MCLA Division II First Round Recaps
from staff reports
|© Cecil Copeland
It was a strong first day for the CCLA and nearly a complete disaster for the SELC in the first round of the MCLA Division II tournament in Greenville, S.C. All three CCLA teams advanced, including substantial upsets by No. 12 Grove City and No. 10 Indiana Tech. On the flipside, the SELC saw both No. 11 SCAD and No. 7 Palm Beach Atlantic eliminated, and No. 4 Liberty needed a fierce rally and overtime to stay alive.
No. 1 St. Thomas 11, No. 16 DePaul 3
St. Thomas commenced the defense of its national championship with a comfortable, if not slightly underwhelming, victory over DePaul, which is making its first-ever tourney appearance. The Tommies methodically built a 5-1 lead at halftime, but a 5-0 third period put the game away. John Michael Coon led the way for UST with a hat trick while David Burke chipped in with two goals and an assist. Harry Smith made 18 saves in the losing effort for the Blue Demons.
No. 2 Westminster 16, No. 15 Briarcliffe 4
It was a close game for 15 minutes, as Westminster clung to a 3-2 lead after the first quarter, but the last 45 minutes were all Griffins. Westminster scored 13 of the last 15 goals to take an easy, 16-4 victory. Playing without star midfielder Jake Arthur, the Griffins used four goals from Brian Tyrell and two goals and two assists from Collin Madsen to pull away, starting with a 5-1 second quarter in which Westminster held a 17-9 advantage in shots.
No. 3 St. John's 15, No. 14 Western Oregon 8
The regular season matchup between these two was a barn-burner, but St. John's took the drama out of this one with a 5-0 first quarter and a 10-2 bulge at halftime. Jacob Helmer paced the Johnnies with four goals while Michael Culshaw-Maurer and Lukas DeBruzzi added hat tricks.
No. 4 Liberty 12, No. 13 North Dakota State 11 (ot)
This game looked like it was in North Dakota State's pocket. Leading 11-8 late in the fourth quarter, the Bison watched as Liberty roared back to tie the game before the Flames completed the comeback with an overtime strike. Ryan Miller and Joe Gargiulo had hat tricks for Liberty while Alec Wroblewski accounted for four markers for NDSU. Andrew Madsen went 15-for-20 on faceoffs for the Bison and Ethan Kamholtz turned away 10 shots in the win.
No. 12 Grove City 12, No. 5 Concordia 9
Grove City pulled the biggest of the tournament, stifling a powerful Concordia offense. David Hall led the Wolverines attack with three goals while Andrew Williams and Ryan Althausen potted two goals. Daniel Casselli also had an impressive performance with two goals and two helpers. Grove City took control of the game in the second when they outscored the Eagles, 6-2, to take an 8-5 lead into halftime – a lead they would never lose.
No. 6 Grand Valley State 6, No. 11 SCAD 5
In the grinder of the first round, Grand Valley State built a 6-3 lead in the fourth quarter and held off a late SCAD charge to pocket the one-goal win. Charlie Farmer, Conor Schwalm and Brenden Austin eached netted a pair for the Lakers while Cody Sienkiewicz led the Bees with a hat trick. Kreyton Polka made 17 saves in the losing effort for SCAD.
No. 10 Indiana Tech 20, No. 7 Palm Beach Atlantic 10
In the second biggest upset of the day, Indiana Tech manhandled Palm Beach Atlantic. Josh Puckett led the assault with four goals and was helped by Brent Nichter, Tony Creemens and Dylan Johnston, who all added hat tricks. Entering the game the high-scoring Sailfish had been held to 10 goals or fewer just once on the season (11-9 loss to SCAD), but they could not solve the stingy Warrior backline.
No. 9 Coast Guard 19, No. 8 Sam Houston State 8
On the day it announced that it would moving to the NCAA in 2015, Coast Guard demolished Sam Houston State. Austin English and Kyle Carosotto each scored five goals while Eric Schmid dished out five assists, allowing the Bears to race out to an 8-2 lead after one quarter. The lead would never be threatened, as Coast Guard outshot the Bearkats, 67-22.
No. 9 Coast Guard vs. No. 1 St. Thomas
No. 10 Indiana Tech vs. No. 2 Westminster
No. 6 Grand Valley State vs. No. 3 St. John's
No. 12 Grove City vs. No. 4 Liberty