by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – Friday’s game between Colorado and Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo was a first for Cona and Mark Reno. Their sons – junior Kian with the Buffs, freshman Justin playing for the Mustangs – would be staring each other down from opposing sides of the field.
“During their youth and club years, Kian and Justin never had a match against each other,” said Cona prior to the contest. “Their age difference of two years kept them in different age brackets. So I don't know what it’s going to be like to be rooting for both opposing teams.”
The boys may have scrimmaged a time or two in their formative lacrosse years in Davis, Calif., and were always trying to post faster qualifying times during ski competitions, but nothing this formal. Nothing this personal.“Like many brothers, their relationship has had many stages,” Mark said. “They had rival stages, battling stages, but really became closer as they got older.”
Kian emerged as a fleet-footed defensive midfielder for the Buffs while Justin, who is two inches taller and 10 pounds heavier than his older brother, is being groomed as an offensive middie. Heading into the game, there was actually a chance they might square up with one another.
Kids are resilient, however. They can shrug things off pretty quickly.
The luggage that came with the Reno boys’ first contest against each other was shouldered by the parents.
For Mark, who has coached both boys in lacrosse, it was about enjoying the spectacle. Well, for the most part, anyway.
“I am going to be rooting for both teams,” he said. “I have to, as I have made friends with parents on both sides. Both programs have incredibly successful and active parent support programs. If you want to succeed in the MCLA, you need that.
“It would be extremely awkward if the two of them ended up on the field at the same time. If that happens, that could be very tough for me because you always want your boys to succeed and have fun. If one got the best of the other, we could be hearing about that for a lot of holidays to come!”
There is a lot more stress involved for mom.
“Friday night will be difficult, and I will not be able to root for either team,” Cona admitted. “I will be rooting for two individual players and I will be watching them closely to see that they are contributing to their team’s success both on and off the field.”
“I'm not even sure what to wear,” she continued. “I have my game attire for both the Colorado and Cal Poly teams, but it's going to stay at home and I will be neutral. OK, maybe changing a hat at each quarter. My hope is that it is a fun experience for both of them and that they feel happy for one another, no matter what the outcome.”
In what turned into a heart-pounding contest, Colorado defeated Cal Poly in double overtime, 5-4. Both Kian and Justin saw action. The world kept spinning. The two parents were able to breathe a sigh of relief and embrace their boys after the game.
Things will get easier now. The parents can wear the school colors of whichever son’s game they are attending. They can easily mingle with the other parents. They can cheer loudly for their son.
At least until the Buffaloes and Mustangs meet again, which could be as soon as May.
(Photo by Shannon Lukens)
Buffs win in 2nd OT. Final 5-4. MacIlvennie sinks it! pic.twitter.com/ZnO8N4wtae
— CU Men's Lacrosse (@CUMensLacrosse) March 11, 2017
Anyone who covers sports is susceptible to being caught up in the heat of the moment. I certainly did back in my beat writer days. After Concordia-Irvine bounced No. 3 North Dakota State and No. 5 St. John’s in the same weekend, the MCLA’s preeminent beat man, Trey Lanthier, made a quick judgement on the current Division II outlook.
“Right now, it looks as though the MCLA is divided into two distinct tiers — St. Thomas and Concordia, and then everybody else...it’s just hard to imagine this race expanding past these two teams.” Lanthier opined.
That caught the attention of Grand Valley State coach Tim Murray, who playfully responded via Twitter.
"St. Thomas and Concordia, and then everybody else...hard to imagine this race expanding." - @TreyLanthier #AlreadyWrittenOff #SeeYouInMay pic.twitter.com/X43g0pCdwg
— Tim Murray (@TMurray39) March 8, 2017
The Lakers proved last year what can happen when they are overlooked, nearly parlaying a No. 6 seed into their second title in three years. After GVSU cruised through its three ranked matchups down in Knoxville this past week, it would be wise not to write them off this early.
In fact, with the schedule that the Lakers have left, they could be the No. 1 seed in the tournament come May. No. 8 Dayton, No. 1 St. Thomas, No. 5 North Dakota State, No. 4 St. John’s and No. 9 Grove City are all left on the docket, which would provide an air-tight resume for the top spot if they win out.
Even with a loss or two, GVSU has maintained a tradition that demands it remain in everyone’s top tier.
Sniping cougars last night #cellyhard #technicallyacougarisapanther #whatever #buckets #noBsforthem
A post shared by Chapman Mens Lacrosse (@chapmanlacrosse) on
Division I Notes
- Chapman can exhale after knocking off No. 2 BYU, 10-7, on Saturday night, but the Panthers aren’t on easy street yet. With only seven games left on the schedule – and just four of them against ranked opponents – there aren’t a whole lot of affordable losses left on the schedule. That’s a daunting proposition while staring down a trip to Colorado this weekend.
Chapman is now 2-3 against ranked foes, and the win over SDSU may or may not be of value by the time the season ends. Fortunately, with the way the Panthers are playing of late, running the table seems well within reason.
- With Georgia Tech’s sweep of No. 25 Davenport and No. 19 UConn, we know the Yellow Jackets will hold onto their No. 1 ranking on Wednesday. But what team should be No. 2? Here’s some food for thought:
No. 14 Chapman defeated No. 2 BYU
No. 11 Oregon defeated No. 14 Chapman
Southern Methodist defeated No. 11 Oregon
Oklahoma defeated Southern Methodist
The Sooners are undefeated (7-0). This is science, people.
- The weekend square dance between the two Colorado schools and the UCSB-Cal Poly partnership produced one definitive winner: Colorado. The Buffs were the only outfit to emerge with a 2-0 mark after beating No. 4 Cal Poly in double OT and following that up with a solid, 13-8 triumph over the Gauchos. It’s the type of weekend that could springboard the Buffs back into the Top 5.
Considering its rank, Santa Barbara’s 1-1 performance, which included the above game-winner over CSU, is second followed by 1-1 Poly. The Rams had the roughest go at 0-2, but they can feel a little bit better about a six-game home stand that features three ranked that will quickly get them back to good with some key victories.
- The Lone Star Alliance is getting weird.
Just when it looked like Texas might breeze through its schedule leading up to its Utah trip in mid-April, they get bounced by a previously winless Alabama outfit at home, 13-11. It was a game that the Longhorns were leading 5-1 after the first quarter, but then faded down the stretch.
Meanwhile, defending conference champion Southern Methodist, which had been essentially written off after dropping to 4-3 with an 8-3 loss to Oklahoma last week, looked like a nationals-caliber program in the Pacific Northwest. The Mustangs took No. 13 Oregon State to the wire before upsetting No. 11 Oregon in double-overtime, 12-11.(SMU bowed to Fraser on Sunday).
The Sooners appear to be a team on the come and Texas State looks more comfortable after a month of tutelage under new coach Stephen Torkington. Texas A&M is a grizzled team that has gone up some of the top teams in the country.
Long story, short: this league is wide open.
- Utah’s loss to Arizona State on Friday was a wake-up call, but a win over No. 5 Cal tonight (Monday) and the Utes are still comfortably a Top 10 team…with Miami (Ohio)’s wipeout of Purdue, Indiana is looking like the clear favorite in the GRLC…the SLC South is loaded, so every divisional contest is huge. Arizona edging out San Diego State puts the Aztecs in an early bind…Arizona State is not a team you want to see on your side of the bracket.
LUTES WIN AGAINST WEBER STATE 11-9!! #golutes #GIMMETHELUTE @golutes
A post shared by PLU Men's Lacrosse (@plu_lax) on
Division II Notes
- Joining Grand Valley State with a 3-0 mark in Knoxville was CCLA peer Dayton. It’s not that the Flyers’ wins were any less impressive than the Lakers – they beat No. 7 Kennesaw State, No. 19 FGCU and No. 13 PBA. It’s just that with essentially zero social media or digital footprint, it’s tough to get a gauge on how Dayton is operating.
Frankly, that may be just the way they want it. After the stunning loss to Bridgewater State, the Flyers may find that traveling under the radar will suit them just fine down the stretch.
- On the basis of its 17-12 win over defending PNCLL champion Southern Oregon, Western Washington now takes over favorite status for the conference AQ. Since the Vikings fall below the standard necessary to be eligible for an at-large, they have all their eggs in that basket. At this point, it’s difficult to envision this conference producing multiple bids.
Ending our road trip to AZ with an overtime win vs 16th ranked Northern Arizona University. We're now 6-0 on the season. A good day to be a slug. #sluglavish #mcla #lacrosse #underarmour
A post shared by UC Santa Cruz Mens Lacrosse (@cruzlacrosse) on
- No. 23 UC Santa Cruz jumped into the polls two weeks ago and are now up to 6-0 after outscoring previously undefeated No. 15 Northern Arizona, 15-14, on Sunday in overtime. The Banana Slugs now take a two week break before embarking on a four-games-in-five-days excursion up to PNCLL country. The two big contests will come against Southern Oregon and College of Idaho.
- Kennesaw beating Grove City will be a useful victory if the Owls need an at-large ticket…NDSU spotted Montana State a 4-0 first quarter lead and a 6-2 bulge at halftime and still managed to rally for a 9-6 win. The Bison are tough to assess at this point…Metro State finally got its season underway, dismissing Colorado Mines with ease. A huge trip to SoCal coming in two weeks for the Roadrunners.