Sports & Outdoors

Lacrosse loses in playoffs

Men’s lacrosse experienced quite the midseason turnaround to propel themselves to the playoffs. After being left for dead following an 0-4 start, the team turned it around, winning two crucial conference games to sneak into the PNCLL playoffs for the first time in six years.

However, their 2-2 record in their division belied their 2-7 overall mark. The team would have to play much better to make any noise in the playoffs, which began on Saturday, April 27 against the University of Portland.

The Loggers knew they had their work cut out for them against the bigger school. The team was 12-2 in 2013, thanks in part to a suffocating defense that held opponents to under 10 goals in all but three of their games.

Further stacking the deck against the Loggers, the game was in Portland, where the Pilots were undefeated this season, which included a dominating 19-1 victory against the Loggers in their season opener.

From the get-go, it was quite clearly not going to be the Loggers’ day. The Loggers found themselves in an 8-0 hole by the end of the first quarter. The Pilots were able to stretch that lead to 13-0 by the end of the first half.

In the end, the Loggers were simply outplayed. The team’s only goal came in the fourth quarter, with the game well out of hand. The final score was 20-1 in favor of  the University of Portland.

After the game however, senior Brendan Witt remained optimistic, saying in an email: “It was tough because we were taking on #18 team in the nation, who we had previously lost to in our season opener 19-1.

“While we went down to Portland with the intention of fighting for a win, we also knew the odds were great, and wanted to have just fun playing. We did that. I can safely say our celebrations were better and far more numerous than theirs, which has to count for something, right?”

Despite the team’s short stay in the playoffs, it was still a successful season for men’s lacrosse. It snapped a streak of missing the playoffs that had lasted for more than half of a decade. And in doing so, it placed the campus spotlight on a club program that is often overlooked.

Indeed, 2014 has a chance to be even more promising for the Loggers. Though the team will miss its six graduating seniors, players like junior Andrew White (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) will be returning. White led the team in assists and finished fourth on the team in goals despite playing in fewer than half of the Loggers’ games.

White and his teammates will be back next year, as the team tries to avenge its early playoff exit.