by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – You remember “The Wave” video, right? Sure you do. It was Utah Valley’s contribution to the viral social media world earlier this spring.
Whatever you think of the video, one of the repercussions was a contributor from Inside Lacrosse hopping on Twitter and punching down on the MCLA in hopes of brandishing his East Coast establishment “cred.”
It's from one of those games that doesn't count. You know, the club ones.
— Kyle Devitte (@TheKyleDevitte) March 3, 2019
A segment of our membership was quite upset about the comment. I, on the other, was glad to see it.
I always find it energizing when the mask slips a little bit and the establishment hucksters show their true colors. They talk out one side of their mouth about honoring the game and bringing it to every part of the country while at the same time trying to delegitimize the one league that is actually expanding our sport.
Why do they do it? Who knows? Some people just like to feel taller standing on the backs of others.
And, honestly, who cares? They will never respect what the non-varsity world is doing, so why waste time trying to change an entrenched opinion?
It does tell me, however, that there is more work to be done.
Despite having fantastic allies (US Lacrosse, IMLCA), great sponsors (Under Armour, Universal Lacrosse) and partners (Guardian Pearl), there is still a large swath of the lacrosse realm, both young and old, who don’t know about the opportunity the MCLA and its member conferences provide.
That’s why the Battle for Baltimore is an important event on the MCLA calendar. It places some of our finest teams within easy access of a geographic region that may not understand the benefits of playing in the MCLA.
If only a handful of prospective student-athletes or parents get a glimpse of the quality lacrosse being played at Oregon, Northeastern, Virginia Tech, Liberty, George Washington, East Carolina and Pitt this weekend, the event is an unmitigated success.
What game will be the most entertaining contest at the Battle for Baltimore this weekend? #mcla19
— MCLA Tournament '19 (@MCLA_Tournament) March 20, 2019
The MCLA is not going to flip perceptions overnight, however.
We’re in it for the long game. As such, we’ll always run into those individuals who have some bizarre stake in seeing our hard-working student-athletes and coaches denigrated.
Alas, they should be ignored because there is no helping them. Our energy should be focused on those who might find the MCLA to be the perfect fit.
No. 5 Chapman visits No. 8 Colorado on Friday evening. How does this gem shake out? #mcla19
— MCLA Tournament '19 (@MCLA_Tournament) March 21, 2019
My Five Picks
No. 5 Chapman (6-2) at No. 8 Colorado (4-1), 7 p.m. – Friday
With Grand Canyon being the Buffs best win, Colorado needs to pick up a Top 10 win or two to justify its current ranking. Lucky for them, they have a pair that fits the bill this weekend, starting with the Panthers.
Chapman passed its lone road test of the season so far by handling Cal Poly, but now they’ll be actually leaving the state. The Panthers have been giving up goals and Colorado can score them, so expect a shootout. I like Chapman’s big guns to provide just enough. Chaptown, 16-15.
Northeastern (3-3) vs. No. 11 Virginia Tech (4-3), 12 p.m. – Saturday
With a 1-3 mark against D-I competition, the Huskies are in need of a Battle for Baltimore sweep to stay in the at-large discussion, but with the Hokies (and later, Liberty) on the docket, the opportunity is there.
Virginia Tech had a reasonable spring break trip, but still have some work to do to feel comfortable heading into the SELC tournament. The Hokies will make a mark early and cruise in for the win, 11-9.
Oregon (3-2) vs. No. 4 Liberty (7-0), 2 p.m. – Saturday
The Ducks need a Top 10 win in the worst way the matchup against Liberty provides the only opportunity to achieve that goal. We should see a desperate Oregon team take to the field, which ostensibly will make for a good game.
The Flames, however, are at the next level. One of the four undefeated teams left in the country, Liberty hasn’t been tested this year. The Flames have punished everyone, and just got done blowing the doors off Michigan State on the road. Vivé la Liberty, 15-7.
No. 23 Georgia (4-3) at No. 24 Florida State (3-5), 5 p.m. – Saturday
The SELC is a wild ride these days with four teams in the Top 11, but there are also several secondary outfits looking to keep their hat in the ring with all of the at-larges available. The winner can cling to a glimmer of at-large hope; the loser needs a three-day run in Johns Creek. FSU, 11-9.
No. 9 UC Davis (5-2) at No. 19 San Diego (3-2), 1 p.m. – Sunday
Kennesaw State is currently carrying the torch for the most likely non-UMLC to make the national semifinals, but UC Davis may not be too far off the scent. They have a solid goalie, balanced scoring and probably the best LSM in the country in Dom Piombo.
San Diego is one of the teams looking to fill the Fullerton void in the SLC, and is currently running roughly even with Loyola Marymount after NAU and San Marcos have fallen off the grid. The Toreros have home field advantage, but not the depth. Aggies, 12-5.
Slides & Rides
Texas A&M will look to wrap up the top seed in the LSA South division (and earn a date with the No. 4 team out of the LSA North in the quarterfinals) with a win over LSU on Saturday…a win over Central Michigan on Saturday will wrap up a CLC tourney bid for Michigan State…getting Concordia-Irvine on Sunday is no walk in the park for Colorado, but it could be the coda on a productive weekend.
View this post on InstagramThe Herd returns to action tomorrow night versus Montana State! #GoBison #NDSU
A post shared by NDSU Men’s Lacrosse (@ndsumensclublax) on
Can Montana State salvage one win on its four-game UMLC gauntlet? They could use a break, but capping off spring break with North Dakota State will provide none of those breaks…if Cal State San Marcos can’t beat Montana on Sunday, it’s AQ or bust for the Cougars. Kind of surprising how the season has gone for a supremely talented group.