Hello my extended lacrosse family, the MCLA has posted the Preseason rankings for the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League 2012-13 season. Let’s see what each team is bringing to conference of the Northwest.
PNCLL Division 1
1. Oregon 77 (6)
The University of Oregon has been the heavy hitter in the PNCLL for years now. Always bringing in good recruits ready to work hard and commit to a winning program. Since the leagues inception in 1997, The University of Oregon has won 7 conference titles. Only Simon Fraser has won more at 8. Oregon’s coaching has always been top notch and recently led by former head coach Joe Kerwin. Kerwin stepped down at the end of the 2012 season and now the University of Oregon Men’s Lacrosse team has hired Phil Keebler to lead them in the 2012-2013 season. Having graduated 7 seniors the Ducks have a few holes to fill. Returning now Senior net minder Austin Ryan as well as PNCLL tournament co-defensive MVP’s Stephen Brizie and Ben Smood. Having graduated Attackmen Corbin Root, Sean Silverstein, and Spencer Robertson, who combined for a total 147 points over the 2012 season, I’m sure the Ducks are glad to be returning now Senior standouts, Matt Johnson and Chris Osip. A young, stacked midfield will be problematic for any team that comes up against the Ducks this season.
2. Simon Fraser 74 (3)
The Simon Fraser clan began the 2012 season with a surprisingly close win over Western Washington University (A division 2 school in the PNCLL) and then went on to lose 5 consecutive games to respectable opponents such as; BYU, Colorado State, Boise State, Oregon State, and Oregon. After that losing streak something within the Clan changed as they saw their season take a dramatic U-turn for the better. Since the losing streak, Simon Fraser only lost 1 game before losing to eventual PNCLL champs Oregon in the PNCLL tournament. Returning 12 freshmen the Clan are looking good again this year. One standout of these freshman is Sam Clare who had 35 goals and 4 assists for the Clan. 3rd overall in points, and their starting face-off specialist. He’s a dangerous lefty with a mean shot looking for time and room. The big loss will come at the price of the team’s MVP and captain, Calvin Craig.
3. Oregon State 63
The Beavers started off slow as well in their 2011-12 season with losses to Cal, UCLA, and Stanford. After returning from the PAC-12 shootout the Beavers turned it around and won their next 7 consecutive games. Making it to the PNCLL tournament, they fell to the Simon Fraser Clan in a 13-11 shootout. Having graduated two top contributors in Alex Spang and Cooper McCabe the Beavers will have two large holes to fill in the upcoming season. Returning veterans on defense are sophomore goalie Nick Widmer, and junior long poles Kody Smith and Hayden McClellan, the Beavers will continue to be stout on defense after giving up only two 10+ goal games. On attack the Beavers will return seniors Ryan Squires, Ian Feltis, and Adrian Macalalad who combined for 74 points last year. Junior Reed Oliver will lead the 2013 Beavers at the midfield after contributing 19 points in last year’s campaign.
4. University of Washington 47
After a disappointing season last year the Huskies return this year after not losing a single player to eligibility they return a core of 5 seniors and 7 juniors. The young Husky team is led by now senior midfielder Chris Brown who had 39 points in 2012 and returning sophomore attackman Brody Lundquist who tallied 25 points. A young defense led by Junior Goalie Spencer Adams will grow under head coach Jack Cerchiara and help lead the Dawgs to a successful 2013 season.
5. Boise State 43
The 2012 season was a bit of a let down for the Broncos after finishing 4-6 with close losses to Utah, Oregon State, and Claremont. The Broncos only lost three seniors after 2012, but the effect of those graduations have grave repercussions. This is most evident in the graduation of goalie Kevin Kaup, who received awards such as; 1st Team All-PNCLL Goaltender, and was an Honorable Mention All-American at the Goaltending position making over 17 saves per game. While they are losing a stallwart on the defensive end, Boise State returns major offensive contributors Gunnar Guth, Brian Scott, and Karson Fullmer who combined for 95 points in the 2012 campaign.
6. University of Idaho 40
The University of Idaho’s 2012 season was a little disappointing and I’m sure the Vandals of Moscow are working hard this fall to see a different outcome in 2013. Two losing streaks in the middle of the season combined for 7 of the 8 Vandals losses in the regular season. These losses give a young team something to build off of. After losing only 3 seniors, experience will be wide spread as UI returns their entire defense and two starting attack men. The big losses will come in the form of losing their starting goalie Blake Uphus and Attackman John Kopke. The Vandals have their work cut out for them this year, but backed by a staggering number of returners I don’t believe they will have much trouble in the PNCLL North.
7. Washington State 28
The Washington State Cougars return to the PNCLL as competitors this year after serving a probational period. The 2012 season for the Cougs of Pullman was a successful one as they won 6 of 11 games to come out with a winning season. Led by attackman JT Tungsvik, who had 57 points in his Junior campaign and returns looking to improve his statistics further. The Cougars return their entire defense as well as starting goalie Andrew Linton. Washington State is back PNCLL, and behind JT Tungsvik, they’re worth watching out for.
The University of Montana is coming off of a 2-12 season that has them ranked second to last in the PNCLL. I don’t believe Montana is as bad their ranking lets off. The Grizzlies only lost two seniors after 2012 and return heavy gunners like Patrick Shelso (22, 23), Henry Bishop (21, 7), JD Chapman (17, 2), and Andrew Wenzi (16, 2). With a solid 60%, Junior Hank Vieten will be returning between the pipes for Montana, and commanding the same defense as the previous year. The Grizzlies of Missoula have the right tools to get it done in 2013, are they willing to work hard enough to see that come to fruition? I believe so.
Portland State 13
While the Portland State Vikings have not traditionally been the powerhouse of the PNCLL, this year we could see a huge change in the team’s chemistry. After hiring new coach Dave Sanford a lot of rumors are going around that this program will receive the overhaul they have been waiting for. Sanford, former coach of Wilsonville high school (OR) led his team to multiple post season appearances and winning records. The Vikings of Portland State have found a very devoted coach in Sanford and I believe we will witness dramatic changes. Coming off an injury now Senior Nikolaj Lund will lead his team after contributing 23 points along with Ryan Haider, Neal Bateman, and Garret Stevens who combined for 85 points in the 2012 season. Coach Sanford has weapons in his arsenal, will he take advantage of them? You bet.