10 things about week three in Major League Lacrosse.

Rattlers’ swag

High-quality cellies are tough to come by in MLL. Most teams are fairly nonchalant after goals. You never see a bench erupt like the 2012 Maryland Terrapins did. Stephen Berger, Peter Baum and Kevin Buchanan aren’t afraid to show some emotion from time to time. But has a team ever shown as much emotion as the Rattlers did on Friday?

In the second quarter Mike Manley ripped a two-point goal to give the Rattlers the lead. What ensued was scary – it sounded like a chorus of Kevin Garnett screams. Just a few minutes later Sam Bradman netted his first career goal. Four teammates sprinted to congratulate him; one teammate, John Ranagan, sprinted to the net to grab the ball.

The Rattlers were perfect examples of the intensity and camaraderie that the opposing Lizards lacked. It all starts with their goalie, John Galloway. He consistently competes at an extraordinarily high level – something that, unfortunately, cannot be said about every player in this league.

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

(Sidenote: Celly of the Week goes to Scott Ratliff, who blessed us with this Johnny Manziel tribute on Saturday. Wait a second – didn’t Manziel and Drake collaborate to invent this celly? They did! Woah – does that make this the subtlest, sweetest response to Jay Z’s lyric you could ever imagine? Or am I reading too much into it? Maybe I am… Forget it. Just enjoy the celly.)

 

Harrison-Schreiber two-man game

Oh, boy. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Princeton’s offense is absolutely loaded with midfield picks. In college Tom Schreiber scored a majority of his goals after fading, popping or rolling after a pick. If Harrison can keep drawing switches, Schreiber will keep burying shots like this:

 

Bonus: Schreiber played a ton of defense in this game. If he continues to do so, then he will most likely trap offensive midfielders on defense multiple times per game. When that happens, you can bet he’ll be setting a high pick for a teammate. And when that happens, you can bet there will be defensive miscommunication.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Hounds’ ball movement

The Hounds doubled their season assist total with five against the Bayhawks. They were also without primary ball-handler Matt Danowski (coaching commitments). Coincidence?

In two games Danowski has 14 shots on net and just three goals, giving him a horrendous (and team-worst) adjusted shooting percentage of 21.4%. He played shy in Week 1 against Chad Wiedmaier. He tried to do too much himself in Week 2 as a midfielder. I’m sure he’ll eventually find a balance, but if Duke makes it to Memorial Day Weekend, then the finding of that balance will happen a lot later than the 1-2 Hounds would like.

Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Lizards’ ball movement

Entering the season I thought they’d be one of the most entertaining offenses in the league. Instead, they are one of the least watchable offenses. There is too much isolation. Everyone is more obsessed with do-it-yourself projects than 38-year-old mothers on Pinterest. They’ve displayed their ability to draw slides; I’m still waiting for them to dissect sliding defenses.

Review: 1 out of 5 stars

Referee’s intensity

 

Man, that’s an explosive throw. Powerful stuff. I’d bet that flag still hasn’t come down to earth.

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

Chris Bocklet versus Scott Ratliff

Both the Machine and the Launch elected to put a shorty on Bocklet in settled situations and endline restarts. He lit them up for a combined five goals and four assists, so John Tucker switched things up (ironically, by switching nothing).

The Cannons became the first team to place a pole on Bocklet for 60 minutes (plus overtime). I don’t think it was decided after they saw game film; it was actually probably not a decision at all. The Cannons have made a point of keeping their poles close to Jordan Burke this year; they did not double-pole the Bayhawks or the Rattlers.

I loved seeing that Tucker stuck with his philosophy against the Outlaws. Did the Cannons shut down Bocklet? Not quite, he went for two goals and an assist. But did Drew Snider light up their shorties? Nope. They stuck with what works, and it still worked. Sort of.

Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Justin Pennington’s off-ball down screens

I pointed these out in Week 1. On the EMO Pennington pins the high defender down to produce a hands-free, intermediate-range shot for one of his teammates. Sometimes, it’s the little things – watch #14 in white:

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

 

Tom Bovee’s 3up 3down article

C’mon, man! Chemistry issues with the Cannons? Don’t lump them into the same class as the Lizards. Nobody in Boston is panicking just yet.

The real reason that they lost was the absence of Chris Eck. His replacement Craig Bunker went 9-for-23 on faceoffs and struggled when stuck on the field as a defender. Watch here as the Outlaws attack him early. His man, Anthony Kelly, sets a pick above the wings for sharp-shooter Jeremy Sieverts.

More often than not, Sieverts will make a defense pay for failing to switch here. Bunker got lucky on defense; too bad he didn’t have much luck at the X.

Review: 2 out of 5 stars

CJ Costabile trade

At the time of the trade I thought Chesapeake would use Costabile for faceoffs. A second-round pick is not chump change; the Bayhawks didn’t really need another pole for that price, so there had to be more to the deal. Costabile only took one faceoff on Saturday, however. Going forward it’ll be interesting to see if head coach Dave Cottle gives Stephen Peyser (3-of-12), Brian Megill (7-of-19) and Costabile heavier faceoff workloads.

Remember: Chesapeake has played Chris Eck, Greg Gurenlian and an out-of-his-mind Timmy Fallon so far. Faceoff specialist Adam Rand (19-of-43) has had more success than his teammates, but only by a small margin. Would Cottle scratch Rand if the three-headed monster of Peyser-Megill-Costabile can tread water against the rest of the league? I doubt it, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Review: 3 out of 5 stars

Launch attendance

In Week 1 I bashed Florida’s boards. Why were they raised? Why were there so few of them? Why were they so flimsy? I mean, look at them:

 

In Week 2 they were fixed. Everything I said was addressed.

Did they make the change because of my column? Definitely not. But they made the change nonetheless. Now, I am asking the lacrosse community to get the Launch’s attention; we have one more change to be made.

Before the weekend I tweeted at the Florida Launch. I asked if they could give Rick Ross sideline tickets for the game against the Machine and if they could have someone deliver him a 10-piece from Wingstop. The Launch didn’t reply, which was discouraging because I wasn’t joking; Rick Ross can save lacrosse in Florida.

The Boss (of Generation Y, that is – don’t mean to step on your toes, Bruce) is extremely influential. He owns 25 Wingstops. He has three million twitter followers. Impressive, right? Now consider this: He has tweeted 41.6 thousand times! Do you realize how unbearable it is to follow someone who has tweeted 41.6 thousand times? Incredibly unbearable! Yet, three million people do it. And what do those three million people see? Stuff like this:

 

Imagine if Rick Ross tweeted a picture of the Launch game? Three million people would see it; that is 860 times more people than have attended a Launch game. Ever. Please, Launch – make a corporate sponsorship with Wingstop happen!

Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars