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.
Top Single Game Scores of the week
#1 – Matt Brandau (Yale) – 8.61 goals added
Apr 26 vs Quinnipiac Opp ELO: 1307
This game has me torn. Brandau had 11 points against Quinnipiac, which set a career high. And with a uaEGA of 5.36, it was a wildly efficient performance.
But then against Harvard, he had 6 points, in a rivalry game, which was huge for ILT seeding and generally keeping Yale in the mix nationally. His efficiency wasn’t as high, his production wasn’t as high, but given the stakes, it may have been a more important performance.
The point of this column has always been to highlight the best statistical performances, regardless of opponent. I added an efficiency factor this season so that it wasn’t always just identifying players who did the “most” positive stuff. But it still irks me a bit that Brandau’s game against Harvard was less than half as impressive as his performance against Quinnipiac. It doesn’t feel right.
Still, there’s a trade-off. Incorporate too much of the context of the opponent and you will never see players from the lower tiers of college lacrosse. In my daily stars posts, I do use opponent context to identify how good a player was given the strength of the defense. And that model rarely identifies players outside of the top 3 or 4 conferences.
Ultimately, I don’t think you can really do both things. But that doesn’t mean I won’t keep looking for ways to highlight great efforts.
Career High Alert! Jacob Buck’s game against the Bonnies was notable in part as a reversal of trend. His play share, which measures his role in the offense has been on the decline for the past few years. In ’20, his play share was 13.2%, then 12.2% last year. This season, it’s just 10.0%.
But that had to make his game on Saturday all the more sweeter. It was a career high in EGA and he took a whopping 15 shots, scoring 4 of them. I also love to see the goose-egg in the turnovers column. Have a day, young man!
Well, at least Syracuse won’t have to play any more games against Pat Kavanagh this year. That’s certainly one pro of their season coming to an end. Let’s do a comparison: his 24 career games vs non-Orange teams and his 4 career games against Syracuse.
Against Non-Syracuse teams, he’s averaging 3.6 total EGA, 4.2 points, and a respectable 1.73 assist-to-turnover-ratio. Against Syracuse, he’s averaging 7.4 total EGA, 9.5 points, 5.5 assists and an assist-to-turnover-ratio of 7.33. Wild.
Quite the day for the Friars’ first-year FOGO. The 23 faceoff wins demolished his previous career high, and as the season has gone on, he’s been getting more and more of an opportunity.
Now Tom Fegley is still the top-rated FOGO on the Friars’ roster, but given that he’s in just his first year, it’s reasonable to assume that McConnaughey will end up being the first option here. After 11 career games, he’s the 54th rated FOGO in the faceoff Elo ratings.
Probably the MVP of the Yale victory right here. The Elis were out-efficiencied by the Crimson (41.0% to 38.6%). That makes this one of those rare Type-C victories where the possession advantage they got from Ramsey’s day at the faceoff X allowed them to overcome an efficiency disadvantage to steal the victory.
Bragg’s laser will get the highlights/attention, but Ramsey putting up his 2nd best faceoff win rate of the season was the key.
The 2022 season has been somewhat of a let-down for LIU after they burst onto the scene in 2020 and then followed that up with some improvements, especially on offense, last year.
But with LaCalandra’s stat line against Sacred Heart, you’d think the calendar was turned back. It was his fourth most efficient game of the year (2.68 uaEGA; Hobart was his best game with a 4.43 uaEGA efficiency rating). But this game was the most involved he’s been all season. Whether that was a strategic decision by LIU or just the inability of SHU to contain him, I’m sure it felt good to be unshackled.
As for English, and the Tigers’ offense as a whole, it’s hard to find fault. Turnovers have been an issue for him this season (just a 16/100 ball security rating), but this game was his first zero-turnover performance of the year. As a result, it also represented a high-watermark for him in terms of efficiency.
Seems like St. John’s has been a get-right game for a lot of teams this year. No different in this one for the Friars and Matt Grillo in particular.
Over this previous 5 games, he managed just four goals on 31 shots. Scoring 6 on 17 in this one was a nice change of pace from a scoring perspective. Adding an assist and a few GBs made it his most efficient game of the year as well.
There are 4 qualifying players in Division I Men’s lacrosse who are in the 92nd percentile (or higher) for shooting percentage and in the 97th percentile or higher for assist rate (assists per touch). Michael Long is one of them.
(The other 3 are Logan Wisnauskas, Eric Malever, and Aiden Blake)
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