threat, and Hunter Couch is arguably the best returning goalie next season. With the athleticism of Boyd and Mundus and the experience of Blay and Shelton, this back line could be the stingiest of the league. The roster is rounded out by players with varsity experience, although Alec Sundermann opted to play with a short stick rather than his usual d-pole. No doubt this will be the team to beat.
Prediction: 6-3

Tribe 7