Chat with Inside Lacrosse
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, our friends from Inside Lacrosse will stop by to take your questions about the 2010 season.
Cornell's Rob Pannell and Pierce Derkac will join the Inside Lacrosse experts. They'll be talking about their season and this weekend's inaugural Ivy League tournament (hosted by Cornell, with Sunday's championship live on ESPNU at noon ET). The NCAA tournament selection show is on ESPNU on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Send your questions now and join Inside Lacrosse Thursday at noon ET!
Sean Burns (12:04 PM)
Hey fans, we're just getting set up here and Pierce and Rob should be here any minute. While we're waiting for them, feel free to shoot me any NCAA-related questions you have in general, I'd be happy to answer. If not, I'll get the answers to your questions for Rob and Pierce in just a few minutes.
WHo will be the eight sites for the opening round of the NCAAs?
Sean Burns (12:16 PM)
Well Todd, that's a tough question right now because there's a lot of big tilts this weekend. At the moment, the only locks are probably Virginia, Syracuse, Maryland, North Carolina and Duke.
Sean Burns (12:19 PM)
If I were to venture a guess, depending on how I feel a couple of games are going to go (and it's a very tenuous guess, since my record in the staff pick-em is not so awesome...) I would say Princeton and Cornell both have good shots to host a game, unless they lose in the first round of the Ivies on Friday. Loyola could host with a win over Johns Hopkins Saturday. An America East crown would put Stony Brook in line for a seed, and Denver also has an outside shot at hosting, but the Air Force game won't help their RPI, so that might actually hold them back even with a win.
how bad will the dolphins do this year?
Sean Burns (12:21 PM)
Jacksonville lacrosse or Miami football? Since this is a lacrosse chat, lets go with Matt Kerwick's Dolphins and say, not bad. They had a great first year and he's proven that he can coach at the Division I level. The win over Denver gave that program instant legitimacy, and a solid first season will only help draw more kids down to Florida for their college lacrosse.
Sean Burns (12:21 PM)
(I'm assuming you were asking about football, by the way) And with that, Pierce and Rob are ready to go, so here's some of their responses to your questions...
Craig (New York City)
It's been a long, grueling season. How banged-up is the Big Red going into the Ivy tournament and the NCAAs? What have been your secrets for staying in shape during the season?
Rob Pannell (12:22 PM)
We are not that banged up going into the Ivy League Tournament despite a few injuries from a few people who should be back in time for this Friday's game. As for staying in shape during the season, I would say that the pace at which we practice at allows us to stay in the shape we are and to be ready for the games when they come. We practice at a very high tempo, similar to game speed, and this allows us to be prepared physically for game day.
Pierce Derkac (12:28 PM)
As Rob said, we are not that banged up right now. Everyone in college lacrosse has something that bothers them at any given time, and you just have to find a way. There are no real secrets that keep us in shape and healthy during the season. It is all about being responsible with your body. You have to hydrate constantly, lift weights for injury prevention, and rehab/visit the trainer anytime something small pops up. Ice baths and treatments are a staple. You always want to nip things in the bud so that they do not have the potential to turn into something more serious. Also, as Rob mentioned, we practice at a high pace which prepares you for game speeds and the rigors of a game. If you can deliver and take checks and hits and run as hard as possible and get used to fatigue and soreness throughout the week of practice, then you will train your body to be ready come game day.
Robert (West Point, NY)
Cornell edged Army in OT earlier this season. Army is one of the hottest teams in the country. What do you remember from that game and how good of a team are the Black Knights? We are excited about the season and the NCAAs.
Rob Pannell (12:33 PM)
The Cornell-Army game has always been closely contested games, especially in the past few years. Coming into the Army game, you know that they are going to bring their best, and that you need a great week of practice in order to prepare for them. Army like Cornell prides themselves on the hustle plays and the intangibles which makes our games so close. Army started off slow, but has really come on as of late, and I am not surprised at all by this. In February we saw the way they were able to compete and play and knew that they were going to make a run towards the end of the season, now going to the NCAA tournament. They have a lot of great personnel along with a great goalie and have been limiting teams ability to score which has been in my opinion the key to their success. I wouldn't be surprised if they made a run in the NCAA tournament.
Pierce Derkac (12:44 PM)
In my four years at Cornell every game against Army has been a one-goal game. This year's game was no different. Both of our teams have very similar philosophies in that we play a hard-nosed, team-oriented system. Our game this season was so hard fought and neither team gave up down the stretch. The game was determined by the intangibles - ground balls, rides, face offs, hustle plays, etc. Army throughout this season has done a great job of staying the course and banding together. They have earned their AQ into the NCAA tournament, and they are a very dangerous team. The team that draws them in the first round will have their hands full.
Rob, would you say that your role as the VP of your fraternity has impacted your leadership on the lacrosse field? Is it hard to balance two such demanding responsibilities in addition to all the academics at Cornell?
Rob Pannell (12:50 PM)
I have found that responsibilities as my role as VP have not interfered with my lacrosse at all. Although having a strenuous position such as vice president, I have been able to handle it with ease. We also have a great president, Sean Gelbwaks, and he is on top of things for the house and for me as well. Between lacrosse, the fraternity, and academics, I have been able to balance all three appropriately thus far and plan to continue to do so.
Hey guys, what are you doing to get ready for your big games this weekend?
Pierce Derkac (12:58 PM)
First and foremost we have one guaranteed game this weekend, and that is the Brown Bears on Friday night. We are focusing solely on Friday's game and not looking ahead whatsoever. Having played Brown less than two weeks ago, that game is still very fresh in our minds. We walked off that field two Saturdays ago with a very bad taste in our mouth. This bad taste stemmed from the fact that we did not put our best effort out on Schoellkopf that day in front of so many alums, family, and friends on a day where we were honoring the late George Boiardi and our seniors. That has been a motivating factor in our preparation this week. But, we have been harping on the fact that we can use that last game against Brown as motivation but it will not help us perform any better this Friday night unless we do something about in practice. The outcome of this game will be determined by the effort and execution in practice throughout this week.
Rob Pannell (1:03 PM)
Brown has been the one and only focus of our preparation for this weekend, besides ourselves. You can't start looking forward to the possibility of another game on Sunday, because we play Brown on Friday, a team that has already beaten us once and whose NCAA Tournament hopes most likely fall on this weekend. We know that Brown is going to bring forth their best effort and that we are going to need to do the same. We have learned from the mistakes we made in the last game, but overall we just need to play with more energy and higher intensity. This comes with a hard week of practice and preparation for Brown.
Warren (Rochester, NY)
You guys always play your hearts out against Syacuse, yet come up 2 seconds short. How are you guys going to beat them next time?
Rob Pannell (1:09 PM)
Cornell-Syracuse has become one of the great rivals in college lacrosse and is expected that each team is going to bring their best effort forward that day. The last two games against Syracuse have been tough ones having coming short by only a few tenths of a second in the last one. However right now we aren't really concentrated on when the next time we are going to play Syracuse is going to be, however when that time comes, I can only expect that Cornell will leave it all on the field.
Ivyman (Litigious, NY)
Guys, congratulations on a gutty performance against Princeton. How do you feel about perhaps having to beat Princeton a second time in eight days? Will you have any surprises for them? Can you beat them 3 times in one season?
Rob Pannell (1:14 PM)
Thank you Ivyman. Right now we are focused on Brown, but if fortunate to have the opportunity to play Princeton in the finals on Sunday, I know we will be just as excited if not more excited than we were this past Saturday. Princeton is an extremely talented team, and is one of our biggest rivals so its always fun going up against them. I don't think their would be any surprises for them the second time around, and that Cornell just has to play the way that we are capable of playing, and focus on the intangibles and hustle plays. Last year we beat them 2 times in the same season, so I think it would definitely be possible, but very hard to beat Princeton 3 times, and is would be hard to beat any team 3 times in the same season. As I said though, right now we are focused on Brown and will worry about Princeton if the opportunity presents itself.
Two questions for Rob: 1) Are you a LI guy or a Deerfield guy? 2) In your honest opinion how do you think Deerfield stacks up against the top teams of Long Island (West I, Manhasset, GC, Ward Melville, ect...)
Rob Pannell (1:21 PM)
Walter, thanks for putting me on the spot here, I know somewhere, someone is not going to be happy with my response. Although I had an unbelievable experience at Deerfield playing for Coach Davis, and at the school in general and would not be where I am not without having had the opportunity to go there, I would have to consider myself a Long Island guy. I have spent my whole life on Long Island and that is where I have developed as a lacrosse player and person. In saying that though, I would definitely say that Deerfield would stack up well against some of the top Long Island teams such as West Islip, Ward Melville, and Garden City. However I am not so sure how they would stack up against my little brother James and Smithtown West. Deerfield has extremely talented players and would pose a great challenge for any Long Island team and be successful in many of their attempts. Coach Davis does a great job in coaching his teams to be successful year after year, leading to their success.
Pierce Derkac (1:30 PM)
Like Rob said, our focus is on Brown right now. If we happen to be matched up against Princeton later this weekend, that would be amazing. I know our team is excited to play anyone no matter who it is in this tournament. It is always tough to beat a team twice let alone three times in a season. It is one of those things where you just have to roll up your sleeves and go to work. We cannot afford to think about anything other than doing our job.
Jeff G. (New York)
How big is the home field advantage for the Ivy tournament? Go Big Red!!
Pierce Derkac (1:40 PM)
Home field advantage is very big for us this Friday. We are hosting the first ever Ivy League Tournament, and that is exciting! We also have a chance to redeem ourselves. We lost our last home game to Brown on a very important day for our program. Now we have a chance to play the exact same team on our home turf, under the lights in the first ever Ivy League Tournament. It does not get any better than that. We have an amazing opportunity ahead of us. Now we just have to take advantage of the situation that we have put ourselves in and bring our hearts and energy to the field in order to earn success.
Sean Burns (1:41 PM)
Alright folks, it's been a marathon, but Rob had to run to class a few minutes ago and Pierce has got to split as well, so thanks again to the Big Red athletes for participating. It's the final weekend of the regular season so be sure to follow along with everything that happens on ESPNU and InsideLacrosse.com!