The newly-formed NorCal Conference has a strong case for being the most competitive conference in the country. In every year since 2004, at least one team from the Bay Area Section has qualified for the College Championships out of the Bay Area section every year since 2004. While this year’s tournament has no obvious favorite, the winner is likely to continue that trend. Lets have a look at the contenders going into the weekend:
- California Santa Cruz (Ranked 10th by USAU): The Slugs will be seeded first going into the tournament, but are in many ways a total wild card. They’ve only attended two USAU sanctioned tournaments this spring and they have yet to play any in-conference games. Still, they have to be favored not only because of their ranking, but also because they’ve won sectional two of the past three seasons.
- California (Ranked 22nd): Cal has had a disappointing regular season given the high expectations that came with their quarterfinal appearance at the college championships last spring. Still, UGMO is not a team that can be overlooked. Cal’s offense relies heavily on the sort of spacing and chemistry that takes a long time to develop, and given their large roster turnover from last season, maybe their regular season struggles shouldn’t have come as such a surprise? Additionally having a finally healthy Andrew Hagen is big for Cal and will bolster their already deep lineup.
- California Davis (Ranked 27th): Davis is a very young and very talented team. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to watch them this season, so I can’t comment on where they stand going into the series. I can say that their performance is heavily dependent on their strong freshman class.
- Stanford (Ranked 30th): At 30th in the country, Stanford is under-ranked. They had a regular season where the focus was bringing their young players up to speed, and once they were good to go, Sunday of Terminus got called do to weather. Still, their strong performance on Saturday of Terminus vastly improved their ranking, and if they had been able to make the finals they could very well be in the top 20.
That’s the rundown of the top teams, I’ll try and get an injury report done later in the week.
Photo by Andrew Davis