The Reverb: Freaky Friday
by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – Nothing lasts forever.
And there’s no entity with a higher mortality rate than a top-ranked team.
We all watched as Friday body-bagged a pair of contenders.
RESULTS: FRIDAY | SATURDAY | SUNDAY
Or are they now pretenders?
Top-ranked Virginia Tech brought its laundry list of beat-downs to Atlanta and somehow gave up 14 goals to Georgia Tech after the Hokies hadn’t allowed double-digit markers in their seven previous contests.
In Division II, despite Montana defeating St. Thomas and Montana State losing to the Tommies the next day, the Bobcats cruised to a 10-6 win over the Grizzlies on Montana’s own field to raise the Copper Cup.
In the span of a few hours, a pair of squads that looked nearly unbeatable were cast off the Island of the Undefeated.
: Kevin Schoonover pic.twitter.com/IBgFTdgArK
— 2023 MCLA National Tourney (@MCLA_Tournament) March 6, 2023
Despite the lead-in to this story, Virginia Tech and Montana are no pretenders. They both are still just as viable for a national championship as they were on Thursday.
But, for one night, they ran into the wrong team in the wrong place. It happens.
It has happened each year since 2016.
No national champion in either division has finished undefeated since ’16, when both Chapman (22-0) and St. Thomas (18-0) hoisted undefeated trophies in Orange.
Running the table in this, our 25th season, is far more difficult than it was just seven years ago. Our memberships’ organization, coaching and talent have matured exponentially.
Drop those ‘16 Chapman and St. Thomas teams into 2023 and they still might win a title, but they ain’t going undefeated.
The first weekend of March is too early to determine who’s going to be playing on May 13, but this past term definitely let us know that everyone is still alive.
MY TOP TEN
1. Georgia Tech (8-0) – Wasn’t sure about the Bees, but they’re fully legit now.
2. San Diego State (4-0) – The sleepiest of sleepers. SLC wrecking crew.
3. Virginia Tech (8-1) – Probably still the best team, but need to get tougher.
4. Florida State (7-0) – The Music City sweep was fine, but the D-II thing lingers.
5. Boston College (2-1) – Just a bunch of angry Massholes.
1. Rhode Island (5-1) – Biggest lacrosse game in Kingston history occurs Friday. #gvsu
2. UC San Diego (5-0) – The Tritons want you to underestimate them.
3. Missouri State (3-0) – Three ranked wins in two days. Efficient.
4. Kennesaw State (5-1) – Good enough to be problematic on a May Thursday.
5. Montana State (3-1) – A frightening team. And they’ll smile at you.
Sam Bellomy with the well-earned grit helmet today. Still working on the final count but I think it was at least a million saves. Final score 7-6 pic.twitter.com/w3L81tA4Z5
— Huskies Lax (@huskieslax) March 5, 2023
PEEK AT NEXT WEEK
As is commonplace during the spring break season, sometimes the MCLA weekend will bleed into Monday and Tuesday. That is certainly the case this week.
There are bunch of quality games to ease us into the next frame. It’s great for fans of the MCLA, but a bit of a chafe for the pollsters, who have to get their ballots in by Tuesday.
So don’t freak out if some ranked games don’t get reflected this week.
South Carolina is making the most of its sojourn to SoCal – they’ve earned it – with games on Tuesday (Concordia) and Thursday (Chapman).
Colorado State can’t get enough of Dixie, making its second trip to the Southeast. After taking on Virginia Tech and Liberty, they’ll now hit up the Gators and ‘Noles. Utah Valley backs up its southern adventure with a trip toward the Southwest. SMU tests its mettle in NorCal as the Ponies play Cal and Santa Clara.
Is that Grand Valley State’s music? That’s right, the Lakers rumble to life this week with a 14-hour bus ride (12 if everyone has their passports) to New England for a trio of contests, highlighted by a Top 5 clash with Rhode Island. North Dakota heads to Bozeman to tackle the Grizzlies and Bobcats.
Final score: Claremont 23- Fullerton 6. Game ball to Ryan Ensminger! pic.twitter.com/e8MV2L0CDr
— Claremont Men’s Lacrosse (@Claremontlax) March 5, 2023
SLIDES & RIDES
- Doubleheaders are nothing new in the MCLA. They are actually an efficient way to satisfy both non-conference and conference obligations. Rarely, however, does a team stack up a pair of ranked teams on the same day. That’s what Missouri State did on Saturday against No. 16 Dayton and No. 17 Florida Atlantic. And the Bears posted a one-goal win in each contest.
Three ranked wins in two days is a selection-committee pleaser and sets up MoState’s upcoming trip to Michigan to face No. 3 St. Thomas and No. 4 Grand Valley State at the end of the month. Two wins (in two days) there and the Bears won’t be looking up at too many teams.
- After a season-opening setback to Tennessee, it looked like West Virginia was on the same course that led to a 3-12 season in 2022. Five-straight wins later, including an important conference road win over James Madison, and the Mountaineers appear to be on a mission.
There is still plenty of heavy lifting remaining for WVU, starting with a March 26 date against No. 4 Liberty in Morgantown. Still, the Mountaineers are trending toward an ALC tourney berth, where they could be dangerous.
- Speaking of the ALC, Temple had a productive trip to Texas, highlighted by a 12-8 victory over No. 22 Southern Methodist. Will the 3-3 Owls be flirting with the Top 25 this week?...St. John’s off to a 3-0 start. Johnnies are looking like a tourney team after a 3-11 hiccup last year…South Carolina is 1-5 and four of their losses are by a combined total of five goals. Brutal.
- Florida Gulf Coast rocked Miami. The Eagles are a Top 10 team…Simon Fraser’s win over Oregon is a good start to the PNCLL horserace…Vanderbilt hung around with No. 3 Florida State. Interesting…San Diego State is 4-0 after beating No. 7 UCSB…rough Colorado swing for A&M. Got to have a travel partner for that trip...congrats to Georgia Tech's Sam Eck for eclipsing the 100-point barrier.
- PSA: If you see a sketchy post linking a live stream for an MCLA game on social media, don’t click on it. Only use links from a program account or ours. All others are a scam.