The PNCLL DI match-up of the week is an in conference game for the Oregon State Beavers and the Simon Fraser Clan. Oregon State is looking to end Simon Fraser’s hot streak and earn their position as number two in the PNCLL DI conference, while Simon Fraser is hopefully looking to give themselves a 6-0 winning streak going into a huge match-up against number 20, University of Arizona.
Simon Fraser has one of the best goalies in the country, Darren Zwack, who has an outstanding save percentage of 72%. Their offense, led by Sophomore Tyler Kirby, is also averaging the most points per game in the PNCLL DI at 15.8. Oregon State will be in front of their home crowd during this game, which is good news for the Beavers because they are currently 3-0 at home. The Clan will have to travel 400 miles while Oregon State will be doing all they can to prepare the big game.
My pick for the winner of this game is definitely Simon Fraser. If this game happened two weeks ago it might be a little different, but Oregon State has shown that they can’t run with high caliber teams and score on talented defenses by losing against Sonoma State and Chapman. They were only able to put up 13 points during those two games, and only able to score 5 against Arizona earlier this season. I believe Simon Fraser will be able to get the “W” pretty easily, as long as they set the tone early.
Division I Projected Weekend MVP– Darren Zwack
The game to watch this weekend for PNCLL DII fans will be Southern Oregon versus Central Washington. Even though Central Washington has started with a 0-4 season, I believe that this will be another good test for Southern Oregon. Southern Oregon has the most wins the the PNCLL DII, at 5, but they can’t take this game as a joke.
On paper, Central Washington looks like a fairly weak team, but I think this will be an advantage for the Wildcats. They are turning over a new leaf this year, and attempting to get rid of their reckless and hard-hitting image. If Southern Oregon doesn’t have a good week of practice, they could let Central Washington gain momentum and take an early lead.
Even though Southern Oregon is a new and upcoming threat in the PNCLL DII, they are making big steps this year. They just recently beat University of Portland for the first time since 2010, which means that they are projected to finish second in the PNCLL DII South. They have the defense and talent to definitely beat Central Washington, and possibly compete for the PNCLL DII Championship. As long as Southern Oregon plays as well as they have been playing, they will be able send Central home early and begin to focus on their game the next day against Pacific Lutheran.
Division II Projected Weekend MVP– Tom Halley