ROUND ROCK, Texas – The MCLA used to be known as a West Coast league, but the pendulum is swinging toward the southeast this year as three of the four semifinalists this spring are from either Georgia or South Carolina.
Tuesday’s action got started with a shocker as No. 8 Georgia Tech knocked off top-seeded Virginia Tech, 11-10. The Yellow Jackets took a 10-6 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Hokies stormed back to within one.
DIVISION I BRACKET
An Asher Wagnon goal proved to be the difference for Georgia Tech to advance. Gino Pagliaro made 18 saves to cement the victory.
On the other side of the bracket in the early window, No. 2 Brigham Young jumped out to a 4-1 lead at halftime and parried any attempt by No. 7 USC to get back in the game, winning 10-6.
Alton Taylor posted a hat trick and Mason Moon turned away 12 shots in net for the Cougars. The six goals scored by the Trojans was a season low.
The late D-I window proved lucrative for the Palmetto State as both No. 3 South Carolina and No. 5 Clemson filled out the remaining two spots in the semifinal bracket.
The Gamecocks dug themselves a hole against No. 6 Liberty, trailing 6-4 heading into the final frame, but a seven-goal explosion – helped by two goals apiece from Patrick Reilly and Connor Griffin – catapulted South Carolina to an 11-9 victory.
The Tigers were in a battle with No. 4 Minnesota and trailed, 11-10, with less than seven minutes to go in the contest. However, William Ciccarelli scored a natural hat trick to vault Clemson to a 13-11 lead that held up at the buzzer. Ciccarelli finished with five goals on the evening.
It was the Golden Gophers first loss of the season.
Division I Semifinals – Thursday
2022 MCLA National Championships presented New Balance
No. 5 Clemson vs. No. 8 Georgia Tech, 10 a.m.
No. 3 South Carolina vs. No. 2 Brigham Young, 12:45 p.m.