Monday Notebook: MCLA Division II
- Another week, another opponent embarrassed by Grand Valley State. This week's whipping boy was Dayton, which was hammered, 21-13, by the Lakers on Saturday. Cam Holding accounted for over half the goals -- he scored 11 and set up a 12th -- and the Flyer goalies managed to make only eight saves (27.6 save percentage). While there are other teams who might try to insert themselves into the conversation, it is pretty obvious that a GVSU-St. Thomas championship game is a fait accompli.
What will have to suffice as a real debate until that happens is the race for Player of the Year. It's a two-horse race between Holding (73g, 19a), who was the best player in the country his freshman year in 2008, and St. Thomas' Joe Costello (43g, 27a), who has been the best player the past two seasons. The debate features the most dangerous scorer in the division against the most versatile player. One of the factors in the debate will likely be Holding's return to the MCLA after two seasons as a sniper for NCAA Division II Florida Southern. Another will be Costello's key role in leading the Tommies to two titles.
The weak-willed will default to the co-Player of the Year concept -- something you'll never get from this author -- but I won't be able to make my decision until I arrive in Denver.
- It took a week for No. 8 North Dakota State to transition from a good story to a top five seed in Denver. The Bison's upset win over Davenport last weekend certainly grabbed the attention of MCLA-II, but Saturday's overtime victory against No. 4 St. John's has the selection committee re-checking NDSU's bonafides. There's really only three teams that can be realistically seeded ahead of the Bison at this point. They'll have to beat St. John's a second time in the UMLL tournament to maintain that reality, but it sure is nice for the sport to see a lacrosse power coming out of the Dakotas.
- No. 10 SCAD erased any lingering doubts that they will be in the national tournament, whether via the auto qualifier or at-large selection, with the dismantling of No. 15 Kennesaw State, 13-6, on Saturday. The Bees will be an uncomfortable draw for a mid-range seed, as well.
Wither Kennesaw? The Owls saw their potential trump card against the top two SLC teams vanish after Concordia rocked St. Mary's on Sunday. With the best win coming against Emory, which boasts a pedestrian 5-3 overall record, KSU at the very least needs to beat either Elon or SCAD in the conference tournament. More than likely, however, the Owls will need the SELC auto qualifier.
- Missouri Baptist's 10-4 victory over Missouri State is proof positive that it will be the Spartans as the GRLC's representative to Denver. Mo Bap will likely be target practice for Grand Valley State or St. Thomas when they arrive at altitude, but it's one mystery solved...Missouri Baptist's win helps Hope's candidacy, but the 20-12 loss to Davenport is difficult to mitigate...Westminster travels to Utah Valley this weekend for the first of at least two meetings. The two teams met three times last year, the last in the nationals semifinals.