Lacrosse in 2019: A Recap
Lacrosse in 2019 was crazy! From a new pro league, to blue blood programs winning champions, and huge rule changes, we are going to run down all of the top stories from the 2019 calendar year.
Pro Lacrosse goes on tour:
In 2018, Paul Rabil and his brother Mike announced the creation of the Premiere Lacrosse League which would start in June of 2019. The league quickly exploded into a social media powerhouse. The six inaugural teams were:
- Archers LC
- Atlas LC
- Chaos LC
- Chrome LC
- Redwoods LC
- Whipsnakes LC
Players were announced with Bitmojis during the draft process. This grabbed the attention of fans and media with how different the approach was. Their media strategy focused on social media engagement and younger fans to build a passionate audience.
The league offered unprecedented access to players before, after, and even during games. The game was flashy and fast and people gravitated to the league. The PLL was unafraid to take chances, and it resulted in some pretty cool moments:
The league featured a touring style schedule, stopping in 12 cities across the United States. This concluded with the playoffs being held in three cities: Columbus, New York, and Philadelphia for the championship. The Whipsnakes would go on to win the championship over the Redwoods 12-11.
At the end of the season, a 7th expansion team was announced on social media. More exciting news is sure to come from this upstart league in 2020:
New rule changes take over the NCAA game:
The 80 second shot clock was added to speed up the game and keep teams from stalling on offense. There is now a 20 second clearing clock to get the ball across midfield, and the over and back rule is in effect once the ball crosses the mid-line. Teams have 80 seconds total of possession time. The shot clock can be reset back to 60 seconds with a save, a shot hitting off the goal, or a defensive foul.
The substitution box has returned to its smaller size of just 10 yards. For almost a decade, the box was 20 yards and created slower substitution patterns. With the new shot clock and smaller box, teams are forced to sub quickly and get into their offensive sets much earlier in possessions.
Finally, the crease dive made its return to the NCAA game. This allows a player to drive into the crease on a shot. They must release the ball before they touch the ground and cannot dive into the “mouth of the goal”. This brought new highlights to the college game which mesmerized fans. Check out Pat Spencer dunking on Rutgers:
Blue blood programs win more titles:
The University of Virginia returned to the promised land once again with their 6th National Championship and first since 2011. This was the Cavaliers first title under Head Coach Lars Tiffany after defeating Yale 13-9.
Maryland took home the 2019 Women’s Lacrosse National Championship. They beat Boston College 12-10 at Homewood Field. This was BC’s third straight championship appearance, but they have failed to capture the elusive title. With this win, Maryland has won 5 titles under Coach Cathy Reese since 2010.
Players of the year:
The Tewaaraton Award honors the most outstanding college lacrosse player for both men’s and women’s lacrosse. This year the winners where Loyola Attackman Pat Spencer and Maryland Goalie Megan Taylor.
Pat Spencer put up 49 goals 65 assists and 37 ground balls on his way to dominate Men’s Division I Lacrosse. Spencer became must watch TV anytime the Greyhounds were broadcaster. His size and strength made defenders just bounce off of him, and his great vision and stick skills led to his prolific point totals this year
Megan Taylor became the first goalie to ever win the coveted award. Taylor put up 217 saves and a 22-1 record on her way to the national championship with Maryland this past season. Her .551 save % was second in the nation.
As the decade comes to a close, the game grew more every single year. As 2019 becomes 2020, we cannot wait to see what this game will give us next year.
This article was originally published on December 27, 2019, and has been updated with new information.