By GREG GIAUQUE
The BYU men’s lacrosse club team is looking back over this Fall Semester to see where it might end up this coming May. Players and coach hope their season will culminate in a shot at the club national championship in St. Louis.
Defenseman Jon Lee said the team has come a long way in just a few short months.
“It’s gone well,” Lee said. “We have a lot of new players, and it’s been good to know everyone better. We have a lot of new freshman, (but) we’re comfortable with everyone.”
The club team participated in two tournaments this fall. The Cougars hosted the Annual Fall Classic that featured 10 teams from around Utah and Colorado.
BYU breezed through its first few games, but ran into a stubborn Colorado State team in the final. Head coach Jason Lamb blamed the 5-7 loss on a lapse of mental intensity.
“We didn’t make any major mistakes, but we literally hit a wall there for about 10 minutes,” Lamb said of the game. “You can’t bill (that) whole weekend as a failure because of 10 minutes, but things just didn’t bounce our way.”
BYU also went to Las Vegas to participate in the Best of the West Lacrosse Tournament against four other teams. The Cougars’ only blemish on the weekend came at the hands of the Arizona Wildcats. Again, a mental lapse in the second half exposed BYU’s weaknesses, and the Cougars dropped a game that Lamb said they shouldn’t have lost.
“It was a little bit of a surprise. They have a good program, (but) the last two meetings were not close,” Lamb said. “I think we were looking past them.”
BYU seized the opportunity to get a little bit of payback on the CSU Rams later that day, however. A fired up Cougar team came out strong and evened the season record between the teams by beating the Rams.
Lee said it was a sweet bit of revenge.
“It was good to go to Las Vegas and beat Colorado State after they beat us. That was a highlight (of the fall season),” Lee said.
After winning the club national championship in 1997 and placing second last year, the Cougars are aiming for another shot at a national title.
To get there, Lee said the team will have to fix a few weaknesses and build on the team’s strengths.
“We had a weakness in Las Vegas of playing real passive,” Lee said. “I don’t think we realize what we are capable of. That’s got to change. (But) we have a lot of good players at all the positions. We’re two or three deep … everywhere on the field.”
The Cougars resume practice in the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse in mid-January, and their season officially begins February 11-12 in southern Utah.