Written by Alex Goff    Friday, 19 October 2012 18:20    PDF Print Write e-mail
Key Matchup in Malden
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

There’s still something to play for this weekend in the New England DI club league, despite the fact that the top four teams have clinched playoff spots.

Mystic River and Middlesex are tied with 17 points in the standings, 3rd and 4th. They play each other this weekend, while #2 Boston Irish Wolfhounds and leaders Boston play games where they are heavily favored.

The winner of the Mystic v. Middlesex game will move up to 21 or 22 standings points. That could put them in position to take 2nd from the Wolfhounds, should the ‘Hounds lose to Boston on October 27.

“Mystic is a solid side 1 through 15,” said Middlesex Coach Josh Smith. “They have been to nationals six years in row. Their guys know how win at this level. This was one of the matches we circled on the calendar when we got the schedule. Our teams train one mile away from each other in Malden. Our defense and stability in the contact area will be huge. We can’t play defense for 55 minutes and win this match. Either way this is what it is all about, challenging your players and seeing who can respond.”

"A key game for both teams in terms of knowing where we are at and being well positioned for the playoffs," added Mystic Head Coach Declan O'Riordan. "I think the keys for us are to play an uptempo game as Middlesex are always fit and well prepared and we need to be able to match their game speed while maintaining our defensive structure and discipline. The other key for us is to be patient in working through our phases to break them down so that we make that breakthrough after the 6th phase or more rather than trying to force things on the 2nd or 3rd."

The Wolfhounds tied Mystic earlier in the season 10-10, but beat Middlesex 35-29. As a result the Irish Wolfhounds have a head-to-head edge over Middlesex, but will need to maintain a good points difference if they end up tied with Mystic.


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