Monday Notebook: NCAA Division II
- It's not too difficult to unearth the three reasons why No. 3 Dowling fell to unranked NYIT on Saturday, 10-7. First, the Golden Lions were given 14 chances on the extra man and converted only two of them (14.3 percent). If Dowling hits its season percentage (35%) entering the game, we're going to overtime. Second, the Bears held Dowling attackman Vito Demola to one goal. If Demola hits his average (4.4 gpg), we're going to overtime. Third, the Lions ran into a hot goalie: NYIT's William McGee made 21 saves. If McGee has the same save percentage (51.5) that he had heading into the game, Dowling wins comfortably.
That's the way the game goes sometimes, however, and while this loss hurts, Dowling isn't out of the hunt. The Lions have C.W. Post at home next weekend, so they can cure a lot of ills with a win in that contest.
- Speaking of Post, the Pioneers keep cruising along. We'll get to see what they're made of over the next three games, however. They travel to No. 3 Dowling Saturday, followed by home dates with NYIT and No. 6 Mercyhurst. All three of those teams have a loss and will be playing a desperate brand of lacrosse in hopes of having Post's scalp in their bag to show the selection committee. If the Pioneers navigate their way through that three-game stretch, we'll see them on Memorial Day Weekend.
- Definitely didn't see Florida State's upset of No. 7 Mars Hill coming. The Moccasins entered the game with 3-5 record and had been run off the field by both Limestone (19-7) and Division III foe RIT (16-5). Meanwhile, just last week, the Lions made Limestone sweat in 13-11 loss and were coming off a 20-4 wipeout of Rollins. Yet, FSC won it on an overtime strike by Ike Hopper. I don't think anyone realistically expected the South to produce the Wild Card this spring, but this loss highlights just how inconsistent the region is behind Limestone.
- Game of the Week will be Wednesday's clash between No. 5 Merrimack and Pfeiffer, which should be ranked this week. And don't think the Warriors don't know it. Merrimack lost to St. Leo on their spring break trip last year and it turned out to be a thorn in their side come Selection Sunday. Pfeiffer has the potential to repeat the nightmare if the Warriors aren't ready to go. The Falcons have won seven straight and are off to the best start in school history. Hayden Kirk is a game-changing goalie (65.1 sv%, 5.69 GAA) and James Shepherd (27g, 3a) provides scoring punch.
- Le Moyne has already scored 20 goals in each of the games since they lost to Limestone and they could have a couple of more 20-plus goal games over the next five contests before meeting Merrimack...you can bet NYIT will be back in the poll this week, and they could move up even further with a win over No. 8 Bentley on Wednesday...Lake Erie beat Molloy to snap a six-game ECC losing skid and improve to 3-1 overall...as expected, the WILA crown will go through Notre Dame de Namur.