Trey’s MCLA D2 rankings: Reigning champs remain in top spot

Photo: MCLA / St. Thomas Lacrosse

This is my first time taking a crack at my own Division 2 rankings. Keep in mind that this is not reflective of the MCLA coaches’ poll, and does not actually play any kind of an official role. It’s just an observer’s perspective on how the top 25 should look — how I would vote, if I could.

  1. St. Thomas

2. Concordia

Right now, it looks as though the MCLA is divided into two distinct tiers — St. Thomas and Concordia, and then everybody else. After seeing what both the Eagles and the Tommies were able to do to NDSU, and what CUI was able to do to St. John’s, both undeniable top-10 teams…it’s just hard to imagine this race expanding past these two teams. I hope somebody can prove me wrong on this, because I would love to see more parity on the D2 side…but as it stands right now, the contending conversation starts with these two. Props to St. Thomas on taking down Concordia when the two met on Tuesday night, too.

3. Grand Valley State

4. Sierra Nevada

A lot of people are probably curious about this one…for me, a lot of it has to do with the disappointing starts by the teams below them. NDSU and St. John’s would be fair game to occupy this spot except that neither team even came close in their games against Concordia, and the only quality win between them is SJU’s domination vs. Minn-Duluth. SNC showed a lot in its 6–4 loss to a top-5 D1 team, Cal Poly. We’ll know a lot more about the Eagles when they face off with St. Thomas next week.

5. North Dakota State

6. Kennesaw State

7. St. John’s

8. Grove City

9. Bridgewater State

10. Dayton

Yes, this is a low spot for Dayton — but it’s hard to hold the SJU losses against the Johnnies that much, because with the way the season has played out thus far it seems as though a blowout loss to CUI or St. Thomas is expected of any other top-10 team, judging by how good #1 and #2 have looked so far. As for BSU being so high…the tie against Grove City proves that the win over Dayton wasn’t a fluke, and I have to put Bridgewater State above the Flyers because that head-to-head has to mean something. They went in and won the matchup, and while UD has significant opportunities to overtake that spot with a tougher schedule, right now #9 belongs to Bridgewater State.

11. Palm Beach Atlantic

12. Cal State Fullerton

13. Montana State

14. Minnesota-Duluth

Show me something, UMD. Lose by 12 to a SJU team that lost by 7 to Concordia? Not a good look. No better time than the present: three games in four days against top-15 competition (Palm Beach Atlantic, Grand Valley State, Florida Gulf Coast) will tell us everything we need to know about whether the Bulldogs belong in the tournament conversation.

15. Florida Gulf Coast

16. San Diego

17. Northern Arizona

A nice 4-goal win over Fort Lewis helps to solidify USD’s place, and NAU has simply destroyed opponents, as teams that could possibly expand the SLC’s traditional two tourney team conference into a three-bid league. The Toreros’ Drew Harvey has looked exceptional through the early stages of the season. NAU is rolling, but with no top-10 matchups on the slate, it’s going to be hard to see the Lumberjacks making any significant climbs. No matter how badly you can beat down the lower-tier teams in the league, you won’t see a climb until you can pull out wins against the best of the best.

18. Appalachian State

19. Southern Oregon

20. Fort Lewis

21. Metro State

22. Western Washington

23. UC Santa Cruz

24. Louisiana-Lafayette

25. UT-Dallas

I will say, the back end of D2 rankings have proven to be much more difficult than the back end of D1 ranks. Fewer teams play games this early and the season, and many teams outside top 15 aren’t playing top-tier competition unless they’re being blown out in the process. So if you have any disagreements, you know how to reach me (and if you don’t, check out below). Let’s chat.

Keep in mind, please, that I am not a voter in the MCLA Coaches’ Poll, and this poll carries no weight or importance. It’s just what I would submit as a poll, and why, if I were a voter.

Follow me on Twitter @TreyLanthier or email me at treylanthier@gmail.com. Check out MCLA’s CrosseFire, a radio show and podcast dedicated to covering the entire league, only on LacrosseTalkRadio.com.