The real of excitement of the CWPA Western Division tournament should begin in the semifinal matches Saturday night which more than likely will include No. 13 Michigan Wolverines playing No. 12 Indiana Hoosiers and No. 19 Hartwick College taking on No. 10 Maryland Terrapins. Unless there is a major upset these will be the four semifinal teams.
All teams in the Western division make it to the Eastern Championships, but only the champion is guaranteed to be one of the top two seeds and guarantees a first round bye. The runner up will likely be the No. 3 seed for Easterns which is the final spot to get a bye.
The first semifinal match will be top-seeded Maryland against Hartwick at 4:30 p.m. ET with the Michigan and Indiana mathup following at 6 p.m. ET. Hartwick easily defeated Gannon 19-4, Indiana defeated Salem International 16-2 and Michigan defeated Notre Dame College 20-4.
No. 1 Maryland vs. No. 4 Hartwick, 4:30 p.m. ET
Hartwick and Maryland played one time this year and it was Maryland who earned the victory 12-10, and in that game Maryland ran off to a 4-1 start after the first quarter and never let Hartwick back in the game. Since that game Maryland has lost only one game which was an 8-6 loss to UC Davis, but their wins include defeating Indiana, Michigan, Pacific and Santa Clara As for Hartwick since their loss to Maryland they have four loses which were a 10-9 loss to Michigan, a 11-9 loss to Cal Baptist, losing 13-10 to Harvard Crimson and 12-11 to the Princeton Tigers.
Hartwick has come up short against the best of the CWPA with their only a few quality wins which were a 21-13 win over the Brown Bears and an exhibition win over Michigan back in early March. They also did beat two of the top three teams in the MAAC in the Iona Gaels and Marist Red Fox. For Hartwick to get past Maryland it will take a very good game to do so, plus with Maryland being the top seed they have yet to play on Saturday.
No. 2 Indiana vs. No. 3 Michigan, 6 p.m. ET, TV: Indiana All-Access
The Michigan vs. Indiana matchup should be great if this game can live up to the expectations of the prior game where Indiana upset Michigan 8-7 at their home pool. Indiana is actually 2-0 against Michigan this year as they also won 6-3 back on Jan. 21 at the Michigan Invite. This time Michigan has the chance to get a big win on the road against their rival, and this game can be seen on the Indiana All-Access channel for free. Michigan has played an extremely tough schedule by playing eight teams ranked in the top-10 at the time of the game and they lost all eight matchups, and against ranked team overall Michigan is 3-10. Their only poor loss came when they were upset 7-5 by Brown.
Indiana has played a similarly tough schedule against teams ranked in the top-10 and just last month headed out West for one more big test before the postseason began to play the San Diego St. Aztecs, Hawaii Warriors and UC San Diego. All three were loses but Indiana held their own in a two-goal loss to Hawaii and a one-goal UC San Diego.
Both teams are seasoned and have played against the best competition in the country and this is a must see game. Indiana will need to slow down Michigan's counter attack and try to slow the game down some, and if they can do that they should become victorious. In the two teams prior meetings Indiana has been able to do that, so for Michigan to win they need to find away to break out of that rut and get into a fast paced game if they want to win.