by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – It used to be that a team would schedule a trip to Arizona and just hope for a close game.
Arizona State. Grand Canyon. Arizona.
It’s a group with a combined five national championship game appearances and two titles to their credit. This is typically a heavyweight bunch.
As we sit here on Feb. 28, the trio has amassed a cumulative record of 1-10, with the lone win being a narrow victory by Arizona over UCLA at the Pac-12 Shootout.
Grand Canyon is the only one to hold a ranking, and by the slimmest of margins. The Lopes are 25th – just four points ahead of Texas for the final slot in the Top 25.
So what happened?
We know all three of these programs have good coaches.
Arizona’s Matt Blamey, Arizona State’s Casey Connor and Grand Canyon’s Jeff Guy are quality teachers who have brought teams to nationals. Guy has a couple of rings.
What is the MCLA Division I Game of the Week for the period ending March 1? #mcla20
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Coaches don’t get dumb overnight, which leads me to believe this is just “one of those years.”
It’s also important to note that 10 of the 11 games that this trio has played are ranked in the Top 21. These three Copper State programs decided they were going to take on the best teams that were available.
Sometimes this is the result.
February tends to be the knee-jerk time of the year. It’s easy to pigeonhole programs in the first month of the season.
And, to be critically honest, all three of these programs have some work to do just to make the SLC playoffs, never mind nationals.
This weekend holds opportunities, however.
Arizona and Arizona State will get a crack at No. 6 Georgia Tech after a cross-country flight. Grand Canyon and ASU also have Texas A&M on the slate this weekend.
The desert is awfully cold right now. But it’s only February.
Things can heat up quickly down there.
View this post on InstagramLSN GAME OF THE WEEK: Your #3 ranked Mustangs take a business trip down to Orange County, CA to take on #4 ranked Chapman this Saturday at Ernie Chapman Stadium @ 2:30pm! On Sunday, the Mustangs take on Boston College in a big East vs. West matchup at Mater Dei High School @ 2pm. #gostangs #ridehigh @dawson.dewan
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SLIDES & RIDES
- Tennessee is off to a 5-1 start to the season and is looking like a rejuvenated program after last year’s 1-8 campaign. The Vols didn’t fare well against No. 5 Liberty, an 18-6 loss, but they get a chance to make amends when they entertain No. 16 Virginia Tech on Friday night. I’m not sure UT is there yet, but it’ll be another good test for an up-and-coming program.
- Keep an eye on the New Hampshire-Buffalo game on Saturday. It’s no longer a CLC East subdivisional game, but it will go a long way in telling us what UNH is all about. The Bulls are always tough, and will get the Wildcats ready for next weekend when No. 1 South Carolina and No. 6 Georgia Tech await on back-to-back days.
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— MCLA Tournament '20 (@MCLA_Tournament) February 26, 2020
- Is Dayton ready for another run? They start the season in mid-gear, rolling up against a ranked Missouri State outfit before tangling with Oklahoma State and WashU. There’s enough missing off last year’s roster to cause concern, but there’s also enough returning to think that that the Flyers could make a repeat run to at least the semifinals.
- It’s not an elimination game by any means, but the result of the Washington-Simon Fraser contest will illuminate the PNCLL a bit…Montana has already lost to Duluth and St. Thomas, and now have St. John’s this weekend. SJU is no warm bath, but the Johnnies might provide the best opportunity to score a UMLC win…huge opportunity for Florida Atlantic to make a statement on Sunday against No. 15 North Florida.
- Tickets are on sale for the 2020 MCLA National Championships presented by New Balance. Visit the National Championships page to buy tickets and get all the information you'll need for nationals...coaches' nominations for the weekly awards should be to [email protected].us by noon on Monday.
Catch the matchup of the weekend tomorrow at 7. Our game vs. VT will be streamed on YouTube livehttps://t.co/naNfVgEalT@MCLA #govols @HokieLax
— Tennessee Lacrosse (@Volslax) February 28, 2020