Bocklet Has Been The Answer For Fairfield

Senior attack is saving his best season for last

March 19, 2007

By Paul Carcaterra

Special to CSTV.com

 



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PAUL CARCATERRA

An analyst for CSTV, Paul was All-American on Syracuse's '95 title team. He is president of No Limit Lacrosse Camps, and developer for Maverik Lacrosse.

Each week CSTV lacrosse analyst Paul Carcaterra hands out his Player of the Week honors while laying out his thoughts and opinions on the past week in college lacrosse.

 

Offensive Player of The Week

Senior Mike Bocklet from Fairfield is a four-year starter at attack for the Stags. He is saving his best season for the last. In three games this week, which all resulted in wins (against Rutgers, Bucknell and Harvard), Bocklet scored 14 goals and dished out 7 assists. That is a season for some players and Bocklet did it all in seven days. Balance is Bocklet's best attribute. He is a strong dodger, passer and a much-improved shooter. Fairfield is off to a 5-0 start, thanks in part to Bocklet's red-hot play.

 

Defensive Player of the Week

Dartmouth's freshman goaltender Michael Novosel made only 8 saves in a 7-6 victory over Notre Dame, but the way he made the stops is why he is the Defensive Player of the Week. Novosel and Dartmouth were 0-3 heading into Saturday's contest. The pressure for a win was huge, with the possibility of a season on the line. The first-year player made some remarkable one-on-one stops when his team had its back against the wall. Each and every save he made was highlight reel material. Notre Dame had many opportunities to ice the game in the second half, but Novosel put a lid on the Fighting Irish.

 

Freshman of the Week

It seems like week in and week out I could hand this award to John Hopkins' attackman Steven Boyle. All the freshman did this week was roll into the Carrier Dome and tape up Syracuse with four goals and an assist.  However, other freshman are making waves as well, one being Georgetown's Craig Dowd. Dowd scored four goals and dished out an assist in a 15-13 win against Hobart. He was slated to attend Duke last spring and explored other options for college after the situation in Durham went down. Too late to get into Georgetown for the fall semester, Dowd stayed home on Long Island, shot a ton and got stronger and faster. He enrolled in January, ready to contribute immediately. For Hoyas fans, the timing was perfect. Expect Dowd to be a steady performer for the next four seasons.

 

Making More With Less

People have been on the parity kick in lacrosse. Non-traditional powers have been knocking off top teams. Parity does not exist as much when trying to lure the nation's best recruits. Many of the top players head to a short list of schools that consists of Johns Hopkins, Virginia, Syracuse, Georgetown and Princeton. All but Georgetown have won national championships in the last 16 years. Here are the coaches who may not get the top classes each year but continue to compete with them:

 

·          Scott Marr (Albany): This was a weak Division III team 10 years ago, and now Marr regularly takes his squad to the NCAA tournament.  Scary what would happen if he were coaching an ACC school.

 

·          Jeff Tambroni (Cornell): Currently coaching the No. 1 team in the country. If you think Cornell has not arrived, just look at what they did to Princeton in 2005 (won 17-2). As long as Tambroni is at Cornell, expect the Big Red to be in the hunt for the Ivy League title and keep pounding on the Final Four door.

 

·          Richie Meade (Navy): I touch on Meade and his ability to coach so much people probably think I am his agent. Meade has Navy in the Top 8 every year and went to the title game in 2004. When was the last time Navy had a Top 10 recruiting class in Meade's tenure? Never!

 

·          Keep an eye out for Hofstra's Seth Tierney and Army's Joe Alberici. It is too early to tell as this is Tierney's first year and Alberici's second. Both have their squads competing week after week against the best. Tierney has lost to Hopkins and Princeton by one goal, and Alberici beat Syracuse in the Dome (maybe it is not as hard to win in the Dome anymore). 

 

Shot Clock?

Look, I am not a big advocate of changing the rules of the game. I do like the fact that teams have to clear the ball in 20 seconds, as well as the random stick check (6 per game at random times) that was instituted this year. However, the fastest-growing sport in the country is going to plateau in regards to growth if the pace of the college game does not pick up. Granted, there was great goaltending in Princeton's 5-4 win over Hofstra, but that is not enough offense to keep the average fan interested. Last year Cornell beat Princeton, 4-3. Again, strong goalie play, but one should take a closer look at the bigger issue.  Both teams combined in that game for 45 shots. That is the amount of shots a team should generate by themselves in a contest. I am not interested in the college game becoming the MLL, however, I think it would be best if a 60-second shot clock was seriously considered. Teams are taking advantage of the slowdown game, forcing lacrosse minds to entertain the thought. A great lacrosse game typically should end up in the 10-9 range; the teams should not combine for less than 10 goals. 

 

My Top 10

With my rankings, being undefeated in the third week of March does not warrant a top ranking, nor will a loss prevent a team from being the best. This list is made up of who I feel are the best 10 teams in the country right now. Things change, it is only March and there is still snow on the ground in the Northeast. Below is my Top 10:

 

1. Virginia

2. Navy

3. Cornell

4. Hopkins

5. Duke

6. Princeton

7. Albany

8. Loyola

9. Syracuse

10. Georgetown

 

Note: I am well aware of the fact that Albany beat Johns Hopkins. I do not think they are a better team right now (a month ago they might have been). Where is Maryland and undefeated Fairfield? Right now I don't think they can beat any of the Top 10.