LANDON LACROSSE 2014 POST SEASON THOUGHTS

Co- IAC Championship, four All IAC players, an average of 12 goals a game, an average of 5.9 goals against defense and an 18-4 record—for most schools that would be an historic season. Landon has set the bar high; so some may be disappointed with those numbers. Objectively, those are accomplishments about which the 2014 team, the coaches, parents and alumni should be proud. The seventeen seniors have worked so hard and have demonstrated to their fellow Bears the importance of hard work and teamwork.

2014 senior day 112-X2

 

Of the graduating class, ten will continue to play at the college level:

  • Stephen Bauer, lacrosse, Beloit College
  • Jack Bolen, lacrosse, Cornell University
  • Zac Buller, lacrosse, Jacksonville University
  • Jack Falk, lacrosse, University of Virginia
  • Trey Lundelius, lacrosse, McGill University
  • Sam Lynch, lacrosse, Johns Hopkins University
  • Riley McTague, lacrosse, Hobart College
  • Andrew Mitchell, lacrosse, United States Military Academy
  • Sean K. O’Brien, lacrosse, Bucknell University
  • Mike Rallo, lacrosse, Washington and Lee University

 

2014 team awards

Most Valuable Player Award           Jack Bolen

Offensive Player of the Year           Sean O’Brien

Defensive Player of the Year           Hunter Sells

The George Boiardi Award               Colton Rupp

 The Jack Crawford Award               Sam Lynch

The Khari Baten Award                   Jack Falk

All IAC Lacrosse awards

Sam Lynch ’14
Jack Bolen ’14
Sean K. O’Brien ’14
Colton Rupp ’15

Some thoughts on the 2014 season and the prospects for 2015:

Coaching: Coach Bordley reached 585 wins this year earned over his almost 40 seasons. No head coach and staff prepare more than the Bear mentors. The Head Coach has a stable(alphabetical order) of seasoned assistants –JR Bordley, Conor Cassidy, Penn Leachman and Paul Padalino plus some new sideline help—Warner Ball, Michael Cooke and Will McGettigan. The group must really like each other because when they are not in the classroom, on the practice field or in the Bordley “office”, they travel to other high school and college games to learn more. Landon lax alums are exceptionally well prepared for further endeavors because these men teach them what is required to attain excellence.

Scheduling: Landon continues to play a top level schedule with games against Baltimore’s MIAA (2-0), Philadelphia’s InterAC , New England’s Founders League (#17), Canada’s the Hill Academy (#10) and DC’s WCAC (4-1). The addition of the McCallie team (18-5) brought one of the emerging South to Bethesda. The middle of the schedule involved WaPo’s #1, #2, #4, #9 teams, an MIAA-A semifinalist and an always tough SSSA team. The IAC, though not getting as much attention in the national rankings, had great depth of talent this year, witness that no one in the league was undefeated. We missed the annual match against California’s Coronado, but Coach Alex Cade is likely to come back to his high school home in 2015.

Attack: this group performed well and the only starter Zac Buller will be lost to graduation. They were particularly proficient moving the ball accurately and quickly; three sharp passes on a competitive level usually results in an open goal. Opposing Ds could not focus on any one of these offensive players; all can carry, pass and shoot the ball. All IAC Colton Rupp and Nate Buller will provide a great base for 2015 with 6 returning lettermen to compete for the 3rd starter.

Midfield: The 1st middies all earned All IAC honors. Jack Falk, who earned the prestigious Khari Baten award, was only able to play limited minutes while he recovers from an injury; if fully recovered, four of the Bears might have received this honor. This group excelled as speed dodgers, able to create separation with alley dodges, draw a slide and then move the ball to an open shooter. Jack Bolen either beat his man and shot or reversed the ball to a line mate. #15 is an exceptional defender, too. Sean O’Brien is as good a shooter as any Bear within recent memory plus his quick feet could beat most slides. On the Bear EMO, the opposing D coach would shout “shut down #1”; in spite of this admonition, Sean K. hit the nets many times. Sam Lynch showed exceptional dodging ability and could pick where the goalie could not get the ball. In transition from O to D and from D to O, #10’s speed was a huge positive factor. Riley McTague would have started at most other IAC schools, but was strong on both ends of the field; he will be a major contributor at Hobart. Leo Falcone, Mike Rallo Luke Kurtz and Kyle Hartman were sources of energy when needed. For example, against SJCHS (a game sandwiched in between the rain interrupted SSSA game), these two brought intensity to the theretofore flat Bear game, scrambling for ground balls, playing tough D and moving the ball on O. Nine middies with significant playing time will return next year and try to equal this year’s M performance.

Face-offs

Three Bears (Jarett Witzal, Sam Offutt and Ryan Pride) spent time battling for possession of the ball after every score and at the start of each period. Jarett had most of these key assignmentsand was successful most of the time. This should be a strength in 2015, particularly under the tutelage of Coach Cassidy.

Long Stick Middies

Since the Bears didn’t use SSDMs this year, the LSM position may be the most demanding one—having to cover the opponents’ best middies in space. Seniors Brandon Johnson and Trey Lundelius took this challenge and did well. Containing a talented middie limits slides and gives the overall D good equanimity. #24 and #30 were beloved by the close defenders and the goalies. Trey will be a most welcome addition to McGill’s lacrosse team (a Canadian perennial strong squad) and it would not be surprising to see Brandon in a UVA lax jersey someday. No underclassman spent a lot of time in this function, but there are some talented long poles with the requisite stickwork, footwork, speed and athleticism to do this work.

Close Defense

Senior Andrew Mitchell (USMA recruit) was expected to be the mainstay of the Bear backline, but a nasty football injury sidelined him. Junior Kolby Williams appeared to be ready to be a contributor here, too, but his football injury delayed those expectations. The mantle of protecting the goal fell to Tom Evans, Paul Padalino, Landon McKenzie and Drew Firstenberg. In Penn Leachman’ s demanding defense requires a high level of communication and coordination; these rising seniors will provide a foundation on which to build the D. A GA average of less than six is an indicator that these Bears did well. Additionally there were five other letter winners who gained valuable varsity experience during the season.

Goalie

The defensive player award was goalie Hunter Sells, whose best play in the nets was usually against the toughest opponents. Early saves by #7 set the tone of many games and his incredible stick work late in others “saved” the game. Jack Prutting established his bona fides in an early 2011 season game against Malvern Prep (https://bearsportsnews.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/landon-lacrosse-bears-up-in-overtime-to-beat-malvern-prep-8-7/ ); the starting Bear goal was having an off day. Coach Bordley put a young untested Jack in the nets and he made some momentum altering saves which helped contributing to a win. Like that story, Jack contributed to Landon’s success this year by being prepared, stepping in when needed and being the best teammate he could be. The depth at the G position in 2015 is demonstrated by Stephen Bauer who will be on the Beloit College roster next year and who may well start many games there.

Junior Varsity

Members of this IAC championship team are expected to contribute to the 2015 team. The notion, that one has to make the Varsity as a freshman or a sophomore, is disproved by this year’s MVP, who did not join Coach Bordley’ s team until his junior year and who is expected to be a player for Cornell.

I cannot wait until the beginning of the 2015 season and will long remember the Bears of 2014. Best to all of them and their parents.

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Published in: on May 26, 2014 at 3:54 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. It seems to me that we owe St. Albans a huge Thank You for defeating Prep.If I understand correctly, Prep’s defeat in that game provided the basis for Landon’s IAC Co-Championship. Also, Sandy, many thanks for your excellent reporting during the entire season. All the best. Bob


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