The 13 shutouts and 17th win yesterday both happened to be good enough to tie franchise records set in 2011 (shutouts) and 2012 (wins).
It is unfortunate that the years we're in the final, it stops being televised nationally as it had been in the past few years. The live stream was just excellent quality, though. Even though I was unable to be at the match, I don't feel like I missed much. The home crowd was really into it and definitely brought a sense of "havoc." I had to grit my teeth every time VCU was in the box, they had some great quantity of chances, all turned away by our tourney MVP, Larisa Zambelli.
VCU had clutch saves from off a defender's header and another defender's back foot, preserving the opponent's chances as the overtime wore on. In fact, their box score had a total of three "team" saves, the highest stat I've ever seen in a college match for the hands-free backline. (Typically recording "one" for a team is a lot.) For a low scoring result, the match total of 20 saves for both teams showed there was actually a lot of octane in the match.
This was La Salle's third championship taken in just four final appearances (2-1-1 overall). The three trophies have all required efforts beyond regulation (2012, 2013, 2017).
It was the second time La Salle played at the opponent's site (1-1). (Unlike CAA and Patriot which give home field advantage to the top seed, A10 allows hosts to rotate among several eligible sites, which has resulted in some unfortunate match-ups for La Salle.)
La Salle's improvement from 4-10 last season to 17-3 this season is already at least a 9.5 game improvement, which will rank among the top20 all time NCAA margins.
Bracketology prediction has us going to Princeton next and the winner going to Penn State. Selection show at 4:30 Monday afternoon, online hosted by espn, will confirm where La Salle will actually go. Other host possibilities include Rutgers, Hofstra, Ohio St, and Georgetown.
The #BowerRangers made the SC Top 10 for the game winning goal. That was a hell of a pass -- back-heel in 2OT in the box was nuts.
Great season for the ladies. Undefeated in conference play and had two amazing wins in the A-10 tournament. Hopefully they get a scalp or two coming up. They played West Virginia tight earlier this year, and WV is a Top 10 team. Princeton's a Top 15 team if that's who we end up with.
Per Hykos...highlights can be found on the A10 facebook page. Some incredible highlights at that. Some great goaltending play on both ends. Great achievement by the team. Hopefully the basketball team (men's and women's) can follow suit this season!
They got caught waiting for Rutgers to clear the ball after an injury and they never did. Rutgers immediately scored.
Second was a bad decision to try and head out the centering pass.
I turned it off then. Rutgers was just bigger and faster. They were never really challenged.
Will slightly disagree with "they were never really challenged."
This is coming from a real Paul Royal fan and I love what he has built at La Salle and I believe that he is a phenomenal coach. However, I feel he made a mistake in the game strategy and formation (at least based upon the play-by-play on the audio stream). I was listening to the audio stream for most of the first half on my way back from the basketball game and they said that La Salle started out in a 5-2-2-1 formation, which is incredibly defensive. I think it took away one of the team's strengths in it's offensive firepower and necessitated sitting one of his best offensive weapons at the start of the game (caveat, this is based upon the announcer on the feed). I UNDERSTAND why he did it, because Rutgers is bigger and faster and you don't want them to get a quick lead in the first half, but it seemed like the team was playing on its heels most of the game. I guess it was successful to a degree in the fact that it was 0-0 at the half, but Rutgers dominated play and the Explorers were fortunate that .
It wasn't until they got down 2-0 that it looked like he turned them loose. There was a stretch of play in the middle of the 2nd half when La Salle controlled play and finally broke through to make it 2-1 and looked to have Rutgers scrambling a bit. Then the own-goal giving Rutgers a 3-1 lead iced it.
All in all, a fantastic season for the ladies and like I said, I love Paul Royal as a coach and he really seems to be a genuinely great guy. I really hope La Salle is able to hang on to him and he continues to build on his success. Congrats to the women and the coaching staff!
What kind of OT rules were in place? I could see going fully defensive against a better team and playing for the shootout.
golasalle I agree with everything you said and didn't mean to diminish their accomplishment, but you cannot say that Rutgers wasn't bigger faster. THey were.
I actually thought they were doing what you said MisterD , but just got caught staring on the first goal.
Joe, I literally said in my post that Rutgers is bigger and faster and that is why I understood the thinking behind the strategy. I was just pointing out that it MAY have been a mistake in retrospect. Also, I didn't view your post as diminishing their accomplishment.
Mr. D, I believe that the format for ties is two 10 min OT periods (golden goal) and if still tied, PK shootout. 110 mins is a long way to go to try to keep it 0-0.
Once again, this is not a criticism of coach Royal, just some food for thought about the strategy.
I UNDERSTAND why he did it, because Rutgers is bigger and faster and you don't want them to get a quick lead in the first half, but it seemed like the team was playing on its heels most of the game. I guess it was successful to a degree in the fact that it was 0-0 at the half, but Rutgers dominated play and the Explorers were fortunate that .
Shootout was in my mind a way we could have advanced. But it's flip a coin. It ought to give some advantage to the underdog, but Rutgers has recent shootout experience having lost in one of those merely a week before to Penn State.
Paul said about the game that it was going to be low scoring and he was half right. To say we never really challenged them is an inaccurate statement but we were outclassed in critical moments of the second half.