(Photo by Lance Wendt)
by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – Conventional wisdom took a shiv in the back this weekend.
And it was awesome.
It started on Friday night with No. 6 Georgia Tech handing No. 1 South Carolina its first loss of the season followed by No. 3 Dayton dumping No. 2 St. Thomas at Music City Judgement.
It bled into Saturday with No. 3 Cal Poly bouncing No. 2 California. The Bears loss was startling as I didn’t envision Cal taking a loss this spring. So much for that.
No. 12 New Hampshire not only gave South Carolina another loss, but compounded that with a win over Georgia Tech. Don’t take UNH for granite.
At the same time, No. 8 Kennesaw State handed top-ranked Minn.-Duluth its first setback of the season.
Throw in Duluth’s win over Dayton on Sunday, Rhode Island’s near-miss against Kennesaw and No. 19 Clemson’s win over No. 14 Virginia Tech and we’ve got a serious party.
So who’s going to populate the top of the polls now?
In Division I, New Hampshire’s story is the one everyone is watching. The Wildcats graduated a massive senior class, but are managing to be a power. They are going to get more than a couple of first-place votes this week for sure.
Cal Poly? Liberty? I’m guessing there will be at least five teams that will get first-place votes, which is awesome.
View this post on Instagram@BYULacrosse wraps up 3 games in 3 days with 3 wins. Thanks @boisestatelacrosse for hosting.
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Both Kennesaw State and Grand Valley State had outstanding performances in Nashville. Which one will stack up the first-place votes?
Does Duluth or Dayton get a hall pass for their losses this week? Can we trust College of Idaho?
So many questions, and they’re all great.
New Hampshire is the most intriguing squad at this point in Division I. The Wildcats have at least five ranked games left on the schedule along with a Texas trip in 10 days. Barring a complete fold, they’ve bought the CLC some serious committee cred.
Kennesaw fills the same roll in D-II. The Owls only loss is a 10-8 loss to D-II No. 19 Clemson. Vinny Magro is a Player of the Year type guy and Jay Molander is a game-changer in the cage. The win over Duluth alters everything.
For the fans of business as usual, this was a brutal weekend. Everything has been shaken to its core. Nobody is safe.
How awesome is that?
Who would get your vote for D-II No. 1 right now? #mcla20
— MCLA Tournament '20 (@MCLA_Tournament) March 9, 2020
MY TOP FIVES
1. Cal Poly (8-1) – The Colorado trip will tell us if the Mustangs are a No. 1 seed.
2. Liberty (6-0) – Next five games are on the road against stiff competition
3. New Hampshire (3-0) – Pretty solid weekend for the ‘Cats in Hotlanta, to say the least.
4. Colorado (3-0) – Jordan Harris has a man-crush on the Buffs, so they’ve got to be decent.
5. USC (8-1) – A monster game on Thursday against CUI. Huge.
1. Kennesaw State (6-1) – The Owls didn’t just beat Duluth. They stifled the Bulldogs.
2. Grand Valley State (3-0) – This weekend felt a little like 2014. A little.
3. North Dakota State (1-2) – Forget Colorado. Bozeman is where we figure out the Bison.
4. College of Idaho (2-0) – The Yotes take a big step up in competition level.
5. Minn.-Duluth (5-1) – Kennesaw smacked Duluth into reality. ‘Dogs responded against Dayton.
Who would get your vote for D-I No. 1 right now? #mcla20
— MCLA Tournament '20 (@MCLA_Tournament) March 9, 2020
SLIDES & RIDES
- Is Grand Valley State the best team in UMLC Division II? Obviously, time will tell, but I could make that argument pretty convincingly at this point. The Lakers put down a trio of quality teams – the Rhode Island win looking more impressive considering the Rams run at Kennesaw – with authority.
We’ll find out the remaining portion of GVSU’s ability on March 27-29 when the Lakers head to Minny to face No. 4 NDSU, No. 1 Duluth and No. 7 St. John’s in a 36-hour span. It’s a trip that could return GVSU to the six-ish ranking they’ve been at, or confirm that this is a team ready for a title run.
A phenomenal edition of the #LaxTop5, featuring @purpleraiders, @PennStateMLAX, @princetonwlax, @Gator_Athletics, and @AULacrosse. pic.twitter.com/DiitSxfcrF
— Chris Jastrzembski (@Chris_Jast) March 8, 2020
- Colorado State is looking like a team ready to rejoin the Top 25. The Rams took down No. 24 Minnesota on Saturday and followed that up with a comfortable win over No. 4 (D-II) North Dakota State. CSU is still a work in progress, but if they can sweep Texas and Oklahoma this coming weekend, they’ll qualify for the RMLC tournament, which gives them a chance at anything.
- Congrats to Tennessee for clinching its first winning season since 2012. The Vols are moving in the right direction…Texas picked up its first RMLC victory via the Red River Rivalry, knocking off Oklahoma, 25-6…solid business trip to Boise for BYU. The Cougars went 3-0 and none of the contests were close…SMU is rolling. Tough seeing anyone else coming out of the LSA right now.
Florida hung around with Chapman for a half, but the Panthers seem to grind down just about everyone…congrats to Miami (Ohio) for winning the first three UMLC contests of the season, assuring that the Redhawks will be heading to the conference championships. A win over Indiana on April 10 and Miami will be the top seed out of the UMLC East.
- Missouri State got rocked by Grand Valley State and St. Thomas in Nashville and have another tough one on Tuesday when Duluth comes calling. The Bears are going to be battle-tested for the LSA tourney, however. And that’s what it’s all about.
- North Florida was a great story last year, but the Ospreys will need to finish strong just to make the SELC playoffs…the results (0-3) weren’t what the Roadrunners wanted, but respect to UT-San Antonio for making the trip to Colorado. Need more of that ambition in D-II…Northern Arizona dropped Claremont, 13-6, to set up a March 22 showdown with Loyola Marymount for the SLC North top seed.
- As always, send nominations for the PEARL Goalie of the Week and the Dominant Performance of the Week presented by Warrior to [email protected] by noon on Monday.