Photo Credit: Robert White
The PNCLL DI game of the week will be another great PNCLL SLC match-up. The men of Corvallis, Oregon are traveling down to Petaluma, California to take on the Chapman University Panthers. Oregon State is 3-1 with their only loss against 24th ranked University of Arizona. Chapman University, on the other hand, is 1-3 with all of their losses caused by top 5 ranked teams.
Both teams lost in the first round of the 2013 MCLA DI National Championship bracket. The 21st ranked Oregon State Beavers have a very young squad, so they will need some underclassmen to step-up and take on some leadership. Thankfully, Sophomore midfielder, Jannsen Levin, has been killing it on face offs for the Beavs winning 83% of the time.
The 8th ranked Panthers of Chapman are much better than their record portrays them as. Even though they only have one regular season win thus far, Chapman gave Whittier, a NCAA DIII squad from Southern California, a run for their money. All three of their losses to top 5 ranked teams have also been extremely competitive and close until the final few minutes.
I believe that this Saturday, Oregon State will be able to upset the 8th ranked Panthers in a very fast paced game. Chapman will be coming off another very competitive game against Sonoma State on Friday at 8:00PM, and will be forced to play OSU less than 24-hours later. Even though Chapman has a very large team, Coach Hartley has only played 19 players for all three games. Having a sore and beat-up squad from the night before, Hartley will be forced to play more inexperienced players which will give the Beavers an advantage, especially in the second half. I believe that OSU’s Junior captain and midfielder, Reed Oliver, will be able to outrun the Panthers and lead the Beavers to a huge victory.
Division I Projected Weekend MVP– Reed Oliver
This Saturday could be the biggest day for the PNCLL DII until the conference playoffs. The projected PNCLL DII South champions, Western Oregon University, will be taking on the projected PNCLL DII North champions, Western Washington University. If this doesn’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, nothing will.
Both Western Oregon and Western Washington have been looking forward to this match-up ever since they picked up their sticks in the Fall. Western Oregon will be trying to keep the bragging rights in the South, while Western Washington will try to get revenge for an emotional PNCLL DII Semi-finals loss. WWU graduated only four Seniors last year, and those four Seniors only accounted for four of their total goals that season. Even though it is hard to judge because of their lack of games thus far, I believe Western Washington will have the fire power to keep up with the heavy favorites, Western Oregon, in order to keep this an interesting match.
I believe that Western Oregon University will win this game for one reason, and that is experience. WOU has played in many big games in the past, whether it be scrimmages against in state rivals University of Oregon or games all the way across the country in Nationals. The bottom line is that Western Oregon has been there before and they know how to handle themselves under pressure. They win when they’re supposed to and are a very disciplined team, and that is their biggest forte. Even though Western Washington played an extremely good game against one of the best teams in MCLA lacrosse, Simon Fraser, and they’re a very talented squad, I don’t believe they have the confidence or depth to win this game at home.
Division II Projected Weekend MVP– Taylor Dougan