Blogs and Commentary

posted 02.20.2012 at 10.01 a.m. by Jac Coyne

Monday Notebook: MCLA Division I

- The players on San Diego State have to pay dues and head coach Matt Holman doesn't make a whole lot of money, which makes what the Aztecs are doing for 12-year-old Nick Wallace even more impressive. Watch this video.

The final record won't matter for the Aztecs. Congrats to Holman and his players for already winning their season.

- One of the bigger surprises so far this season has been the 3-0 start for the University of Iowa. Not only because it included a win over Wisconsin – a presumptive contender for the GRLC crown – but also because they're doing it after the graduation of Alex de la Pena, the Landon product who was the best player to come through the program. De la Pena hasn't gone far, though. He's now the Hawkeyes head coach.

"The goal has always been the same from day one, which is to compete at the highest level we possibly can," said de la Pena, who watched Iowa down archrival Iowa State, 12-7, on Friday night. "We think we have a pretty good lacrosse team, and we think we can get better. After this past weekend, the guys are a little more excited to see how far we can really go. For now, we are going to compete for the GRLC."

Was the new coach worried about playing the Badgers to start the season?

"The simple answer is yes, because not only is Wisconsin a great team, but they are also a part of our division in the GRLC," de la Pena said. "I knew this game had greater implications. We have a lot of respect for that team and how they play lacrosse. They had a great season last year, so we knew they were going to be very good. That also made us very excited to play them. We felt pretty confident we could give them a good game."

The Hawkeyes now have a two-week break before they play Marquette and No. 19 Illinois – the highest ranked team on the Iowa schedule.

- Olivier Schmied received the game ball after No. 7 Cal Poly's win over No. 8 Oregon, after scoring four goals and setting up a fifth, but Mustangs head coach Marc Lea said that junior faceoff man Tim Albo was just as crucial. Albo, who is replacing first team All-American Matt Rudow, went 11-for-19 against the Ducks, along with a pivotal goal in the 15-12 triumph.

"He had a huge win in the fourth quarter where he won the faceoff, got the ground ball, ran down and scored," said Lea. "After being down at the half, we controlled the game and went up, 11-9. The Ducks scored two quick ones to tie it, and then Albo put us ahead for good with his goal."

Things won't get any easier for the Mustangs. Top-ranked and defending national champion Brigham Young comes to San Luis Obispo on Monday night.

- Tennessee showed a lot of resiliency on Friday night. The Vols surrended the first four goals of the game to Georgia Tech, but rallied for the 9-7 win. Tennessee followed that up with a win over Texas A&M on Saturday...congrats to Glenn Carter for winning his first game as the head coach at Richmond. The Spiders took down East Carolina, 17-5...impressive defensive performance by Cal in holding Utah to just four's been five years since Montana won the Division II championship. There has been little success since the subsequent move to Division I. The loss to D-II Gonzaga is the latest example...Stanford is 1-2, but they've played the No. 11 and No. 2 teams very tough. The Cardinal could be a factor in the WCLL...South Carolina showed us something by spooking Florida State on Sunday...nice 2-0 start to the season for Minnesota against non-conference foes Wisconsin and Purdue...Colorado State finally started things officially. The Rams took out D-II Northern Colorado, 17-3.