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Thursday, June 17, 2010

CILA Summer League - Week 3 Results

Despite the torrents of rain Des Moines has suffered through over the last several weekends, we continue to be fortunate on lacrosse night. Last night the sun was shining and the heat and humidity that persisted earlier yesterday waned significantly by 5:45. The conditions were fairly gorgeous as we set out to even the standings a bit.

Game 1 - Clark Physical Therapy 8, Mi Casa Rustic Furniture 7

Wow, what a difference a week and a couple of players can make. Both teams received a long pole player from the dominant Lightning Wear team starting this week. In the case of Mi Casa , new addition Nick Blay provided a commanding voice and presence on the back line. For the first time all season, the team had a definite leader in the back and it showed with more commanding slides and communication. Goalie Burk saw significantly less shots throughout the game as the defense maintained its composure with Aukes and Cafferata supplementing Blay.
Clark experimented with Boyd last week and eagerly welcomed him after his official move, announced last Thursday. The arrival of Ripchinski also benefited their offense and gave them the boost they needed in the midfield. Ripchinski brought a wealth of experience from Philadelphia, including a stint with Penn State's NCLL team. The modified Clark team was definitely ready to play last night.
After predicting a three goal win by Clark, I was as surprised as anyone when Mi Casa took the lead on multiple occasions. But we played better than we have all season, starting with me winning the opening face off and our monstrous possession in the box to start the game. Our overall ability around the field amplified despite another failed attempt at scheduling practice. Everybody's game was up and our ball movement looked about a bajillion times better than ever. Although I am sure there were addition goal scorers, Miska, Johnston, and Kaufmann led the team to the back of the net multiple times.

Clark scored the first goal of the game. their game was physical, but subdued compared to Lightning. They were fairly evenly matched against us and definitely showed the hunger for the win. Their ability to effectively screen Burk proved to be the key to their success as at least half of their goals utilized this tactic. But it was their higher fitness and ability to run fast breaks that ultimately led them to victory.

With less than two minutes to go in the run clock game and a single goal lead, our plan was to win the draw, set up our offense and eat clock while looking for a good opportunity. Avoiding forced shots and passes was key. Unfortunately we lost control right after possession was called due to a great check by Clark. After a quick scoop, their middie ran straight to the cage and scored in stunning fashion to tie the game. Lining up for the next face off, I got beat on the clamp and their guy's (sorry, did not catch the name) superior athleticism beat me pure and simple. Another drive to the cage gave them the one goal edge. Winning the final face off proved futile as time expired before we could get a shot off.

Regardless, the effort and heart shown by all players on both teams was remarkable. This was the type of game that every laxer dreams of. Truly spectacular.

Game 2 - Lightning Wear 13, Wellspring Parable 5
Just as I was getting ready to write the recap of this game, the following response was left to yesterday's post:

After 2 quick goals the 'Bolts made defensive & offensive adjustments that
rattled the Young Guns to the point that they could not establish control of the
game. On offense the 'bolts kept the shots coming and improved on their league
dominating time of possession. Patience and cobra-like aggression from the
Lightning made each Young Gun attack a pressure packed kamikaze mission. To
their misfortune, like Jaws (the Great White Shark), there was a 250lb d-pole
lurking in the zone waiting to devour the Young Guns' primary offensive threats.
Unlike the first two scores no shot went uncontested...Physically. A strong
presence in the net by Hunter clamped down most of the Young Guns' assaults.

This is a fairly accurate description of how the game went down. I will add that this game saw more flags than the other five games combined. Both teams were swing happy and offsides was a huge issue. The back and forth play was strong, and the possession was balanced.

The Tornberg brothers and Dirk Arends made noble efforts on defense for Wellspring, but ultimately could not contain the overloaded Lightning attack. Goalie Taylor held the net all night and made numerous unbelievable saves - effectively removing Ben Couch from the game in the process. Taylor's ability in net continues to improve and he is quickly emerging as an extremely strong keeper despite the scoreline. A rough guesstimate on last night's performance actually puts him in the 60% range; he was bombarded by quality shots all night.

Hunter Couch was solid as always, despite the early gaffes. Helped by the massive back line, he faced significantly fewer shots. With another 13 goal game, the Bolts have established themselves as the team to beat.
Current Standings
Lightning Wear 3-0-0
Wellspring Parable 2-1-0
Clark Physical Therapy 1-2-0
Mi Casa Rustic Furniture 0-3-0

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CILA Summer League Predictions - Week 3

Some streaks are meant to live. Some streaks are destined to die. Let the battles begin.

Okay, so yeah that is a bit dramatic for a four team league in Des Moines...

Still, we are talking about four perfect records being on the line tonight. Besides opening night, how often do leagues have a night in which every team is holding a perfect record (one way or the other)? That is exactly what we are looking at tonight in Iowa's capital city - the death of two streaks - one winless and one without a loss. The action will be intense and the pace will be incredible.

Welcome to Week Three of the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association Summer League 2010.

Game 1 - 5:45 - Clark Phyiscal Therapy vs Mi Casa Rustic Furniture

In the battle of the winless, Clark holds the advantage with a 5-14 goal differential vs 2-26 for Mi Casa.* Clark showed definite improvement last week and the permanent addition of Valley's Boyd from Lightning will continue their growth. Clark is still lacking on the offensive front, but may benefit from a Mi Casa defense that cannot quite time its slides and has subsequently been leaking like a sieve. Newcomer Ripchinski finally arrives with Penn State experience to help Clark find the net.

Mi Casa is desperate. They want a win, but would settle for a reasonable scoreline after giving up 13 in each of their first 2 games. The offense has had very little time with the ball and the transition game has been nonexistent. Blay has been offered by Lightning (for a player to be named later) to help plug the defensive holes and assist with the transition. A player at Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Blay brings leadership to the back line, though his work responsibilities may limit his attendance. Given the absence of Stewart, Blay will be a welcomed addition tonight. With the early game tonight, I plan to return to my face off and midfield duties which should help balance the lines.

Prediction: Mi Casa gets into the game (finally), but Clark prevails by 3

Game 2 - 6:45 - Lightning Wear vs Wellspring Parable
Texas-Oklahoma. Michigan-Ohio State. Florida-Georgia. These are some of college football's greatest match ups.
The Young Guns vs the Bolts may be the CILA equivalent. Both teams bring undefeated records and a corp of Valley players. It's a battle of Captains vs Coaches with Cam Bostwick and Alec Sunermann squaring off against Zielonko and Nielsen. Three of the highest scoring players (Cam Bostwick, Dylan Griess, Ben Couch) in Valley lax's short history line up for Lightning against the future threats of Wellspring (Ben Arends, Ted Crites, Matt Gardner). The field will be contested by the current crop of Valley stars on one side and the next generation on the other. Hunter Couch as been solid all summer with five goals against, including a shutout last week against Mi Casa. But the tandem of Taylor and Will Tornberg has been just as solid with only three goals against.
With teams this evenly matched, predicting a winner can be difficult. Wellspring has had issues on the back line with the absences of Kurt Sundermann and Dirk Arends, but Jamie Tornberg has been a solid skipper and a constant bright spot. His play is aggressive yet intelligent. But will it be enough to hold the aggressive offense of Lightning?
On the other side of the field, the defense may be more fierce. Despite losing Blay and Boyd this week, the back line keeps Mundus and Shelton with McDougal and Alec Sundermann also being extremely capable of wielding the long stick. McDougal's preference for the offense end of the field may be an exploitable weakness. Sundermann proved to be a solid choice in last week's outing. The biggest question is who fills in that third slot? Or do they even need three poles with the combined strength and athleticism of Mundus and Shelton?
Prediction: With strong defense and plenty of offensive options on both sides, this one comes down to patience. Zielonko and Nielsen have enough presence to keep the Young Guns calm and focused enough to squeak out a single goal victory.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mock Ups!!!!!!!!!!

At long last - here are the mock ups from Lightning Wear!For the most part, this is how they will look when we finally get them. All three sponsors will be lime green on one side and silver on the other. These colors were chosen because there is significant contrast between them, but both are still fairly light. Based on the heat last summer, I decided to go with two light colors in an effort to negate the effects of the summer sun as much as possible.Mi Casa will be slightly different than pictured. It turned out that the font does not work to well in the printing process, as you might be able to tell from the mock up. As a result I had to submit a new version. The sponsor ad to the left is the redesigned logo which will appear on the front of the jersey.When I submitted the original order, we only had three teams scheduled for the league. The rapid expansion immediately afterwards led to the need to create a fourth team - Team Lightning Wear. As a result, the Bolts are wearing a combination of all three sponsors. This is one reason that all three sponsors are on the same color blank. The other reason is future use. with the box league and future field leagues, players can move freely from team to team and still wear the same jerseys. This will help contain costs and simplify things. Each number has only been assigned once, so there will be no conflict as players move to different teams each season.
We are still waiting for the finished product to arrive, but hopefully this sneak peak excites you as much as it does me.

Tribe 7