For 3 time National Champion Duke Men’s Lacrosse, the NCAA tournament finals on Memorial Day is a familiar place. Yale on the other hand has one only one to their credit if one counts the pre-NCAA era where they shared a co-championship with Harvard in 1883.
Despite the weight of history that favors Duke, by all statistical evidence, these teams are deadlocked in almost every category of play. In fact, Lacrosse Reference compiles statistical data that is used to predict game outcomes. In a game where any team can beat any other team on any given day despite stats and what is on paper, more often than not, Lacrosse Reference is remarkably correct.
In the case of Duke vs Yale, Lacrosse Reference puts each team at the exact same statistical advantage at 1932. That places this game a a 50-50 toss up for who may or may not take this game.
One statistic that is left out of the previous calculations are the respective team’s most prolific scorers:
Yale’s Ben Reeves: 61 goals / 50 assists 111 points
Duke’s Justin Guterding: 64 goals / 46 assists / 110 points
Again, even taking this into account, the teams are also deadlocked.
It truly is anyone’s guess who will take this game today. One thing seems assured though, this game seems at the very least poised to be one for the ages.
Although I am a sucker for the underdog and am personally pulling for Yale (sorry Duke fans, but you have 3 under you belt), on the big stage, experience tends to win the day. Duke head coach John Danowski has been there, done that. He has the poise and experience to make adjustments on the fly in big game situations unmatched by most of his peers. While my heart is with Yale, I predict that Danowski is the one factor that gives Duke the edge on this one.
Happy Memorial Day lax lovers! You are in for a treat today!
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and well regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.