by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – The first batch of invitations – six in all – were sent out yesterday for the 2018 MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour.
For the most part, all of the favorites raised the hardware on Sunday.
Florida Gulf Coast was the defending SELC-II champ, so you might consider them favorites, but Kennesaw State was ranked a slot higher in the national rankings, so the Owls win isn’t that surprising.
The one result that would be considered an upset was Virginia Tech’s 9-7 victory over national No. 3 South Carolina. The Gamecocks destroyed Liberty in the semifinals, adding to their air of invincibility.
Final score 7-9 Virginia Tech. A tough loss for the Gamecocks but also an opportunity for us to learn from our mistakes. Congratulations Hokies, hope to see you in Utah.
— Gamecocks Lacrosse (@CocksLacrosse) April 22, 2018
In hindsight, we probably should have possibly seen this coming. South Carolina had to put on a huge rally just the beat Tech by one during the regular season, so the Hokies weren’t light years behind.
The implications for nationals weren’t that huge, at least in my opinion. I had both the Hokies and Gamecocks heading to Salt Lake City regardless of the outcome, so this doesn’t impact the bubble.
Plus, South Carolina just picked up some extra motivation, which is never a bad thing heading into the most important time of the year.
This weekend was just the first taste of postseason action. The MCLA is licking the stamps on 11 more invitations that go out next Saturday in Sunday as the season reaches its crescendo.
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We have the best conference and best conference tournament in the MCLA. Thank you to everyone who makes IT all possible. https://t.co/63ZXUkxx7Q
— Liberty Lacrosse (@LibertyLax) April 23, 2018
An organization such as the MCLA, which covers pretty much every inch of the country, depends on help from its conferences and affiliates to provide the most comprehensive coverage that we can.
All of those celebration shots that make their way to MCLA.us and our social media accounts along with the live streams are through the efforts of various people and groups. I briefly want to mention them.
Thanks to CCLA director Sean Buzzard, UMLC secretary Chris Larson, LSA director Jason Zantjer, SELC director Mike Dubbelde and SELC tournament director Liz Tumblin.
In addition, thanks to the people at Eagan Sports (who did the live stream of the St. Thomas-NDSU contest), Lacrosse Fire TV (SELC live streams) and StickStar Productions (LSA live streams).
Lastly, thanks to the facility reps at Chelsea (Mich.) High School, the various high schools in Johns Creek, Ga., the University of Texas and Mahtomedi (Minn.) High School.
My Top Fives
1. Chapman (11-0) – Panthers are about to play their third April game.
2. Utah (13-0) – Manhandling BYU could get some first place votes back.
4. Michigan State (14-1) – The Spartans looked well-rested on Sunday.
5. South Carolina (16-1) – Their one loss is still better than anyone else’s.
3. Brigham Young (14-2) – I thought the Cougars played too cautiously vs. Utes.
1. St. Thomas (12-1) – Yawn.
2. North Dakota State (8-2) – Just couldn’t find that tying goal on Sunday.
3. Northern Arizona (10-1) – If the ‘Jacks take down the SLC, they could have a choice seed.
4. Minn.-Duluth (10-5) – Their style just doesn’t match up well with the Bison.
5. Montana State (10-2) – Two losses are to UST and NDSU. Have won eight straight.
DIVISION I NOTES: Buffalo beating No. 13 UConn in double overtime to bounce the Huskies out of the playoffs is what makes this time of year special. No one outside of Orchard Park saw that one coming…Iowa State’s 5-3 win over Missouri gives the Cyclones the top seed in the UMLC West…Sonoma notched the weekend sweep to grab the No. 4 seed in the WCLL…didn’t see Oregon State jumping up and beating Oregon in overtime in the Civil War, but it was a big win for the Beavers. They are the No. 4 seed in the PNCLL tourney…the rivalry games between Colorado-Colorado State and Cal-Stanford ended up being duds...Concordia-Irvine and Arizona State advanced easily out of the SLC first round.
DIVISION II NOTES: Montana State routed Colorado Mines to snatch the top seed in the RMLC Northwest…Cal State Fullerton and Cal State San Marcos cruised in the SLC first round…College of Idaho and Montana are still on a collision course in the PNCLL…keep an eye out for brackets and tournament information for the remaining conferences in the next day or so.
Coaches, get your nominations for Commanding Performance of the Week to [email protected]