WDIA Bracket Breakdown: Sleepers and Snubs
by David Ely | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online
|Virginia Tech begins its WDIA title defense May 5 in a first-round game against Colorado State -- a matchup of the the last two national champions.|
After a long regular season filled with plenty of great college
club women's lacrosse, it’s finally time to turn our
attention to the postseason – WDIA Nationals.
The field of 16 for this year’s tournament May 5-8 in Scottsdale, Ariz., was announced Tuesday, and it looks like the stage is set for some great matchups right off the bat.
There’s a first-round matchup between the last two national champions. There’s the possibility of an all-WWLL semifinal. And there might be the potential for a dark horse to make a run to the finals.
If there’s anything that’s certain, it’s that the games will be close and the competition will be furious. It’s been a wild year already. One-goal games have been the norm, and every team has lost at least one game.
But as is the case with every tournament, there’s the favorite, the must-see matchup and the team that should be wondering why it was left out.
Without further ado...
The Favorite: No. 1 Santa Clara
Yeah, I know. The Broncos are the No. 1 seed. Of course
they’re the favorite. But in a year where it’s been
tough for teams to distinguish themselves, Santa Clara is the one
squad that has separated itself from the field. The Broncos have
the most dangerous offensive weapon in the tournament (Krista
Shaw), and just recently crushed No. 2 Lindenwood and No. 3
The Sleeper: No. 9 Colorado
Nearly a month ago, it didn’t look like the Buffaloes had more than a 50-50 shot at making Nationals. They were 5-5 and had lost four of their last five games. Fast forward, and now the Buffaloes are riding a four-game winning streak with victories over highly-ranked UCLA and No. 11 Colorado State. A second-round matchup against the No. 1 Broncos would be must-see lacrosse.
The Best First-Round Matchup: No. 6 Virginia Tech vs. No. 11 Colorado State
The Hokies won the national championship last year. The Rams
took home the title in 2008. Thank you committee for giving us a
first-round game with this kind of pedigree. Both of these teams
know what it takes to make it to the finals, and a win here could
be the needed boost for a finals run. The Rams might have the
mental edge, though, considering they smoked Va. Tech 14-6 on March
The Snub: UCLA
The fifth-best team in the nation’s best league (WWLL) has
a legitimate bone to pick with the committee. The Bruins are ranked
No. 8 in the latest USL WDIA poll – a better ranking than
half of the field. It’s tough to justify giving out four
at-large bids to one conference in a 16-team tournament, but UCLA
had two nice wins on its resume (13-7 over 10th-seeded Florida
Club, and 14-13 over fifth-seeded Cal Poly).
Upset Alert: No. 7 BYU
The Cougars already have lost to the Gators this season – a season-opening 8-6 loss on Feb. 12. Florida is ranked higher in the polls, No. 9 to No. 11. And BYU is just 4-3 over its last seven games. The one thing the Cougars have in their favor is the fact that they’ve played a tougher schedule. We’ll see if they’re prepared for what looms during the Nationals.
WDIA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: FIRST-ROUND GAMES
Division I (Wedneday, May
No. 1 Santa Clara vs. No. 16 West Chester Club
No. 2 Lindenwood vs. No. 15 Minnesota
No. 3 UCSB vs. No. 14 Oregon Club
No. 4 UC Davis Club vs. No. 13 Boston College Club
No. 5 Cal Poly vs. No. 12 Texas
No. 6 Virginia Tech Club vs. No. 11 Colorado State
No. 7 Brigham Young vs. No. 10 Florida Club
No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 9 Colorado
Division II (Thursday, May 6)
No. 1 Cal-Berkeley Club vs. No. 8 St. Benedict
No. 2 Oakland (Mich.) vs. No. 7 Southern Methodist
No. 3 Loyola (Md.) Club vs. No. 6 North Carolina Club
No. 4 San Diego vs. No. 5 Denver Club
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