It’s conference championship time! This is a huge week for lacrosse, as the tournament is right around the corner. While some teams have already qualified, other teams will go head to head this week in order to try and get a bid into the NCAA tournament. Here’s a look at the conference tournaments, a look at the rankings, and some other story lines.
Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan
Hidden Ball Trick
First we’ll hit you with a hidden ball trick. Montclair State pulls it off against Kean, and it’s smooth. SUPER smooth!
Centre won the SAA, which doesn’t have an automatic qualification (AQ) for the NCAA Tournament. Similarly, Colorado College won the SCAC, with no AQ. Denison, who is still undefeated, secured themselves a spot in the tournament by winning the NCAC, as well as Emmanuel, who won the GNAC.
In the Capital Athletic Conference, Salisbury beat Frostburg State in the semifinals, 12-6. They’ll play York, who beat Mary Washington 13-9. This should be a terrific game, as a very strong York squad will be going head to head with the always powerful Seagulls of Salisbury.
The championship game hasn’t been decided. It will be the winners of Gettysburg – Washington College and Franklin and Marshall -Dickinson. Any combination of teams would be a great matchup, given the amount of parity in this conference.
Undefeated RIT will play St. Lawrence in the semis. The winner of that game will play the winner of Union – RPI. If it ends up being RIT and Union in the final, watch out for another down to the wire game.
Stevenson plays Lycoming in the semis while Widener squares off against Albright. Will it end up as a rematch of last year’s championship with Stevenson and Widener going head to head? The Mustangs barely slipped by last year, and they will have to be on top of their game to get another conference ring.
After some big quarterfinal matchups (Tufts beat Colby 24-9!), these semifinals should be tight matchups as well. Tufts plays Williams, and Wesleyan plays Amherst. Any one of these teams could win the championship, so this conference is definitely one to keep an eye on.
In the ODAC, there are three teams who look like they’re capable of winning the conference crown. Roanoake, the 1 seed, will play Hampton-Sydney. The Maroons look pretty good right now, and they will play the winner of Lynchburg – Washington and Lee. Either one of those teams could win that game and make a push for the championship. This conference is full of parity, so don’t be surprised if there are some upsets seeding wise.
Cortland seems to be the favorite in this conference, and they’ll play Oneonta. The winner of that game will play the winner of Plattsburg vs Pottsdam. The Red Dragons earned the number one seed going in, and is favored to take the SUNYAC crown once again.
There are some other smaller and non-AQ conference championships this week, but these are some of the larger tournaments on par.
An Emerging Rivalry!
Beloit recently beat Illinois Wesleyan 10-9. Beloit was down by 3, 9-6, but scored four goals in the last 2:22 to come back and get the big W. Both of these teams recruit from a similar player base, and many of the guys on the field either played high school or travel lacrosse with members of the other team. It’s a big battle for pride right now, but as these programs improve, look for this rivalry game to help both team’s elevate their status in D3.
NCAA D3 Lacrosse Video
In Other News
RIT and Denison are both still undefeated. Denison has already won their conference and earned a spot in the tournament, but RIT still has to go through Liberty League playoffs. Who will last longer?
The F&M vs Dickinson game in the Centennial Conference Tournament is a rematch of a game that was played last week. Dickinson won 8-7. Who will come out on top this time?
Congratulations to the Emmanuel College Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning the GNAC for the first time in program history and earning a tournament spot!
Make sure to keep an eye on all these great conference matchups, and as always, if you have something you want to see written about, leave it in a comment below!