Photo Credit: Robert White
Spring has sprung and that lovely, warm, sunny weather that we all dream about playing lacrosse in is right around the corner. There are only a few deciding games left in the PNCLL until playoffs, and only two teams in the PNCLL DII have clinched playoff appearances.
Below are the PNCLL DII teams in order of how they currently stand in the rankings and my comments on their position.
Division II North
Gonzaga started off 3-0, but just recently suffered a big loss. During their first game against a competitive component, the Zags showed a weakness on offense and defense. They struggled against the Idaho Vandals and ended up losing 14 to 9.
After scoring the least amount of points this season and allowing the most points against them this season, Gonzaga is going to need to change their mentality before they play in their toughest game this season against Western Oregon on April 4th.
After starting off 0-2 and getting their toughest games out of the way, Western Washington has been killing it. They destroyed Pacific Lutheran, beat number 14th ranked Concordia, and didn’t even give UCSD a chance. They won’t have a problem with their next two games, but need to stay alert for their last game in Spokane against Gonzaga.
The University of Puget Sound is 0-3, and hasn’t really showed any competitiveness yet. Their closest game was a loss by seven, but they’re only halfway done with their season. Besides their Western Washington game this Saturday, I believe that they will be able to finish off with some interesting games.
0-9 is not where Central Washington wanted to be at in this part of their season. They’ve had a couple of close games, but the majority of them are blow outs. They have had a long season so far, but it isn’t over. I have a good feeling that Central Washington will be able to get their first win this weekend and even finish off with a 2-2 record.
Pacific Lutheran is another winless team in the PNCLL at 0-6. They have allowed over 23 goals per game to their opponents, while averaging barely over 2 points scored.
Only four different players on their team have scored, and I don’t believe they will be able to win a game this season with so little of offensive threats. They also will have trouble winning a game with less than 50% of shots on cage being blocked by the goalie.
Division II South
This team is by far the number one team in the PNCLL South. They are averaging almost 8 more goals per game than the number two team, and have easily had one of the toughest schedules in the PNCLL. They are also the second team in the PNCLL to clinch a playoff appearance. Western Oregon is 10-0, and has beaten many big name teams.
They have definitely gotten the worst of their schedule out of the way, and are only four games away from a perfect season.
Southern Oregon is 9-2, and has one of the better defenses in the PNCLL. They are remarkably only allowing 6.3 goals per game. This is allowing their offense to play some stress free backyard lacrosse, which has proven to be a good formula for success.
Their most recent loss was to Occidental, and it showed a little weakness in their defense. This game was neck and neck until they allowed five goals in the third quarter. Maybe Southern Oregon forgot to bring their orange slices down to Los Angeles, California; but it seems to have been a fluke second half.
The men from Walla Walla, Washington are 4-1 and fighting for a playoff appearance. Whitman will be playing the University of Portland this Sunday, and it will be their first game in almost a month. Portland lost their second place position in the PNCLL South, but it will be interesting to see if Whitman can beat them out of the third place position as well.
College of Idaho
College of Idaho started off hot at 3-0, but they seem to be in a little rut now. They’ve had two rough weekends in a row playing number seven in the PNCLL DII, Western Oregon, and next playing Utah State who is a tough PNCLL DI opponent from the RMLC conference.
They will be playing University of Portland this weekend, just like Whitman, and it will be interesting to see if they can bounce back. The PNCLL South is currently in a shootout for its third, fourth and fifth place positions.
Portland has had a tough schedule and a tough season thus far, but this upcoming weekend will be one of their most important ones. The University of Portland is currently in fifth place in the PNCLL South, and has a chance to redeem themselves by beating two in conference opponents in two days.
They definitely have talent with Chris Timm at midfielder scoring the most goals on the season, but they simply lack depth. Their attackmen and other midfielders need to step up if Portland wants to finish this season strong. This will be incredibly important since they will be taking their longest road trip of the season to play these last two conference games.
Forget those rankings, they don’t mean anything! I’d like to rearrange it a bit…
Henry’s PNCLL DII Ranking
PNCLL DII North
- Western Washington
- Central Washington
- Puget Sound
- Pacific Lutheran
PNCLL DII South
- Western Oregon
- Southern Oregon
- College of Idaho