Extended thoughts on tonight’s D1 match ups.
#1 Grand Canyon vs. #9 Cal Poly
Pick: Grand Canyon
After a loss to Stanford in the WCLL final, Cal Poly is feeling resurgent. Unfortunately for them that boost in morale has result in a date with the #1 seed. Cal Poly has always been known for their defense and they are far more experience as tournament program than Grand Canyon. It will take an insane defensive effort and secondary scoring but Cal Poly is built to beat GCU because Cal Poly plays defense. They always have and always will under head coach Marc Lea. The common theme for the top seeds in the quarter finals is scoring early and often. The faster they can remind their opposition that they are the higher seed for a reason the better.
#4 Chapman vs. #12 Stanford
Stanford’s three game winning streak has given them a chance to play in the quarterfinals. All three games have been won by one goal. The first two were in overtime. There’s a little bit of magic in Stanford’s matte black CPX-R helmets. Chapman can crush that magic by winning faceoffs, scoring early, and shutting off Peter Doyle. Chapman must dare Stanford’s secondary scoring to beat them. Don’t fool around with sliding early to Doyle. Just shut him off. Shut him off with a long pole. Who cares. Don’t be embarrassed. Do whatever it takes. Doyle scored two goals against BYU and the game winning goal came off of a rebound from a Doyle shot.
#3 Colorado vs. #11 Georgia Tech
We thought CU would sub liberally against Texas State and win the game 10-6. They didn’t play as many athletes as we thought, but they still managed a win, 8-5. Jordan Harris, former BYU assistant put these numbers out last night:
Colorado has a process and they are sticking to that process. Georgia Tech doesn’t have a process. This is a first time trip for them and after breaking Westminster despite not having starting LSM and team captain Chris Bush they are playing with house money. Colorado has the same plan as Chapman. Score early. Don’t let hope creep into Georgia Tech, which turns into doubt on the Colorado sideline.
#2 Arizona State vs. #7 Virginia Tech
Pick: Arizona State
VT proved they can slow down an SLC offense with their win over San Diego State. But, can they score on an SLC defense when Zack Handy is waiting at the face off? Great news for Virginia Tech is they went 10 for 19 against SDSU so they’ve proved to themselves that they don’t need everything to go right to win the game. The bad news is if they were around 50% against SDSU, they will likely be lower against ASU and will therefore have to find other areas of the game to outclass ASU. If Virginia Tech can get to Roufanis early and limit transition opportunity they will be in the game in the fourth quarter and then all bets are off. If ASU gets some easy goals early in the game, they’ll be in great shape. ASU does not want to have to play a close, slow game with VT because the Hokies are so dominant playing 6v6 defense.