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MCLA Field Report: Week 8

Crowning a King

We were sure that after two straight weeks at the top, #5 Cal was going to finish what they started. They were 12-0 and absolutely blowing teams out of the water. That includes more than a handful of ranked opponents. The closest goal margin all season, until last weekend, was six. With two games left, they just had to get through former #5 Cal Poly and Bay Area rival, Stanford. Everything would be golden for the Bears if it wasn’t for those meddling Mustangs. Cal took their foot off the pedal in the second quarter and allowed their visitors to build momentum. The Bears were getting plenty of shots off, but goaltender Anthony Epshetyn was able to track down 15 of them. Epshetyn was the backbone of the Mustang thriller, while sophomore midfielder Mitch Stickney had the game of his career, pinning 5 goals into the back of the Berkeley net. When the dust settled, it was Cal Poly stealing the top seed in the WCLL, with no chance of redemption for Cal. The one blemish, to a top five team, somehow came at an almost unjust price for the Golden Bears, falling four places in the poll to the Mustangs old spot.

The big fall makes room for Cal Poly to take a step ahead. The coaches apparently weren’t wowed by #3 Georgia Tech’s, 16-11, win over Georgia, so #2 Colorado will get to leapfrog the Yellow Jackets. Why not give the Buffs the look? Sure they have to own up to three losses, to very good teams, but they finished their season off with wins at RMLC rivals, #6 BYU and #12 Colorado State. Regardless of what goes down this weekend with BYU and Utah, the Buffs and Rams are still set to square off in the RMLC semi-finals next weekend in Boulder. Based on last Saturday’s 16-13 shootout, it’s going to be a barnburner.

So now we turn our attention to the top, to a team that’s been waiting patiently for this moment all season and it only means so much as their season came to a close last weekend. Yes, we’re talking about #1 Grand Canyon. The Lopes steal the spotlight right before the curtain comes to a close. Playing only ranked, or incredibly respected, opponents all season, Coach Rapkin’s gang has 10 high quality wins under their belts. Early March brought on their only hiccup, falling by six goals to BYU. They rolled over Arizona State, Arizona, and San Diego State in succeeding weeks to finish with a flawless SLC South record. They’ll get back after it against the winner of UCSB and Arizona in the conference semifinals next weekend at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, CA.

Hook Em Horns

Let’s welcome #19 Texas to the party. I’m sure everyone in the LSA has known about the damage the Longhorns can do. They rolled into the Beehive State with a vengeance and took it out on #7 Utah. The game was tied at three at the end of the first frame, but the southern boys kept firing and eventually pulled away with a, 10-8, win. They had to follow up with #6 BYU the next day and it proved to be a nailbiter. It was the Cougars finding twine in overtime that really killed all the fun, but a close game only helped their case. The big win and tight OT loss, to the former #7 and #6 teams respectively, earned the Longhorns an unprecedented seven spot leap from unranked to #17 in the country. Is this what it takes for the rest of the country to take these southern squads seriously? Texas’ only other loss came in a two goal game with Alabama and they only barely got by Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Lacrosse is picking up real traction at these major college football institutions, let alone all over the southern states. These are going to be our leading clubs for years to come. We can’t sleep on them now.

The PNCLL Pickle

We know that Oregon, Oregon State, Simon Fraser, and Washington all made the PNCLL tournament. It’s all going to come down to the wire this weekend to figure out who is playing who and when. It’s like a mini-playoff of its own. The SFU Clan came out of the Burnaby mist to sting Boise State and Oregon State in back to back weeks to seal their place in the postseason. Lucky how that worked out, seeing how they play host to the event this season.

This weekend, the Beavers and Ducks go at it in the Civil War, with someone finishing 5-1 and the other 4-2. Up north, the Clan host the Huskies and it really throws a wrench in things. If Simon Fraser wins, they’ll also be 5-1 and in position to earn the top seed. But that depends just as much on the other game. Since they beat Oregon State, if the Beavers and Clan both win, SFU gets the high seed because of the head-to-head record. If the Ducks and Clan both win, the Ducks earn the spot because they took down Fraser earlier.

If the Huskies pull off the win this weekend, three teams will be at 4-2. If Oregon loses and UW wins, the Ducks get the second seed and Huskies take third. In the event that the Ducks and Huskies win, it will all come down to goal differential. At that point, three teams will be 4-2, with 1-1 records against each other. Goals allowed versus goals against becomes the tie-breaker.

What a beautiful mess. Speaking of conference playoffs, let’s figure out the rest of the country.

Playoff Pictures

Everything is pretty much set across the board except PNCLL. There’s no automatic qualifier for the CCLA DII but they’re going for it anyway. The schedules for both of the WCLL divisions is based on this weekend’s results. Getting off to an early hop, we’ll have a winner from the SELC by the end of the weekend. Division II’s power conference, the UMLC, will figure out how to break a three-way tie for first this weekend. Exciting, isn’t it?

Division 1

CCLA

Chelsea Stadium, Chelsea, Michigan

Semifinals
Saturday, April 29th
Davenport vs Michigan State – 1pm
Pittsburgh vs Minnesota – 4pm

Finals
Sunday, April 30th
Championship – 12pm

LSA

Semifinals & Finals at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

Quarterfinals
Saturday, April 22nd
LSU @ Oklahoma – 1pm
Arkansas @ Texas – 1pm
Texas State @ Southern Methodist – 12pm

Sunday, April 23rd
Texas Christian @ Texas A&M – 1pm

Semifinals
Saturday, April 29th
Winner of OU/LSU vs. Winner of TAMU/TCU – 4pm
Winner of UT/ARK vs. Winner of SMU/TXST – 7pm
Finals
Sunday, April 30th
Championship – 2:30pm

RMLC

Colorado University, Boulder, Colorado

Semifinals
Friday, April 28th
Utah vs BYU – 4pm
Colorado vs Colorado State – 7pm

Finals
Saturday, April 29th
Championship – 5pm

SELC

Semifinals & Finals held at Northview High School, Johns Creek, Georgia

Quarterfinals
Friday, April 21st
Florida vs Virginia Tech – 8pm
Auburn vs Clemson – 8pm
Liberty vs Florida State – 8pm
NC State vs Georgia Tech – 8pm

Semifinals
Saturday, April 22nd
Winner of FSU/LIB vs. Winner of AUB/CLEM – 7pm
Winner of VT/UF vs. Winner of NCSU/GT – 7:30pm

Finals
Sunday, April 23rd
Championship – 3pm

SLC

Semifinals & Finals at La Costa Canyon HS, Carlsbad, California

Quarterfinals
Saturday, April 22nd
Arizona @ UCSB – 1pm
Arizona State @ USC – 11am

Semifinals
Friday, April 28th
Winner of UA/UCSB vs. Grand Canyon – 4:30pm
Winner of ASU/USC vs. Chapman – 7:15pm

Finals
Saturday, April 29th
Championship – 1:30pm

WCLL

Novato High School, Novato, California

Semifinals
Saturday, April 29th
Santa Clara vs Cal Poly – 11:45am *based on weekend results
Sonoma State vs Cal – 2:30pm *based on weekend results

Finals
Sunday, April 30th
Championship – 2pm

Division 2

CCLA

Championship at Chelsea Stadium, Chelsea, Michigan

Semifinals
Sunday, April 23rd
Grove City @ Dayton – 2pm

Finals
Saturday, April 29th
Grand Valley St vs Winner of DAY/GCC – 7pm

LSA

Semifinals & Finals at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

Quarterfinals
Saturday, April 22nd
Dallas Baptist @ Baylor – 7pm
Rice @ UT-San Antonio – 4pm

Semifinals
Saturday, April 29th
Winner of RICE/UTSA vs UT-Dallas – 10am
Winner of BAYL/DBU vs Louisiana – 1pm

Finals
Sunday, April 30th
Championship – 11am

RMLC

Colorado University, Boulder, Colorado

Semifinals
Friday, April 28th
Fort Lewis vs Montana State – 10am
Colorado Mines vs Metro State – 1pm

Finals
Saturday, April 29th
Championship – 2pm

SELC

Semifinals & Finals held at Northview High School, Johns Creek, Georgia

Quarterfinals
Friday, April 21st
Palm Beach Atlantic vs UNC-Charlotte – 5:30pm
Columbus State vs Coastal Carolina – 5:30pm
Appalachian State vs Florida Gulf Coast – 5:30pm
Citadel vs Kennesaw State – 5:30pm

Semifinals
Saturday, April 22nd
Winner of UNCC/PBAU vs Winner of KENN/CITA – 2:30pm
Winner of CCU/CSU vs APP/FGCU – 12pm

Finals
Sunday, April 23rd
Championship – 12pm

SLC

Semifinals & Finals at La Costa Canyon HS, Carlsbad, California

Quarterfinals
Saturday, April 22nd
San Diego @ Biola – 2pm

Sunday, April 23rd
Cal State San Marcos @ Cal State Fullerton – 12pm

Semifinals
Saturday
Winner of CSSM/CSF vs Concordia-Irvine – 12pm
Winner of SD/BU vs Northern Arizona – 2:30pm

Finals
Sunday
Championship – 11am

UMLC

Quarterfinals friday in Orange City, IA
Semi-Finals and Finals Saturday and Sunday in Mahtomedi, Minn

WCLL

Novato High School, Novato, California

Semifinals
Saturday
Humboldt State vs Sierra Nevada – 9am *based on weekend results
UC Davis vs UC Santa Cruz – 5:15pm *based on weekend results

Finals
Sunday
Championship – 11am


Powell Weekly Awards

Three-way MVP of the Week:

Charlie Highum, Texas | Tucker Schwarz, Florida State | Mitch Stickney, Cal Poly

Three guys stepped up huge for this week and really got the job done offensively. First, Charlie Highum, first-year of out of Kent Denver, came out of nowhere to put up 34 points for the Longhorns this season. 5 of those goals and 1 assist came in Texas’ defining win over Utah and overtime loss to BYU last weekend. It’s tough to take the L, but he still buried the hat trick.

Now to Tucker Schwarz, hometown senior attackman for the Noles. The kid has had some big games this year, but none like the beating he laid into the Gators last weekend. To close the regular season, Schwarz got a chance at his rivals one last time and plugged 5 goals into the back of the net, half of what his team picked up in the 10-8 win. Another big win for #9 Florida State bumps them up two spots, big thanks to Schwarz.

Last, but not least, Mercer Island, Washington’s Mitch Stickney. There’s really nothing like beating the #1 ranked team to end the season. Mitch might only be a sophomore, but like Tucker, he absolutely terrorized an in-state rival. Stickney stuck 5 goals on the top-ranked team in the country, driving the ship to a 13-10 victory. You can probably guess how many kids have done that in 2017. None.

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