With the MCLA season well underway, we have a good picture of who will be a top dog and who will have to fight for every scrap they can get. Each week through the end of the regular season, we will pick one major upset for each division in the MCLA, then ask you which upset you think will be most likely to happen.
Another 1-1 week for me, I was right with Pitt over Davenport, but missed on the Cal State over Concordia pick. Pitt came out with a vengeance and put up 8 goals in the first half, then another 10 in the second, beating Davenport to the tune of 18-11. Tyler Novotny led the way with a five goal performance and helped the Panthers move up four spots in the polls to #20.
Cal State and Concordia were in a dog fight through the first half, but a strong third quarter helped Concordia get a comfortable lead and take the game 13-8. Concordia proved that they are the real deal and despite the victory, managed to drop one rank in the polls. Not sure what is up with that, considering they almost beat RMLC D1 opponent Utah.
Way to be, the two most popular selections were dead on! 30% chose correctly with Pitt upsetting Davenport and 26% chose correctly with Grand Canyon over Arizona State. Grand Canyon got a huge win with that overtime victory over Arizona State and moved up six spots in the polls to #12, while the Sun Devils dropped three spots to #6.
On to week six!
The last two weeks of the regular season mean one thing, rivalry games! #1 Colorado State takes on #2 Colorado in the Rocky Mountain Showdown. This game is huge for so many reasons and if you can’t be there to watch it, you’ll have to be sure to follow both teams on Twitter for in-game updates (@CSUMensLax and @RedHotBuffs). #23 Georgia and Georgia Tech play, Idaho and Washington State battle on the Palouse, #8 Stanford and #22 Cal Poly go at it, #11 Oregon and #15 Oregon State face-off in the Civil War, #5 UCSB and #3 Chapman battle for top-5 supremacy, #21 Arizona and #6 Arizona State, Minnesota and #16 Minnesota-Duluth, #17 Davenport looks to rebound against #13 Michigan State, and sooooo many more.
These games mean so much more and just about anything can happen when these teams play each other, no matter how good or bad their season has been. For the upset this week, I’m picking one of two rivalry games – either Oregon State over Oregon, or Arizona over Arizona State. Both of these games will be huge, Oregon State has NEVER beaten Oregon (as far as MCLA.us knows) and Arizona hasn’t beaten Arizona State since 2007. Both Arizona and Oregon State have been creeping up the polls this year, notching solid wins and continually improving throughout the season.
At the end of the day though, I can only pick one. I’m going with #21 Arizona over #6 Arizona State for the huge upset in Glendale. Coach Mickey-Miles Felton has been helping build up this program for years and I think this may be the year they reclaim Arizona supremacy and bragging rights until next spring.
Same deal for Division 2 this week, so many great games and a couple more D2 vs. D1 games to help spur on some D2 growth and D1/D2 rivalries. #17 Dayton plays #14 Grand Valley State, #2 Westminster takes on MCLA D1 Utah, #6 U.S. Coast Guard takes on #22 Stonehill, and #11 North Dakota State plays #1 St. Thomas. There is obviously at least one big game missing from that list, #7 Palm Beach Atlantic at #12 Florida Gulf Coast and THAT is the game I am picking for the MCLA D2 upset this week – #12 FGCU over #7 PBA.
This game is going to be a good old-fashioned dog fight. Both teams are averaging upwards of 15 goals a game, it’s a big SELC D2 game, and most importantly, this is a straight up turf war for Florida. Okay maybe that last one was a bit dramatic but it is at least East coast vs. West coast in Florida.
I’m picking FGCU, not just because they are the lower-seeded team in this game, but because they are anchored by a great defense, that is holding opponents to just above five goals a game (5.6 GAA). After losing to fellow SELC D2 team, SCAD last week, FGCU absolutely needs this win to have any chance at the post season, at least as far as I can tell.
Know of a better upset? Tweet it at me @KriegShawLAS. Now it’s your turn, which of these upsets do YOU think is most likely to happen?