Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Clutch players

This morning Paul Carcaterra posted a question on Twitter:
Great question. The common response (I have to imagine) would be Notre Dame's Matt Kavanagh given his title as the King of Clutch, but I was curious to see what some of the data says (sourced from 5by5).

First off, how often does a game come down to one goal?

Surprisingly, about 25% of all lacrosse games at the D1 level end with a margin of only one goal. That's close! Per Paul's question, how many of them were determined by goals in the last 15 seconds of the game?

That's still more than I thought -- a little more than 1 in 10 games since 2013 have been determined by 1 goal scored in the last 15 seconds (or overtime -- by definition).

Getting at the core of Paul's question -- which player would I give the ball to --- narrowing down these games to only those with players who will be around in 2016 (e.g. they haven't graduated yet), here are the players with the most game winners in the last 15 seconds over the past 3 seasons (there's a long tail of singles I've excluded here for brevity):

Ha! Well, tough to argue with that -- Kavanagh has done it more than any other player returning to D1 this year -- but Pat Young is only one behind with a long tail of close 3rds.