Thursday, April 24, 2014
Loveland Tiger Lacrosse milestone: 50 Wins as Division I Team
Mike Shaver in his recent game against Mariemont
Tiger Attackman Brian McElveen holds game ball from win over Indian Hill as he and fellow captains pose with Tiger coaches past and present Standing L-R: David Scott, Jon Malotke, Head Coach Mike Pritz, Austin Simandl, former head coach Mike Werner Kneeling L-R: Max Mather, Brian McElveen, Tanner Griffin
Loveland, Ohio - The Loveland High School boys lacrosse program marked a milestone Wednesday night with their 13-7 win over local power Indian Hill, chalking up their 50th victory since becoming a Division I team..
The 7-2 Tigers took a few minutes post-game to recognize two former coaches, Mike Werner (2006-09) and Mark Lynch (2010-2013), who were instrumental in building Loveland High School mens lacrosse into one of the top Division I programs in Ohio. Tiger captains Max Mather, Brian McElveen and Tanner Griffin posed mid-field with current head coach Mike Pritz and his staff, along with the former Tiger head coach after the game.
“It’s amazing how far the program has come in just a few short years”, Werner said. “We went from club level to playing in the Division II state championship in our first 5 years. And the leap the program took once we moved up to Division I has been pretty remarkable.”
With 30 of the Tiger’s wins as a Division I team coming in the last two and a half seasons, Werner agreed Loveland has benefited recently from being able to attract top local coaches to the program and retain the young talent moving up through their system.
“Great practice facilities, great stadium, a new state-of-the art weight room, outstanding boosters, outstanding academics, it makes it easy for the program to pull in excellent coaches like Mark Lynch when I left, and now Mike Pritz now that Mark has moved on.”
Mark Lynch, who moved to Texas to take a full-time high school coaching position at the end of last season, also chimed in from his home base in Dallas.
"Congrats to the current Tiger lacrosse players and coaching staff on reaching 50 wins,” said Lynch. “It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of the players, parents and former coaches like Mike Werner and Joe Fedders who helped develop the program into what it is today. Tiger Pride!"
- See more at: http://www.lovelandmagazine.com/2014/04/loveland-tiger-lacrosse-milestone-50-wins-as-division-i-team.html#sthash.RlxM6hxb.dpuf
LM MCLA Division II Preseason Player of the Year: Matt Dowd
Dayton Defensive Star Finding His Voice
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Matt Dowd, LM's MCLA Division II preseason player of the year, is the humble type but has embraced being a more vocal leader for Dayton.
It took an ugly game, but the light bulb finally went off for Dayton long pole Matt Dowd last year. In the midst of a 21-13 regular-season thrashing at the hands of Grand Valley State, the No. 1 team in the country, Lakers superstar attackman Cam Holding managed to hang an 11-spot on Dowd and the Flyers. It was then that Dowd understood that more is not always better.
"I always tried to use my athleticism to try to jump the ball early or cut my guy off," admitted Dowd. "Cam's an incredible athlete, so I'd try those things and I'd just lose one step on him. Usually, I can catch back up with attackmen, but with Cam, that wasn't the case."
Dowd used the humbling experience to alter the way he approached all the top scorers he faced during the rest of the season, including in the national tournament. It culminated in the semifinals, when he was locked onto St. Thomas' Joe Costello– the best player in the history of MCLA-II – and forced the Tommies' staff to make the drastic choice of moving Costello to midfield where he could better avoid seeing Dayton's top pole.
"They ran an offense that made it hard for us to switch Matt back," said Dayton coach Charlie Mark. "I've got to give [St. Thomas head coach] Pete Moosbrugger credit, because he knew we wanted to switch and put Matt back on Costello."
Dayton fell short of the championship game in a 12-11 loss, but Dowd has cemented himself as the best defender in the division.
"Matt's going to be there whenever you make a mistake," said Mark. "You think you have a nice, wide-open lane for the pass, and he picks it off. If the ball is on the ground, he owns it. If your stick is out of position, he is very patient and when he checks, almost all the time he gets stick."
In addition to stalking his opponents as opposed to trying to overwhelm them, Dowd has found his voice.
"In the past, in high school and a little bit at the start of college, I've been quiet, but you can't really do that," said Dowd. "Coach Mark has reinforced communication on defense. It kind of clicked that I was one of the leaders on the team and I really needed to start calling out where the offense was running, and that has paid dividends for me as a player, and the defense in general."
"I was the most proud of him last year when he instigated conversation, not just talk," said Mark. "That was showing leadership with the other defenders and middies. Matt essentially took over."
While the Dayton defense is stacked this spring with the likes of seniors Tim Griffith and Austin Birner, Dowd should have another familiar face on the backline – his younger brother, Andrew, who transferred in from Otterbein (Ohio). "They have a wonderful relationship," said Mark. "Andrew is loud, tough and smacks guys around. Matt is humble, ethical and polite."
Polite isn't always the best attribute to have in your top pole, but the humility has already paid off. No longer is Dowd trying to do too much. He's just forcing opponents to change the way they approach Dayton.
LaxMagazine.com MCLA Division II PPOY Fan Vote
Matt Dowd, Dayton
Jack Dumsa, Grand Valley State
Jordan Richtsmeier, Davenport
Steve Johnson, St. John's