|Does Getting Those Ground Balls Really Matter?|
Statistics and Their Relationship to Win-Loss Records in Menís and Womenís Division I Lacrosse
Lacrosse and hockey share that unusual ritual of battling for possession of the ball after each goal is scored. How much does face-off and draw control success matter? Less than you might imagine, although it's still related to WL and PR. For face-offs, note that Johns Hopkins and Duke ranked just #23 and #31 this year, respectively, and Duke was sub 0.500.
Above 41% face-off success, the relationship with WL and PR is relatively modest. However, when face-off winning percentage is 41% or below, the average win-loss record is just 0.267.
For draw control margin (i.e., average DCs per game for team minus opponent), the relationship with both WL and PR is much stronger. For example, for teams losing 2.0 or more DCs per game the average WL is only 0.271, but for teams winning more than 2.0 DCs per game the WL is 0.691.
Women's Division I
The next section covers extra-man opportunities and free positions.