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.
Main Image Credit: Cal Poly Club Sports
Can’t win them all, story of my life. Northeastern came ready to play and actually held a 5-3 lead going into the fourth quarter. Boston College would use a 6-1 fourth quarter to take and secure a 9-6 lead and win the game. In D2, Briarcliffe would also overcome the upset with a 10-8 win of their own over Central Connecticut.
On to the playoffs!
For the most part, you were all right there with me, picking Northeastern over Boston College. UCSB used a strong third quarter performance to take down Arizona, Arizona State dominated LMU to the tune of 22-2, and Oklahoma and Texas didn’t end up playing (that’s a story in itself).
We’ve already had a few conference champs crowned, Minnesota-Duluth got the UMLC, Texas won the LSA, and Georgia took the SELC. This weekend, we will find out who the rest of the conference champions are and I can definitely see some opportunities for a surprise or two throughout each tournament. I love the parity in the MCLA this year. That said, I see the majority of these playoffs going in one particular direction. #1 seed mostly cruises through semifinals, other semifinal features two very talented teams battling it out to see #1 seed. The winner doesn’t leave enough gas in the tank and gets beat by 3+ goals by #1 seed.
Starting out west, the SLC will showcase Grand Canyon vs. UCSB and Chapman vs. Arizona State. While GCU is the higher seed, they are lower in the polls, this will be a game to watch for sure. I don’t think I even need to express how good the Chapman vs. ASU game will be. Both of these teams have been on the outside looking in all season long and haven’t seen the top two spots in the poll since week 5.
In the WCLL, Cal vs. Stanford will see each other again, and Sonoma State vs. Cal Poly will fill out the other side. The PNCLL has Oregon
dominating playing Washington before beating playing the winner of Oregon State and Simon Fraser. While Oregon State has had a great year and SFU is always a formidable team, I’m not sure either can overcome that Eugene hump.
The RMLC has Colorado State railing Utah before playing the winner of Colorado and BYU. The Buffs and BYU will be a great first round match-up, I’m just hoping whoever wins leaves enough in the tank to give CSU a run for their money. Moving east, the GRLC will most likely see Indiana and Wisconsin competing for the unfortunate 16th seed of the MCLA tournament. While I won’t ever say it’s impossible, outside of last year’s 10-9 Cal Poly over UMD match-up, this is never a close game.
The CCLA is much the same as the RMLC, with Michigan State most likely beating Western Michigan, then playing the winner of a great Pitt vs. Davenport match-up. Last but most certainly not least, Northeastern grabbed the tie breaker for third place in the PCLL and a chance to see Boston College again, while Boston and SUNY will square off for a chance to play UConn. ALL of which should be very exciting games.
If there was ever a time for an upset, it’s the playoffs, and as you have seen, there will be plenty of great match-ups open for the taking.
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
My upset comes down to a couple options, the most obvious being Grand Canyon over UCSB over Cal Poly over Sonoma State, here’s why.
Grand Canyon has been busting tail this year to earn their #1 seed in the SLC south, but hopefully that doesn’t hurt them since they now haven’t played since an OT upset of ASU on April 11th. I think the Lopes having been staying busy in the last few weeks and will be looking to beat up on someone NOT wearing purple. UCSB played a hungry Arizona team last weekend in the first round and will be looking to get the SLC AQ with a win over the Lopes and a match-up vs. the Chapman/ASU winner.
On the other side, Sonoma State hasn’t played a game since April 14th and after beating Cal Poly 11-5, lost to UCSB 14-7. While I just cited this with GCU and picked them to win, I think this hurts SSU more than it would GCU because of who they are facing this week. I think Cal Poly comes back hungry and ready to put in the work needed to win, especially after beating Stanford 11-10 and staying fresh with a win over Chico State this past weekend.
I’m picking #18 Cal Poly to come out on top over #7 Sonoma State.
Just the same as with D1, the UMLC, SELC and LSA were decided this past weekend. St. Thomas took down St. John’s for the UMLC title, Sam Houston State secured the LSA, and Liberty burned their way through the SELC. MCLA D2 still blows my mind with some of the scores (#17 SCAD over #10 Elon 12-3?), I can’t decide if there is more parity in the league, or more of a division.
Starting out west, Cal State Fullerton will most likely get to see the winner of UCSD and Concordia for the SLC title. The PNCLL actually has three solid teams vying for the PNCLL AQ and this could quite possibly be their only ticket in if they don’t get it. Look to see Portland or Gonzaga try to upset Western Oregon from getting their (??) consecutive AQ. MCLA.us isn’t even sure of the last time they lost it.
Westminster will win the RMLC, no question. Coast Guard should win the PCLL with some decent competition from Stonehill, who absolutely has to win if they want any sort of chance at Nationals, and the #9, #11, and #12 teams in nation (Grove City, GVSU, and Indiana Tech) will battle for the CCLA title. I’m feeling Indiana Tech on this one.
With that, my upset pick has to be unranked UCSD over #5 Concordia. UCSD just came off a big win over the #2 seed in the SLC north and will have nothing to lose in this game against Concordia. Their only hope of even obtaining a trip back east in the coming weeks is to win out. If Concordia comes in to this game to high (which they don’t seem to do), the Tritons stand a chance at the upset.
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?