Power Ranking the 2022 Men’s Final Four Goalies
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s final four weekend for the 2022 lacrosse season!
Just 2 games remain before one of the final 4 teams on the men’s side – Maryland, Princeton, Rutgers, Cornell – will claim the title.
Other sites have given game previews of #1 Maryland vs. #5 Princeton and #6 Rutgers vs. #7 Cornell but here on Lax Goalie Rat we’re going to focus on – you guessed it – the goalies.
Before I jump into my power rankings for the remaining goalies, let’s get one thing clear. Each of these keepers is a stud. You don’t get to this level of the tournament without having a great goalie.
Here are my power rankings for the final four remaining goaltenders.
4. Chayse Ierlan – Cornell – Senior
2022 Stats – 17 games (13-4), Goals against: 173, Saves: 188, Save Percentage: 52.1%, Goals Against Avg: 10.2
Cornell goalie Chayse Ierlan finished the season ranked 34th in save percentage at 52.1% and 27th in goals-against average.
Ierlan has been the Big Red starting goalie since his freshman season in 2019 but is of course coming off the 2020 and 2021 lost covid year seasons.
In the quarterfinals against Delaware Ierlan made 15 saves and spearheaded a defense that held opponents to single-digit goals for the second straight NCAA game. I don’t know if it was Cornell’s strong D or Delaware’s lack of O but most of those 15 saves came very easy for Ierlan.
Save percentage is a flawed metric for evaluating goalie performance but Ierlan has the lowest of the 4 remaining goalies.
Will he be up to the task when they face the Nascar-powered Rutgers offense?
I have Chayse Ierlan as the 4th ranked goalie of the remaining four.
3. Erik Peters – Princeton – Senior
2022 Stats: 15 games (11-4), Goals against: 161, Saves: 204, Save Percentage: 55.9%, Goals Against Avg: 10.73
After 2 seasons without Ivy League lacrosse, I think many forgot about just how good these teams were.
Erik Peters had a statement game earlier this season with a season-high 21 saves when Princeton beat fellow final four and New Jersey representative Rutgers in the Meistrell Cup.
But Peters can also be very streaky. This season he’s had games where he gave up 20 goals (3/19 vs Penn), 19 goals (4/23 vs Harvard), and 18 goals (4/30 vs. Cornell). But he’s also had games where he has given up 3 goals (4/5 vs. Marist) and 5 goals (vs. Boston 1st round 2022 tournament).
But the Tigers goalie is playing very well as of late.
They gave up just 5 goals in round 1 against Boston and then in the quarterfinals Peters made 17 saves as the Tigers held Yale to its third-lowest goal total of the season.
I love how loose and relaxed Peters plays when he’s in goal, something that we talked about in-depth in our podcast (Interview with Erik Peters). The challenge will be to keep that flow when they face the powerhouse #1 Maryland on Saturday.
Erik Peters is my #3 ranked goalie of the 4 remaining.
2. Logan McNaney – Maryland – Junior
2022 Stats: 16 games (16-0), Goals against: 121, Saves: 164, Save Percentage: 57.5%, Goals Against Avg: 7.56
Lost in Maryland’s dominance in the 2022 season is just how solid of a goalie Logan McNaney is.
The shortest goalie of the final four, at 5’8″ Logan understands positioning. You’ll rarely see him in a bad position when it’s time to make the save.
He’s also not afraid to leave the crease and win his team a ground ball.
The Terrapins have been so dominant all season that they haven’t really needed to rely on Logan to get the wins. In the quarterfinals against Virginia, Logan matched his season-high with just 14 saves which was a few above his 10 saves/game average.
But with the highest save percentage and lowest goals against average of the remaining keepers, this 2022 Honorable Mention All-American goalie is there to step up if needed.
Out of all the goalies remaining, Logan has the most championship experience. He was the starting goalie in the 2021 national championship game against Virginia so he knows what it takes to shine on the brightest stage.
Logan is my #2 ranked goalie of the 4 remaining.
1. Colin Kirst – Rutgers – Senior
2022 Stats: 18 games (15-3), Goals against: 182, Saves: 221, Save Percentage: 54.8%, Goals Against Avg: 10.1.
Colin Kirst is a professional-caliber goalie. He was the 2nd goalie selected in the PLL draft going to the Cannons in the 3rd round, 24th overall pick.
This dude is a beast. At 6’2 he’s got the size to occupy a lot of net and yet his quickness looks like that of a goalie several inches shorter.
His explosion to the ball is impressive. Reminds me of a young Jack Concannon (although to be fair Concannon isn’t that old) in the way his body explodes through the shots.
After a slow start (by his standards) to the season, Colin Kirst is coming on strong and was an Honorable Mention All-American this year after being a pre-season 3rd team selection.
In the 1st round of the tournament, Kirst had 17 saves vs. Harvard and then 18 saves vs. Penn in the quarterfinals so he is seeing the ball well this tournament and perhaps peaking at the exact right time.
Kirst has a knack for making big saves when his team needs him the most! All throughout the season, he made clutch saves including this walk-off gem to beat Stony Brook by a single goal.
Colin returned to Rutgers for a 2nd season after playing 4 seasons at Lehigh so out of all the goalies in the final four Kirst carries the most game experience and the Scarlet Knights will definitely be leaning on their netminder leader.
Kirst is my #1 ranked goalie of the final four.
I’m pretty pumped for final four weekend and can’t wait to watch these lacrosse games.
Having a good goalie and also a hot goalie at this time of year can win you a championship and I think that each team has a goalie who is capable.
Here’s my predictions: Maryland over Princeton, Rutgers over Cornell. Maryland completes the perfect season and wins the national championship.
If it was based purely on goalies I think Rutgers has the advantage. But of course, lacrosse is a team game, and the team that has the most complete offensive, defensive, and goalie package will emerge with the national title.
Until next time! Coach Damon
Disagree with my power rankings of the remaining goalies? Let me know down below in the comments.
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