Lax: CCLA Tournament Preview And More!

Submitted by Tim on April 30th, 2010 at 10:01 AM

CCLA Conference Tournament

Michigan will participate in its conference tournament this weekend, trying to take home their fourth consecutive championship. The field is as follows:

cclachamps.jpg

Michigan and Buffalo are the top two seeds, by virtue of winning the North and South Divisions, respectively. Michigan State and Eastern Central Michigan also make the field from the North Division, and Miami (That Hockey Miami) joins Pitt from the South Division. Eastern Michigan earned the third North Division slot, but was disqualified because they be cheatin', yo. Central Michigan takes the spot instead.

In the first round, Michigan State and Miami are the favorites to advance. In the semi-finals, the Spartans should probably take down Buffalo, but that was the case last year as well, and it didn't turn out that way. Michigan should win the whole thing, regardless of which teams they face.

The CCLA auto-bid is up for grabs, but there are also MCLA At-Large implications. Michigan State has the chance to add two wins, and wash the taste of a three-game losing streak out of their mouths. That would help their bid to the national field. No other team (outside of Michigan, who is in regardless of outcome) will crack the MCLA field without winning the conference.

After Friday's first-round games, I'll keep updated review/previews going in the Diary section. For now, I'll briefly preview Miami, Michigan's likely semifinal opponent (see a brief preview of Central and a Recap of their game against Michigan for more on the Chippewas.

miami_ohio_96.pngThe RedHawks have gone 8-3 on the year, 3-1 in the CCLA South. Their losses have come to Missouri (7-9), Indiana (5-8), and Buffalo (5-7). They played a non-divisional game against Eastern Michigan earlier this spring, beating their Round 1 opponent by a comfortable 15-9 Margin.

miami_ohio_96.pngTheir All-Conference performers include Joe McLaughlin (2nd Team Midfield), Alex Manners (2nd Team Faceoff Specialist), Tyler Wallace (3rd Team Midfield), Brooke Slowinski (3rd Team Defense), Josh Ebel (Honorable Mention Short Stick Defensive Midfield), and Daniel Culp (Honorable Mention Goalie). McLaughlin, only a freshman, has done the majority of the team's scoring, with 22 goals and 10 assists.

Michigan's first game, against Miami or Eastern, will take place Saturday at 4PM at Saline High School's main (East) field. Full preview of Michigan's opponent after it is determined.

All-Conference Teams, MCLA Bracketology, and more after the jump!

All-Conference Honors

The CCLA released their all-conference lists on Monday, and they're full of Wolverines:

1st Team:

  • Attack Trevor Yealy
  • Attack Kevin Zorovich
  • Midfield Anthony Hrusovsky
  • Defense Harry Freid
  • Faceoff Specialist David Reinhard
  • Long-Stick Midfield Matt Asperheim
  • Short Stick Defensive Midfield Jordan Kirshner

2nd Team:

  • Attack Thomas Paras
  • Midfield David Rogers
  • Midfield Svet Tintchev
  • Defense Austin Swaney
  • Goalie Mark Stone

3rd Team:

  • Defense Justin Burgin

Honorable Mention

  • Attack Josh Ein
  • Attack Clark McIntyre
  • Midfield Jamison Goldberg
  • Short Stick Defensive Midfield Michael Bartomioli

Michigan composes seven of the thirteen first-team honorees (Michigan State has four, and Buffalo has two. Those are the only teams represented), and 17 of the 59 total players honored. Making this more impressive is the fact that a number of Michigan players were injured for significant portions of the year (David Rogers, Clark McIntyre, and Michael Bartomioli all missed multiple games), and several more were suspended for one game.

The players who made the first team are likely to gain consideration for All-American honors. Among them, Trevor Yealy is a lock for the First Team, and is in the running for Player of the Year honors.

MCLA Bracketology

A couple conference tournaments took place last weekend, which helped settle the MCLA Tournament field a bit. We now know the Automatic Qualifiers from the SELC (Florida, previously a bubble team) and LSA (Texas State, the only team from their conference who will make it).


bracket430.jpg

Last 2 In: Florida State, Michigan State
First 2 Out: UC-Santa Barbara, Loyola Marymount
Out From Last Time: Texas, UC Santa Barbara, Virginia Tech.

I'm waffling on whether Florida State or Virginia Tech (or both, or neither) should be in the field. They were similarly-ranked heading into the SELC Tournament, and Florida State lost in the first round, whereas the Hokies made it to the final. I still like Florida State's overall schedule a bit more.

Other than that, nothing was too tough. Michigan State probably needs to paste Pitt and Buffalo to feel really safe in the tournament. There's still quite a bit of variability with all the auto-bids (except two) still up in the air. If I can get around to it before the official bracket comes out, I'll hopefully have another Bracketology post early next week.

Inside Lacrosse gives their take on a bubble watch.

Comments

Tim

April 30th, 2010 at 11:35 AM ^

I'm actually somewhat familiar with Eastern's coach, because he's also the coach at Orchard Lake St. Mary's. He's... I've seen better coaches in my time.

I was actually shocked to see that Eastern had qualified for the conference tournament in the first place.

weasel3216

May 1st, 2010 at 9:43 AM ^

Just in case someone has not seen it yet, Miami beat Central pretty good last night 18-6.  Meaning we play Miami today at 4.  

Also, little brother beat Pitt last night 14-6.  So the chances of them making the MCLA tourney are still there.