NCAA

2018: The year of the lefty attackman

Who's your favorite lefty?

Never have I seen so many gifted lefty attackmen do so well in one season.

The 2018 NCAA college lacrosse season may well be done and dusted, but I just can’t get over the fact of how many lefty attackmen were insane this past year. Like seriously, when I was growing up it was like the lefty attackman spot was the hardest to fill on the roster with a few outliers (Brendan Mundorf, John Grant Jr., etc.). But now, they are taking over the goshdarn country.

No longer is the lefty attackman limited to just being the team’s finisher. They now are among the most dynamic dodgers and initiators of the offense. Hell, this lefty takeover even forced Johns Hopkins to a backwards L on the fast break with the likes of Shack Stanwick and Cole Williams headlining the Blue Jays attack.

Those are not the biggest names of the year. Try the 2018 Tewaaraton Award winner, the record holder for the most goals in NCAA history and the flashiest of them all.

Ben Reeves. Justin Guterding. Connor Fields.

Just writing those names makes my fingers tingle a little bit. While Fields is obviously my favorite because he can throw a behind-the-back pass like it ain’t no issue, what Reeves and Guterding were able to do this year was remarkable.

While it was weird to see Yale win it all, Reeves blowing by every defender that guarded him wasn’t very surprising. This comparison with him and James Harden was kinda dumb from ESPN. He’s more like a lefty version of Russell Westbrook.

I don’t really know how Guterding got so many goals (207 to be exact) as it doesn’t seem like there’s one part of him that stands out that much. He’s just relentless.

Just a tier below them lies the Big Red flowmaster who can see a cutting middie from across three time zones: the one and only Jeff Teat. Teams decided to shut him off at the end of the year, and Cornell didn’t have any answers. He lies on the second tier all by himself, but will reign supreme next year with the above players graduating…but he’ll still have to work to get open a little more.

The third tier consists of players like Ethan Walker of Denver, Michael Kraus of Virginia and Chris Cloutier of UNC. The Hopkins guys, Mac O’Keefe of Penn State and Andrew Petit of Lehigh are all sick too (let me know if I missed anyone in the comments), but these lefty Canadians are next-level finishers. Walker can hit a corner with his eyes closed and Cloutier has been out-muscling even the MLL defenders in his first couple games. And he’s got a whole one-handed scoring highlight reel to himself too.

My god this guy must have like 30 one-handed goals. We get it, you’re Canadian.

The stats the guys in that first tier put up were staggering. Ben Reeves finished atop the leaderboard at the end of the season thanks to a great postseason run, tallying 115 points while Guterding had two fewer points.

Fields put up 86 points despite playing with a torn ACL the past two seasons. Still, his flair and free-flowing lacrosse drew fans from all over to Albany’s cause. His development from playing as an off-ball finisher with Lyle Thompson during his freshman season to now orchestrating the best season in Great Danes history on one knee was awesome.

There may not be another year as good for the lefties of the attackman universe, but this one will surely go down in the history books. You’re up next, Pat Spencer.

 

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