by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
When the announcement that the New Hampshire-Utah Valley contest would be streamed on YouTube come through my timeline, I made a note of it.
I figured I’d stay up a little later to watch the contest because I’m always intrigued when the PCLL teams leave New England and I wanted to check on how the Wolverines were doing in their post-Grand Canyon phase. And also it’s, well, kind of my job now.
I’m quite glad I made the decision.
I was treated to one of the more exciting games I’ve seen this season. The players were giving it their all, the officials were letting the kids determine the winner and there were plenty of goals. And I got to watch it despite being 1,300 miles away from the action.
This wasn’t a professional production. The camerawork was utilitarian and the announcers were clearly just excited lacrosse fans, but you know what? That's OK. It was great. It was everything I could have wanted.
Needless to say, more teams need to be doing this.
Technology has evolved to such a point where nearly every on-campus site has the means to facilitate a live stream. It takes two seconds to create a YouTube page, and if that’s too much of a hassle, teams can always use ours. Check out Periscope as another option. If you’re not technologically savvy, ask your campus IT guy or contact me and I’ll get you in the info you’ll need to make it happen.
Alas, there is a portion of the MCLA coaching fraternity who dislike the idea of making their games available for public (i.e., future opponent’s) consumption. They hate it when games are streamed and loathe it when the contests are archived. I get it. Nobody wants to give away a competitive advantage.
On the flipside, I can make two calls and get film on every team in the country. And in the off chance I can’t get film, I’ll get a detailed scout. There’s no hiding anymore. We’re in an information age, and everything is accessible. And I hate to say it, but your slide package isn’t as revolutionary as you may think, so why not cater to your parents, fans and potential recruits?
Perhaps most importantly, streaming as many games as possible puts the MCLA on display to everyone. We’ve got a great product, as the midweek game between UNH and UVU attests, so let’s show it off.
Central Florida (5-6) at Florida (3-3) – 7 p.m., Saturday
It’s certainly not the sexiest game on the docket, but elimination games ratchet up the excitement. If Florida State is as legit as it appears, then this is a knockout contest for the SELC tournament. Only two teams will escape the SELC Southeast division, and the Noles almost certainly have one spot. This is for the other (with all due respect to Miami and South Florida). Last year, the Gators hung on for an 8-7 win that ended up being their golden ticket. It’s going to be that close again.
New Hampshire (2-0) at No. 3 Brigham Young (7-1) – 4 p.m. Saturday
The Wildcats are heading back to New Hamster with a winning record regardless of what happens in Provo, but a win is a game-changer for Ben Clark and his crew. With 6-foot-8 freshman middie Sam Stanton creating miserable matchup problems, the favored Cougars have their hands full. BYU, like any team, banks on having a home-field advantage, but the Wildcats have shown a disdain for the Beehive state to this point. We’ll see if it continues.
No. 13 Stanford (6-1) at No. 1 Chapman (9-0) – 7 p.m., Sunday
Things are going pretty well for Chapman right now. There’s no doubt about it. And the Panthers should be proud of their accomplishments. With that said, they have a special kind of challenge awaiting them on Sunday. The Cardinal is a fearless bunch and, more importantly, they have a pair of middies – Peter Doyle (23g, 4a) and Eric Lee (20g, 2a) – who have to be poled. Chapman’s SSDMs are good. Really good, led by Brent Melbye. Alas, this is a different animal. Offensively, the Panthers have an advantage, but if they get sucked up into Stanford’s pace of play, look out.
No. 21 San Diego (3-3) vs. No. 17 Cal State Fullerton (6-2) – 2 p.m., Saturday
Concordia-Irvine appears to be significantly ahead of everyone in the West, so this will be to see who has the best shot of getting an at-large bid out of the SLC. With the LSA not having a bid this year, the wiggle from for at-large teams has increased, but the winner of this one should feel very comfortable. San Diego is 3-1 against D-II opponents, and has been getting better against a bunch of D-I foes, including No. 25 SMU last week and No. 21 UVU on Friday night. Fullerton had a rough go in Vegas two weeks ago, so a win here would get them back on track.
No. 1 Dayton (5-0) at No. 18 Lindenwood-Belleville (2-0) – 2 p.m., Sunday
Dayton has backed themselves into a bit of a pickle here. The Flyers will be playing a pair of games against some quality opponents on Friday (SCAD) and Saturday (Mo Bap) prior to this clash with LUB. What are the Lynx doing during that time? Waiting. They’ve had two full weeks to prepare for this game and now they get a tired champion trying to finish out a weekend in St. Louis. Dayton has proven they can answer the bell and win this close ones, but this might be too much.
No. 13 Siena Heights (3-3) at No. 6 Grand Valley State (3-1) – 2 p.m., Sunday
After a rough weekend in Knoxville two weeks ago, Siena Heights has lent its hard-won gravitas to the likes of Reinhardt and Palm Beach Atlantic. Standing 2-2 against D-II foes, the Saints need a win in a big way, and a victory over GVSU would be the perfect cure for their ills. Unfortunately, the Lakers are still stinging from the beating they took from Kennesaw State in Nashville (even though they handily bounced Aquinas last night), so Siena Heights is not getting a complacent team, by any means. Still plenty of time left in the season for both teams, but a win should clinch at least an at-large.
(Photo by Jim O'Connell)