College

Nationwide Indiscretions: The PNCLL & WCLL D2

This edition we’ll first venture in to the great northern west and then head south for our first of the two California-centric conferences. Two for the price of one in this week’s Nationwide Indiscretions.

The PNCLL is one of the most respected leagues in the country. They represent very well in the National Championship. At the D2 level, they give us one champion: Montana, who has since moved up to D1. Don’t be surprised if one of these teams makes the Final Four, or if they get 2-3 teams to Denver.

Central Washington Wildcats

4/18 vs Northern Colorado (at Montana State)

4/19 @ Montana State

Final Grade: B. Solely on the scheduling of UNC. They are a great team and will provide excellent preparation for the PNCLL tourney, and hopefully Denver.

College of Idaho Coyotes

3/6 vs Montana State

Final Grade: D. One game, though against good competition.

Pacific Lutheran Lutes

3/28 @ Occidental

3/29 @ Biola

3/30 @ Concordia

Final Grade: C. The only perceived competition from this road trip came in the form of Biola, but we’ve since seen that is no lo0nger the case. 3 games in 3 days will be tough, but is great preparation for the conference tournament.

Southern Oregon Raiders

2/13 vs UC Davis L 6-4

2/20 vs Humboldt State W 23-5

2/28 vs Westminster

3/6 vs Montana State

3/27 vs Saint Mary’s

4/18 vs UC Santa Cruz

Final Grade: A. 6 games is great. 6 games against decent competition is even better. If they can get through the rest of those with, at most, one loss, it sets them up great for at large consideration.

Portland Pilots

3/28 vs Saint Mary’s

Final Grade: D. The only reason they have that game is from the Gaels making a trip up north.

Western Oregon Wolves

2/19 vs Biola (Vegas Full House Tournament) W 19-6

2/20 vs UC Santa Cruz (Vegas Full House Tournament) W16-13

2/20 vs Utah Valley (Vegas Full House Tournament) L 9-22

3/2 vs Westminster

3/19 vs Utah Valley (at Williamette)

3/22 vs UC Santa Cruz

3/31 vs Saint Mary’s (at Williamette)

Final Grade: A+. This is one tough as hell schedule. UVU and Santa Cruz once is tough enough, especially in the same day. But having them twice in the season? Craziness. Beating UCSC again will be a great resume booster, as would be a win vs UVU.

Western Washington Vikings

2/19 vs Utah Valley (Vegas Full House Tournament) L 10-15

2/20 vs Westminster (Vegas Full House Tournament) L 7-14

3/20 @ Saint John’s

3/21 vs Oakland (@ St. Paul, MN)

3/22 @ St. Thomas

Final Grade: A. That weekend in Minnesota gives the A. I see two losses, but making them close loses will look great.

Whitman Missionaries

Final Grade: F. Usual reasons.

Willamette Bearcats

2/19 vs Nevada W13-6

3/6 vs Humboldt State

3/18 vs Utah Valley

3/21 vs UC Santa Cruz

3/22 @ Concordia

3/24 @ Occidental

3/25 @ Biola

3/30 vs St. Mary’s

Final Grade: A+. Sheer volume and home OOC games get the grade for the Bearcats. Plus, Santa Cruz, Utah Valley, and Biola add some strength.

That’s it for the PNCLL.

Halftime!

Now we head to California.

Welcome to the WCLL, home of two teams in the wrong division. Particularly strong at the D1 level, the WCLL D2 has dropped off since the split, likely sending just one team to Denver.

Humboldt State Jacks

2/20 @ Southern Oregon L 5-23

3/6 @ Willamette

3/7 @ Portland State (PNCLL D1)

4/10 vs Cal Maritime (non-MCLA)

Final Grade: C. A good showing in conference and against Williamette is all the Jacks can hope for.

San Jose State Spartans

2/20 vs Cal Lutheran (@ UNLV) Score Unknown

2/21 @ UNLV (SLC D1) L 3-25

3/6 @ Occidental

3/7 @ CSU Channel Islands

3/20 vs Cal Maritime

Final Grade: C. They need to win at Occidental and at Channel Islands. Thats the best the can do to have a good resume come early May.

St. Mary’s Gaels

2/3 @ Biola L 7-8

2/4 @ UC Irvine W 16-4

2/5 @ Occidental W 19-0

3/4 vs Concordia

3/27 @ Southern Oregon

3/28 @ Portland

3/30 @ Willamette

3/31 vs Western Oregon (at Willamette)

4/17 vs Cal Maritime (non-MCLA)

Final Grade: A+. 8 games. If they can go 7-2 and have a good showing vs the Oregons and Willamette, I think they have a good shot at going to Denver.

UC-Merced Bobcats

Final Grade: F. Seriously? You’re in Cali. Travel to the south a bit and pick up some SLC games.

UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs

1/30 @ UC-Irvine L 6-7

2/19 vs Westminster (Vegas Full House Tournament) W14-13

2/20 vs Western Oregon (Vegas Full House Tournament) L 13-16

3/20 vs Utah Valley (@ Willamette)

3/21 @ Willamette

3/22 @ Western Oregon

4/10 @ Concordia

4/18 @ Southern Oregon

Final Grade: A+. Possibly the best schedule I have seen thus far. Filled with ranked programs, who they will likely see again in Denver.

Nevada Wolfpack

2/19 @ Willamette L 6-13

2/20 @ Portland State (PNCLL D1) L 1-17

2/21 @ Oregon State (PNCLL D1) L 5-16

4/10 @ Long Beach State (@ UNLV)

4/11 @ UNLV (SLC D1)

Final Grade: C. No clue why they scheduled so many D1 teams. It doesn’t really do either team any good.

Pacific Tigers

2/6 @ Portland CANCELLED

2/7 @ Willamette CANCELLED

3/5 vs Concordia

3/7 @ Biola

3/9 @ Cal State Fullerton

Final Grade: B. The three SLC teams are very good.One of them are ranked, and another is likely to be at the end of the season.

Overall Grade: B+. Scheduling the top teams from two of the tougher conferences helped out a lot. The west coast is home to some great teams, and you can definitely tell that by looking at these schedules.

Next up: We’ll finish our cross country tour with another double post featuring the SLC and the LSA.
__________________________________________________________________________________
About the Author: The Lax picked up his first stick when he stepped on campus at MCLA D2 school UNC Charlotte. After taking a short break, he returned to the field for independent UNCG. The Lax enjoys flowers, pictures of unicorns, long walks on the beach, and above all else, beating people with his D-Pole.

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About the author

Hilsgen

Hilsgen is a former MCLA D2 defender. After his playing career ended, he turned to the sidelines where he was briefly on staff at UNCG. Now, he's a nomadic lacrosse fan, looking for his next coaching and playing opportunity.

14 Comments

  • I have to disagree when you say that scheduling so many D1 teams doesn't do you any good.

    #1, a game is a game. Kids sign up to play lax, and when you're a low-level team, probably not going to Denver, it makes no difference which division that game comes against.
    #2, you improve by playing against better competition. Blowouts aren't fun, but they're a learning opportunity.

    • Gonna take issue.

      1. It does make a difference. Playing a competitive game is more fun and better for morale and work ethics.
      2. You don't learn nearly as much from blowouts as from close losses.

      I'm not precisely sure how UNR stacks up against that D1 competition, but all 20-5 losses will do is curb effort and snuff out hope. You have to walk before you can run.

    • A D2 team, in general, serves no purpose to either team. If the D1 team wins, it was expected. If the D2 team wins, it's an upset.

      That's why you don't see very many inter-divisional games. And now with the selection commitee, it magnifies those wins/losses.

      Granted, I agree while-heartedly with both of your reasons. We as club laxers pay a heavy price, both financially and physically, just to play a game we love. Do most of us get any sort of glory or recognition? Hell no.

      And the low-level team excuse doesnt fly either. I know that from personal experience. Before my freshman year at Charlotte, the team had won maybe 3 games in a season, at most. I'm fairly sure that they won only 1 game the year before. Fast forward to the end of the season and we're 9-3, regular season SELC champs, runner-up in the SELC tournament, and one spot outside of an at-large trip to Dallas, TX, to play for the National Championship. So called “Low-level” teams are much more likely to drastically change overnight than the reverse. It doesn't take much. One taste of that success and everyone wants to stay at that level.

      I'm currently experiencing it once again as a player at UNCG.

      I'm a little more disagreeing with #2. You don't learn anything in blowout losses. You go through the motions because you're gonna lose(i know exceptions exist, but they're rare). You learn far more in the close games. You're more emotionally invested. You play your best so you can beat your opposition.

      There are some exceptions to the D1vsD2 rule, though. I am totally fine with mid-level D1 teams competing with D2 schools. The Pitt vs GCC game at the beginning of the season is a great example of this(sorry, Pete. No offense). Grove City is a great team. Pitt is an average team.

      But what's the perception from the collegelax.us user who has no knowledge of either team, other than their Divisional status? Pitt is D1, they lost to D2 GCC. That's an upset. That loss hurts the Pitt program much more than the loss to Buffalo, despite only losing by 1 to GCC.

      The prospective MCLA laxer might see that loss and think “Oh, they lost to a D2 school. They suck.” Does that person end up playing there? Maybe, but he's already going in with an attitude of negativity.

      The inverse is equally true for the GCC prospect.”Oh sweet, we beat Pitt. We must be good.”(which is actually the case this year. Expect to see them in Denver)

      Perfect example: Carnegie Mellon lost 3 games last Saturday by a total of 7 goals. I'm almost 100% sure they learned more about their team that day than they will in the loss they'll get vs Pitt.

      Enough with this novel of a reply. I think I've covered what I needed to. If you need any clarification on anything, let me know.

  • Also, I know(sort of) why Nevada ended up scheduling the D1 teams. They are, in effect, a D1 school themselves a la Alabama before this season. Fit all criteria for a D1 school, just playing down(Assumption. I remember 412 saying something along those lines. I could very well be wrong)

  • Whitman is a disgrace to the PNCLL. How can this team not schedule any OOC games and pretend they belong in a national discussion? They are living in the past, no one cares about them or their uppity, pretentious school/program. Schedule some games and then we can talk.

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