The chalk held in nine of the 10 games on Friday among the Division II tournament contests, but the one seed that didn’t hold was an eye-opener.
Lourdes, ranked No. 11 in the country, squared off with No. 9 Siena Heights in one of the semifinals of the CCLA tournament, and the Gray Wolves dropped the hammer. The Lourdes offense provided a 6-0 lead in the first quarter and the Wolves' defense didn’t allow a marker until the contest was 41 minutes old in a 19-8 walkover.
Jared Yoshino had a monster game for Lourdes, scoring five goals and setting up eight others for your typical 13-point contest. Danny Bischel chipped in with five goals and two dimes for the Gray Wolves while Conner Mishler amassed six saves.
On the other side of the bracket that was also played at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, No. 5 Dayton and No. 8 Grand Valley State were locked in a grinder for the first 35 minutes tied at threes, but the Flyers managed to create some distance down the stretch to take an 8-6 triumph. The defending champions are looking at a premium seed if they take down the conference AQ.
Semifinals - Friday
#2E Lourdes d. #1W Siena Heights, 19-8
#1E Dayton d. #2W Grand Valley State, 8-6
Finals – Saturday
#2E Lourdes vs. #1E Dayton, 12 p.m.
Chalk held in the four GRLC Division II contest taking place in St. Louis. In fact, it was a pretty easy opening day for the favorites, as they won by an average of 12 goals.
It would appear that Missouri Baptist and Missouri Valley are destined for a matchup with the conference automatic qualifier on the line, but LU-Belleville and Robert Morris will have something to say about that.
Quarterfinals – Friday
#1SW Missouri Baptist d. #2SE Washington (St. Louis), 12-3
#1SE Lindenwood-Belleville d. #2SW St. Louis, 12-5
#1NW Missouri Valley d. #2NE St. Ambrose, 22-2
#1NE Robert Morris d. #2NW Missouri State, 19-7
Semifinals – Saturday
#1SW Missouri Baptist vs. #1SE Lindenwood-Belleville, 10 a.m.
#1NW Missouri Valley vs. #1NE Robert Morris, 1 p.m.
This conference seemed predestined to have a title bout between Metro State and Montana State, but Colorado Mines and Fort Lewis did everything they could to spoil that eventuality. The Roadrunners had to grind down the Orediggers in the opener to make the finals while the Bobcats had to rally to down Fort.
Now that the favorites have advanced, the big question is: does the runner-up have the juice to grab an at-large bid to the 2016 MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour? Both these teams should be playing like the season is on the line on Saturday.
Semifinals – Friday
#1SE Metro State d. #2NW Colorado Mines, 9-3
#1NW Montana State d. #2SE Fort Lewis, 12-11
Finals – Saturday
#1SE Metro State vs. #1NW Montana State, 12 p.m.
Without a doubt, the best Division II action on Friday came in the Pacific Northwest. Both first round games needed extra time to settle the score and advance a team to the semifinals.
Western Oregon and Central Washington went toe-to-toe the entire day, and the Wolves needed a goal from freshman Alex Eidler in the second overtime period to finally secure the triumph. On the other half of the draw, Western Washington kept its hopes alive for a repeat conference championship with an extra-time victory over the College of Idaho.
First Round – Friday
#2S Western Oregon d. #3N Central Washington, 14-13 (2ot)
#2N Western Washington d. #3S College of Idaho, 10-9 (ot)
#2S Western Oregon vs. #1N Gonzaga, 9 a.m.
#2N Western Washington vs. #1S Southern Oregon, 11:30 a.m.