The PNCLL DI playoffs are almost here, and it is still uncertain of who is in it.
Simon Fraser has clinched the one seed, while Oregon and Oregon State will be dueling it out this weekend to decide who the number 2 and number 3 seeds are. The fourth seed is still up for grabs though and there are three teams fighting for it.
If Boise State wins out this weekend against Washington State and Idaho, they will have that fourth seed no questions asked. If Idaho beats Boise State, things get a little more interesting. This will put both Idaho and University of Washington into the playoff talk.
If Idaho beats Boise State and University of Washington beats Montana and Washington State, University of Washington will earn the rights for the number four seed playoff bid. If Idaho beats Boise State and University of Washington loses just one of their two games this weekend, then Idaho will advance to the PNCLL DI Playoffs.
Unfortunately, I don’t think any of those three teams will be able to hang with Simon Fraser, Oregon or Oregon State.
I also don’t think this will be Oregon’s year either just because of their lack of consistency. Oregon State is the definite underdog to the Canadian powerhouse, but they have been in that position before.
Just last year, they were able to destroy Simon Fraser who was the number one seed, then pull of an amazing upset of a victory of the highly favored University of Oregon Ducks. This was all after a season in which they loss to Simon Fraser and were stomped on by Oregon. If there was one word to describe Oregon State’s 2013 season, it would have been “Revenge”.
This is a new year with completely new teams though.
I can’t remember the last time Simon Fraser won the PNCLL Playoffs, but this is definitely their year. Besides their game against Texas, Simon Fraser has consistently been able to come out and play a very high quality game of lacrosse.
Darren Zwack will be able to hold it down in goal and Riley Wanzer will be an LSM groundball machine like always, and Simon Fraser will be able to bring the title back to Canada.
Division I Projected Playoff MVP– Darren Zwack
The PNCLL DII Playoffs work a little differently.
The number one team from the North and South get automatic bids to the semifinal games, while the number two team of the North plays the number three team of the South for the quarterfinal game and visa verse.
This weekend, Puget Sound will be travelling down to Southern Oregon where I don’t think they stand a chance, and Portland will be travelling up to Gonzaga where I think Gonzaga will win a close one.
Southern Oregon will then be playing Western Washington in the semifinal game.
I believe this will be one of the more interesting Southern Oregon match-ups, just because they haven’t had a chance to play a high level PNCLL DII North team yet.
Even though Southern Oregon will be coming with a full head of steam, I don’t think they will be able to keep up. Western Washington will take this game over and advance to the Finals. As for the Western Oregon vs. Gonzaga game, I think it will be much of the same.
Gonzaga will come out very slowly like they usually do, and by then Western Oregon will already have the “W”.
The PNCLL DII Final game will be the most interesting PNCLL Playoff game in my mind. Western Oregon was barely able to escape Western Washington during the regular season, where they won on an overtime goal.
This game had so many lead changes and could have gone either way. Even though Western Oregon won a majority of their face-offs, Western Washington’s discipline offense was able to capitalize when they did have the ball in order to put up 15 points, which is the most Western Oregon has allowed all season.
Western Oregon has a tendency to step their game up during playoffs though, and I think this will boost them to victory. Even though Western Washington will be able to score on the Western Oregon defense, they just won’t be able to score enough.
Western Oregon will be able to put up big numbers in order to claim the PNCLL DII Title once again.
Division II Projected Weekend MVP– Jacob Bohince