by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – There are numerous adjectives affixed to successful programs. Gritty, explosive, resolved, confident. The list goes on.
For my money, resiliency is the coin of the realm.
The ability to stare down tough situations and seemingly hopeless situations with poise and positivity is a trait that can carry you all the way to the finish line.
That’s what makes Michigan State’s weekend in the Minneapolis Metroplex perhaps a harbinger of very good things to come.
It started with a goal with one second left against No. 17 Minnesota on Saturday and was followed by another victory on a marker with just 14 ticks left against D-II No. 7 Minn.-Duluth.
The Gophers rallied to catch MSU late in the first contest only to be denied at the buzzer. The Bulldogs held a 5-0 lead at one point in the first half prior to succumbing to a grinding Michigan State comeback.
State had plenty of opportunities to go belly up in both games, but refused. Now they have the knowledge they can survive rough situations against quality teams.
The above analysis is certainly the most positive take on Sparty’s weekend. I’m betting if you asked Michigan State coach Cam Holding – one of the best offensive players in the history of the MCLA in either division – he’d rather race out to a 10-goal lead and ride it home.
Sometimes you have to play the hand you’re dealt.
— MSU Men's Lacrosse (@MSU_Lacrosse) February 11, 2018
There will certainly be a time MSU runs up against a team that won’t take the foot of State’s neck. The Spartans schedule is too strong for it not to happen at least once.
For now, however, Michigan State is 2-0 with a whole bucket full of perseverance to call on when the going gets tough. There are worse situations to be in coming off the first week of the season.
Mo Better Bears
Entering this weekend, UT-Dallas and Baylor were averaging 19 and 18 goals per game, respectively, in their three games to start the season.
In a span of far less than 24 hours, the Comets and Bears managed four and five markers against Missouri State in a pair of home losses.
Louisiana still has something to say about it, but at this point MoState is looking like the favorite to take down the LSA-II AQ. And it’s almost entirely based on the Bears’ defense.
The UTD-Mo. State game was played in an ice storm, but the hearty StickStar Lacrosse crew walked us through it. Check it out:
Cock of the Walk
The season-opening win over Georgia was mildly impressive. It was at home and UGA still had plenty to show.
The Texas sweep this weekend? A bit more intriguing. The Gamecocks allowed three goals a game to No. 19 SMU (8-3), Texas State (16-3) and Texas Tech (10-3) to improve to 4-0.
Now a season-making weekend at Florida (Sat., 5 p.m.) and Florida State (Sun., 12 p.m.) awaits. If USC holds up for another weekend, James Harkey’s boys will be looking at a Top 15 ranking in the first regular season poll.
Division I Notes
Concordia-Irvine passed its first test as a D-I outfit, working UCLA, 15-3…No. 15 UCSB gave No. 21 Sonoma State the business, 17-4. Junior Jimmy Gates dropped four goals and a dime on the Seawolves…the Georgia-Clemson-Florida three-way was a bit of a tease with everyone going 1-1…Texas went 0-2 in California against Cal and Stanford…Central Florida’s Mike von Kamecke picked up his first career coaching win against Auburn, 9-8…Pac-12 Shootout next weekend.
Division II Notes
The lowest ranked team in UMLC Division II – No. 7 Duluth – just lost to the No. 13 Division I team by a goal. Wooo, boy…College of Idaho (51 goals in two games) appears to be OK on offense…Kennesaw State is halfway to qualifying for the SELC tournament after a weekend sweep…Duluth at North Dakota State next Saturday night. Get your popcorn ready.