Earning an at-large bid, St. John’s University will be the No. 3-overall seed in the 2013 Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) Division II National Tournament in Greenville, S.C. taking place May 13-18.
This will mark the ninth consecutive year the Johnnies have made an appearance in the MCLA National Tournament -- an MCLA record.
“We’re extremely excited and ready to get to Greenville,” St. John’s coach Derek Daehn said. “While we have a rich history of being in the tournament, we know that an invitation to Nationals has to be earned and is nothing to take for granted. We have a great amount of respect for the tournament.”
St. John’s is scheduled to play No. 14-seed Western Oregon University on Monday, May 13, at 10:30 a.m. (EST) in the first round of the tournament at Sirrine Stadium.
The game is a rematch of a meeting earlier this season between the two teams on Wednesday, March 27 -- St. John’s won the game, 11-9.
“The game (against Western Oregon) will definitely be a challenge,” Daehn said. “It was a close game back in March and we know we’re going to get their best effort.”
Should the Johnnies win the first round game, St. John's will advance to the quarterfinals and face the winner of the first round game between No. 6-seed Grand Valley State University and No. 11-seed Savannah College of Art and Design.
The Johnnies’ conference rival, the University of St. Thomas, received the No. 1-overall seed in the tournament following the Tommies’ victory in the 2013 UMLC Championship game.
“We left St. Paul (Minn.) disappointed with the result of the conference championship game,” Daehn said. “We’re going to use that as a chip on our shoulder heading into the MCLA tournament. This team has so much more to accomplish.”
Determined and excited, the Johnnies are already preparing for the tournament with one thing in mind.
“This year we’re hoping to go all the way,” Daehn said. “That was this team’s goal from day one and that’s our goal heading into Greenville.
“We believe this year is our year.”
TOURNAMENT NOTES: This will be the sixth time in the last seven years the Johnnies have been one of the top-five seeded teams in the MCLA DII Tournament … The last time the Johnnies were the No. 3-seed was in 2011 … Since 2007, St. John’s has a 6-6 record in the MCLA National Tournament … St. John’s has an overall record of 2-0 against Western Oregon with wins coming in 2012 and 2013. The Johnnies have outscored the Wolves 25-16 in those two games … St. John’s is one of three UMLC teams in this year’s tournament field; University of St. Thomas and North Dakota State University are the other two conference teams … The Johnnies will play its first round game one day after the St. John’s graduation. The Class of 2013 includes faceoff specialist Alex Rahn (Fort Wayne, Ind.), defenseman Steve Johnson (Mahtomedi, Minn.), midfielder Billy Jaffee (Minneapolis, Minn.), midfielder Nathaniel Hofman (Minneapolis, Minn.) and goaltender Mike King (Kansas City, Mo.)