I thought Notre Dame was a lock for the top seed in the NCAA tournament. How much does Saturday's 10-4 loss to No. 11
I don’t think it hurts them monumentally. I have not seen the new RPIs. I think the new RPIs will come out today, and I think Notre Dame is still going to be in the top four. So I don’t think the loss to Syracuse is crippling. Now if they lose in the semifinals of the
Which team should be the No. 1 seed in your opinion?
I think [No. 2]
One team that has already punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament is No. 16 Lehigh, which captured the Patriot League tournament and the automatic qualifier. How dangerous are the
I think they're a very dangerous team for two reasons. One, the defense has played incredibly well – this weekend in particular against two teams that have very, very good scorers. When you look at Colgate, they have [senior attackman and 2012 Tewaaraton Award winner] Peter Baum and [sophomore attackman] Ryan Walsh and when you look at [No. 18 Bucknell], they've got [sophomore midfielder] David Dickson and [freshman midfielder Thomas] Flibotte and some other guys that can really put the ball in the back of the net. They held them to seven goals for Colgate and five for Bucknell. So that's impressive. That defense of [junior defenseman] Ty Souders, [senior defenseman] Baxter Lanius, [senior defenseman] Mike Noone and Matt Poillon in the goal is just terrific. The second thing that I think makes them that much more dangerous is they've got a year under their belt of being to the NCAAs. So they know what it means. They know what Selection Sunday is going to look like, and they know what the media is going to look like, and they know what practice is going to look like. So they've got that under their belts, and I think those two factors make Lehigh an incredibly dangerous team going into the NCAAs.
There are a few conference tournaments too close to call. Some are saying that the semifinal of Notre Dame and Syracuse is going to produce the winner of the Big East tournament. Fair assessment?
I would disagree. Villanova beat Syracuse earlier this year, and they’re a very dangerous ballclub. Georgetown lost to Syracuse by one goal and they started that game with only seven men on the field [as punishment for players violating team rules] and [Hoyas coach] Kevin Warne took a penalty. So no, absolutely not. Notre Dame beat Villanova [on April 20] after the Wildcats got up 2-0, and they beat Georgetown the week before when Georgetown got up 4-0. I think in this day and age to say that the winner of Notre Dame-Syracuse is going to coast to the Big East championship is ill-advised. The interesting thing is, when you look at Notre Dame and Syracuse, look at who their losses are to. When you’re talking about Syracuse, they’ve lost to Villanova, a sub-.500 team; Hobart, another sub-.500 team; and Albany, which is a terrific ballclub. But I think they’re a combined 23-19. Notre Dame lost to
Is Cornell the heavy favorite in the
Absolutely, and for good reason. I don’t know if there’s anybody that can defend [fifth-year senior attackman] Rob Pannell. And they have depth in scoring, and they have balance. They have [sophomore midfielder] Connor Buczek and [senior attackman] Steve Mock and [sophomore attackman] Matt Donovan. And the thing I really like about Cornell is defensively, they’ve shored things up. If you rewind to a year ago, they lost to Brown and then they got blown out by
I think Penn State is the heavy favorite. They just ripped through the CAA. The closest team that played them was
Can Hartford, UMBC or Stony Brook upset Albany in the America East tournament?
That would be monumental. I don’t think anyone has gotten within five goals of Albany. This weekend, [junior attackman] Miles Thompson had 14 points against Stony Brook [last Saturday]. That’s insane. Those guys are tremendous. I think [sophomore attackman] Lyle Thompson is a candidate for Player of the Year. Right now, I don’t see anybody coming within 10 goals. But you’ve got UMBC-Hartford in the other semifinal. [Retrievers] coach [
You briefly mentioned Coach of the Year. Who would be your choice nationally?
I think you have to look at John Desko at Syracuse and the job that he's done. When you lose [junior attackman] Nicky Galasso in the preseason and then you lose [sophomore defenseman] Brandon Mullins after the Virginia game, I think you have to look at John Desko. I think you also have to look at Brian Voelker at Drexel. I think another coach that is going to warrant consideration is Joe Breschi at North Carolina. That's a team that didn't start the year great, losing to UMass and they had their annual loss to Duke. They've just really put things together here late in the season. They're one of the hottest teams in the country. I like the job that Joe Breschi has done there with the way that defense has come along. That defense was porous at the beginning of the season, but he made the goalie switch. [Freshman] Kieran Burke has been great. Granted, they almost coughed up a nine-goal lead at home to Duke [in an ACC tournament semifinal], but at least they didn't lose that game. So I think Joe Breschi is in that conversation, too.
The list of 24 nominees for the Tewaaraton Award was released Friday night. Any snubs?