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WCLA Lacrosse: Cal Poly Women’s Lacrosse 2014 Schedule Features UCLA, Texas, Colorado State, Colorado, UCSB, San Diego State, UC Davis & Cal


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WCLA Lacrosse: “2013 WCLA Women’s National Championships” Semifinals Feature #1 Colorado State Defeating #4 Cal Poly 23-13, #11 UC Santa Barbara Defeating #2 BYU 12-11 On May 10


2013 WCLA Championships

It was a fitting end to a record-setting day. With 14 seconds left in the game, UCSB’s Katie Mitchell buried a shot from close range after taking a pass from teammate Lindsay Alex to complete a 12-11 come-from-behind win over Brigham Young in the semifinal round of the US Lacrosse Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates National Championships, presented by Harrow Sports.
The victory sends the Gauchos to Saturday’s championship game against top-seeded and unbeaten Colorado State. The Rams exploded offensively, posting 23 goals in a 23-13 win over Cal Poly.
The leader of the offense was senior Karly Slyne, who notched 12 points (7g, 5a), the second-best single game performance in the 13-year history of the tournament. It was sweet redemption for Slyne, who injured her knee last year on the same field and missed Colorado State’s championship game loss to UC Davis Club.

Recaps from Friday’s consolation games follow:

Univ. of Texas 17, Pittsburgh 13: Texas junior Tully Moorehead led all players with eight goals in its win against Pittsburgh. All 17 Texas goals were unassisted, but came from eight Longhorn players. A tied game at 13 with 7:07 to play, Texas ended on a four-goal run to seal the win. Junior Stephanie Miller led Pitt players in points, notching four goals with one assist.

Georgia 10, Santa Clara 4: Georgia held Maggie Burke, the WCLA Division I Midfielder of the Year, scoreless as Emily Seidel made nine saves to lead a strong defensive effort. Georgia held Santa Clara scoreless for more than 21 minutes in the second half. Georgia attacker Parisa Ayers led all scorers with three goals.

Minnesota 15, Florida Club 14 (2 OT): Down 9-5 at half, Ashlee Miller scored Minnesota’s last two goals of regulation to tie the game at 13 and force overtime against the Gators. Both teams added a score in the first three-minute halves of overtime, tying the game at 14, but Miller would have a hand in the winning tally after finding Lisa Hirsch for the game-winning goal of the contest with 19 seconds left in sudden victory overtime. Miller (6g) and McKinley Cardin (3g, 3a) of Florida had six points each. Florida goalie Heather Gable finished with 11 saves and Minnesota goalie Alexandra Thalhuber finished with 13.

USC  Club 19, Maryland Club 6: After receiving five yellow cards in the first half, Maryland played two players down beginning with 2:02 left in the first half. Junior Erin McGillivary (6g, 1a) and freshman Elena Skouras (5g, 2a) led USC and all scorers with seven points each. USC graduate student Madison Aguirre made several point-blank saves for the Trojans ending the game with 10 total. Megan Lusby led Maryland with three goals and an assist.

Michigan Club 16, Northeastern 9: Northeastern scored first, but did not lead the rest of the game and Michigan pulled away scoring the last three goals of the first half and maintained at least a four-goal lead to the end of regulation. Junior Julianne Patterson and sophomore Katie Mezwa led Michigan’s attack with five points each. Brittany O’Rourke had three goals for Northeastern.

Virginia Club 19, Oregon Club 9: The Cavaliers opened the game with three-straight goals by three different scorers before Oregon got on the board eight minutes into the game. Virginia ended with nine scorers and 10 players with points. Grace Jackson (UVA) led all players with four goals and two assists. Keaton Otake (2g) and Hanna Peper (1g, 1a) led Oregon in points. Virginia goalies, Dana Sparks and Louisa Boyd, combined for 12 saves in the victory.

Friday Scores (May 10) Division I Semifinals Colorado State 23, Cal Poly 13 UC Santa Barbara 12, BYU 11

Division I Consolation Texas 17, Pittsburgh 13 Georgia 10, Santa Clara 4 Southern Cal Club 19, Maryland Club 6 Minnesota 15, Florida Club 14 (2 OT) Michigan Club 16, Northeastern 9 Virginia Club 19, Oregon Club 9

Saturday Schedule (May 11) Division I Championship Game – 2:30 pm: No. 1 Colorado State vs. No. 11 UC Santa Barbara, Field 1 3rd place game – 9:30 am: No. 2 BYU vs. No. 4 Cal Poly, Field 1 5th place game – 10:30 am: No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 5 Texas, Field 5 7th place game – 10:30 am: No. 8 Pittsburgh vs. No. 10 Santa Clara, Field 4 9th place game – 8 am: No. 9 Southern Cal Club vs. No. 14 Minnesota, Field 6 11th place game – 8 am: No. 7 Florida Club vs. No. 13 Maryland Club, Field 5 13th place game – 8 am: No. 6 Virginia Club vs. No. 12 Michigan Club, Field 4 15th place game – 8 am: No. 15 Oregon Club vs. No. 16 Northeastern, Field 3

For more:  http://www.laxmagazine.com/college_women/club/2012-13/news/051013_ucsb_rallies_will_meet_csu_in_wcla_final

WCLA Lacrosse: “2013 WCLA National Championships” Feature #1 Colorado State Women’s Lacrosse, BYU, Cal Poly And UC Santa Barbara Advancing To Semifinals On May 10


2013 WCLA Championships

For the first seven years of the US Lacrosse Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates National Championships, the event was dominated by Cal Poly with the Mustangs winning all seven national championships from 2001 to 2007. More recently, the dominance has shifted to Colorado State, with the Rams winning national titles in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
Those two heavyweights will square off in a semifinal of this year’s championship, presented by Harrow Sports, on Friday at the El Pomar Sports Park. Cal Poly defeated Texas 11-7 in the quarterfinals on Thursday, and No. 1 seed Colorado State topped Pitt 16-11.
The other semifinal features underdog UC Santa Barbara, the No. 11 seed of the tournament, which pulled off its second straight upset by beating Georgia 11-6. UCSB will meet No. 2 seed BYU, which easily handled Santa Clara 18-6.

Division I Quarterfinals

Colorado State 16, Pitt 11: Top-seeded Colorado State scored the last six goals of the first half, all in the final 10 minutes, to turn a 4-2 deficit into an 8-4 halftime lead and went on to earn the victory. Karly Slyne had three assists during the run and finished with a game-high seven points (3g, 4a) to lead the Rams. Sarah Moyer added three goals for CSU and Pitt was led by Christa Lausten and Kellyn Warren with three goals each.
BYU 18, Santa Clara 6: BYU held Santa Clara scoreless for a stretch of more than 25 minutes from the end of the first half to late in the second half to advance to the semifinals. Megan McCleary made seven saves in the victory and Kristin Lund had a big offensive day with five goals and four assists. Briana Arnold and Brooke Smith also added four goals for the Cougars. Maggie Burke led Santa Clara with two goals and an assist.
Cal Poly 11, Texas 7: Kelly Harris played her second straight big game, making 10 saves to lead Cal Poly into the semifinals. Emily DeSimone scored the first of her three goals with just 1:01 left in the first half to give Cal Poly a 6-4 edge at the break and then added two more goals and two assists in the second half to lead the Mustangs. DeSimone finished with three goals and four assists and Meggan Weinell had four goals. Tully Moorhead scored three goals for Texas and Ina Prevalsky added two.
UCSB 11, Georgia 6: UCSB held Georgia scoreless for the final 24 minutes of the game to advance to the semifinals. Megan Hughes had nine saves for the Gauchos, including six in the second half. Katie Mitchell had a game-high four goals for UCSB, including the first three goals of the second half for her team. Lindsay Alex added two goals and three assists for UCSB. Jenna Dreyer led Georgia with a pair of goals.

Division I Consolation Games
Minnesota 14, Virginia Club 10: Minnesota used a seven-goal run in the first half to overcome an early 2-0 deficit on its way to the win over Virginia. Barbara Mathewson had two goals during the run and finished with six for the game. Ashlee Miller and Sophia Nesser each added two for Minnesota. Grace Jackson had three goals and two assists to lead Virginia.
Florida Club 18, Oregon Club 2: The Gators jumped out to a 12-0 halftime lead to cruise to a victory. Katherine Sonier led the Gators with five goals and Nicole White added three. Florida goalie Heather Gable made six saves. Kylie Agon and Nicole Hamburger scored for Oregon.
Southern Cal Club 21, Northeastern 20: Megan Rilkoff scored her seventh goal of the game on a free position shot with 23 seconds left to break a 20-20 tie and give USC the shootout win. Halley Fisher had five goals and four assists for Northeastern, and had given the Huskies a 19-17 lead with 11:08 to play, but USC responded with a pair of goals by Elena Skouras to tie the game 19-19. The teams then traded goals before Rilkoff’s game-winner. Skouras added five goals for USC and Hayden Furey had four goals and two assists. Chelsea Andre (4g, 3a) and Anne Lally (4g, 2a) both had big games for Northeastern.
Maryland Club 13, Michigan Club 7: Lauren Groft had five goals, four of them in the first half, to lead the Terps to a win. Groft added three assists for an eight-point game. Her fourth goal of the game came with 26 seconds left in the first half to help Maryland to a 6-4 lead and then the Terps scored the first three goals of the second half. Ashlee Wilkes added four goals for Maryland. Julianne Patterson led Michigan with three goals.
Thursday Scores (May 9)

Division I Quarterfinals Colorado State 16, Pittsburgh 11 BYU 18, Santa Clara 6 Cal Poly 11, Texas 7 UC Santa Barbara 13, Georgia 7

Division I Consolation Minnesota 14, Virginia Club 10 Florida Club 18, Oregon Club 2 Southern Cal Club 21, Northeastern 20 Maryland Club 13, Michigan Club 7

Friday Schedule (May 10)

Division I Semifinals 3 pm: No. 1 Colorado State vs. No. 4 Cal Poly 5:30 pm: No. 2 BYU vs. No. 11 UC Santa Barbara

Division I Consolation 11 am: No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 10 Santa Clara 11 am: No. 5 Texas vs. No. 8 Pittsburgh 11 am: No. 12 Michigan Club vs. No. 16 Northeastern 2 pm: No. 6 Virginia Club vs. No. 16 Oregon Club 2 pm: No. 8 Southern Cal Club vs. No. 13 Maryland Club 2 pm: No. 7 Florida Club vs. No. 14 Minnesota

For more:  http://www.laxmagazine.com/college_women/club/2012-13/news/050913_ucsb_continues_roll_to_wcla_semifinals

WCLA Lacrosse: Cal Poly Women’s Lacrosse (13-5) Captures 2013 WWLL Conference Championship With 20-7 Win Over USC Club On April 21


Western Women's Lacrosse League WWLL Banner

The Cal Poly Mustangs won the WWLL Division One Championship today with a 20-7 pasting of USC in the final. First seed Santa Clara was in the third place game after being upset by 4th seeded University of Southern California in a 12-11 semifinal loss on Saturday. The third seeded Gauchos were in the game after dropping a 14-8 semifinal at the hands of 2nd seeded Cal Poly SLO.

Both UCSB and Santa Clara now await word on an at-large selection to the U.S. Lacrosse WCLA National Championship Tournament. Eight conferences receive automatic qualifier spots and there are eight at-large spots to award. The Gauchos are 13-7 overall and hold head to head quality wins over Brigham Young and USC to hang their hat on with the committee. The Trojans have the advancement to the WWLL Championship game in their favor but the Gauchos are rated 8th nationally for Strength of Schedule while the Trojans are 32nd.

UCSB and top seeded Santa Clara University battled it out in the WWLL Championship Tournament third place game and it took two extra periods to settle it. Both teams scored a goal apiece in the regulation overtime. UCSB freshman midfielder Claudia Hammerschmidt (Armonk, NY) scored unassisted 56 seconds into the period. Then with 9 seconds left Santa Clara senior midfielder Maggie Burke (Lake Forest, IL) was fouled in the 8 meter arc. Burke, the WWLL Division One Player of the Year, netted her free position to tie it 13-13 with 6 seconds remaining to send everyone into the golden goal period and keep the fans on the edge of their seats just a little bit longer.

Except for the heroics of UCSB senior goalie Megan Hughes (Santa Ana, CA) Santa Clara might have won it in the regulation overtime. Hughes had 3 saves on the 4 shots against her in crunch time. The Broncos peppered her on three straight shots in one possession but were denied by an elbow save of an off-hip shot, a stick save and then a hug the pipe body save by Hughes. The fourth of the four shots (Burke’s free position goal at 6 seconds) was the only one to get by her in the first overtime. Ultimately Santa Clara got the golden goal 18 seconds into the second overtime. Burke scored unassisted on a solo fastbreak after advancing the ball downfield herself after getting her own overtime draw control.

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MCLA Lacrosse: Top Games Of The Week Feature #4 Colorado Men’s Lacrosse Vs #10 Virginia Tech, #11 Sonoma State At #8 Oregon, #12 Texas At #6 UC Santa Barbara And #18 Cal Poly At #7 Chapman


MCLA

No. 10 Virginia Tech (4-0) at No. 4 Colorado (4-0) – Saturday, 1 p.m. MT

COYNE: Virginia Tech is a good team, and is the odds-on favorite to win the SELC title, but they are going against two hurdles this weekend. The first is the altitude. I know a lot of people pooh-pooh the concept, but Michigan went out to Denver three days early each time they went to Denver. That kind of tells me there’s something to it, even if it’s just psychological. The Hokies will be getting off their plane on Friday night and playing their opening game in Boulder less than 24 hours later. Not good.

Second, Tech will have to deal with Brad Macnee, Colorado’s netminder and the best keeper in the country. Last year, I wouldn’t be quite as concerned because the Hokies were scoring goals. They are struggling so far this season to produce on the offensive end, and that’s trouble against Macnee, who is probably going to rob you of at least four markers. Virginia Tech will be in this game because they are good team, but they can’t fight these obstacles. Buffs, 10-6.

SCHOOLER: Props to the Hokies for finally making a trip out West. The RMLC has the best teams in the league and hopefully they can steal a win in the Rockies, but I don’t see that happening.

You never know what you are going to get with the Buffs early in the season, but they pulled out an impressive win against the Ducks last week. Even with the return of Matt Giannelli for his final season, coach Galvin and his defense will be able to shut down the one dimensional Hokies. CU wins, 12-9.

No. 11 Sonoma State (2-0) at No. 8 Oregon (5-2) – Saturday, 1 p.m. PT

COYNE: It wasn’t much of a trip, but the road win for ‘Noma against California was a big deal. It showed that the Seawolves could match some of the preseason hype that was surrounding them. I’m sure it also gave them a good confidence boost, along with a pivotal WCLL win. However, now Sonoma is on the brink of the Top 10 and is heading to play No. 8 Oregon on the road. I’m afraid it’ll have to prove itself again.

Trey Norris (70-for-114 on faceoffs) has been a weapon all season for the Ducks, and he should dominate once again versus the Seawolves. And while Cal’s Dan Cohen and Sean Hayden are a dynamic one-two punch on attack, Oregon’s Matt Johnson (16g, 15a) and Benton Souers (17g, 6a) have proven it against some of the top teams in the country. Sonoma won’t get embarrassed, but they’ll struggle to keep up with the Ducks for four quarters. UO, 10-7.

SCHOOLER: This will likely be the best game the weekend has to offer. I think these are evenly matched teams. I have heard a lot of good things about Sonoma throughout the offseason. Until they took down Cal, that’s all it was…talk.

The Ducks have a strong attack while Sonoma has a strong defense. So get ready for a battle. I see another overtime game with the Seawolves coming out on top. 10-9.

No. 12 Texas (6-1) at No. 6 UCSB (4-2) – Sunday, 1 p.m. PT

SCHOOLER: Texas came through Santa Barbara in 2010, but was too scared to play the Gauchos. They plays FSU instead, taking the W and setting the tone for their whole season. All kidding aside, I really wish I could have seen the ‘Horns take on the Gauchos. Three years later, I’ll have my chance.

I dog on Texas and the LSA a lot, but I actually have a lot of respect for the Longhorns. They have stepped up their game over the last few seasons and elevated themselves above everyone in the conference. The Gauchos have no trouble coming out hot against teams. Their issue is sustaining that fire for all four quarters. I can see UCSB going up early and Texas clawing back. But I have the Gauchos holding on for the 10-8 win.

COYNE: If Texas had pulled out the win over Boston College on Monday night, I would have been more inclined to take a flyer on them in this game, but it should still be competitive regardless. I won’t build up the suspense — UCSB will win — but this game, along with Tuesday’s matchup with Sonoma State, are important for the development of the UT program under new head coach Andy Garrigan. Not only does it put the program on a different plane in terms of respectability, but just making this West Coast swing will be good for a seed or two at nationals, regardless of the outcomes.

Nick has it spot on with the flow of this game. The Gauchos will jump the ‘Horns early, and then coast home for the win. UCSB, 11-8.

Coyne’s Pick

No. 18 Cal Poly (2-3) at No. 7 Chapman (4-2) – Saturday, 1 p.m.

COYNE: Is there really a chance that this Cal Poly team can go down to Chapman and knock off the Panthers? Absolutely. I know the nine-goal loss to UC Santa Barbara sticks in everybody’s mind, but the Mustangs were neck-and-neck with Duluth in an overtime game and gave ASU everything it could handle. This team isn’t very far off. Plus, this Chapman edition isn’t quite as complete (yet) as it has been in the last couple of years.

If this game is played in SLO or even at a neutral field, I’m take Poly in an heartbeat. Alas, Chapman is traditionally a much different team at home than on the road, and that saves the Panthers here. Chappy, 9-8.

SCHOOLER: Chapman has had some crazy and close games this season. Take last weekend for example. They beat ASU by a goal then turn around and barely beat a lesser Grand Canyon by a goal. Earlier in the season, they crush San Diego then lose to Oregon. What team are we going to get?

While Cal Poly has improved since they were stomped by the Gauchos (you knew I would have to bring this up), they have improved. A two goal loss to ASU is commendable, but not enough to convince me that they can put together what is needed to beat Chaptown. Panthers win, 12-8.

For more:  http://www.laxmagazine.com/college_men/club/2012-13/news/030613_schooling_schooler_is_duluth_already_in_trouble

MCLA Lacrosse: Top Games Of The Week Include #3 BYU Men’s Lacrosse Vs #9 Chapman, #4 Stanford Vs # 21 Northeastern, #15 Cal Poly Vs #18 Minnesota-Duluth And #24 Arizona Vs Grand Canyon


MCLANo. 21 Northeastern (0-0) at No. 4 Stanford (3-0) – Friday, 3 p.m. PT

COYNE: Can anyone slow down the Stanford juggernaut? At this point, it appears that Colorado State and Arizona State are the only two with the goods to bring the Cardinal back down to earth. The two-headed monster of attackman Jack Farr, who had eight goals and two assists against Oregon, and midfielder Peter Doyle, who torched UCSB for a fiver, is proving to be nearly unstoppable.

Northeastern is certainly a program on the rise, and the Huskies Golden State trip to play No. 13 Cal, No. 4 Stanford and No. 7 UC Santa Barbara in a four-day span to start the season is commendable. With Chris Tecca (30g, 19a in ’12) returning up front, Northeastern will provide stiff competition, but I worry the Huskies might suffer the same fate as Boston College last year. The Eagles flew to California and played Chapman, Cal Poly and UCSB in four days and took the broom. It’s just too much, too soon for a New England team. Cardinal, 12-7.

SCHOOLER: It is only a matter of time until teams figure out how to stop Peter Doyle — or at least slow him down. The Gauchos were not prepared for the dual threat. But the question is whether Northeastern has the defense to stop Farr and Doyle. The Huskies keep most of their defense intact, but losing first team PCLL defenseman Kyle Bedell has to hurt. I am going against my Berkeley roots and picking the Cardinal, 10-6.

No. 15 Cal Poly (2-1) at No. 18 Minnesota-Duluth (3-0) – Friday, 9 p.m.

COYNE: There’s a lot riding on this game for both of these teams. Cal Poly bounced back from the UCSB debacle with wins over Grand Canyon and Loyola Marymount last weekend, but continued its poll nose-dive. The Mustangs need a ranked win to remind pollsters that they came up two goals short of all the marbles last year, as well give themselves a little confidence for the WCLL slate. Duluth needs a ranked win to give it a chance when selection Sunday rolls around without the AQ safety net.

New coach Sam Litman said Duluth will once again be predicated on its defense, and that has been confirmed so far with only 12 goals allowed in three games (albeit against some lightweights). In order to win this game, however, the UMD staff has to break free of the conservative Graff/Clark regimes and unshackle the offense, letting guys like attackman Ryan Butts (9g, 2a) and middie Stan Drutowski (5g, 6a) be creative.

I may be the only person left in America right now outside of SLO who thinks Poly is far better than its No. 15 ranking, and I’ll stick to my guns. ‘Stangs, 10-9.

SCHOOLER: I don’t know how they do it, but the Bulldogs manage to put together a quality team every season. Maybe it’s the coaching. Maybe it’s the proximity to the Canadian border. Who knows?

But I know one thing for certain: this is not the Cal Poly team we saw last year. They had their chance and one bad game cost them. The Mustang’s performance against UCSB on their home turf was atrocious. This is Cal Poly’s chance to put their name back in the conversation. Unlike Jac, I do not see this being a one goal game. I have Duluth winning comfortably, 12-9.

No. 3 BYU (1-0) vs. No. 9 Chapman (1-1) – Friday, 7 p.m. (at Las Vegas)

COYNE: If we’ve learned one thing from the last two times these programs have met, it’s that Chapman has a hard time holding a late lead. In the regular season matchup last year, the Panthers held a 10-6 advantage going into the fourth quarter and lost, 12-11, in overtime. When they met again in the national quarterfinals, Chapman took a 9-7 edge into the final frame before allowing the Cougars to notch an eight-spot for the 15-12 win. The fact that Dallas Hartley’s squad had an 8-6 fourth-quarter lead over Oregon last weekend and still lost 9-8 doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in their closing ability.

Fortunately for Chapman, BYU is very different than last year’s senior-laden squad. In addition, the young Cougars only have one game under their belt and will have to play UNLV on Thursday night. Alas, considering its current late game woes, it’s difficult picking the Panthers. Percentages say they’re due to pull one of these out, however. Chappy, 11-10.

SCHOOLER: It’s a toss up. I would be lying if I said that I am confident with my picks this early in the season. My pitiful performance last week proves that point. Last week, I would have guessed that this game would be a close one, but Chaptown lost to the Ducks. I’m doubting just how good Chapman is. Could this be the year that my Gauchos get back on top on the Panthers? This game will be a good measuring stick.

You can never count BYU out. Year in and year out, they are a contender, and nothing changes this year. Cougars win, 14-11.

No. 24 Arizona (1-1) at Grand Canyon (1-1) – Saturday, 7 p.m. MT

COYNE: It’s easy to get blinders on when covering the MCLA. It’s routine to fall into the trap of seeing certain scores and extrapolating them out over the course of the season to predict outcomes. It wasn’t one of our picks last week, but based on its opening-game performance against San Diego State, I thought Grand Canyon could hang with Cal Poly. The Mustangs cured me of that notion with a convincing, 15-11 result over the ‘Lopes. Unfortunately, I just can’t quit GCU.

The ‘Lopes enter the game with Arizona as underdogs — the Wildcats boast a No. 24 national ranking even after being dispatched by California, 14-5. ‘Zona has proven weapons, notably Zach Johnson (3g, 3a) and William Stanaback (4g), but they are frighteningly young on the backline, with rookie Philp Pierce as the last line of defense. That’s spells trouble. Grand Canyon, 12-8.

SCHOOLER: I’m down by a few games and my gut is telling me to go with Grand Canyon. But doesn’t that go against what I said early in the season when analyzing the jump from Division II to Division I? So I am conflicted here. Arizona had a less than average season last year, so I am hesitant in picking the ‘Cats. Plus, I do not trust the voters this early in the season.

I picked the ‘Lopes last week over Cal Poly. That proved to be stupid, but I guess I should stick with my gut and take Grand Canyon again, 10-9.

For more:  http://www.laxmagazine.com/college_men/club/2012-13/news/022013_schooling_schooler_where_are_we_headed_next

MCLA Lacrosse: Top Games Of The Week Feature #11 UC Santa Barbara At #5 Cal Poly, Grand Canyon At San Diego State, Texas State At Texas A&M And Boise State At Utah


mcla_logoNo. 11 UC Santa Barbara (0-1) at No. 5 Cal Poly (0-0) – Saturday, 1 p.m. PT

COYNE: This game has certainly become even more interesting after the Gauchos’ opener. Prior to the start of the season, it appeared that Cal Poly had graduated way too many high-end players to hang with an ascendant UCSB program marked by Mike Allan’s return. But after the postponement of the USC game and the overtime loss to Stanford, the Gauchos look more vulnerable. It may be a short-term issue for UCSB, but it has certainly ratcheted up the importance of this contest.

I’ve got an inkling this one will boil down to goalie play. Both Conrad Carlson (60.5 save percentage last year for the Gauchos) and Nick Czapla (59.4% for the Mustangs) were part of a platoon situation, but this year they each will be the top dog in net. Both are excellent, but I’ll lean to Czapla’s championship game cred (six saves in the first half against CSU) plus, perhaps, a little SLO home-field advantage. ‘Stangs flip last year’s script, 8-7 in overtime.

SCHOOLER: This is not the same Mustangs team we saw last season. Lots of talent is gone, but the same can be said for the Gauchos. Both are young teams and will see improvement as the season progresses.

Stanford was a wakeup call for UCSB. The Gauchos have the firepower despite all of the talent lost to graduation. They just need to figure out how to sustain their initial push and play a complete game. That game would have been a blowout had the Stanford goalie, Josh Giglio (18 saves), not played out of his mind. The shots were there and they need to fall in this next game. Can they get the ball past Czapla? I think so.

The hunger after a tough loss to the Cardinal on the road and the fact that Cal Poly has yet to play a game makes me inclined to pick the Gauchos (along with the fact that I have never picked against them). I have UCSB winning, 12-9.

Grand Canyon (0-0) at San Diego State (1-0) – Saturday, 2 p.m. PT

COYNE: This is a reasonable game for Grand Canyon to commence its Division I excursion. Even more so when you consider there aren’t a whole lot of games left on the schedule in which the ‘Lopes will be favorites. San Diego State was 5-9 last season, with two of the wins coming over D-II teams, and the Aztecs are now breaking in a new coaching staff. Again, this seems like a good place for GCU to start.

With Carson Barton (55g, 25a) and Matt Mountain (22g, 15a), the ‘Lopes will get their goals, but their challenge will be to stop them from going in on the other end. Andrew Hunter is no longer around, along with his brother, pole Richard Hunter. In addition, GCU no longer has Fred Whistle’s faceoff dominance to give Manny Rapkin’s troops an advantage at the dot. And if there’s one thing that SDSU is used to, it’s the Division I grind, as they have been doing it for a while. It’ll be closer than what the Grand Canyon-ites think, but the ‘Lopes will notch its inaugural D-I victory, 12-10.

SCHOOLER: This is the game. Is Grand Canyon going to be able to compete at the Division I level? I can safely assume that the ‘Lopes will not win the SLC, but placing themselves in front of the mid-tier teams early would be a great statement.

The season is young, but I think the coaching change will work wonders for the Aztecs. They have so much potential at that school and always seemed on the verge of a breakout season. They also have a lot of young talent on the team with at least a season under their belts. It is unclear how either team has done with recruiting, but if I had to bet, I would go with SDSU and its ability to draw from the plethora of talented local high schools.

The Aztecs will welcome the Lopes to their first real Division I game with a loss. SDSU, 14-10.

Texas State (2-0) at Texas A&M (0-2) – Saturday, 7 p.m. CT

COYNE: Did you know that Texas A&M has more MCLA tournament berths than Arizona State, Boston College or Florida State, and just one fewer than Oregon or Cal Poly? If you’re new to the association, probably not, because since its last tourney bid in ’08, the Aggies are a combined 33-37, including last year’s 5-12 mark. As its schedule is currently configured, A&M isn’t even eligible for an at-large bid to nationals this spring. Times have changed.

On the flip side, Texas State is starting the Mike Brand era with an ambitious (by LSA standards) slate featuring ranked foes Boston College, Connecticut and Northeastern. As competitive as the Bobcats hope to be in ’13, they are still in Texas’ rearview mirror within the conference and several recruiting classes behind the top guns in the MCLA. So will this be a competitive game? Normally I’d think so, but Texas State smashed the Aggies, 15-3, last spring, and I’m not sure that much has changed to flip the result. B-cats, 12-7.

SCHOOLER: There is nothing tougher than picking the outcome of a game between two teams from the LSA at the beginning of the season. It is usually a toss-up. Jac has probably chatted with the coaches and studied their rosters closely, but as a fan, I do not have the resources (or time) to do that.

As a general rule, I root against any Texas team, but in this instance I don’t have that luxury. So it looks like Texas A&M has been off to a rough start and we know that Texas State has experienced some success in the past. For that reason, I am going with the Bobcats, 16-8.

Schooler’s Pick

No. 13 California (0-0) at No. 11 UC Santa Barbara (0-1) – Sunday, 1 p.m. PT

SCHOOLER: I didn’t want to pick two UCSB games, but the Gauchos have a great back-to-back weekend, including this home opener against the Bears on Sunday. How did I get suckered into a weekend of skiing when I could be enjoying it by the ocean for the first game to ever be played at the….the…well, we will have to come up with a name for the new field?

This game has me a bit worried. Both teams have lost a lot of talent. While I am not familiar with the Bears’ rookies, I know that UCSB has a talented group of freshmen from all over the country. Several of these rookies are starting and will only get more comfortable with the more games they play. The-difference maker will be Conrad Carlson in goal for the Gauchos. He once split time with Andrew Noto, but with his departure, it opens up a whole new door and I expect Carlson to shine.

This will be an excruciating game to follow for me on Twitter during a long car ride back from Mammoth Mountain in the Sierras, but it will be well worth it when the Gauchos come out on top, 13-12.

COYNE: You know it must be one helluva ski trip if our boy Nick is going to miss this contest, or perhaps he’s just boycotting the team now that “The Pit” has been retired. Either way, he’s missing out on a gem of an early season game. If the two teams were playing under similar conditions, I’d just punch in the Gauchos at home and move on. However, UCSB will be coming off a huge road rivalry game the day before against Cal Poly while the Bears will have chipped off the rust with a ‘friendly’ against Division II Pepperdine.

Cal would probably benefit from a UCSB win against Poly as the Bears would have the whole “let-down” thing going for them, but either way, the they have a very good shot to pull this out. Cal lost some key ingredients from last year like John Hofinga (35g, 5a) and goalie Casey Keenan (59.4 sv%), but head coach Dan Nourse had a sanguine outlook for his team when I spoke to him in the offseason. This one will be a grinder, but in the end, the Gauchos will lean on their defense to save the day. UCSB, 6-4.

Coyne’s Pick

Boise State (0-0) at Utah (0-0) – Sunday, 2 p.m. MT

COYNE: This is an important season for both the Broncos and the Utes. Boise State is a program trying to break into the next level of the MCLA, and showed a flash of brilliance last year with the upset victory over Simon Fraser. Utah is desperately trying to hold onto its upper-tier status within the RMLC after posting a 6-8 mark in ’12 where the six wins came against teams with a combined 22-48 record.

Last year, the Utes raced out to a big first half lead and coasted home against the Broncos for a 12-8 win. I’d be more willing to go out on a limb on this contest if not for the fact that Boise State will be playing Brigham Young on Friday night. While the weekend excursion to the Beehive State will be beneficial for the Broncos, Sunday’s contest against a fresh Utah squad will be a bit too much for this young team. Utes, 13-10.

On a brief aside, if you haven’t seen this video about what Boise State did for a local family, take a peek. You’ll become an instant BSU fan.

SCHOOLER: Give me a break. There is no question here. Utah is like the NBA’s former best sixth-man, James Harden. If you put the Utes in a different conference, they would make the tournament every year. The same cannot be said about Boise State.

I see this as a light appetizer for Utah as they head into a more challenging conference schedule. Utah wins, 15-7.

For more:  http://www.laxmagazine.com/college_men/club/2012-13/news/020613_schooling_schooler_can_teams_survive_the_move