The PNCLL game of the weekend will be held in California. The Boise State Broncos will be traveling down to sunny Claremont, California to take on the Claremont Cougars. The Broncos are 2-4 on the season and will be forced to travel 800 miles to attempt to earn their third win of the season and put themselves back on the right track.
Boise State has had a rough season, with only one accountable win against the Montana Grizzlies. Their defense is the forte of their team and is led by Junior captain Trae Field. Field is a midfielder that thinks, breaths and lives defense. He only has one goal on the season, but he is leading the team on ground balls with 25. The Broncos have had a tough season thus far playing top ranked BYU and Simon Fraser. After their game against Claremont, it doesn’t get any easier. They will be playing University of Oregon, Oregon State and Westminster all in a row.
Claremont doesn’t have much better of a record. They are 2-8, but three of those losses were due to a total of four points. The Cougars could easily be 5-5 in a tough conference. Captain and 2013 offensive MVP for Claremont, Connor Schlegel, is leading this teams extremely strong midfielder line. Schlegel is averaging 4.22 goals per game and has the most ground balls on the team with 38. Freshman midfielder, Zane MacFarlane, is also a threatening force with 17 goals and 21 ground balls.
Even though both of these teams have a losing record thus far, this game will be a very interesting one. Both teams are itching for a win and think that this week is their week. I believe that Claremont will come out strong with this win. Their offense will be too much for the Bronco defense to handle, and the Cougar midfielders definitely have an advantage. I don’t think it will be a blow out, but Claremont will come out with the victory.
Division I Projected Weekend MVP– Adam Smith
Remember the date, on March 28th number 8 ranked Western Oregon will be traveling down to Fallbrook, California to take on number 12, Cal State Fullerton. Both of these teams are 8-0 and have had experience in close games and blowouts. Cal State Fullerton will be representing the SLC DII conference which hasn’t been doing too hot against PNCLL teams this year.
Cal State Fullerton is only averaging 13.4 points per game, but their defense is what’s holding them down. Allowing an average of only 4.9 goals per game is leading this team to success. The most goals they’ve allowed in one game is only 7, which is helping their offense play stress free. The heart of this defense is definitely Junior goalie, Christopher Laurino, with a 67% save percentage. Alex Kowalski is also stepping up big as a Freshman midfielder. He’s solid on defense and is averaging over three goals per game.
Western Oregon has one of the most explosive offenses in the MCLA. They are averaging 21.8 points per game, which is extremely impressive for a team with a difficult schedule to do. What makes Western Oregon’s offense so strong is that they have so many different threats. They are an extremely versatile team that can score at anytime. Taylor Dougan is finishing his Senior year strong averaging over three goals per game. Besides Dougan, the Wolves have three other players averaging over three goals per game. With all of these threats, it is almost impossible to defend this team.
I believe that this game will be taken over by Western Oregon. Cal State Fullerton’s defense won’t be able to slow down Western’s offense. They have too many threats and have had experience in big games like this before. The only way Cal State Fullerton can make this game interesting is if their offense can score and score fast. I don’t think that will happen though since they are only averaging 13.4 goals per game.
Division II Projected Weekend MVP– Jacob Bohince