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UCSB Hosting WWLL Championships April 18th & 19th

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly Apr. 15, 2009

Alyssa NelsenSanta Barbara, CA - UCSB women's lacrosse and UCSB Rec Sports are hosting the Western Women's Lacrosse League Championships this Saturday and Sunday. Games will be played on Storke Field and in Harder Stadium on the UCSB campus. Twelve teams in two divisions will vie for twin titles. Eight WWLL Division One teams play for their championship while four WWLL Division Two teams play for theirs. The Gauchos are the headliners but not just because they're hosting the pre-determined site event. UCSB is seeded #1 in the 8 team Division One bracket. They open with 24th ranked Arizona State University in a 10:00am quarterfinal contest. The winner advances to a 2:00pm semifinal in Harder Stadium to face the winner of the 4th & 5th seeded teams, UC Davis and UCLA. The championship game is 2:00pm on Sunday in Harder Stadium.

The Gauchos are the #1 seed for this tournament and playing for a repeat finish of what the 2008 squad accomplished last year. That accomplishment was first place with a 12-11 come-from-behind overtime win over Cal Poly SLO in Chico on April 20, 2008. The Mustangs are the #3 seed this year and will need to get past 6th seeded Pepperdine and the winner of 2nd seeded Santa Clara versus 7th seeded San Diego State to get back to the final.

This is the toughest conference tournament in the country this year. All 8 teams in the WWLL Division One Championship are ranked in the WDIA National Top 25 Poll. UCSB leads that group by being top ranked in all the land but Cal Poly SLO is ranked 2nd and Santa Clara is ranked 3rd. That last little bit of a numbers game is interesting because the Broncos were 12-10 winners over Cal Poly recently, on April 11th. Santa Clara jumped from 6th nationally to 3rd with the win while the Mustangs improved from 3rd to 2nd based on an 11-10 loss by then 2nd ranked Colorado at the hands of then 14th ranked Lindenwood. 

Regardless, of their order in seeding or national ranking, the three top ranked teams in the country will be part of the group playing for the WWLL Championship. The WWLL is the strongest conference in the WDIA and the championship game Sunday looks to be a preview of the national championship game coming up on May 9th in Scottsdale, Arizona. Don't wait until the final to get out there and catch some action, though, because it's not a three horse race this weekend. UC Davis and UCLA are ranked 9th and 11th in the country, respectively. UC Davis took Cal Poly to overtime on April 4th before dropping a 7-6 decision and UCSB had to come from behind to beat UCLA 9-8 on February 20th. The final three seeds aren't exactly slouches either. Pepperdine is ranked 16th in the country, Arizona State is 24th and San Diego State is 25th. How strong is the WWLL? Well, league member Chico State is ranked 22nd in the country and not even in their own conference tournament. The Wildcats were squeezed out by the 6 automatic qualifier and only 2 at-large spot system the WWLL has in place to choose their conference tournament teams. That's only 8 spots and while Chico beat ASU this year they lost to San Diego State and also lost to unranked USC.

The teams playing for the WWLL Division Two Championship are Cal Poly SLO 'B', Sonoma State, UC Berkeley and UCLA 'B'. The WWLL is unique in that it allows 'B' teams from institutions that put 'A' teams in the top division to play for the Division Two championship to encourage participation in the sport. Cal Poly SLO 'B' is looking to three-peat while Sonoma State and UC Berkeley would like to win the tournament and move  up to the first division for next season.

WWLL Championships


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