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.
I have nothing personally against faceoff guys, but there’s always a part of me that cringes when a game like D’Alto’s ends up somewhere other than first on this list. Although you could say the same thing about a game like D’Alto’s being high on the list when he played the 65th rated defense in Lafayette.
Regardless, D’Alto was on fire in this one. The stat line had that perfect combination of production and efficiency. So much so that his 5.22 uaEGA for this game blows his previous career high (3.42) out of the water.
When you see Asher Nolting highlights, it’s almost always of him scoring. This man’s ability as a facilitator is incredibly underrated. I use a Madden-style scale to show where players rank relative to the country across the various skill sets. Nolting’s shooting so far this year is a 46 (he’s shooting 28%). Here are his year by year assist-rate ratings:
When he leaves High Point, it’s not the goals that they’ll need to replace, it’s finding someone as adept as Nolting in creating them in the first place.
Game of the weekend. I said it. Brandau was the engine that kept the Elis a step ahead of Princeton all game. And the crazy thing is that this wasn’t even his best game of the year. Against Denver, he had a lower play share, but a higher efficiency rating.
But let’s not take anything away from this one; given the stakes and the opponent, this was clearly the more impactful performance. So far this year, Brandau is a 94th percentile player for overall efficiency.
The Crimson are rolling. This makes it 5-in-a-row for Coach Byrne’s guys. In this one, King finally matched the production with a bit more ball security and the result was the best opponent-adjusted efficiency rating that Harvard has had this year.
For a first-year player, King has been fairly efficient (65th percentile). He’s the top play share guy on the roster, just edging out Austin-Madronic. Here’s the thing, his ball security rating is just a 22 (out of 100). It’s always exciting when you see a young guy having success AND you know he’s got a clear area of improvement to capitalize on.
Consecutive losses have taken some of the shine off the Utes, at least in this one, it was their day. Mercer was without faceoff ace Ashton Wood, which is how Utah was able to end up with a plus-16 possession advantage against the Bears. Regardless, the per-possession efficiencies favored Coach McMinn’s guys anyway.
The 43.4% efficiency mark was their best mark of the year. And for fans of speed, it was also their fastest paced offensive performance of the season. On average, the Utes’ first shot came after just 23.2 seconds of possession. You might think that with such a big lead, they would take their foot off the pedal; you’d be wrong.
In LIU’s shortened first season as a DI team (2020), they turned some heads with a 31% efficiency mark and some close games against power-conference teams. In the COVID year, they seemed to be on track for more, upping the offensive efficiency to 33%. 2022 has not been kind to the Sharks.
But perhaps things are turning the corner. They’ve won 2 straight and LaCalandra has shot 9 for 16 (56%) over that stretch. Against Merrimack, he had his highest efficiency game of the year as the offense hit its highest offensive gear yet.
The shot. Twisting, through the legs, backwards. If that wasn’t a team having fun, I don’t know what is. It was a must-win for the Orange, who now have a small but growing chance at snagging one of the NCAA at-large berths. After the Duke win, they are at 5%.
This is an interesting shooting line. Ok, so you have a guy with 6.48 composite EGA (8th best this week). And for the year, Dordevic has been very efficient (uaEGA is a 91 out of 100 on the Madden scale). And against Duke, you have 7 points, 3 gbs, and zero turnovers. Sounds about right for a top EGA game.
Then I saw the 22.7% shooting percentage (5 for 22). Not great. But digging in to those numbers a bit, only 6 of his shots were saved. 5 went in. 11 were off the cage (and presumably backed up by Syracuse).
Saved shots are essentially turnovers, and there is no way he makes this list if more of those misses had been saves. The lesson here, which I’ve said before, shooting percentage is half the story; saved shot rate is equally important in knowing the impact of a player’s shooting.
Drexel may have taken a step back this year, but they’ve got something in this redshirt freshman. There are only 2 other players that qualify as first-year players with a higher usage-adjusted-EGA and a play share above 4%. One is Max Waldbaum, who isn’t really a first-year player since he had a whole D3 career before coming to Jacksonville. The other is Miles Botkiss of Harvard. So realistically, Max Semple is the 2nd most efficient freshman in the country this year. Impressive stuff.
I’m not saying they are going to get there, but Villanova is not a team to write off. Not yet. Believe it or not, they still have a 2% chance at ended up with a home-game in the first round of the NCAA tournament. And their past two games have shown the blue print for how they might still achieve that best version of themselves.
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