TopOfTheCircle.com

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Nov. 25, 2018 — Burning off the chaff

Today, the first round of the NCAA Division II field hockey tournament took place at campus sites in Shippensburg, Pa. and Pleasantville, N.Y.

The results today put the host teams, Pace and Shippensburg, into the Final Four alongside the two teams which were selected last weekend to be there, East Stroudsburg and West Chester.

What I’ll remember about these two games, however, is how much better the winners were than the unlucky visitors. Shippensburg scored the first four goals in the first 50 minutes of their 4-1 win over Merrimack, and Pace ran out the first four goals in the first 40 minutes of a 6-1 win over St. Anselm.

Usually, if you’re running a championship tournament, you’re running that balance between rewarding the higher seeds and ensuring competitive games throughout. But, as we noted a couple of years ago when analyzing the trends in the PIAA field hockey tournament over the years, it is an inexact science. And this especially goes in a bracket which has only six qualifiers.

This week, we’ll see whether the tournament committee has done its best by its seedings when the games begin at Duquesne University.

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