Here are my power rankings for the final four remaining goaltenders.
4. Denver – Alex Ready – Sophomore
2017 Season Stats – Games: 16, Goals Against: 128, GAA: 8.0, Saves: 120, Save Percentage: 48.4%, Record: 13-3.
Denver’s offense and defense have been playing so well this tournament that Alex Ready has not really been put to the test. Look at these lines:
Quarterfinal: 4 saves – Denver 16 / Notre Dame 4
First Round: 3 saves – Denver 17 / Air Force 10
Denver’s face-off dominator Trevor Baptiste has ensured Denver is pretty much in a “make and take it” situation winning over 75% of his face-offs in the regular season. He won 21 out of 22 face-offs in the semifinal and inspired a Twitter trend #BeastBaptiste.
But the combo of great offense, defense, and a dominant FOGO mean that Ready has yet to be in a situation where his team needed him to step up and he did.
Earlier in the year I watched Denver take on another final four participant Ohio St. in Columbus. Ready let in a couple of soft goals at the beginning, Ohio St. got momentum at home, and Denver couldn’t recover eventually losing the game 16-7, with Denver’s goalie making just 6 saves.
I think as Denver faces an elite Maryland offense which is ranked #1 in the country Ready will be put in the situation where he needs to come up with saves.
Can he do it? Time will tell but I know that during a tournament where you haven’t been tested at the first sign of duress your confidence can easily exit stage right, especially when he’s just a (redshirt) sophomore.
Maryland current goalie is a rightie but I think their players have a lot of experience going up against last year’s starter and leftie Kyle Bernlohr. So the Maryland shooter’s should be plenty comfortable firing shots on Alex Ready who is also a leftie.
Alex Ready is my #4 ranked goalie of those that remain.
3. Towson – Matt Hoy – Senior
2017 Season Stats – Games: 10, Goals Against: 58, GAA: 6.99, Saves: 67, Save Percentage: 53.6%, Record: 7-1.
At the beginning of the 2017 season Matt Hoy was actually not Towson’s starter. But he focused on getting back to the basics and having fun – two super important lessons for young goalies or those going through a slump – and earned back his starting position.
That decision has rewarded his team immensely as Towson went 7-1 in its final 8 matches including a victory over #9 Hofstra.
Matt Hoy is coming off of an outstanding game against Syracuse where he finished with 10 saves. But it was his play on saves inside that impressed me most.
Saves like this:
Here is Matt Hoy’s line through the 1st 2 tournament games:
Quarterfinals: 12 saves – Towson 10 / Syracuse 7
1st Round: 9 saves – Towson 12 / Penn St. 8
Matt Hoy is coming off the best game of his career against Syracuse and combine that with the two impressive upsets, I think the Towson goalie is playing with a lot of confidence right now.
Ohio St. and Towson played one another earlier in the season on March 17 however Josh Miller started in goal that game, not Hoy. So this will be Hoy’s first live look at the Buckeye offense.
Towson defense plays very condensed. They play a style that kind of forces the opponent to try to take some outside shots and if Hoy can make those saves Ohio St. is in trouble.
Matt Hoy is my #3 ranked goalie of those that remain.
2. Maryland – Dan Morris – Junior
2017 Season Stats – Games: 17, Goals Against: 153, GAA: 8.86, Saves: 181, Save Percentage: 54.5%, Record: 13-4.
After playing behind All-American goalies Nick Amato and Kyle Bernlohr, Dan Morris is finally getting his chance to shine.
But not before going through some early season struggles. Those were due to not having started a game since high school, which makes sense.
Morris has exceptionally quick hands and his outlet leading to fast breaks have added another dimension to Maryland’s offense.
But Maryland offense is so powerful and their defense so good that Dan Morris doesn’t need to be exceptional for Maryland to become a national champion, he just needs to be solid.
Here the line of Dan Morris thru 2 games of the tourney:
First Round: 10 saves – Maryland 13 / Bryant 10
Quarterfinals: 10 saves – Maryland 18 / Albany 9
Of course if he wants to make a save like this, I don’t think the Maryland fans would mind:
Dan Morris is my #2 ranked goalie of those that remain.
1. Ohio St. – Tom Carey
2017 Season Stats – Games: 17, Goals Against: 129, GAA: 7.6, Saves: 156, Save Percentage: 54.7%, Record: 13-4.
While he did have some struggles earlier in the year, Tom Carey finished with a spectacular season for Ohio St. posting a career low in GAA and a career high in save percentage.
He has the highest save percentage of the 4 remaining goalies and is the only one of the group to make the USLIA All-American team.
Here is Tom Carey’s line through the 1st 2 tournament games:
Quarterfinals: 14 saves – Ohio St. 16 / Duke 11
First Round: 12 saves – Ohio St. 7 / Loyola 4
As mentioned above, Ohio St. faced Towson just 75 days ago and in that contest Carey gave up just 3 goals. 3!
As a senior Carey has plenty of experience and has faced and defeated top ranked competition this year including both Towson and Denver.
In case you forgot how Carey can dominate check out these highlights from earlier in the year versus (at the time) #1 Denver.
Unlike Maryland, Ohio State will really need Tom Carey to play amazing if it hopes to advance and win a national championship. Carey leads all goalies with 26 saves so based on his play so far this NCAA tournament, I think he is up to the task.
Tom Carey is my top ranked goalie for those that remain.
I’m pretty pumped for final four weekend and can’t wait to watch these lacrosse games.
Here’s my predictions: Maryland over Denver, Ohio St. over Towson. Maryland wins national championship.
If it was based purely on goalies I think Ohio St. has the advantage. But of course lacrosse is a team game and the team that has the most complete offensive, defensive, 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.
Lacrosse is my passion! The game has given me so much and this blog is my way of giving back to the lax community. Specifically the most bad a$$ part of that community - the goalies! After learning to play goalie from scratch, I wanted to create a site where I could share what I learned with others so they too can become champions in the crease and in life. Learn more about Coach Damon.