(Photo by Jodi Vosika)
IRVINE, Calif. – The old guard meets the new when Colorado State hops a jet airliner to take on Concordia-Irvine.
The Rams return to nationals after a two-year hiatus. Still the owner of the most titles in Division I (six), Colorado State has regained its footing and started to build back toward winning a title.
Concordia-Irvine won a Division II title in 2017 and promptly jumped to Division I where they have qualified for nationals each season.
D-I Round 1: Colorado State at Concordia-Irvine | https://t.co/gvP8K2QXLq #virtualmcla20
— MCLA Tournament '21 (@MCLA_Tournament) March 29, 2020
How does this one shake out?
The Rams offense has been a strength this year. St. Louis transplant Gabe Remshardt spearheads the front line. The junior attackman is joined by senior middie Deryk Delahanty, who is building off a big junior campaign.
It seems like Colorado State churns out premium defensive players every year and junior pole Jack Calderone fits that bill this year. Sophomore Thomas Kahler is proving that he could very be on that list someday, too.
“I think there is an argument that we should be the home seed in this matchup, but we’ll take the free trip to Irvine,” said Colorado State coach Ryan McDonald*. “Concordia’s offense and our defense will be fun to watch.”
The return of junior attackman Jonah Rinaldi – a key cog in the Eagles’ 2017 title run – after a two-year sabbatical has brought CUI’s offense to the next level. Senior attackman Jackson Lienhart and sophomore Daxton Allison make for a dynamic trio.
Tyler Schweickert is a big-game goalie who could prove to be CUI’s ace in the hole in the postseason.
“Colorado State is the original MCLA dynasty. We want to join them,” said Concordia-Irvine coach Jesse Foss. “We’ll need a complete effort to beat them.”
[*- The coach didn’t really say this. This is all made up. It’s fake]