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The eternal quest to pick up a Division I win at the MCLA National Tournament powered by Under Armour continues. The GRLC is currently 0-17 at the Big Dance, often hamstrung by low seeds resulting in lopsided results. Purdue was the representative last year, bowing to eventual national champion Grand Canyon, 22-8.
This hearty group of Midwesterners plows on undaunted, however. Despite being the rep in Division I last year, the Boilermakers were tabbed second in the preseason coaches poll behind blood rival Indiana. The Hoosiers would have gone last year if not hung up on some institutional red tape, but one of these two squads is likely to grab the bid in ’16.
Iowa and Missouri appear to be a step behind the top two, but have a puncher’s chance. Illinois is a sleeping giant and could make a difference before it’s all over.
In Division II, Missouri Valley was in complete control of the automatic bid from the start, and there is little to think that will change this spring. The Vikings will also have a bit of an edge to them this year after getting stunned last year in the first round of the national tournament by Siena Heights – one of the biggest upsets in terms of seed in the history of Division II. Missouri Baptist appears to be the team with the best chance to put pressure on Missouri Valley.
Players to Watch
Greg Behning, Sr. Attack – Purdue
David King, Sr., Midfield - Indiana
Brett Willms, Sr., Attack – Nebraska
Andrew Legg, Sr., Defense – Missouri Valley
Aaron McClintock, Sr., Attack – Missouri Baptist
Owen Sorobey, Jr., Midfield – Missouri Valley
Division I Preseason Coaches Poll
7. Illinois State
10. Kansas State
Division II Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Missouri Valley
2. Missouri Baptist
4. Washington U.
5. Missouri State
6. Saint Louis
7. Robert Morris
8. Saint Ambrose
11. Missouri S&T