Getting you dialed in for the MCLA’s year end event, which begins today in California.
Seed: 3, automatic qualifier
Projected Seed: 4
1st Round Opponent: Texas State
Record Against Tournament Teams: 4-4, lost to Grand Canyon, Chapman, Michigan State Westminster, defeated Texas State, Arizona State, BYU (twice)
Odds of Winning: 5 to 1
Player to Watch: Freshmen goalie Jensen Makarov transferred from Maryland in January and immediately won the starting spot. The Colorado native posted a .570 save percentage which earned him All RMLC honorable mention honors. In games against tournament competition, however, Makarov has allowed 100 goals and come up with 104 saves. If he can get closer to .600 for the tournament, the Buffs are going to be in a great spot.
Prior to March 21st, the Buffs were cruising along with an 8-0 record and wins over Boston College, Arizona State, and UCSB. They would lose 4 of their next 5 games before finishing the season winning 5 straight including the RMLC tournament. Are the Buffs surging or on the verge of another valley? This let down won’t take the form of an extending losing streak. One loss will be good enough to end the season.
Like most teams entering the tournament, Colorado has only played six games in the last month. They’ll get a chance to work out some kinks against Texas State who they beat 18-6 back in February. Expect a closer score tonight as CU will try to rest their starters as much as possible in advance with a potential rematch with Westminster tomorrow.
The belief out Boulder is that their defense is vastly improved since March. Given the offensive balance (10 players have scored 11 or more goals), they might not need an exceptional defensive performance to win another title. They may just need the ball on the last possession of the game.