Each week, we will look back at the games that were to see which players had the largest individual performances. I say largest because the contributions that we can measure (from play by play) tend to be things that are easy to count. This includes, goals, shots, assists, turnovers, penalties, etc. We can’t measure a defender who shuts down an opposing player so completely that he doesn’t even touch the ball. Still, it is interesting to be able to identify the players that really filled it up each weekend and give them a shout out here.
For a bit of background, in order to rank single game performances, we needed a way to condense box score stats to a single number for each player. In order to do this, we relied on our expected goal values methodology, which assigns a goal value to each type of play depending on how often it leads to a goal in the next 60 seconds. By adding up all the expected goals added for each player, we can get to that single number and these rankings.
We have also tagged each performance with the opponent’s ELO rating. The higher the number, the stronger the opponent. This should help to give some context for each performance. Did the player feast on the dregs of D1 or did they put up these numbers against a quality opponent?
Click on any player’s name or the PRO logo () and you’ll head straight to the detailed breakdown on their LacrosseReference PRO page. As opposed to last year, all players appearing in the weekly rundown are unlocked and the information on their page is available to all readers.
With 4 games under his belt, Ashton Wood is up to his old tricks. His 66% win rate is the best of his career to date. In the Faceoff Elo Ratings, he’s currently the 6th rated FOGO in all of Division I Men’s Lacrosse. It’s a testament to the dominant game that the Dolphins played that he won 18 more faceoffs, but the Bears final possession margin was just +9.
Few teams can match the Hawks on the all-important metric of fan palpitations. So far, they are 2-1, they’ve scored 38 goals and allowed 36. All of their games have been decided by 2 goals or less.
Matt Bohmer was the engine that drove the comeback against PSU. His 6 goals against the Nittany Lions pushed his season total to 12. This was the first game of the year that he didn’t have any assists, but it was also the first game where he didn’t have a turnover. That lack of turnovers is why his 6-point effort in this game was nearly twice as impressive as his 6 point effort against Delaware (6 points, but 4 turnovers).
So far, Myers has been the highest usage player on the most surprising team of the young season. The Buckeyes offense has been the 13th best so far this year after we adjust for the strength of the opposing defenses.
The thing that really stands out about his first 3 games is how good his distributor game has been (7 assists against UNC). On my Madden-style scale, he rates as a 97 for assist rate, up from 71 a year ago. I’ve got my eye on his turnovers still though; he’s a 43 for ball security through 3 games.
Who was that team in red? Was that Cornell? Must have been. Hard to tell because those were a lot of unfamiliar players. But this game is a great example of why two years off doesn’t necessarily mean two years worse. I don’t get the argument that an Ivy League team must be not as good because they didn’t play for two years. Will Cornell’s offense be not as good because Jeff Teat is no longer there? Maybe, but not necessarily. They still recruited good players to come to a good school with a great lacrosse program.
[CJ Kirst has entered the chat…]
7 points and just 1 turnover (that’s 6 Devittes for those following along) is a pretty good debut. And the 3 assists were part of a day for Cornell where they assisted on 69% of their 16 goals. In their last year of play, they assisted on 57% of their goals. This may be a new set of players, but the jury is still out on whether it’s a better set of players or not.
Waldbaum makes his first appearance on the Division 1 Weekly EGA Leaders list. I’m sure if I did this for the other Divisions, it wouldn’t be his first time. But alas, no D2 or D3 yet. One day…
Still, I heard some chirps from people wondering why he didn’t make it for the upset over Duke. Well, for one thing, his raw EGA in this one 5.51 EGA was better than the Duke game (4.94 EGA). But the more important point is that he was not especially efficient in the Duke game. His 6 points came on 9 shots and he also had 3 turnovers. As a result, his usage-adjusted-EGA against Duke was just 2.63. In this game, that same metric was 6.30. It was a much more efficient performance.
Cook was a big part of the Brown offense in his first 2 seasons. Looks like he’ll be a big part of that same offense this year. It was Quinnipiac (66th rated defense) so this is an over-reaction, but through one game, he showed a huge improvement in his ability to generate offense for others.
Individual assist rate is a metric that is designed to be a proxy for assists-per-touch. It’s different than assists-per-game which is skewed by how much each player has the ball in their stick. So in a game where he scored 4 goals on 5 shots, he also managed 4 assists. I always love players who are able to make offense happen in multiple ways.
Pallonetti was a guy that turned some heads last year for the Seawolves. Through 2 games so far, it’s a mixed bag for him, statistically. His shooting is way down. 17% this year vs 29% last year. The good news is that his game appears to have become a bit more well-rounded. Through 2 games, his assists-per-touch rate out as an 83 out of 100 and his ball security rating is 70, up from 29 last season.
If he’s able to keep those initiator stats up and his shooting catches up, he’s going to be a handful the rest of the season.
Clean card for O’Neill in this one. 6 points is his highest-single game point total in a game where he had 0 turnovers. So far, that’s been the biggest improvement in his game. His ball security rating is 63 after finishing 2021 in the 28th percentile nationally. So while his point-scoring is up marginally this year, his efficiency has taken a bigger leap.
Our 2nd Ivy contributor this week. It appears that Chris Brown has taken on the Michael Sowers role in the Tigers’ offensive system. He had 4 of the team’s 12 assists and was the highest-usage player on the roster against Monmouth.
So far, so good. I’ve said with all the Ivies that the best way to project these teams is to look at what they were doing when they finished their ’20 season and just assume that’s what you are going to get in 2022. So far, it doesn’t seem like a bad approach.