Blogs and Commentary

posted 03.07.2011 at 10.04 a.m. by Jac Coyne

Monday Notebook: MCLA Division II

- Despite some closer calls in the last two games, No. 5 Western Oregon is still cruising along and will take a 6-0 record into the game against No. 6 St. John's next weekend. After squeezing past Western Washington by a goal last weekend, the Wolves subdued No. 23 Concordia (Calif.), 12-9 on Saturday. Rookie goalie Ronnie Rothstein has been clutch for WOU, recording a 67.0 save percentage so far. Jacob Bohince (15g, 8a) and Spenser Brock (15g, 6a) have been doing the bulk of the scoring.

- No. 4 Grand Valley State eased itself into the 2011 schedule with a 27-2 win over Butler followed by a 21-9 triumph over No. 18 Indiana Tech, but things get a bit more difficult for the Lakers this weekend. GVSU will be traveling to St. Paul, Minn., for a three-day, three-game weekend against No. 8 Westminster, No. 1 St. Thomas and No. 13 SCAD.

The Lakers have welcomed the return of Cam Holding, who starred for NCAA Division II Florida Southern for the past two seasons, but bid adieu to Murle Greer, who built the program into its current form but was cut loose in the off-season. GVSU will make the national tournament, but this weekend will determine whether they are contenders.

- The schedule for this weekend in the Twin Cities is worth delineating. On Friday, SCAD will face St. Thomas at 5:30 p.m. followed by GVSU versus Westminster at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, it's GVSU against UST at 12:30 p.m. before Westminster and SCAD tangle at 4:30 p.m. The weekend will cap off with St. Thomas against Westminster on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. after SCAD and GVSU open at 10:30 a.m. We'll know a lot about the junior circuit when this round robin ends.

- Is there a new contender we need to know about? There could be if Coast Guard's 11-7 win against No. 9 and previously unbeaten Kennesaw State on Sunday is any indication. It is assumed that Briarcliffe will waltz away with the PCLL automatic qualifier to Denver, and the Bulldogs still might, but the Bears might make things interesting. Kyle Ennis led Coast guard with three goals and Stuart Carley had two goals and two assists.

Perhaps the most impressive part of this win is it was the first game of the season for USCGA while it was the eighth game for the Owls (7-1). The win will likely be good enough for the Bears to crack the Top 20 this week. It certainly should grab Briarcliffe's attention.

- Speaking of Kennesaw, I was somewhat surprised that the Owls only managed to score nine on Palm Beach Atlantic in a 9-6 win on Saturday. There might be larger issues with KSU...what happened to Biola?...Northern Colorado – always a contender for the tourney – officially started its season with an 11-6 victory over Kansas. Connor Saller had four assists in the win for UNC...rough opening weekend for Michigan-Dearborn. The Wolves were blanked twice, 13-0 to Washington (Mo.) and 15-0 to Missouri Baptist.