(Photo by Kevin Schoonover)
by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – The rivalry between Georgia and Georgia Tech goes by the moniker “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.” Parsed down, “Hate Week” will suffice when talking in the ATL. It’s really a football thing, but the lacrosse teams have co-opted the terminology to bring in the casual fan.
Honestly, it’s pretty silly.
Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate? Give me break.
See, that’s what it’s like for those outside of a rivalry. There really is no understanding it. It’s something that is passed down from class to class, father to son, brother to brother.
It doesn’t seem silly at all when you’re immersed in it. It’s the immediate reaction when the other team shows up on the schedule.
The Tech-UGA lacrosse rivalry is just one of the numerous traditional rivalry games that will be taking place this weekend in the MCLA.
The “Big Game” – a pretentious label one would expect from the likes of Stanford and Cal-Berkeley – takes place tonight while the “Backyard Brawl” – the blue-collar name you’d expect for the Pitt-West Virginia clash – occurred last night, with the Mountaineers winning an overtime classic. The long-time rivalry between USC and UCLA also went down on Thursday night, ending in a Trojans victory.
“Tommie Johnnie,” the Minnesota scrap between St. John’s and St. Thomas happens on Saturday.
What is the MCLA Division I Game of the Week for the period ending April 14? #mcla19
— MCLA Tournament '19 (@MCLA_Tournament) April 9, 2019
That rivalry is one of the many that is more about bragging rights than anything else. The Tommies and Johnnies are guaranteed to meet in the first round of the UMLC tournament in a couple of weeks. It’s just about the W.
Other rivalry games have far more on the line. Perhaps the biggest is the second installment of the “Red River Rivalry” as Oklahoma heads to Texas in the quarterfinals of the LSA tourney on Sunday. The winner advances to the semifinals, the loser is prepping for fall ball.
The “Duel in the Desert” will be Arizona and Arizona State battling for the top seed (and a bye) out of the SLC South.
In addition to the institutional rivalries, there are also rivalries that have been borne out of MCLA history. The best example of that is when Colorado State visits Brigham Young on Saturday.
While they are off their usual pace this year, this contest features the two most successful programs our association has – Colorado State boasts six titles, BYU four. Whenever these two meet, the tension ratchet up a level.
Regardless of whether a rivalry contest boasts a snappy nickname or not, they always mean something to the participants. A rivalry win can turn a blasé season into positive one that builds momentum for the following year.
We may not personally understand them all, but long live the rivalries.
What is the MCLA Division II Game of the Week for the period ending April 14? #mcla19
— MCLA Tournament '19 (@MCLA_Tournament) April 10, 2019
My Five Picks
No. 2 Dayton (8-1) vs. No. 4 Grand Valley State (6-1), 3 p.m. – Friday
These former CCLA warhorses meet at Detroit Central Catholic for a matinee to determine the top seed out of the UMLC East. As you can imagine, getting a bye in that conference tourney is massive. It’s nearly impossible to win three games in three days against that level of competition.
More importantly, the loser not only gets thrown in Duluth’s side of the bracket, but draws defending national champion NDSU’s in the first round. Let’s just say that these two will be giving their all to grab that magic bye, which will obviously make for fantastic lacrosse. I like both of these teams to make Thursday in Salt Lake City, but I’ll take the Flyers in this one, 10-8.
Oregon (4-5) at Boise State (7-4), 4 p.m. – Friday
Let’s start the race for second seed in the PNCLL! And what does the winner get? Home jerseys!
That’s right, barring something crazy in the final game for both, the winner will be the two seed and the loser will be the three seed, setting up a PNCLL semifinal rematch on April 27 in Missoula.
Boise rookie Chase Underhill (22g, 22a) has emerged into a big threat for the Broncos, but the pressure will be on the BSU backline in this contest. Keeping Austin Olsen (26g, 10a) and John Finegan (22g, 13a) in check will be the struggle. Ducks, 12-11.
View this post on Instagram“THE BIG GAME” #gobears #biggame : @kimwinship : Steve Lizanich
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No. 6 St. John’s (5-3) at No. 5 St. Thomas (4-3), 2 p.m. – Saturday
The Tommies haven’t looked like their crisp selves so far this spring. They could be replacing some players or it could be a hangover from having a title slip away in double overtime last year. It’s almost like they need something to recharge their batteries.
The Johnnies just might be their muse in that sense. And since these two will meet again in scenic northern Indiana in the UMLC tournament first round, it’s statement time. UST, 13-9.
No. 10 New Hampshire (6-0) at No. 15 Connecticut (5-3), 7 p.m. – Saturday
Remember UConn’s run in the conference tournament last year? Yeah, no one does, because the Huskies flamed out, losing to Buffalo. They had a solid squad, too. Now it’s time to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
A bye is huge in this six-team bracket, especially with Michigan State looming on the other side of the CLC tournament bracket. Take the Huskies at home, 14-13.
Oklahoma (6-7) at Texas (7-3), 4 p.m. - Sunday
The Longhorns won the first meeting in Norman in late February, 7-6, which seems like a lifetime ago. It took a 23-save effort from Texas goalie Michael Cerna to lock down that overtime victory, which would certainly give some optimism to the Sooners.
Texas has played one game in the last month, which is never great as you try to ramp up for the postseason. Nick Johnston is a huge wild card in net for Oklahoma, but I’ll take the ‘Horns at home, 8-6.
View this post on InstagramRivalry game Final home game Postseason on the line Come to Harder this Friday to cheer on the ‘Chos. Let’s go! #gauchoslacrosse #ucsblacrosse #ucsb #gauchos #islavista #lacrosse #harderstadium #tortillas #bringthetortillas #gaucholocos #sblacrosse
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Slides & Rides
The semifinals will be set for the LSA tournament by the end of the weekend. The first-round matchups in the SLC and WCLL will also be ironed out by the time Monday rolls around…after meandering past Claremont on Wednesday evening, Chapman has locked up the top seed in the SLC North and will receive a bye into the semifinals. Concordia-Irvine is locked into the second seed out of the North…Florida’s season is on the brink tonight when they host Florida State. Gators need the win to force a three-way tie with the Seminoles and UCF in the SELC Southeast…Illinois starts its UMLC push this week against Purdue and Illinois State.
The semifinals for the LSA D-II tourney will also be established at the conclusion of the weekend…No. 25 UC San Diego stung No. 17 San Diego, 7-6, on Wednesday night. If the Tritons can beat Cal State San Marcos on Saturday, they lock down the top seed in the SLC South and grab a bye into the semis…Northern Arizona has the top spot in the SLC North…No. 9 North Florida visits No. 11 Florida Gulf Coast to determine the top seed out of the SELC South.