March 5, 2014

MCLA Notebook: Michigan State Preps for Tough Trip

by Tim Haslam | | Twitter

MCLA Top 5: March 4th

Division I

1 - Colorado

2 - Colorado State

3 - Arizona State

4 - Boston College

5 - Bringham Young

Full DI Poll at

Division II

1 - St. Thomas

2 - St. John's

3 - Grove City

4 - Grand Valley State

5 - Elon

Full DII Poll at

The No. 9 Michigan State Spartans are ready to take on three tough opponents this week in their annual Spring Break trip as they face No. 1 Colorado, No. 2 Colorado State and No. 5 BYU in four days.

"It's our belief as a coaching staff that you have to play the best to be the best," said second year head coach Brandon Schwind.

The Spartans arrived in Colorado on Monday and will begin their games on Wednesday in a tough match-up with BYU. The Spartans are 1-4 against the Cougars, with the lone win coming in 2011.

"We are practicing twice a day and the guys are enjoying the downtime and hanging out with each other," said Schwind.

On Thursday, the Spartans will take a break from lacrosse and do community service in Boulder by working on damaged roads from the floods that ravaged streets, communities and houses in September.

"One of our captains [Charles Dever] came out and helped last year and he let his supervisor know we would be back here in the spring," said Schwind. "Dever told me and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get out and give back."

On Friday, Michigan State will head north to face Colorado State. The Spartans have never beaten the Rams. The team will then travel that night back to Boulder and will face Colorado on Saturday. The Spartans and Buffs have each won two games against the other, but the last affair was a quarterfinal matchup in the 2014 MCLA national nournament where Colorado handed Michigan State a 9-2 loss.

"It's not about revenge," said Schwind. "They kicked our butts. I haven't had a beat down like that for a long time. Credit them, they came ready to play and we did not. We didn't make the shots or play good individual defense against them. We are definitely looking forward to the chance to prove to ourselves that they aren't seven goals better than us."

Only time will tell.

Looking Back

- Despite two losses in Colorado, the Texas Longhorns moved up a spot in the polls. An 18-10 loss to Colorado and a 4-3 loss to Colorado State sent the Longhorns back to Texas with valuable experience as they look towards the rest of their schedule.

- Florida State picked up a key conference win over Central Florida on the backs of Will Goodman (3g, 5a), Cole Lindquist (6g) and Andrew Kiggen (2g, 3a, 12gb). The win also gave the Seminoles a perfect 4-0 record to start the season, something they haven't done since 2010.

- Simon Fraser easily handled Oregon on Saturday to give them a 4-1 record with the lone loss coming to BYU. Oregon, on the other hand, is now 4-3 with all three losses coming against ranked teams.

- St. Johns and Grand Valley State met up for an early season showdown with the Johnnies getting the best of the Lakers. St. Johns was led by Jacob Helmer (4g, 3a). The Lakers then faced St. Thomas and fell 12-8. The Tommies and Johnnies have saved their classic for April 11.

Looking Ahead

Florida is in Northern California this week and dropped a 13-5 decision to Stanford on Monday. The Gators will have a chance to take on another ranked team when they play Sonoma State on Wednesday and then Cal on Friday.

- Grove City is in Florida this week for a four game affair at Palm Beach Atlantic. The Wolverines fell to Florida Gulf Coast on Monday, 11-9, and will face Palm Beach Atlantic on Wednesday, Stonehill on Friday and Elon on Saturday. Will the national tournament simulation pay off come May?

- The U.S. Coast Guard will also head south to Palm Beach Atlantic this weekend to face the Sailfish and St. Andrews. The Bears are fresh off a 10-9 loss to D-I Connecticut and will look to get back to their winning ways in Florida.

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