ROUND ROCK, Texas – The final four teams in the Division II bracket of the 2022 MCLA National Championships presented by New Balance feature a pair of former champions and pair of tournament rookies.
Will this be a tournament of the old guard or the new blood?
St. Thomas, the owners of six national championships and 13-straight trips to the semifinals, is the epitome of the division’s old order. The Tommies grinded out another victory on Tuesday against No. 9 Missouri State, 9-6, to advance to the semis.
The other early-window contest, the Cinderella UNC-Charlotte squad – one day removed from pulling the largest upset in MCLA history – ran up against fellow tournament neophyte Rhode Island.
Thanks to five points (4g, 1a) from Adrian Rutkowski and another five from Keegan Riley (3g, 2a), the No. 7 Rams outscored the No. 15 49ers, 8-1, in the second half to post the 15-7 victory.
In the late quarterfinal window, a tournament-savvy Grand Valley State squad ran up against newbie Utah, but it was the No. 5 Utes pulling away from the No. 4 Lakers for a 13-7 triumph.
Kenny Diamond, Aidan Wallace and Cade Rogers all netted hat tricks for the Utes.
The quarters wrapped up with No. 6 Montana ending the run of a precocious No. 14 Cal State San Marcos squad, 13-9. Eric Frazer had three goals and a dime for the Grizzlies while Brody Stevens chipped in with a hat trick.
This is Montana’s first trip to the semifinals since 2007 when they won the D-II national championship in Frisco, Texas.
Division II Semifinals – Thursday
2022 MCLA National Championships presented New Balance
No. 5 Utah vs. No. 1 St. Thomas, 3:30 p.m.
No. 7 Rhode Island vs. No. 6 Montana, 6:15 p.m.