The first semester has ended and a very festive break has started! Sit back by the fire and let us handle the recap while you handle a cup of hot chocolate and perhaps a mango, too.
CSL veterans Slithery Slimy Sensual Slugs from the undefeated University of California, Santa Cruz (6 - 0 | 13 - 0) are the definitive champions of the West group.
League newcomers the University of Alberta (5 - 2 | 11 - 6) tied for match score with the returning University of California, San Diego (5 - 2 | 11 - 5). A jolly break over the winter will provide both teams with a chance to rest and be merry before returning in the spring to prove themselves themselves among their opposition.
Two-time LAN competitors State University of New York, Stony Brook (8-0 | 16 - 0) topped the Northeast group, A.K.A the Group of Death. This group contains several teams that have proven themselves to be powerhouses during past years.
Rochester Institute of Technology (3 - 2 | 7 - 4) has also competed twice in LAN and holds sixth place in a group of thirteen so far this season. RIT expected a difficult fall with their new roster, but even so, I expect to see them back at the top when playoff invites are sent to the best teams in the league.
New York University’s Ice Tadpoles’ 5 - 1 | 10 -2 performance is an unexpected accomplishment. They join the University of Maryland, College Park (5 - 1 | 11 - 3) in achieving a second-place record, proving that NYU can play with the best of the Group of Death.
The North group standings have been snatched by Ontario, Canada. The University of Toronto (10 - 0 | 10 - 0) swept the competition in the fall. McMaster University (5 - 1 | 10 - 3), York University (4 - 2 | 9 - 5), Carleton University (4 - 2 | 9 - 4), and the University of Ottawa (4 - 1 | 8 - 2) fill out the top teams in the North. They’re all in the same province!
École de Technologie Supérieure (3 - 3 | 7 -6) played in the Junior Varsity league last year. This season is their first in the Star League, and they are the are the top-rated team outside of Ontario.
The University of Illinois at Chicago (6 - 0 | 12 - 0) are on their way to making a second appearance on LAN after their second-place performance last season. They used to be underdogs, but UIC has made it clear that they are coming for first place with their recent feature and performance so far this year.
Strangely, UIC is not the only undefeated team in the East group. The Ohio State University (5 - 0 | 10 - 0) are in second place and are the second of four teams that have not lost a single match. UIC and OSU are scheduled to do battle on January 25th.
The plot thickens further south, where the University of Central Florida (4 - 0 | 8 - 0) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (4 - 0 | 8 - 0) are tied with four wins and no losses. (Editor's note: wreck Tech! :) ) These teams will play on January 18th to decide who will be a contender for first place and who will perpetually be left behind.
The Central group boasts the most competitive rankings in all of CSL. Last year’s playoff contenders the University of Wisconsin - Madison (4 - 2 | 9 - 5) lead the group and are the only first place team that is not undefeated.
Three teams are at a stalemate for second place based on match wins: the University of Iowa (4 - 1 | 9 - 2), Iowa State University (4 -1 | 9 - 4), and the University of Texas at Dallas (4 - 1 | 8 - 4). Though they’ve all proven themselves in their regional groups, these teams must continue to distinguish themselves in the spring for a chance to join the best of the best in the playoffs.
Enjoy the break while you can, as the new year will hold new matchups and new heartbreaks. Spring is the final shot for teams to earn a spot in the playoffs. Who will make the cut and who will spectate from the sidelines? You’ll have to keep watching to find out.
Have a very merry break!