Spartans ready for the Ducks in first round of MCLA National Championship
Salt Lake City is the site of the 2018 MCLA D1 & D2 National Championship
Final exams and graduation are in the rear view mirror and #3 Michigan State (14-2) is ready for the #14 seed Oregon Ducks (7-6) today at 4:30 pm MDT (6:30 pm EDT) in the first round of the 2018 MCLA D1 National Championship. All MCLA tournament games will be played at the Salt Lake City Regional Athletic Complex.
All MCLA tournament games will streamed live Click here for link to MCLA.us for today's game
"The team is ready to play their best lacrosse of the season" said Michigan State Head Coach Cam Holding. "We haven't practiced much the past few weeks but that has been by design with final exams last week and also a desire to stay fresh both physically and mentally. It's a long season with fall ball from September through early November and then the regular season from mid-January until this week. It's important not to over-prepare this late in the season. There's a law of diminishing returns so our practices have been shorter but focused" said Holding.
The winner of today's Michigan State - Oregon match up will face the winner of #11 Boston College vs #6 Virginia Tech in a quarterfinal playoff Tuesday, May 8 at 6:45 pm MDT (8:45 pm EDT). Michigan State defeated both teams in games played at neutral sites during the 2018 regular season (Boston College in Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech in Delaware).
Today's game is the first time Michigan State and Oregon have played each other since a home & home series in 2010 & 2011 that were both won by the Spartans.
Holding reflected on a Spartan team that has earned the highest national tournament seed in their history: "Our seniors have been to the national championship week each of their four years so they know how to prepare to maximize their performance. This year we are playing at altitude (Salt Lake City has an elevation of 4,300 feet above sea level) so we are mindful of the thinner air and are ready for the challenges that it and this week's heat will provide." (Temperatures this week in Salt Lake City are expected in the mid 80's) "We have a tremendous amount of depth on this Spartan team and that should play to our advantage in a tournament format that features four games in six days for those teams that make it to championship Saturday. We had a number of injuries to starters that kept them out of action during our trip to Delaware this year (MCLA's Battle at the Beach) but that meant a number of other players got significant playing time against great competition."