In a show of power befitting the toughest conference in Division II, the top four seeds – all out of the Upper Midwest Lacrosse Conference (UMLC) – cruised past their first-round opponents in the MCLA First Round of the 2018 National Championships powered by Under Armour. In total, seven of the eight top seeds will advance.
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MCLA First Round – Division II
No. 2 North Dakota State 10, No. 15 Central Conn. State 4
Justin Linderholm had a pair of goals and Ryan Stover added a pair of assists, leading NDSU to a 10-4 triumph over Central Conn. State.
The Bison were clinging to a 2-1 lead after the first quarter, but exploded for a 7-1 run bridging the second and third quarter to take a 9-2 lead into the final quarter.
Ben Crandall made five saves to pick up the victory in net, aided by a stout back line that kept the Blue Devils to 0-for-9 on extra-man opportunities midway through the fourth quarter.
Jameson Steinhardt led CCSU with a goal and an assist while Mason Colon made 11 saves.
No. 1 St. Thomas 16, No. 16 Missouri State 2
Alex Vijums recorded a hat trick and the St. Thomas defense pitched a shutout for the first 50 minutes of the contest as the top-ranked Tommies rolled into the quarterfinals with a 16-2 victory.
St. Thomas jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first quarter and were still leading 13-0 heading into the final frame.
Drew Bourman backstopped the UST defense with 10 saves. Scott Thomas stopped 15 shots in the loss.
No. 3 Minn.-Duluth 22, No. 14 College of Idaho 8.
Scott McNamara had four goals and two assists, spearheading a powerful Duluth offense that recorded a 22-8 triumph over the College of Idaho.
It was 9-0 after the first quarter and the Yotes would draw no closer. Blake Nastrom made two saves to pick up the victory.
NicK Guzzetti had four goals and an assist in the losing effort. Jonah Jordan made 14 saves for the Yotes.
No. 4 St. John’s 18, No. 13 UC Davis 2
St. John’s exploded for seven goals in the second quarter and pitched a second half shutout as the Johnnies advanced to the quarterfinals with an 18-2 victory.
Joey Goudreau led the St. John’s offense with five goals while Ryan Nelson turned away a dozen shots to pick up the win.
Arthur Anotonio was credited with eight saves for the Aggies.
No. 9 Florida Gulf Coast 7, No. 8 Sierra Nevada 5
Jordan Briggs accounted for six of Florida Gulf Coast’s seven goals as the ninth-seeded Eagles registered the only upset of the first round in Division II with a 7-5 victory over No. 8 Sierra Nevada.
The game was tied at four after three quarters, but a 3-2 fourth quarter proved to be the difference.
Austin Cotton made 14 saves in the win for the Eagles while Eddie Erickson turned away 12 shots for Sierra Nevada. Jack Southron’s three goals and one assist paced SNC in scoring.
FGCU meets top-seeded St. Thomas in the quarterfinals.
No. 5 Grand Valley State 14, No. 12 Cal State San Marcos 9
Blake Rankin struck for five goals to carry Grand Valley State to a comfortable, 14-9, win over Cal State San Marcos.
After playing to a 2-2 tie after one period, the Lakers found their groove in the second quarter, outscoring the Cougars, 6-2, for an 8-4 bulge that was not threatened the rest of the way.
Jackson Iciek made 13 saves for GVSU to pick up the win. Bryan Bertotti stopped 15 shots for the Cougars. Alexander Cunningham had a goal and two helpers in the los.
Grand Valley State will face conference rival St. John’s in the quarterfinals.
No. 6 Kennesaw State 11, No. 11 Cal State Fullerton 7
Dennis Bell buried four goals leading Kennesaw State to an 11-7 triumph over Cal State Fullerton to advance to the quarterfinals.
Locked at fours at the half, the Owls outscored Fullerton, 4-1, in the third to break open the game.
Jay Molander made eight saves in the win while his counterpart, Michael Henry, turned away 13 for the Titans. Garret Hoang posted a hat trick for Fullerton.
Kennesaw State squares off with Minn.-Duluth in the quarterfinals.
No. 7 Montana State 17, No. 10 Dayton 11
Louis Richman (4g) and Alexander Brown (3g, 1a) each notched four-point afternoons to lead Montana State to a breezy, 17-11 win over Dayton for a ticket to the quarterfinals.
The Bobcats jumped on the Flyers in the first quarter, building a 6-3 lead. They built it on that for the remainder of the contest.
Colin Schriever made 14 saves to pick up the win. Michael Whalen was dominant on faceoffs.
Ryan Cass notched a hat trick in the loss while Mitch Nietupski had nine saves for the Flyers.
Montana State will face North Dakota State in the quarterfinals.