Congrats to these MLL draftees from the ACC

Matt DanowskiWanted to give a shout out to the following ACC lacrosse players who were drafted last night in the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) draft.  They are, in order of draft:

Pick #  Team – Name, position, college

2. New Jersey - Matt Danowski [pictures], A, Duke
9. New Jersey - Joe Cinosky [pictures], D, Maryland
11. Chicago - Will Barrow [pictures], M, Virginia
12. New Jersey - Tony McDevitt [pictures], D, Duke
14. Long Island- Ben Rubeor [pictures], A, Virginia
22. Rochester - Nick O’Hara [pictures], D, Duke
27. Denver - Michael Ward [pictures], M, Duke
41. Chicago- Bud Petit [pictures], G, Virginia 

So that is eight ACC players placed in the 50 available draft spots. The #1 draft pick for Chicago went to the man, the legend, Paul Rabil [pictures] of Hopkins.

Shipping off to Boston

Tomorrow, I will be flying off with the Duke men’s lacrosse team for Boston. For those not “in the know”, Duke will be playing in the Final Four this year at Gillette Stadium. Saturday at 2:30pm, they will play Johns Hopkins in a rematch of the 2007 (and 2005) championship game, only this time in the semifinals. Should Duke win, they will play either Syracuse or Virginia. 

I’m traveling as part of the Duke entourage, but also as a photographer for Inside Lacrosse. On the Inside Lacrosse Blogs, I’ll be posting some in-depth information about Duke as they make their run for the title. It’s going to be a fun weekend.  

Duke Lacrosse vs. Ohio State Photos

So Duke Lacrosse did a number on Ohio State last Sunday in a 21-10 win, a score that doesn’t really reflect how lopsided the game was.  In the fourth quarter, Duke pretty much shut down their offense and stopped taking shots.  Otherwise, the score would have been far worse. On the bus ride from Duke to the airport, I was sitting beside longpole Parker McKee talking about Ohio State. I recounted how my Heels lost to them in Baltimore earlier this season and said I predicted a strong start by the Buckeyes.  My prediction was for them to be up at the end of the first quarter, maybe half, but Duke then coming back to win it.

Sam PaytonWell, I was right about the Buckeyes starting strong.  They scored first to make the score 0-1, scoring off an EMO (btw, how does Sam Payton get hit with a delay of game when the game was only 10 seconds in? I missed the call as my camera was focused elsewhere).  I was also right that Duke would come out after the Buckeyes strong start and win the game.  What I had very wrong was how long it would take Duke to come back — it ended up not taking long at all.  At the 10:39 left on the clock in the first, the officials could have stopped there when Brad Ross scored to put Duke up 2-1.  Duke would never be down again and would not stop the carnage until the score was 10-1.  Congrats to OSU though for their great success this summer.  It is great to see a midwest team get some serious respect in the lacrosse world. 

The entire game was rainy and cold.  Pretty miserable to photograph.  But the photos usually look fun in the end: Lots of sliding goes on during these games.  Too bad it wasn’t a muddy and grassy field.  Photos from those games look awesome!

Here’s a link to my photos from the game:  Duke Lacrosse vs. Ohio State Photos

In Ithaca, NY with Duke Lacrosse

Coach Danowski speaks to his team.

I was up in Ithaca, NY with the Duke Lacrosse team as they played Ohio State in the NCAA Quarterfinals, hosted by Cornell University.  This is the second year in a row that Duke has not had to play the host school after the host was jettisoned in the first round.  When Duke traveled to Annapolis last year, UNC dispatched Navy, matching Duke instead with UNC.  This year, Ohio State took out the Cornell Big Red before Cornell had a chance to play Duke at their home.

The trip was a lot of fun.  We flew by private charter which was very spoiling.

I posted some behind-the-scenes photos of the trip on Inside Lacrosse’s blog site.  Here are the links:

May 17th: Preparation before Ohio State

May 18th: Gameday vs. Ohio State

If you are looking for action photos, check out the gallery on

Eventually, I will have all the photos posted on my website.

Thursday I am shipping up to Boston with the team.  I’m pretty stoked.

Navy Lacrosse, 1960

I was reading blog comments on Inside Lacrosse, and came across this gem (see the second comment). Here a commenter discusses a young 1960 Naval Academy lacrosse team.  What an amazing story this is:

As a foremost authority on the history of lacrosse, allow me to point out what happened in the spring of 1960 when a young Navy team, led by captains Greg Becker and Stu Besch, came back from 15 goals down in the national semifinal game versus Harvard [I think he meant Hopkins here]. Navy’s goalie from the previous year, a portly hard-drinking plebe named Walt Wasileff, was shipped off to Korea, where he lost a foot and part of his hand after an explosion on the deck of his aircraft carrier. He was replaced by a young Lou Rawls (yes, that Lou Rawls, soul singer and star of many telethons), but unfortunately for Lou, Hopkins had no sympathy and poured in 13 first half goals as revenge for Wasileff’s shutting them out for the first time ever a year before.

At half time, trailing 13-0, the Navy players were already thinking of going home for a few weeks, checking up on mom and dad, and then heading off to war. Lacrosse seemed less and less important as the reality of war began to hit home. Five of their teammates from the 1957 team never came home from the war, and nobody was sure Wasileff would ever come home either. Last the team had heard, Walt was touch and go, clinging to life.

So when they heard a familiar voice growing nearer, in full sprint from the parking lot, already dressed in a uniform from the year before (a white one, and not Navy’s road blues), the Navy men thought they were seeing a ghost. After a lot of hugs and handshakes, Walt asked Low Rawls if he would mind coming out of the game. Lou calmly took off his jersey, handed it to Walt and said “You’ll need this…brother.”

Walt was carried into the goal, much to the amazement of Hopkins and their faithful fans. The first shot on Walt went in, and the second one trickled through his legs. “Zoinks!” he exclaimed. “That’s the last goal you ever every score against me Hopkins!!”

And he was right. Navy scored once. Then again, And again and again and again. With the score 15-14 Hopkins, and only fifteen seconds left, all hope seemed lost for the Navy men. But upon winning the face-off, Walt limped into the offensive zone with his big goalie stick, took a pass from Becker, then a deep breath, and fired a laser shot at the Hopkins goal. Ping! Ping! Off two goalposts and into the net!! In overtime, Navy attacker Besch scored a goal to give the Middies the victory in a game nobody will ever forget.


Update: May 15, 208 – 6:00pm

Another commenter has cast doubts on the statements made by the previous commenters.  They assert the following:

* There were no playoffs back then so I don’t know where semifinals come from.
* Freshmen were not eligible back then, so a plebe goalie [Wasileff] could not have played in 1959.
* Navy beat Hopkins 15-7 in 1960. Possible that we were up 7-0 I guess, but seems unlikely.
* There’s nobody in the Navy all-time roster named Walt Wasileff.

Hmm; so maybe the storybook story is not true after-all. 

[From Mids on a Mission comments.  Inside Lacrosse Blog]

UNC Lacrosse Project: Where it stands

Pointing out the elephant in the roomSo… there is an elephant in the room that I have not pointed out yet, so let me get the hardest part and say that UNC did lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament, upset by Navy at Fetzer Field. Given that it was my alma mater, it was obviously hard to take.  That said, the NCAA tournament is a cruel mistress. Only one of the sixteen teams that enter exit happily. An exit in the first round isn’t much easier than an exit in the last game. Given that a loss means an end of the season, losing in the tournament in an abrupt way to end your season. 

Even though the season is over, I’m going to still be working on the project. No, not in the Hillary Clinton never-say-never sense, but because, hey, I have a lot more time on my hands after the loss. So I’ll be doing some minor stuff with the guys who are around for the summer. But I’ll also sifting through literally thousands of photos that I took over this last year to pull out the cream of the crop. It’s going to be a huge labor of love. Too bad I can’t train that elephant in the room to edit and caption all the photos I have. 

Saturday I’ll be flying to Ithaca with the Duke team for their game against Ohio State hosted by Cornell University in the NCAA quarterfinals. I went with them last year and had a great time, so I’m looking forward to this experience. I was worried if I would be the persona non grata as the UNC guy, but instead I had a very welcoming and pleasant experience with them last year. 

But stay tuned; more is to come out on the UNC project. I’ve been working on some photos to highlight stick stringing as well as the canines in some of the players lives. Those two posts, among others I hope, I will be on Inside Lacrosse. 

(updated 5/20/08 to fix some spelling errors)

Up close with Greer

Zach GreerNope, this isn’t an in-depth article on Zach Greer.  Instead, just wanted to post this photo that I really digged. I’m not sure why I like this photo so much, but here are a few reasons. First, the cloud formation worked out perfectly. The contrast of the blue sky with the green grass also looks great. Second, the lighting is near perfect. The sun was not high up in the sky, and thus no hard shadows were cast except a little under his eyes. Third, I like the depth the photo has. Starting in the back, the background in out-of-focus (OOF). Then, his face is in focus, but his left hand, closest to the camera, is OOF. So the OOF background and foreground, with an in focus center part of the photo add something special to the photo. This was done with a wide angle lens and I was probably about only 18 inches from him when I took this photo. One benefit of working at a school frequently is you get to know the players. While I’m comfortable taking a photo like this of someone like Zach that I know or one of the UNC players, I wouldn’t be as comfortable doing this with a player I didn’t know, or more importantly with a player who didn’t know me, beforehand. It requires getting really close to pull of. Finally, the left hand looks larger than the face, giving the illusion that the viewer is very close rather than looking from a distance.

I am kicking myself, kicking myself, kicking myself for not doing something like this with one of the UNC players. Oh well. I will probably use this idea in the future if I ever so an outdoor portrait with a player.

Duke Lacrosse Photos vs. St. Johns

Zach GreerFirst, I wanted to send a congratulations to Duke senior Zach Greer.  Last weekend, he broke a 28 record to become that all-time leading goal scorer in the NCAA.  The previous record was 193 goals by NC State’s Stan Cockerton (yup, the Wolfpack used to have varsity lacrosse; I wish they would get it back!).  If you’re a Duke hater and say that the only reason he broke the reason was because he had a fifth year, then you don’t have your facts straight.  He is actually only in his fourth year, and when you consider that he broke this record after missing many of the 2006 games because of the scandal, his record breaking performance is even more impressive. 

Sadly, I did not know which goal exactly would be his record-breaker.  So, when he scored it, I was on the other side of the field and completly missed getting a photo of the moment.  I was with Duke University photographer Jon Gardiner, and we both let out a collective sigh when we realized what we had missed.  (actually I muttered a few four-letter words).  But anyways, congrats to Zach for a remarkable career. 

I have the photos up from the Duke lacrosse vs. St. Johns game.  Here is the link:

Duke Lacrosse vs. St. Johns Photo Gallery

Some Updates

Wow, things have been busy.  I’ve been taking more photos than I’ve had time to post them.  There are a lot of things that I still need to post.   Stay tuned for the following to eventually be posted:

  • UNC Lax vs. Hoftstra
  • UNC Lax vs. Duke @ ACCs
  • Duke Lax vs. St. Johns
But in the meantime, I do have a couple posts up on the Inside Lacrosse blog.  One for the UNC fans and one for the Duke fans.