Preview: Texas Longhorns

University of Texas Lacrosse ChampionsYes, I’m writing a preview for a lacrosse game. That’s dedication, homes.

The Texas Longhorns captured the #16 seed in the MCLA National Tournament, granting them the right to face #1 overall seed Michigan. Hooray Texas! So, how did the Longhorns get to this point, and what should we expect from them on Tuesday?

Horns_bullet_mediumTexas earned their bid to the MCLA Tournament by winning the Lonestar Alliance, a conference composed, predictably, mostly of teams from Texas. They are 16-3 entering the Michigan game, with the losses coming to SMU, Chapman, and Illinois (Michigan fans might recognize two of those teams – more on that later). In the LSA Playoffs, they gained revenge on SMU in the semifinals before defeating the Mean Green of North Texas in the finals. Judging by the fact that their auto-bid was for the dead last spot in the tournament, and no other team from the conference managed to make the field, it’s safe to say that the LSA is not one of the stronger conferences out there.

Horns_bullet_mediumChapman and Illinois, as hinted above, are common opponents for the Wolverines and Longhorns. Michigan fared better, to say the least. Against Chapman, Michigan played in front of a crowd of 2500 fans in Chapman’s own house (which, coincidentally, only has a listed capacity of 2000). On the road in a hostile environment, the Wolverines were able to mount a second-half comeback and take a 13-10 victory. When the Longhorns played Chapman, it was at a neutral site in San Diego, and the Panthers were able to hold Texas to just 4 goals all game, winning 14-4. In their respective games against the Illini, the situation is somewhat similar. Texas lost a 10-7 home game to the Illini, while Michigan came away with a 12-5 neutral-site victory (Lake Forest High School is closer to Illinois, and in their own state, but it is also the alma mater of Wolverines Anthony Hrusovsky and We McGowan). So, based on common opponents, Michigan is the better team. Of course, performance against common opponents is far from a perfect metric, but when Texas was essentially dominated by the teams, while Michigan did the dominating in their matchups, it’s a testament to perhaps a different level of team ability.

Horns_bullet_mediumTexas had 7 players named to All-Conference teams. Freshman Attack Mid Johnny McKnight paced the team in scoring, with 42 goals and 11 assists on the year. He was named 1st-team All-LSA and is an All-American candidate. Joining him on the first team was Senior Defenseman Max Atherton. Three Longhorns landed on the second team. Senior Attack Evans Swann was the team’s second-leading scorer, with 37 goals and 15 assists, while sophomore midfielder William Lawson was third on the team with 23 goals and 24 assist. Joining them was senior defensman Mark Anderlik. Making all-conference honorable mention were Junior Attack Doug Boyer (38 pts) and Senior Midfielder Alex Kroviak (26 pts). The main man in goal for Texas was Senior Towers Wilen, who allowed 6.9 goals per game, and saved 59% of the shots he faced.

The game takes place at 4PM (local, 6PM Eastern) on Tuesday at Dick’s Sporting Good Park. If you aren’t able to make it to the Denver area (which I assume is the case for just about everyone), you can follow play-by-play on GameTracker at the Lacrosse Website, or on Twitter @UmichLacrosse.

Posted under Other Sports
Tags: , , , ,


More Blog Post

Next Post: