Fieldhouse Report, 04.29.2019

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 22 Northern Illinois at Florida State
FSU defensive end Brian Burns (99) was the top overall pick by the Carolina Panthers. (photo – Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (April 29, 2019) – National – The Carolina Panthers made Florida State’s Brian Burns their #1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft last week. Prior to the draft, I contributed a preview article to Forbes on how it might play out for Carolina.

Tourists Baseball The Asheville Tourists snapped a seven-game skid with an 8-2 victory on Sunday against the West Virginia Power (15-7). Right-hander Shelby Lackey (1-2) proved the stopper when he allowed just one hit in five innings of work while striking out five. The Tourists are now 8-15 on the year and will host Hagerstown (10-14) tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. at McCormick Field.

Asheville City Soccer  The Blues’ men’s and women’s sides each came away with a win in their opening weekend at Memorial Stadium. The women led off with a 2-1 victory over the sixth-year Columbus Eagles FC on Friday night. The Blues return to play on Friday, May 10 to host the Chattanooga Red Wolves at 7:00 p.m.

Two players from last year’s inaugural squad, Caroline and Emma Hauser, began play professionally this season in Sweden. 

On the men’s side, the Blues defeated the Johnson City’s Tri-City Otters by the same 2-1 score in their 2019 season opener on Saturday night. Their next game is scheduled for May 7 when they host Inter Nashville F.C. in their first NPSL match of the year.

Brevard Lacrosse
Brevard attackman Jackson McKaig was the region’s top goal scorer in 2019 (photo – BC Athletics)

College Lacrosse – The men’s lacrosse spring calendar is complete for area teams, with Brevard (6-7, 3-4), Furman (4-10, 2-5), Lees-McRae (4-10, 0-7), Montreat (4-11, 3-2) and Mars Hill (3-12, 0-8) all finishing their 2019 schedule in late April. Brevard College senior Jackson McKaig registered 52 goals to lead all area scorers this spring and was rewarded with a spot on the USA-South‘s first-team All-Conference squad along with teammate Robert Kokal.  

Asheville School Baseball
The Blues’ Oliver Lewis lines a double on Saturday (photo – T. Flynn)

Local Preps  – On Saturday, Asheville School fell to the visiting Anderson Cavaliers on the diamond and are now 3-8 on the season, and 1-4 in NCISAA conference play. The Blues travel to face area rival Carolina Day (4-10, 0-4) on Tuesday. The squad is led by head coach Gus Schill, who also leads the Blues on the gridiron each fall. 

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Asheville School captured a 15-2 victory over Science Hill (Tenn.) this weekend (photo – T. Flynn)

On the lacrosse field, the Blues boys’ team moved to 8-3 on the year after defeating Johnson City’s Science Hill. In local play this season to date, Asheville School dropped an 18-3 decision to Arden’s nationally-ranked Christ School (16-2) earlier this month, and has two wins over first-year program T.C. Roberson (5-9) and a victory over Asheville Empire‘s club team.

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Fieldhouse Weekender, 02.04.2019

Furman Paladins
Furman fell in their 2019 opener to Duke (photo – Furman Athletics)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (February 4, 2019)Men’s Lacrosse – It was opening weekend in NCAA men’s lacrosse and Furman drew a formidable opponent in the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday in Greenville. The Paladins (0-1) were stymied on offense, scoring three in the first but following it with two goals in each of the next three quarters in a 17-9 defeat. The nine Paladin goals were spread out among seven scorers. 

In men’s lacrosse, Furman is the only NCAA DI entry in the Fieldhouse region. The “Mountain Five” (Brevard, Mars Hill, Lees-McRae, Montreat, and Warren Wilson) narrows to four in both men’s and women’s lacrosse as Warren Wilson does not field teams in either sport.

Mars Hill defeated Lees-McRae, 19-18, in a season-opening matchup of regional men’s teams. Spencer Andrews scored five goals for the Lions (1-0), while Alec Molander had six goals and five assists for the Bobcats (0-1). 

Montreat Cavs Tennessee Vols
Montreat lacrosse in a scrimmage against the University of Tennessee (MCLA DI) on Saturday in Knoxville (photo – Ben Jakobowski)

Brevard handily defeated DII Belmont Abbey, 13-3, in an impressive preseason win on January 30, while Montreat scrimmaged and fell to the University of Tennessee’s MCLA entry on Saturday, 16-15. The Cavaliers will host the Tornados on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. 

Women’s Basketball – The UNCA Bulldogs are currently on a six-game winning streak in the Big South after defeating Winthrop on Saturday, 70-36.  Senior Zip Scott had 14 points to lead the Bulldogs, while teammate Sonora Dengokl leads the team on the year with a 15.1 ppg average.

In the Mountain Five, Warren Wilson had won six straight before falling to Johnson & Wales (N.C.) on Saturday, 73-57. The records of all area teams as of Sunday included: 

NCAA DI:

  • Furman (12-10, 3-3 SoCon) 
  • UNCA (11-9, 6-3 Big South)
  • Western Carolina (4-17, 0-6 SoCon)
Mountain Five:
  • Warren Wilson (11-12, 3-2 USCAA)
  • Brevard (9-13, 5-10 NCAA DIII)
  • Montreat (10-13, 9-11 NAIA)
  • Mars Hill (1-16, 0-12 NCAA DII)
  • Lees-McRae (10-11, 7-7 NCAA DII)
O'Brady Antarctica 0001
In late December, Colin O’Brady became the first person to ever cross Antarctica unassisted (photo – Colin O’Brady)

Outdoors – Late last month, I wrote an article on the remarkable effort of explorer Colin O’Brady in a record-breaking trek across Antarctica. The piece was for Forbes and can be found here. 

Arianna Williams contributed to this post. 

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Carolina’s Tobacco Road Climbs West

Lees McRae Lacrosse
Lees-McRae faces off against Montreat on February 21. (photo – T.Flynn)

BANNER ELK, N.C. (August 1, 2018)  – The hub of North Carolina’s men’s lacrosse power is centered squarely on Tobacco Road between Chapel Hill, home to the UNC Tar Heels, and Durham, home to the Duke Blue Devils.

The Tar Heels established lacrosse at the club level in 1937, and Duke followed suit a year later. The two are now members of the NCAA’s Division I, and UNC has five national championships on its resumé (the latest earned in 2016) while the Blue Devils boast three, including the 2014 national title. 

In the mountainous western portion of the state, the game is a much more recent arrival and is featured only at several smaller colleges and universities centered loosely around Asheville. They include Lees-McRae (NCAA DII), Montreat (NAIA), Mars Hill (NCAA DII), and Brevard (NCAA DIII)

The Bobcats are the lacrosse elder statesmen of the state’s western region, having begun play in 1997. Mars Hill followed in 2004, while Brevard added men’s lacrosse in 2007, and Montreat in 2015. The two largest universities in the region, Western Carolina and UNC Asheville, do not yet include the sport on the men’s or women’s side. 

This fall, all four of those programs will have first or second-year head coaches, including Brad Dunn, who enters his second year at Lees-McRae. Dunn previously coached Coastal Carolina’s entry in the MCLA’s Southeast Lacrosse Conference and was a member of the Bobcats’ team from 2002-2006. On staff with Dunn is assistant coach and 2016 Lees-McRae graduate and former Bobcat, Dustin Barrow

Lees-McRae Lacrosse

The team went 2-7 in Dunn’s first year at its helm, with wins over Montreat and Emmanuel (Ga.). The win over the Cavaliers was a dramatic comeback victory over what’s proving a well-matched regional rival. “We’re looking forward to another game in 2019 against Montreat, and getting Mars Hill back on the schedule,” said Dunn. “Both of those programs provide a unique challenge for us.”

The Bobcats defeated Brevard, 14-13, the last time the two teams played in 2017. In 2016, they dropped an 8-6 decision to Mars Hill. Parity among the four teams should help accelerate the rivalries beyond their relative youth.

Lees-McRae sits at 3,720 feet in the town of Banner Elk, the highest altitude of any college or university campus east of the Mississippi. Dunn sees the lofty heights as a factor in his team’s fortunes.

“I believe that if nothing else, the mental edge is ours against teams who travel up to play us, but it also impacts our roster in the first weeks of training,” said Dunn. “The squad does take a few practices to acclimate to the thinner air while conditioning. That said, we love our mountains and all that comes with them.”

Team USA Reclaims Lacrosse Title

NCAA LACROSSE: MAR 10 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic - Princeton v North Carolina
Tom Schreiber, shown here in 2012, buried the game-winner for Team USA. (photo – Rich Barnes/Icon Sportswire)

NETANYA, Israel (July 23, 2018) – The US defeated Canada on Saturday, 9-8, to reclaim the FIL World Championship in Netanya, Israel. The two countries have taken all 13 of the gold medals since the championships were first staged in 1967. Most recently, Team Canada earned the world crown in Denver in 2014.

Former Princeton and current MLL star Tom Schreiber grabbed a feed from X from fellow Ivy-Leaguer Rob Pannell (Cornell) and scored the game-winner as time expired in regulation. Schreiber took the pass backhanded with his right hand, rotated back to his right and buried the score with .2 seconds remaining. 

The Canadians took a 6-4 lead into the halftime break, and the two teams were tied at six heading into the fourth quarter. 

Earlier this year, both US Lacrosse and Inside Lacrosse tabbed Schreiber as the “best player in the world.” 

For the second consecutive time, the Iroquois Nationals captured the bronze medal, besting Australia for the final spot on the podium.

US Faces Canada After Early Wins

US Lacrosse World Championships 2018 (1)
Trevor Baptiste of Team USA (photo – David Silverman/US Lacrosse)

NETANYA, Israel (July 14, 2018) – In an encore of the 2014 finale, the US will face Canada at 12:00 p.m. eastern time on Sunday. 

Team USA (2-0) got by the Iroquois Nationals on Thursday by a 17-9 margin. The Nationals took the early 3-0 lead on the US before the Americans answered with three of their own. University of Denver graduate Trevor Baptiste was 17-19 from the face-off X. Former Hopkins’ Blue Jay Ryan Brown led the US with four goals with Rob Pannell adding three goals and four assists. 

Team USA then defeated Australia, 19-1, early on Saturday. Tom Schreiber tallied three goals and set up two others. 

Canada (2-0) opened with a 12-6 win over England on Friday and followed that up with a decisive 22-3 win over Scotland on Saturday. The U.S. will face both of those opponents to close out the pool play portion of the tournament. 

Sunday’s game will air on ESPN2 in the U.S.

US Lacrosse Opens Today at Worlds

Team USA Schedule 2018
Team USA attackman Rob Pannell  (photo – James Cirrone/Pretty Instant)

NETANYA, Israel (July 12, 2018) – The US opens its 2018 schedule at the FIL Lacrosse World Championships today at 1:30 Eastern against the Iroquois Nationals. The game will be carried live on ESPN2

The US and Iroquois both compete in the blue division, the largest and most competitive of the 14 divisions that segment the 48-team field.  The Nationals include former University of Albany stars Lyle, Ty, and Miles Thompson on their roster as well as current Great Dane, Tehoka Nanticoke.

The US roster includes well-known stars Paul Rabil (M), Rob Pannell (A), Ned Crotty (A), and Matt Danowski (A). It will also feature what could be the most effective lineup of face-off specialists ever assembled on one team in Greg Gurenlian, Brendan Fowler, and recent Denver graduate, Trevor Baptiste.

The schedule for Team USA is below all times are local, and Netanya is seven hours ahead of Eastern time in the U.S. (graphic courtesy of US Lacrosse)

US Lacrosse Schedule

Team Canada is the defending world champion, earning the title when it defeated the US in the finale in 2014, 8-5. With the win, the Canadians gained some measure of revenge after dropping the tournament’s opening match to the Americans, 10-7, in Denver.

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Team USA’s Jordan Wolf  (photo – James Cirrone/Pretty Instant)

Photos: Brevard vs. Montreat

BREVARD, N.C. (May 30, 2018) – The men’s lacrosse season opened in the Asheville area back on February 7 when the Brevard College Tornados of the NCAA’s DIII hosted the Montreat College Cavaliers.

The Tornados, who are in the process of fully joining the USA South Conference, defeated the Cavs, 15-6, and went on to a 9-3 record on the spring. Montreat finished at 6-11 on the year and received votes in the NAIA national poll after playing one of the association’s strongest schedules. The two programs will likely square off again in early 2019.

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Furman Opens Men’s DI Lacrosse Slate

 

Furman Lacrosse 2018 Furman Lacrosse Home Opener NCAA DI V2

Greenville, S.C. – The NCAA Division I lacrosse season gets underway this evening when the Furman Paladins host the Vermont Catamounts at 6:00 p.m at Paladin Stadium. For the Paladins, under veteran head coach Richie Meade, they’ll enter their fifth season of competition as an NCAA program.

The 2017 squad was the best in Furman’s short history, going 7-8 overall but ending the season with consecutive losses to the Richmond Spiders of the Southern Conference. The first defeat was the regular season closer, and the second came in the SoCon tournament. Meade was named the 2017 SoCon Coach of the Year as the Paladins rebounded from a 2-11 2016 campaign.

The Paladins return four of their top five scorers from 2017, including Jonah Moore, William Holcomb (pictured), Lou Yovino, and David Williamson.

In cage, they return 2017 starter Alec Van de Bovenmap, and senior backup Reilly McDermott.

Vermont finished the 2017 campaign at 5-8 and 1-5 in the America East Conference.

Pictured: The Paladins’ junior midfielder William Holcomb facing Vermont last season. (Photo / Furman Athletics)

 

 

Johns Hopkins Defeats Loyola in Overtime Thriller

Johns Hopkins topped Loyola in men’s lacrosse on Saturday (Photo / T. Flynn/Instagram)


Baltimore
Johns Hopkins’ midfielder Joel Tinney buried the game-winner with time running out in the first overtime to defeat Loyola, 14-13, at Homewood Field. Tinney took a pass from Blue Jay Pat Fraser just inside the midfield stripe and sprinted cross-field, faking a ball flip back to Fraser before continuing to the right of the goal, squaring up on the run, and firing a left-handed shot from roughly 10 yards out to seal the victory.

With the goal, Hopkins moves to 3-0 on the season. All three of its victories are against Maryland foes (Navy, UMBC, Loyola). The Greyhounds drop to 0-2, with both losses coming in overtime. Despite yielding the game-winner, goalie Jacob Stover played well, making 14 stops for the Greyhounds. Hopkins’ attackman Shack Stanwick led all Blue Jay scorers with four goals and one assist.

Loyola hosts Lafayette (0-2) this Saturday, while Hopkins travels to Chapel Hill to take on the defending national champion Tar Heels (3-0) in a battle of unbeatens.

Books: Signing (2/18) at Barnes & Noble Before JHU vs. Loyola Lacrosse Game

The Loyola Greyhounds battle Johns Hopkins this Saturday (Photo / Tom Flynn)
Baltimore – For those in to see the Hopkins vs. Loyola game this Saturday (2/18), I’ll be at Barnes & Noble signing copies of Men’s Lacrosse in Maryland from 10-2 pm. Please stop by and say hello. 
The annual game between the two Baltimore rivals was played for years on the first weekend of May. When Hopkins joined the BIG-10 in 2015, the game took a one-year hiatus. In 2016, the game returned but in a new February time slot. The Greyhounds won, 9-8, and have captured the last three contests between the two.

The Blue Jays are out of the gate at 2-0 in 2017 with wins over Navy and UMBC, while Loyola lost their opener to Virginia and are 0-1.