Dialed In: Your Lacrosse Fix for Monday, June 5

Ludacris performs at halftime of the Georgia Swarm's 18-14 victory over the Saskatchewan Rush in Game 1 of the NLL finals at Infinite Energy Arena.


Good morning. Here’s the latest from around the lacrosse world:

1. The Georgia Swarm are comin’ for that number one spot.

Trailing by four midway through the third quarter, the Swarm scored seven straight goals en route to an 18-14 win Sunday over the two-time defending NLL champion Saskatchewan Rush in Game 1 of the NLL finals at Infinite Energy Arena. The 7,642 fans were treated not only to a Georgia victory, but also to a halftime concert by three-time Grammy Award-winning rapper Ludacris.

Jordan Hall (five goals, three assists) and Shayne Jackson (two goals, four assists) sparked the Swarm comeback.

After Mark Matthews (three goals, four assists) brought the Rush back within two at 14-12, Georgia answered with another four-goal run to put the game out of reach. The Swarm defense allowed just five goals in the second half. Goalie Mike Poulin made 36 saves on 50 shots.

Game 2 is Saturday in Saskatoon. A Georgia win would give the franchise its first NLL title. The Swarm spent 11 years in Minnesota before moving to Atlanta last year. A Saskatchewan win would send the series back to Georgia for a decisive Game 3.

“With any series, any team will tell you all you focus on is the next game,” Swarm coach Ed Comeau said. “We know they’re going to make some adjustments, and they play great at home—I think 9-1 at home this year—so it’s a hostile environment. We said, ‘They came to play in The Hive, and we’re going into a hornet’s nest.’ It’ll be tough there, but we’ll take that game and see what happens.”

2. Rookie debuts highlighted the weekend in MLL.

Charlotte Hounds midfielder John Crawley made the biggest splash. Wearing No. 19 to honor his late Johns Hopkins teammate Jeremy Huber, Crawley, playing some attack as well, scored six goals and added an assist in his first game with the Hounds on Saturday. Charlotte lost to Atlanta in a shootout, 19-18.

In other MLL results, goalies Austin Kaut and Kyle Bernlohr were the standouts in wins for the Florida Launch and Ohio Machine, respectively. Kaut made 21 saves Friday in the Launch’s 13-10 victory at New York. Bernlohr, a second-year pro making his second straight start, made 20 saves in a 20-11 triumph Friday at Chesapeake. Meanwhile, former University of Denver teammates Eric Law and Wes Berg combined for 10 points in the Denver Outlaws’ 19-13 win Saturday over the visiting Boston Cannons.

Through seven weeks, Denver, the reigning MLL champion, is in first place with a 5-1 record, a game ahead of 2016 runner-up Ohio.

3. The UWLX, embracing change in its second season, staged a doubleheader Sunday in New Canaan, Conn.

The defending champion Long Island Sound defeated the Philadelphia Force 17-7 behind strong performances from rookies Cortney Fortunato and Christina Esposito, who scored four goals apiece.

In the second game, Danielle Etrasco and Hannah Murphy each had three goals and an assist to lead the Boston Storm to a 14-10 victory over the Baltimore Ride.

Long Island and Boston, both 2-0, will meet Friday at UMass.  Philadelphia and Baltimore, both 0-2, play Saturday in Bel Air, Md.

4. NCAA champion Maryland earned three of the four IWLCA Player of the Year honors for Division I women’s lacrosse. Megan Taylor was named IWLCA Goalkeeper of the Year, Zoe Stukenberg tacked onto her Tewaaraton Award the IWLCA Midfielder of the Year nod, and Nadine Hadnagy is the IWLCA Defender of the Year. Stony Brook’s Kylie Ohlmiller was tabbed IWLCA Attacker of the Year.

Complete honors, including Divisions II and III:

IWLCA Goalkeeper of the Year

Division I: Megan Taylor, Maryland, So.
Division II: Olivia Kirk, LIU Post, Jr.
Division III: Sarah Honan, William Smith, Sr.

IWLCA Defender of the Year

Division I: Nadine Hadnagy, Maryland, Sr.
Division II: Ryley Weber, Adelphi, Sr.
Division III: Vanessa Budd, Franklin & Marshall, Sr.

IWLCA Midfielder of the Year

Division I: Zoe Stukenberg, Maryland, Sr.
Division II: Emily Santoli, Florida Southern, Jr.
Division III: Hollis Perticone, Middlebury, Jr.

IWLCA Attacker of the Year

Division I: Kylie Ohlmiller, Stony Brook, Jr.
Division II: Jacqueline Jahelka, Adelphi, Sr.
Division III: Clare Lyne, Trinity, Sr.

The awards were given out as part of an eventful weekend for the IWLCA, which staged its North-South senior all-star games at US Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md. The North teams swept the South in all three divisions. Penn State’s Steph Lazo earned the Division I game’s MVP honors with two goals and three assists in a 16-11 victory.







WHAT WE’RE READING

  • Every child can play this game,” Miles Thompson tells WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station.

  • Cornell lacrosse is at a critical point in its legacy with interim coach Peter Milliman now at the reins.

  • Previously known for rare exports like Chris Rotelli and Colin Briggs, the Rhode Island lacrosse scene has never been hotter.

  • The G-Force, a movement to support former North Carolina defenseman and Ohio high school coach Graham Harden in his fight against ALS, was out in force again, this time carrying Mariemont (Ohio) to a Division II state title.

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

Savannah Walker, the Louisville club team founder who was killed in March in an art gallery shooting, was honored with the For the Love of the Game Award at the US Lacrosse WCLA National Championships last month — a recognition in which her father finds great prestige.

WDRB 41 Louisville News

When lacrosse meets Whistle Sports:

Saskatchewan Rush transition runner Jeremy Thompson talks about lacrosse, his ancestry and the fans of Saskatoon.

WHAT’S ON TAP

  • The rollout of our absurdly early 2018 college lacrosse rankings begins.

  • From the May/June edition of US Lacrosse Magazine, we unveil the cover story on Team USA legend Devon Wills.

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