The Wolverines from Utah Valley University put on a strong performance against their conference rivals, Westminster, in a Final-Four match-up on Friday. Winning by a score of 9-7, Utah Valley earned the right to face the defending national champions, the University of St. Thomas.
These two teams have never before played each other so UVU could prove to be a challenge for the Tommies. Utah Valley was the runner-up in the 2005 National Tournament (losing to San Diego 9-6 in the championship game). However, they have been in a rebuilding mode until this year. In the 2010 tournament, they've shown great athleticism, especially their offense where they've been particularly strong. They'll need more than just a strong offense tomorrow if they want to be the new champions.
Coming off an impressive performance against Davenport University, St. Thomas has already broken the three-game MCLA National Tournament scoring record with 55 goals (surpassing their own record of 50 goals set last year). However, the Tommies will need to come out strong today starting with the very first quarter. In yesterday's semi-final game against Davenport, UST had to work out of a four-goal deficit before taking control late in the second quarter. If UST starts out strong with an early lead, their deep talent at midfield and experience on defense could be the keys to success against the Wolverines.
Although there are many points to consider in this game, experience has to be one of the most relevant. St. Thomas' defense is very experienced. Between the three starting defensemen alone (Dan Soukup, Derek Michalski and Kevin Gause), there are eight years of National Tournament experience. If the Tommies can stay with their system and play UST-style lacrosse, the Wolverines will have a very tough time knocking the defending champs off the hill.