Can you believe it? The MCLA regular season is almost halfway over, and the stars are starting to shine above the rest. Read-up here to find out exactly who those “stars” are.
Below are the PNCLL DII teams in order of how the currently stand in the rankings and my comments on their position.
Division II North
Gonzaga hasn’t played a game since the last Wednesday Wrap-up on the PNCLL DII conference and will not be playing another game until they play the Idaho Vandals on March 30th, so there isn’t much to say about these guys. They have 61 forced goals, only 10 goals against them, and are 3-0 in conference so they can’t be complaining too much.
It will be interesting to see how they can match-up against some tougher components after their four week break is over.
The only other team in the PNCLL DII North conference with a conference win is Western Washington. At first glance, this team doesn’t look so hot, but look a little bit closer and WWU is easily the hidden gem of the MCLA. They have a 16 to 9 loss to the hands down number one team in the PNCLL DI conference, Simon Fraser, and a one point, nail-biting, overtime loss to a very strong Western Oregon squad.
Besides these two losses, Western Washington has one blow out victory against Pacific Lutheran. I have faith that Junior captain, Jacob Goodman, and Head Coach Adam Lent are going to rally the troops and have a strong finish to the season.
At 0-5, Central Washington is struggling to get their first win. They’ve come close against opponents Gonzaga and Whitman, but they couldn’t finish. This team has the most talent out of the three winless squads in the PNCLL DII conference and they haven’t won a game since their scrimmage on February 15th, but they might have to wait all the way until April 5th when they play Pacific Lutheran to get their first win. Just keep trying Central, just keep trying.
The Lutes have an average of 23.17 points scored against them, while only scoring 2.17 points per game this season. This team will not win a game this season as long as they average losing by 21 points per game. Their closest game is a loss to Whitman by 15 points, which was over after the first half when they were down seven to zero.
After two rough losses, Puget Sound finally started to find their offense. The Loggers are still 0-3, but they are slowly getting better. Their most recent game was a fairly close game against a strong College of Idaho team. The Yotes are 3-1, and Puget Sound was able to put up seven points. Puget Sound might be able to get their first win during a very intense game in Tacoma, Washington against Central Washington.
Division II South
Western Oregon is right on track at 5-0. They’ve only had one close game, which was an overtime scare against Western Washington. Each team played extremely well, but Western Oregon was able to get that one final goal to win the game. The second half of their season is a little bit harder, beginning with a game against in-conference rivals University of Portland on March 20th. I still think Western Oregon will go undefeated this season all thanks to their prolific offense that has scored at least 16 points every game.
The Cinderella team of the year, Southern Oregon, has just kept on rolling. After a disappointing loss to University of Nevada, Reno, SOU bounced back and beat University of Portland, and they haven’t stopped there. They are currently on a 3-0 run, and are 7-1 overall. This team has the short-memory mentality that they need to succeed, not only this year but in years to come.
After defeating University of Portland, SOU is the definite number two team in the PNCLL DII South this year, but it will be very interesting to see if they are there to stay.
Is Whitman really good enough to be 4-1? The answer is, “No”. They had an extremely impressive 10 to 8 win against Central Washington, but they’ve also had a very weak schedule thus far. They were only able to put up eight points against a terrible Portland State defense, which is the least amount of points they’ve given up all year. Even though Whitman is 4-1, I guarantee they won’t win another game this season.
College of Idaho
The College of Idaho is 3-1 and is coming off of a rough loss to Western Oregon, but their schedule isn’t getting any easier. They are going to have extremely hard games against Utah State, Portland and Southern Oregon. These games will be huge pivot points for the Yotes’ season. If they can come out with two wins during this three game stretch, College of Idaho will deserve the respect that they are looking for.
Last place? University of Portland? Losing Record? The answers are yes, yes, and yes. University of Portland is 2-3 with losses to Montana, University of Nevada, Reno; and Southern Oregon. All of these games were expected to be wins from the Pilots. Portland has a chance to prove themselves though during their upcoming game. On March 20th, one of the biggest rivalry matches in PNCLL DII will occur. If Portland is able to compete or even possibly upset the Western Oregon Wolves, they will have found the momentum they have been looking for. The numbers aren’t in their favor, but anything can happen during a rivalry match.
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