Q&A with ESPN's Mark Dixon

Former Johns Hopkins midfielder offered his perspective on, among other topics, whether Cornell's Rob Pannell has some competition from Albany's Lyle Thompson in the race for the Tewaaraton Award

April 08, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

ESPN analyst Mark Dixon, who will be handling play-by-play duties when No. 7 Notre Dame visits Georgetown this Sunday, writes a weekly column for Inside Lacrosse in which he provides his thoughts on results from the previous week. The former Blue Jays midfielder, who can be followed on Twitter via @Dixonlacrosse, discussed the biggest surprise from last weekend, a team setting itself up well and Albany sophomore attackman Lyle Thompson’s candidacy for the Tewaaraton Award.

What results from this past weekend stood out to you?

I think the biggest surprise would be Georgetown knocking off [No. 6] St. John’s. That was a Red Storm team that was streaking with a four-game winning streak and they had just knocked off Notre Dame and were riding high and probably feeling pretty good about themselves. And here was a Georgetown team that was scuffling and coming off a loss at home to Villanova, and they were able to go to Bethpage [in New York] and beat St. John’s and stay alive in the Big East for one of those four spots to play in the Big East tournament. So that was the biggest surprise to me this weekend. I think you also have to look at [No. 19] Albany knocking off [No. 12] Hopkins for only the second time in program history, and it wasn’t so much that Albany beat Hopkins, but the way that they were able to do it with [sophomore attackman] Lyle Thompson being held scoreless. That’s impressive, that an Albany team that has arguably the most electric player in all of lacrosse is kept off the score sheet and they found a way to win. I thought the goaltending for both teams was sensational, but Albany stared Hopkins down on Homewood Field and won the game, so I thought that was a pretty impressive result. And I think you have to look at the Syracuse-Princeton game, which was terrific. [No. 9] Syracuse was down to [No. 8] Princeton entering the fourth quarter, and I think you have to tip your cap to [senior midfielder] JoJo Marasco. In a battle of first-team All Americans potentially at midfield with [junior] Tom Schreiber of Princeton and Marasco of Syracuse, of the last three Syracuse scores, he assisted on two of them and scored the game-winner. So I think that was a tremendous individual effort on his part. As far as the team, I continued to be impressed with [junior Dominic] Lamolinara in goal. That game was a toss-up, and I thought Syracuse winning the game and the way they won it and the person that led them speaks to his development and how his senior year has really been special.

How much does the loss to Georgetown impact St. John’s bid for an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament if the Red Storm can’t capture the Big East tournament and the accompanying automatic qualifier?

They’ve got quality wins this year. They beat Notre Dame, they beat [No. 17] Yale, they beat Hofstra. But I think it does hurt them in the at-large scheme. Georgetown is a team that was scuffling, and you don’t want to ever call it a “bad loss,” but it was a surprising loss, and it is one that could cost them at the end of the day. I think it’s just a loss where everyone likes to have their own destiny in their own hands, and that’s a loss that on Selection Sunday – unless they win the Big East and unless they win the tournament and get the automatic qualifier – that could be a loss to where they’ve left their fate in the committee’s hands. They still have Villanova, Providence and Marquette left, and Villanova is getting better and depending on what the Wildcats do, that can be a quality win should they beat Villanova. But Providence and Marquette, although they’re having decent seasons, that’s not a marquee win. So I do think that loss to Georgetown hurts St. John’s if they have to go the at-large route.

How much does the win against Johns Hopkins aid Albany’s at-large resume?

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