Thursday, January 3, 2013

9 Teams in 9 Days: Washington Stealth

 "The Stealth sucked last year. Same story this year. Half of the veterans are gone. Seattle sports suck."
Those words come from lacrosse blogger and Washington Stealth fan Dan Shirley who doesn't seem to have a very optimistic viewpoint for this upcoming season from a Stealth perspective. Yes Dan you are right, the Stealth were not very good last year. Despite having offensive powers such as Rhys Duch, Lewis Ratcliff, and Athan Iannucci, Washington struggled to score goals only putting up 179 in 16 games, putting them only ahead of Edmonton and Philadelphia.

Shooting percentage for the top two stars fell through the floor and some blame can be attributed to that . Duch shot a .315 eS% in 2011, but went to a .282 just one season after. Ratcliff's percentage fell by .046 points between the two years.

Other than that, the season really seems like an enigma. They played without their Head Coach Chris Hall, but when he returned the wins didn't fall into place. Losing Tyler Richards or Jeff Zywicki could have made a difference, but upon their return, not much changed. Even trading for Athan Iannucci didn't make a difference. It was general team inconsistency all year long.

Jason Bloom and Cam Sedgwik have now joined the coaching staff while Jeff Zywicki was cut from the squad after having an injury filled 2012, so the team has lost some veteran presence.

The Stealth have gotten younger with rookies Tyler Garrison, Justin Pychel, Tim Henderson, Patrick O'Meara, and David Joyce on defense, Kyle Buchanan playing up front, and Mitch McMichael playing the transition role.

Chris Hall has came out and said that this team is "Bigger, Faster, and Stronger" so we will see if he's right when the season starts this Saturday. The percentages will go up, but it will have to be a team effort to get them back into the thick of things in the West.

1 comment:

  1. You put it perfectly with "the season really seems like an enigma." The team has a great offense on paper as well as a great defense. The problem is: they had an offense that looked great on paper last year too and we all know how that turned out.

    I feel like the rookie defenders are a little undersized for the league, but we'll see if that means more defensive shifts/quick double teams. While we're talking about rookies, one that you forgot to mention was my favorite, Drew Snider. Once he gets off the IR, expect big things from him. He was a stud for the Outlaws in the MLL last season and he was very good for the University of Maryland. However, that was field and this is box and he doesn't have the "being Canadian" factor that Mark Matthews has. Hopefully he can make the transition well.