by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – I was struck by the similarities between Concordia-Irvine last night and the Grand Canyon program back when it was emerging as a national contender.
The speed. The talent. The brashness. The hint of youthful immaturity.
Grand Canyon, with its résumé of two national champions and buckets of individual honors, had a corporate feel. Buttoned-up. Mature.
Not to say the Lopes aren’t having fun, but there are fewer outward expressions of joy. The collective GCU team is following the old expression “Act like you’ve been there before.”
And Grand Canyon certainly has.
This shouldn’t sound like a eulogy, because I think Grand Canyon will make the field of 16. It’ll be close, but I’m guessing they slide through.
I don’t think they will be getting a very good seed, however. It could even be double-digits.
Alas, that’s more of a problem for their opponent.
There is going to be a coach of a very good team who wakes up on Monday morning and fully realizes he has the Lopes on his bracket line and he’ll want to go back to bed.
More importantly, after a three-year run of being favorites, Grand Canyon is going to revert back to underdog status.
The Lopes’ seed will say they should lose in the first round, so there is nothing to lose. They can play fast, loose and with exuberance.
They can play like Conordia did on Friday night.
They can play like the Lopes we once knew.
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Montana State Ends Metro’s Shorthanded Run
Late in the fourth quarter of this game, the color man for the live stream of this game, Dave Leach, had a comment that summed everything up.
Leach knows the RMLC inside and out. He’s been an assistant at Colorado, head coach at J&W and is now the VP of the conference.
“Another player or two would have made a difference in the game for Metro,” he said.
Spot on. Not to say the Roadrunners would have won, because I think the Bobcats are a quality team, but at this point in the season you can’t be running a 15-man crew.
Daniel Hunter is a good coach and MSU Denver has talent. I’ll start my team with Metro’s sophomore goalie Jake Miller every time. But the MCLA is a grind, and the numbers game will always catch up. It did in this one.
East Shines in UMLC First Round
Led by Illnois State’s upset of UMLC West top seed Iowa State on its own field, the East division sent all four teams into today’s semifinals in Ames.
All of this is good news for Indiana, who has wins over all three of the remaining teams.
The Hoosiers only loss within the UMLC came to Missouri, who was ousted by Oakland on Friday night. The Grizzlies are playing good lacrosse and will give IU some issues, but it’s clear who the favorite is now.
Your updated @UMLClax bracketology. @ISULacrosse busted a lot of brackets with their upset and only 13.4% of brackets remain perfect. #FinalFour pic.twitter.com/SshN8WdTTg
— Oakland Lacrosse (@OaklandULax) April 28, 2018
DIVISION I NOTES: Colorado’s “upset” of BYU in the RMLC semifinals gives the Buffs another crack at Utah. The Utes downed CU a couple of weeks ago, 14-9. The Buffaloes will have to avoid handing Utah the big lead like last time…Santa Clara finished its season with a 10-4 loss to Cal Poly. This was a big season for the Broncos and one that they can hopefully build on…Cal vs. Cal Poly in the WCLL finals should be a grinder. I’m thinking single digits for the winner.
DIVISION II NOTES: There wasn’t much to come out of the PNCLL-II first round other than the final scores, but the streams today should help us understand how good this league is…I think it is going to take a massive effort by Colorado Denver’s Beau Ecksten for the Lynx to have any shot against Montana State in the RMLC-II title game today. The Bobcats are very deep…keep an on the Twitter feed for live streams throughout the day.