No. 13 Utah at No. 2 Brigham Young – 7 p.m. MDT, Saturday
SCHOOLER: At the beginning of the season, I picked this as the upset of the season. I predicted that BYU would beat CSU and sit on top of the RMLC while overlooking a talented Utah team. The stars have lined up. All I need is for Mark Manning to have the game of his life and destroy his once-beloved Cougars. I am going with the Utes in this game, but if they don’t win, it’s all good. It will give the Gauchos a better chance at nationals if there is a conference upset in the PCLL.
COYNE: Nick’s trying to hit a grand slam here with no one on base (am I allowed to use a baseball analogy?). BYU breezes, 14-8.
Santa Clara (6-8) at Sonoma (6-7) – 1 p.m. PDT, Saturday
COYNE: If you’re wondering whether there is a paucity of good games this late in the season, this game should give you your answer. This is a snoozer, but the pickings are slim, unfortunately. It seems so long ago, but both of these teams were ranked this year and thought to be contenders in the WCLL.
It was probably unfair to believe that. Both teams were welcoming back former coaches who had done great things in the past. But despite the optimism brought by the return, there were just too many missing pieces. So it boils down to this: which team has more to play for? Both are out of the WCLL tournament, so it comes down to playing at home. The Seawolves get the nod, barely. Noma, 12-11 (3OT).
SCHOOLER: I had very high expectations for Sonoma this season. The Seawolves started out well with a win over Michigan State, but have laid a goose egg in the WCLL this season. They have not beaten a single team! With five down and one to go, they have one last chance to save face at the expense of Santa Clara. Sonoma was in the same place last year and managed to defeat a struggling Chico State. Will it happen again this year? I think so. Sonoma takes this game by 5.
UCLA (8-5) at San Diego (4-8) – 7 p.m. PDT, Saturday
COYNE: This is the classic game illustrating the difference between strength of schedules. I’m guessing Nick won’t fall for it, but there’s always a chance. San Diego should win this one comfortably. Toreros, 12-5.
SCHOOLER: No question that San Diego wins this one. It is a far superior team. UCLA can pull off some wins at home because of the size of its field, but not on the road. The Toreros win this in a landslide.
San Diego State (4-9) at No. 14 UC Santa Barbara (9-5) – 3 p.m. PDT, Saturday
COYNE: Considering UCSB has already defeated the Aztecs at home this season, 15-9, on March 5, one would think this game will be a formality. It should be, but there is a variable. This is a must-win for the Gauchos, so we’ll find out how well they can play under severe pressure. Against a slightly more talented team, I might take a flyer against UCSB, but the Gauchos will win this game narrowly, 13-10.
SCHOOLER: San Diego State is lucky to be in this position. They managed to surprise Arizona earlier in the season, and since there are only four teams in the SLC South, Arizona was left out. Preceding this game will be an epic California high school battle between Northern California powerhouse St. Ignatius and Southern California powerhouse Coronado. This will be a great opportunity for UCSB and San Diego State to show these high schoolers what MCLA lacrosse is all about.
The Aztecs have nothing to lose in this game, but if UCSB loses, it is out of the national championships. So the Gauchos are fighting for their lives. I am hoping that the seniors will be excited for one last game in The Pit since senior day was ruined by USC two weeks ago. Seniors Jamie Bridgman and Dave Kurtmen will be solid. So will Taylor Gilbert, Aaron Hemeon and CJ Jacobs. Numerous coaches have referred to the middies from UCSB as the best in the nation. It is time for them to put it together and start acting like the best. Gauchos win, 15-5.
For more: http://www.laxmagazine.com/college_men/club/2010-11/news/042711_schooling_schooler_just_like_that_its_almost_over