by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – In the course of eight days in late March, it looked like Northeastern had played its way out of any kind of reasonable postseason options.
It started with a loss to Virginia Tech at the Battle of the Beach and continued on a two-day jaunt to Atlanta when they bowed to Georgia Tech and Georgia.
The Huskies were 2-3 and looked done as dinner.
In conference action, Northeastern has resurrected its postseason chances, now through the PCLL’s automatic qualifier.
After pounding Boston College on Friday night, 12-7, the Huskies are 4-1 in the conference and if BC beats UNH today, they will be the No. 1 seed. At worst, they will be the No. 2 seed and a real threat to take down the conference for a second straight year.
Junior attackman Billy McGinley (20g, 7a) has been the catalyst on the offensive end while senior netminder Chris McPartland (61.2 sv%) has stepped up between the pipes.
Chris Boland and his crew can now sit back and await the results of BC-UNH today and Buffalo-UConn tomorrow to determine their PCLL semifinal opponent.
They just need a two-game plan for a return trip to the Big Dance, and that's a long way from where they were three weeks ago.
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UMLC DIVISION II TOURNAMENT
Duluth Rebounds Against GVSU
It was just a week ago the Grand Valley chewed up Duluth, 6-4, in brutal conditions in South Barrington, Ill. A week – and perhaps the game conditions – made a big difference for the Bulldogs.
The game was tight most of the way with Duluth holding leads of 7-5 at the half and 9-8 after three quarters. A big fourth allowed the ‘Dogs to pull away and advance to Saturday, where they’ll meet West No. 1 North Dakota State.
The loss might cost the Lakers a seed, but the way nationals is shaping up, they are likely going to be playing UMLC opponents from the quarterfinals on regardless. So no damage done as long as GVSU came out healthy.
In the first meeting this season on Feb. 17, NDSU waxed Duluth, 11-5 at home. The Bulldogs are a formidable group depending on who shows up from game to game.
It’s game day! Buffs face-off against @CSUMensLAX at 1:00 MST at Kittredge field. The game will also be live-streamed at https://t.co/0x7eXruO9F and broadcasted via @laxtalkradio. Expected to be a chilly one so stay warm!
— CU Men's Lacrosse (@CUMensLacrosse) April 21, 2018
St. John’s Survives Dayton
Junior middie Evan Okeley played hero for the Johnnies, scoring early in the first overtime to give St. John’s a 9-8 victory that really shouldn’t have come to that.
St. John’s led 7-3 early in the fourth quarter and was in complete control of the outing, but Dayton slowly chipped away. The Flyers even grabbed a late, 8-7 advantage before the Johnnies clawed back to send the contest into extra time.
Dayton could have used the win. The Flyers resume is very thin, and if they do advance to Salt Lake City, they will likely be working out of a relatively low seed.
On the bright side, we get another St. John’s-St. Thomas matchup, which makes everything taste better.
Great weekend of lacrosse lined up as the @selc_tournament gets going today...
Northview HS, Alpharetta HS, Mt. Pisgah PAC
https://t.co/Tm3gQ5sjKo (Semis & Championships)@MCLA @LaxAllStars @ClemsonLacrosse @therealnedkaish pic.twitter.com/Wik39l1nF5
— Lacrosse Fire TV (@LacrosseFireTV) April 20, 2018
SELC DIVISION I TOURNAMENT
South Carolina Doubles Up Gators
Florida decided to grind it out with No. 3 South Carolina and, for the most part, the Gators did a nice job. They were down 2-1 after one, 5-3 at the half and 6-4 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Gamecocks woke up in the final period, perhaps understanding what was at stake, and posted a 6-2 final frame for the 12-6 victory. USC doesn’t always win pretty, but they do always win.
That’s the most important part.
The 9 th annual “Burning of the shoe” ceremony signaling the end of a career for our only Senior Brendan McCarthy. As his career at Nevada is over, so are the shoes that were used to play this sport we have given so much for! @MCLA pic.twitter.com/bT9EegNPIX
— Nevada Men’s Club Lacrosse (@NevadaLax) April 21, 2018
Clemson Stuns Florida State
Pretty much every team in the SELC tournament had at-large hopes and dreams, but perhaps none more Florida State. A run to the finals could have been magical for the Seminoles.
A quarterfinal flameout would seemingly be game over for FSU. The strength of schedule is decent and they have a leg up on Georgia Tech, but A&M, Minnesota and Georgia isn’t going to make the Selection Committee nervous.
As for Clemson, the 14-2 record is pretty although the best win other than FSU is…? Florida? SMU?
If the Tigers bounce Virginia Tech, then we’re talking.
One. More. Day. Kibbie dome tomorrow 7pm! #GoVandals #WhoDoWeHate
A post shared by University of Idaho Lacrosse (@idahovandallacrosse) on
Liberty Takes a Big Step
Knocking off the king always gets you points, and Liberty’s 12-11 victory over two-time defending SELC champion Georgia Tech is a biggie.
Combo that up with the win over Michigan State and Arizona State, and that will keep the Flames in the final discussion. A lot of moving pieces still, but I’m expecting Liberty to be in Salt Lake City now.
Hokies Moving Closer
Virginia Tech has the three one-goal losses – Colorado (14-13), Michigan State (8-7) and South Carolina (11-10) – that have the potential to haunt them. A win in any of those and the Hokies are a lock.
The 12-8 win over Georgia helps the cause, but won’t resonate quite enough for the Selection Committee, I’m guessing. Technically, a win over Clemson on Saturday may not lock things up.
Still, I’m betting a trip the SELC finals will be enough to get Virginia Tech through to Salt Lake City, regardless of Sunday’s outcome.
SELC DIVISION II TOURNAMENT
Wake Forest Rolls Over FAU
The Demon Deacons rallied from an early 3-1 deficit, outscoring Florida Atlantic 13-5 over the final three quarters to walk away with a 14-8 win.
The victory improves Wake Forest to 8-1 on the season, but with no at-large options, the Deacons have to win the SELC-II automatic qualifier. Beating Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday in the semis would be a big step toward that.
FAU ends its season at 7-4 and is definitely a program on the rise, as they posted more wins this spring than in the last three seasons combined. Bryan Coco and his staff deserve praise for steering the Owls in the right direction.
App State Edges North Florida
The winning formula for Appalachian State is pretty simple: Jack Rich scores the goals and Mikey Fifield keeps the other team from doing the same. Rinse. Repeat.
Rich had four goals and a dime for the Mountaineers as Fifield turned away 18 shots in App State’s 10-9 upset of North Florida in the other first round game.
The Mountaineers will now square off with Kennesaw State on Saturday.
North Florida’s return to the MCLA was a smashing success, highlighted by a national ranking, a 9-5 record and a playoff berth. Like Coco at FAU, Tucker Clancy should get a couple of votes for Coach of the Year.
NOTES: After a hearing with the school over some bookkeeping issues, Pitt will not be able to make the trip for the CCLA semifinals, deeding Michigan State a free ride into the finals on Sunday. The Spartans will take on the winner of Minnesota and Davenport for the AQ…the LSA semifinals in both divisions occur today in Austin while the SELC tournament churns on…keep an eye on the @MCLA Twitter feed for live stream details.